KILLZONE 2 | PS3
It's fair to say, without any hint of hype, that at its launch, Killzone 2 marks the pinnacle of visual excellence in console gaming. This much has been touted since it was first revealed four years prior to its launch, in the form of a rolling video. Does it deliver more than just delicious candy for the eye? It most certainly does.
Like its predecessor, the original Killzone on PlayStation 2, it is a first-person shooter set hundreds of years into the future where humans have ventured to the stars. Colonising distant worlds, civilisation has broken into two factions, the clean-cut International Strategic Alliance (ISA) and the industrial Helghast. Following the events of the debut game and its PSP sequel Killzone: Liberation, the Helghast invasion of ISA-allied colony on Vekta has been defeated, and in Killzone 2 the ISA takes the battle to its source; the Helghast home world of Helghan.
Mighty cruisers fill the Helghan sky, raining missiles down onto the planet's capital city as the player's character, Sev, is delivered into the battlefield with his Alpha Squad comrades. Through most of the story-led single player missions, a member of Alpha squad accompanies the player, providing insightful chatter, the occasional helpful boost over high obstacles and vital covering fire.
Filthy, storm-battered streets and wind-blasted outposts have never looked so pleasing, but you didn't come here to marvel at the gentle threads of sunlight filter through billowing dust clouds - this is a war! It's a war that demands much less of the ""run and gun"" mentality and a more considered, measured advance. Using the ""peek and lean"" feature to get the most protection from the environment while delivering well placed shots and lobbed grenades, assuring far more progress than any gung-ho approach.
So what is the gung-ho addict to do? Try out the multiplay combat, of course! Playing as Helghast or ISA, first order is to get a grip of the level layout and playing style amongst the relative safety of an entirely computer-controlled set of allies and enemies - no need for dozens of embarrassing "newbie" deaths against real, skilled gamers. After some offline practice, online action puts in you back in the familiar locations of the single player game, but now with altogether different objects; as a medic, engineer, sniper or plain old soldier the player competes with in a stream of deathmatches, assassinations, planting and protecting explosives and defending key positions.
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