After being displayed as a beautiful and ultimately controversial computer generated trailer at E3 2005 in the eyes of developer Guerrilla Games, Killzone 2 gave any true gamer the impression that it had the potential to be one of the best first person shooters on any console ever, even if most thought just in the graphical department alone. Unfortunately, after seeing the trailer, there were no ‘true gamers’ left. Everyone thought it was impossible. Blasphemy! Sony Computer Entertainment of America should be put to the guillotine for challenging the contemporary standards and expected standards of 2005! After spending weeks in the excoriating presence of Helghan, there is no doubt to be had. Heart pounding gameplay combined with an intense storyline and eye-widening graphics make for an insuperable experience in any war combat on any console. Killzone 2 has arrived, and with it a studious first person shooter.
You play as ISA Sargeant 1st Class Tomas ‘Sev’ Sevchenko, a charismatic and loyal soldier of the fellows in Alpha Squad that is sent to join the invasion Helghan to help rid the planet of the ruling leader, Scolar Visari. Visari’s presence since the first title has been veritably precocious, and the fearful reign to the ISA supporters is growing ever so tense. Plans soon go awry as members of your squad are captured which tails off from the main goal, and are the most enjoyable and just a small factor of surprise in the stunning objective-based missions. As the story progresses, the game seems to improve as well which is all the more remarkable as even the first couple of missions are satisfying. The story, while not being too overbearing, keeps you involved throughout. Guerrilla Games knew what they were doing with Killzone 2 in mind. Not just a satisfying storyline with a brilliant sense of visuals to accompany, but a sheer scale of action and awe going constantly erupting in our minds. Graphics, gameplay, audio, cutscenes. Killzone 2 has all of these, but it is not sweltered in the fact that this title makes a harmonious use of all of these elements. A lot has been said of the graphics in this game and that Guerrilla Games could never come close to that infamous E3 trailer, it would be sub-par at best with unreal expectations. Sadly to say to all of you cynics, they have done neither. The might of Guerrilla Games and the effort the team put in have succeeded that trailer by a good margin in aesthetic value. Sure — animations and the graphics on structures such as buildings, bridges and the ground could not be improved by much but the environmental graphics such as particles blown in the wind are absolutely astounding and are a joy to see even through the mass of bullets flying towards you at nearly every point in the game. The non-stop action, with team mates dying left and right is intense and makes it seem like you are actually part of a massive war rather than the lone protagonist which we tend to see in a lot of other games. The Helghast A.I. is very impressive and do not display orange-fueled lights of stupidity. Players will find the seek of desperation for weapons and sacrifice of ammunition all too well against the Helghast. Flanked or flushed out, you will constantly find your cover in continuous danger. It is war, after all. Few games give two very powerful starting off weapons which you will be reluctant to part with unless ammunition is running low, but obviously there are parts of the game designed for the other types of guns such as sniper rifles, grenade and missile launchers and shotguns. Regular firefights come geared with the standard issue assault rifle and blood crunching revolver give all the firepower needed. There is one thing that did disappoint us with weapons when it came to the beast of the lightning gun with its unlimited ammo, huge range and ability to latch onto the nearest target. Realistically, it makes no sense to have this weapon for the short time that players receive it. If the ISA were to win the war, they would have just all been equipped with these guns for advantage in the thunder-struck Helghan homeworld. Enemy A.I. is wonderful, constantly checking every path and route you take to near your objective. It is the melodramatic, badly voice-acted, factious, indescribably sour, action-killing, brain wrapping friendly A.I. that can be a huge pain in the neck during combat. It is not so much the realistic quality to the battlefield when it comes to them, but more so the actual combat mechanics. Many will suddenly jump out in front of where you are hiding which results in your view being obscured which is frustrating. Some sit doing nothing which is noticeable. Others daydream, some make the “I’m so busy fighting right now!” face but rarely do anything but get shot, and you get the idea. Another annoying aspect with friendly A.I. is a lot of the action is scripted, so you will find the same formations across the flanking scenarios later on in the missions and guerrilla aspects. They are all serious problems, which if had been payed more attention to rather than trying to make the graphics come sub-par to a Crysis experience in terms of art direction, could have made this game more memorable. Multiplayer comes with a dependable set of features from various classes to a full-fledged customizable badge system to make for ascetic pleasure. Expect the typical multiplayer modes, with badges, and different classes. The gist of multiplayer has to do with being a weird Sci-Fi Call of Duty 4 action adventure. There is nothing to complain about in terms of the classes that are wide and varied from Engineer to Medic and Commander. Killzone 2 does not have a single match type, but rotates between “missions” in a single match. One mission may resemble a Team Deathmatch gametype where you must kill a certain amount of the opposing team. When that mission has been won, the match will switch to a different mode. The first team to five wins in the missions leads to an entirely new match. Badges are earned that can be combined in a unique number of ways for different in-combat advantages and different ranks can be unlocked with different weapons. Multiplayer weapons come with special surprises that we will not reveal here along with a smooth lag-free experience with up to 32 players. The only multiplayer disappointment is truly in the form of something seen in every single title in terms of the modes —something new or fresh would not have hurt. We could care less for online cooperative play in Killzone 2, which is a mode similarly becoming common. For a game that focuses on team value, not including this is a very poor choice Guerrilla Games has made that they could have implemented. Until Guerrilla Games decides to do this, there are plenty of concentrated features to make the multiplayer sessions worth while.
Killzone 2 is an experience we have all been waiting to get our hands on ever since the beginning of first person shooters. To experience a true theater of war in a unique sci-fi world of Helghan just leaves us wanting more. Great audio effects, gameplay, visuals, all in a scale of the finest first person shooters played since 2008. The only faults come in the bad team A.I. As long as you have fun with the action yourself, you will not feel too disappointed by these. The wait from 2005 is over, it is 2009. Killzone 2 easily says that the wait was decently worth it and dares to be proof itself that no target render is the limit of success.