Killzone 2 - game review

Date: 2009-01-29 13:03:00
The review was based on the PS3 version.

Killzone 2 requires no installation. Like nonsense, but something about it. And it makes us think warmly about the Dutch Guerilla Games team when inserting the plate into the reader. The boys had a huge responsibility - greater than in the case of creators of other exclusive games for PLAYSTATION 3. How does this gigantic project look like, most players associated only with red goggles and slip-up with the rendered "movie from the game" 4 years ago? I think it's worth buying a PS3 for a game whose hero doesn't wear a mustache.

Intersection of Call of Duty 4 with Gears of War - this is how Killzone 2 can be summarized in terms of gameplay, narration and atmosphere. Such a simple comparison may be offensive at first, but it is difficult to find a more explosive recipe for a good shootout. It is amazing how conservative this game is. There is no strange here - no throws for the principle of "power", skills, puzzles, anything. At a time when we are bombarded with marketing gibberish like "our game is different because the opponents wear green hats", Guerilla has the courage to stand up and say "and we just did a shooter".

The main hero of the game is a certain Sev - a stereotypical soldier from a stereotypical squad of four rather indistinguishable tough guys. They are part of the ISA strike force that participates in the great assault on the home planet of the evil Hellghast (those with goggles). And that's basically everything you need to know about the plot of the game - the rest somehow goes on by itself and does not distract attention. In general, in the script it is worth noting a very cool character of a demonic hostile leader, Visari, as well as a bittersweet ending without American pathos.

The campaign consists of 10 missions, and its structure is a bit strange - the first half of the game is a progressive assault on the Hellghast capital, during which individual levels are disturbingly similar to each other. At the height of the fifth stage, you can already feel some anxiety that everything will end up in dark green, shabby tenements with a totalitarian architectural flavor. Fortunately, the other half saves the situation, changing the environment like a kaleidoscope and providing more and more new, very moving visual sensations. Rendered videos here are practically indistinguishable from those realized on the game engine - it's a pity that we can't look freely at the latter. Completing the course on a normal difficulty level takes about 7-8 hours without a watch in hand. For me, it's just for the game, which the monotony of the game tries to turn into an advantage.

There was once such a game on PS2, it was called Black, and it was created by the Burnout studio known from Burnout . In history, it has written down on the fetishist treatment of firearms and the harsh, stinky rusty iron climate. I associate Killzone 2 with her. The focus is on military equipment: heavy military equipment, guns, Hellghast armor, smoke and explosions. The climate is dark but not overwhelming - it's rather cool, commercial science fiction rather than illustrated war drama. The pace of the game is kept in check by scripts - which are generally well hidden in the back room, only sometimes we are aware of their existence (come 2 meters away and the enemies will stop reviving). Shooting provides a lot of fun due to the strong sound (shouting buddies during the shootings!), The powerful "win" of guns and mobilizing, demonic opponents. There are not many of them, but you want to shoot them all in the trunk. Feel that they are a bunch of mean bastards - quite intelligent even. The only hunger in this topic is the lack of real boss fights. There are a few scenes that appear to be fictitious, but we're just fighting harder versions of regular Hellghast units.

The first time you grab it is like Call of Duty. The idea of sprint is similar - we cannot run a fire while running. It is interesting that switching on the gear (pressing the left knob) does not "pierce" the reloading animation. Considering that reloads last here forever, you must watch over them wisely, because in case of danger we will not be able to escape quickly. Going further - Guerilla included a somewhat controversial shield system in the game. His first problem lies in the control. To hide behind a curtain, we must run to it and hold L2 ... L2! You know how Sixaxis is constructed - holding this button for several seconds is no pleasure. What's worse, this setting is in every controller preset that we can select in the menu, heh. Another problem of covers is their relatively low efficiency. We rarely know that we are safe, and there is absolutely no way to predict whether we will get hurt or not. At the highest level of human difficulty, only blood is flooding - literally and figuratively. This impression is intensified by the GUI, in which we will not find any indication of the direction from which we are shelled (like the famous "circle" from Gears). The only help is a sensitive ear, also for grenades. Perhaps it will work in multiplayer (although it blows discrimination against weaker home theaters), in the single, confusion is rather irritating.

The hero moves and aims quite majestically (it is better to immediately turn the knob sensitivity to the maximum), but thanks to this we can enjoy the excellent work of the first-person camera. Seriously - I thought that Mirror's Edge is setting standards in this area, but what is happening here breaks down DICE production into blades. We feel every knock of the knob as a specific movement of the hero - a small step forward, a quick leap back. Everything springy, in tune with the sounds of the feet and the animation of the weapon. Guerilla took FPP's view to the rank of art, humiliating such wooden hits as Far Cry 2 or Resistance 2.

In a few years, we will remember Killzone 2 mainly for the graphic design. Generally jaw drop. It is certain that the X360 could not cope with such a thing, it is actually a half-generation leap ahead of what you see on consoles every day. And what pleases me the most is that despite everything a large part of the " Killzone 2 style " is developed by a head, not a processor. Amazing colors (no random color, and everything in the palette straight from classic painting - seriously), discreet flavors (e.g. darkening the screen in the corners) and "fashionable" filters make the * screens * from Killzone look colored. And this is just this "artistic" layer, going on the tip against breaking beret environmental effects, fumes, grains of sand, clouds of gas, electric discharges, flares ... long could be replaced. It is a pity that the surroundings cannot be noticeably damaged - forgive me, but the plaster leaving the column no longer makes a special impression. Ah, and there is a humorous accent in all this baroque technology: it is mandatory for Sony to push Sixaxis functionality somewhere. We use it to unscrew the valves and attach bombs. "Wow, you have the original controller."

The sound layer keeps pace with the rest of the binding and with similar power causes baking on the face. Both the music (mainly the main theme and the subtitle foundation dumped into space), as well as the sounds of weapons, explosions and surroundings are well realized and work perfectly in the spatial system. The Polish language version is a completely different issue. You can form your own opinion about it by watching our comparison, my reaction is general embarrassment. I turn a blind eye to the level of acting, because somehow it does not deviate from our (low) standards in games. Mostly, the way the lyrics are written hurts me. English decals, idioms ineptly translated, official tone, grammatical pandemonium - I think it is a matter of the lack of proper QA and thorough, ongoing tests. The translators obviously did not know the context of most of the statements, so it came out as it came out. And as usual in such situations, it is worth praising for noble ideas - and only for them. It is interesting that the authors of Polonization apparently forgot about ... intro! Yes, the introductory video for unknown reasons was left in the original - slip-up or humbleness? In general, however, all defends that before you start the game you can choose the English language version. Worse, you can't attach Polish subtitles to it. To change the language of the game, you need to delete all Killzone 2 data from the console disk - that is, we lose all save and statistics. So you better think about which voices you want to listen to.

Killzone 2 is two extremes. On one hand, we have the simplicity of content - a linear, scripted gameplay that refers to the best roots of the genre. On the other - Byzantine splendor of form, audiovisual spectacle surrounded by dark sci-fi. The game works perfectly on both levels. Of course, there is room for improvement, but it's difficult to talk about disadvantages as such. The issue of multiplayer remains unknown, because - I will not dim - it is impossible to test multiplayer gameplay on glowing test servers. We'll come back to the topic when there will be someone to play with. All in all, however, I am calm that K2 will become a standard and will compete with the most "reference" shooter of our time, that is Call of Duty 4 . Is winning? You will decide about it.

Krzysztof "Lordareon" Gonciarz