Killzone 3 PS3 Review

Gaming

Killzone 3
Platform:Playstation 3 (Reviewed)
Publisher: Sony Entertainment
Developer:Guerilla Games
Genre:First Person Shooter
Release Date: February 24
Price: $116 AU BUY NOW – $59 USD BUY NOW

If you’re still looking for a game to convince you to buy a Playstation3, well first person shooter fans look no further. Guerilla Games really have brought out the big guns on this one, constructing a must-have title for PS3 owners. Weather you’re a fan of the franchise or not, Killzone 3 will impress you in ways you didn’t even expect it too.  Xbox and Wii owners grit your teeth; this is a game that you should be jealous of!

Presentation

It’s easy to see that a lot of time and effort went into Killzone 3, and it really shows in its presentation. While the storyline isn’t the deepest, emotive rollercoaster ride ever, the way the story is told is done with the most upmost cinematic style. From the camera angles to the voice acting, it is all rather superb. Sometimes the cut scenes are so intense it’s almost as if your just watching a really good CGI film. It really makes the campaign mode very intriguing. The multiplayer excels in its presentation as well, with an impressive class system that is really in depth that Killzone 2 fans should be very familiar with. It’s isn’t that much different, but it is explored a little more which is nice to see.  There are a few down sides however, such as the co-op campaign mode. While it runs smoothly with no frame rate drops and is a lot of fun to play, a silly decision of placing the split screens really holds it back. Instead of the typical horizontal or vertical split, the screen is split diagonally with no options of changing it otherwise. With a lot of the screen being unused it seems unpractical and at times annoying, as even reading text on the screens becomes a challenge. However you can’t be mad at the developers for trying something different, it’s just a shame that there weren’t any other options to choose from like there is with customizing controls, which is done so greatly. To salt the wound, you can’t even do co op online, it has to be offline. There are some very rare occasional issues with loading, mostly in the beginning of the game, where everything will freeze for about a second or less to load a room beyond a door, but it’s nothing major and doesn’t take too much away from the experience but it would’ve been nicer to have gone without this. Oh yeah, and for you trophy junkies out there, Killzone 3 is a great fix, your going to be more than satisfied in this department I assure you.

Story

Killzone 3 takes place right where Killzone 2 left off, with our protagonists from the ISA have been left abandoned on Helga and are desperately trying to escape their enemy’s home planet.  The story allows the player to explore more of the planet unlike the previous title which only really showed off the capital, which is nice to see. Players will see the story go from an artic landscape to a jungle not so much unlike the movie Avatar, to the ruins of the Helgan capital and various space stations among others, creating a lot of diversity and constantly keeping things fresh.  The story constantly jumps between time frames which do create a few Hollywood-ish moments. The story has some emotive cut scenes which are nice to see, however it is a shame that the physiological sides of the characters aren’t explored as much as they’ve could’ve been with this plot, as it does touch base on these every now and then which are pretty entertaining. It does show a nice political side to the war, which is interesting as well. The story could’ve used a little more character development in some parts, which may have helped players feel more for the characters but cut scenes make up a lot of it in great direction and cinematography, as well as outstanding voice acting. Characters are mostly likeable, and should have players rooting for the good guys against the evil bad guys they’ll encounter. A nice feature added to cut scenes is a simple but an effective one: being able to just pause cut scenes. It doesn’t improve the in anyway, but it can help one appreciate it. You also have the option of skipping them as well, but if you’d want to do that on your first play through you’re an idiot, because these are some of the best you’ll see in the FPS genre.

Gameplay

Killzone 3 is a blast to play. It’s one of those very rare first person shooters that actually feel like you’re a solider in war, not just a camera with a hand and gun attached to it. Ranging from the way you walk and run, to how you look at your gun when it’s being reloaded, it all just feels right. The physics and weight of the weapons are pretty believable too, making the game to feel more realistic, without it playing to slow. Blindly running into combat is highly discouraged by the impressively intelligent AI. Prepare to be flanked and hunted down like a dog, in the true dirty sprit known as war. You’ll need to use a lot of duck and cover tactics, which the tutorial at the beginning of the game explains quite well, complimented by easy-to-use controls, and if you have any problems with them, their customizable, making it even more of a pleasure to play. Even using the Playstation Move is an option. It’s not as easy to recommend, but it’s a nice option to have and worth checking out, although using the standard controller is far superior. The choice in weaponry is spot on as well. You know those moments in a FPS game when you get a crappy gun and you get pissed off and you go looking for a better one? That won’t happen much here as they are all pretty fun to use. Sure having the right gun for the right job is a lot better, but you aren’t going to want to choke your PS3 over a gun for the majority of your playtime.

An awesome feature is the brutal close combat system, which is a beautiful highlight of Killzone 3. It works the same way how you would knife someone in a typical first person shooter, except it works more like an ‘instant kill’ button. The kills are gory and brutal, ranging from slitting somebody’s throat with a knife, to bashing an enemy soldier’s head into a wall, to my personal favorite: crushing someone’s eyeballs into the back of their skull! However the AI is usually pretty smart (and your friends that your fighting too!) and will most likely shoot you before you can pull off these type of kills, so you really have to earn them. Sure these can feel a little gimmicky at times, but who cares? They look awesome and are fun to pull off!

The pacing of the campaign needs to be commended, something I can see many gamers will most likely overlook and take for granted. Killzone 3 has one of those very rare campaigns in its genre that never feel repetitive or stale. Everything is constantly kept fresh to mix things up, weather if it’s a rail-gun styled level, to a stealth level, to riding around in a tank or other vehicle, to gun turrets and mini guns to what we all have been waiting for: epic jetpacks.  Oh snap! Level design is also done with excellence as well, and not just in the campaign. Multiplayer maps are also a lot of fun, and you’re going to love them.

What makes the gameplay stand out so much though is how organic and natural everything feels. The audio, graphics, presentation and gameplay just flow easily into each other, working as one, creating a believable chaotic battle field.  Hearing the aggressive voice acting will intensify everything over epic low-key music and realistic sound effects. The way the camera shifts and the physics of the game will not only feel more real, but affect your judgment. Everything is chaotic and it feels like war. A true masterpiece. Killzone 3 feels as if it is not a game, but rather an experience. You can’t play this for a quick five-minute game, expect to be sucked in and watch as your entire afternoon becomes lost in it.

Multiplayer

Let’s face it, about half the reason anyone buys a shooter these days is for the online multiplayer. And much like the title before it, Killzone 3 will keep players in front of their Playstation3 for a very long time. Killzone 3 contains everything the much-loved Killzone 2 had, whilst expanding on it and going even deeper. New classes, missions and vehicles are available to slaughter your friends with. Which class you select will dramatically change your strategy and the way you play the game, so selecting the right class for your style of combat is essential. Mission objectives change constantly and they’re all a lot more than simply ‘kill this guy’ and ‘go shoot that’, they’re all actually pretty interesting. The maps are constructed perfectly for multiplayer, and are a lot of fun to play. Teamwork is encouraged, and you will more than likely be all over the map within a game rather than being stuck in a particular area-sucked in campers! With experience to be gained for spending on various upgrades as well as skill points, leader boards and the ability to form squads with your friends, there are plenty of reasons to spend many hours in Killzone 3’s exciting multiplayer mode.

Graphics

Prepare to be amazed. These are some of the best graphics on the PS3 system by far. Everything is smooth and textures are great. The details in character models and scenery are outstanding, and there is some epic scenery in this title.  There will be moments where you will want to stop, just stare and look around. Heck this game even looks impressive if you play it without using your HD cable, and to make things better Killzone 3 supports 3D televisions which are just even more delicious eye candy for gamers. There are some occasional moments that aren’t as impressive, such as spitting out fire whilst using a flamethrower which is pretty disappointing, but these moments are seldom seen. Many environmental effects and elements look absolutely outstanding, most notably a particular part of the game where players encounter an ocean. The waves are absolutely stunning, and are truly nothing less than beautiful. Animation so equally as great, and everything looks and feels realistic. Great job Guerrilla Games, you’ve truly outdone yourselves and blown us all away. Again.

Audio

The voice acting within this title is none short of amazing. You can really tell there was a high production cost behind this game. Everything sounds and feels believable, and realistic dialogue only compliments the superb voice acting. Same can be said for the sound effects. From the firing of a gun to the explosions and bullets flying past you, everything has been constructed to develop the atmosphere of war and chaos. The soundtrack does its job, and more. A perfect soundtrack for any movie or game is often barely noticeable because it gets you so involved, and that is exactly what happens here. You’ll be so lost in everything you won’t even notice it, a testament for the emotion put behind the score. Musically expect a very Hollywood feel the soundtrack, capturing the feeling of every situation perfectly with style.

Conclusion

Killzone 3 is doesn’t feel like a video game, but rather an experience. It is easily one of the greatest of it’s kind is all aspects. Graphically it is one of the best looking games on the Playstation3. The campaign’s story while not reaching it’s full potential, is still pretty damn good for an FPS game. Cut scenes are presented with impressive cinematography that will amaze you. Voice acting is extraordinary and will exceed your expectations. It has a flawless duck and cover system, and is accompanied by an intelligent AI as well. Campaign is fresh and is nicely paced with a great variety of rail gun and vehicle levels. Multiplayer is deep and will easily keep you busy for a long time, making this a title you’ll easily keep coming back to. Co op campaign’s split screen options hold it back, and the lack of online co op campaign is a let down, as well as not being able to have offline co op, but these things come no where close to taking away from the overall Killzone 3 experience. A game perfect in almost every aspect, Killzone 3 is a must buy for any fan of the FPS genre, or anyone with a PS3. A killer app for the console, pick it up asap. Don’t even finish reading this review, just run to your local store and buy it now!

PROS

  • Amazing graphics
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • Amazing voice acting
  • Amazing animation
  • Amazing cut scenes in campaign mode
  • Great duck and cover game play
  • Great AI
  • Great ‘feel’ to the game
  • Brutal close combat
  • Varied game play in both multiplayer and campaign
  • Deep Multiplayer
  • Lots of trophies
  • Dude, its just awesome, ok?

CONS

  • No online Co Op
  • Co Op’s screen issues are quite off putting
  • Story is good, but it had potential to be deeper

Killzone 3 gets a well deserved
9-5-capsules-out-of-10

As always, feel free to leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts on the game, as we’d love to hear your opinions as well about what you like and don’t like about it.

Matt Vella. Capsule Computers' Community Manager. I say 'Laters' a lot.

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