Kind of a ‘Meh’ Day for Helghan: A Killzone 3 Review

23 02 2011

Killzone 3 officially released on Tuesday alongside fellow first-person shooter Bulletstorm. IncreaseBlue made the tough decision but sided with the Helghast for her pick between the two. She offers her review of it below (caution, spoilers for Killzone 2):

IncreaseBlue-

Picking up Killzone 3 was something of a shoo-in for me. I participated in both multiplayer betas and was a big admirer of the second game in the series, so I figured that there was nowhere else to go but up for this game. Unfortunately it seems Killzone has just hit a plateau with the third title.

The story of Killzone 3 follows directly after Visari’s death and chronicles ISA soldier Sevchenko as he attempts to survive on the hostile planet Helghan with his comrades.

One thing that Killzone 2 was lacking was a strong story. It had characters certainly capable of having gripping plot, but it fell short with the expletive vomiting Rico, dullard macho man Sev, and generally barebones story.

Killzone 3 attempts to change this by being more cinematic. The talents of Malcolm McDowell (Heroes) as Jordan Stahl and Ray Winstone (Beowulf) as Admiral Orlock give nice injections of drama and tension this time around. The only issue that happens with this is the fact that Killzone’s story jumps around entirely too much so that very little except said characters are established.

Both Malcolm McDowell and Ray Winstone add interesting drama to the Killzone 3 story, but the game doesn’t flesh it out very well.

The action keeps flitting between Sev’s personal conflict of orders vs. free will, Rico’s insubordination (which he seems to have finally calmed down in this game), and the plans of the Helghast to wipe out the ISA. All of these present some interesting plot points but are never focused on long enough to create a truly compelling story. In the end, Killzone does have a bit better of a grip on the storytelling elements this time around, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped it would be.

Sev is back and ready to hover-crane-kick you in the face.

The controls are much tighter and lighter versions of the Killzone 2 ones and I’m a bit disappointed in that. I rather enjoyed having a character carry the weight of his guns and gear as opposed to being light as a feather, but this is a minor complaint. The major problem I had with the controls was the cover system that allowed you to auto-stick to walls when crouched. Now this works well to sprint and slide into cover, but gets you stuck when you want to get out of it say, when an enemy chucks a grenade right into your lap.

The graphics are so beautiful it stings the eyes. Colors are vibrant and the picture is extremely sharp. Killzone 3 also gives the eye a break from the generally apocalyptic looking outposts of Helghan with exotic forests, snowed-out machinery plants, and science labs. These locations give way to Killzone’s success with different textures and lighting used for the shadowy forests and high-gloss tech pieces. This is one thing that this game was determined to deliver on, and it did.

Killzone 3 boasts some graphically beautiful war zones.

As for the length of the campaign, it is shorter than I would have liked. Not so much to where I feel completely cheated out of a game, but it was something I felt could have fleshed the plot out better and given more satisfaction to the story mode. I finished it in about six hours give or take.

Aside from the story mode, Killzone 3 has a lot to offer. A co-op campaign option, botzone for all of us who don’t want to embarrass ourselves online, multiplayer, and downloadable content are packed into the title.

The multiplayer is a very strong feature of KZ3, with several classes and modes for play.

The multiplayer is strong. The different classes have been augmented to balance more so, abilities stack but not so much to where they’re mega-powered, and the different modes such as war zone and operations break up the monotony of regular deathmatches.

The leveling up rewards players better for completing objectives than just making kills, but it does give you a good chunk of points if all you want to do is snipe. The maps however, change up the tactics and allow for players to utilize different strategies and employ different classes to this end. It is without a doubt, the best feature of the game.

Final Verdict: 8/10

Overall Killzone 3 is a pretty, if not somewhat same-ish, successor to 2. The graphics are great, certain gameplay mechanics are stifled, and the attempts to be more cinematic with a deeper story gets stopped a bit short. The good things balance out the bad ones, making it a level experience. However, it is a strong game with an even stronger multiplayer feature. Definitely buy this if you want a new multiplayer experience, or else wait for a price drop. Either way, it is worth your time.

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2 03 2011
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[…] Kind of a 'Meh' Day for Helghan: A Killzone 3 Review « The Pause … […]

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