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Killzone 3 Review

This is a discussion on Killzone 3 Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Killzone 3: Official Review by Gauss Basic Information: Developer: Guerilla Games Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment North American Release Date: 2/22/2011 ...

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011

    Killzone 3 Review

    Killzone 3: Official Review
    by Gauss

    Basic Information:
    Developer: Guerilla Games
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
    North American Release Date: 2/22/2011
    European Release Date: 2/23/2011
    Trophies: Yes

    Killzone 3 follows immediately after the events of Killzone 2. Right after the death of Radec and Visari, Helghan is in the midst of major turmoil in leadership as they flush out what is left of the ISA. The game's opening set of levels shows the ISA stranded for a full 6 months until the band together after being abandoned by Earth, and fight back against the Helghast in an effort to stave off the inevitable... Capture and execution.

    Here is Killzone 3's gameplay in a nutshell: Take everything bad about Killzone 2's gameplay and fix it. At its core Killzone 3 is a well designed realistic first person shooter; to those who don't understand what this term means... The basic idea is you take a traditional (Arcade-style) FPS and add more realistic weapon recoil, spread, travel/lead time, and add other limiting factors to make it more realistic (limited weapons available to carry, etc).

    Killzone 2 and 3 divert from the pack by adding the concept of cover, similar to most third person shooters. Where Killzone 3 in turn excels is taking cover is no longer a chore, simply crouching near a piece of cover will glue you to it and popping out and aiming are much more fluid. No more holding down a button to keep stuck to cover. The other big thing Killzone 3 addressed is giving you a 3rd weapon slot. This move was absolutely brilliant because now you can carry more universal, less situational arsenals. You can carry a shotgun pistol, for close range, a sniper rifle, for long range, and a SMG for medium range, for example. Ammo is also much more plentiful thanks to an addition from the MP side of things: Ammo crates located at various checkpoints which refill all your ammo.

    Killzone 3's gameplay is visceral and gritty

    For any fan of this type of FPS, Killzone 3 is essentially perfect. It really is about you versus the enemy... And Guerrilla took this into consideration because the enemies have gotten smarter and more difficult as well. Heavily armored shotgunners will charge you, Jetpack soldiers will try to get above or behind you, enemies will spam grenades to keep you moving. The challenge is there and isn't bullshit. Its about you outsmarting them not outlasting or taking advantage of their stupidity.

    Killzone 3's singleplayer experience features a story centered mostly on survival. After being abandoned the ISA finds itself trying to eek out a living between Helghast patrols, until one fateful day a group are captured. After finding out the cease-fire signed has a devious purpose, a promise is forged: Get off and stop the Helghast. In total the singleplayer is longer than Killzone 2's, not by multiples, but definitely by an hour or two.

    There are two big additions that are felt the most. The first is the fact that your partners can revive you as well. If you aren't hit in the head or charging well in advance of them or any other scenario that would leave you completely incapacitated, a teammate will come waltzing in and shock you with those fun little lightning gadgets. This really helps because while if you totally screw the pooch you will have to deal with a complete restart, but the errant mistake won't result in repeating an entire section. While hardly something to rely on to get through the game, its refreshing to catch your "do'h" moments.

    The other one is the vehicle sections. Killzone 2 had its fair share, but Killzone 3 took it to a whole new level. Some are on rails, others are free-roam, they are in different locations using different vehicles... Lots of variety.

    The core of the story and the cast in it is more or less the same as Killzone 2. We see a little more of Rico and Sev, and thankfully Rico is toned down bigtime. Natko is gone, Jammer is added in his place. Jammer is pretty much a throwaway character, definitely under-utilized compared to previous titles. Narville is the fourth character in the mix, he has some depth as he finds himself torn between his men and the reality they face... Ultimately though Sev is the only interesting character, and unfortunately no one truly steps up to the plate to replace Garza.

    Much like Final Fantasy 7, the stars of this show are in the B-plot: the Helghast fighting to seize power after Visari's demise. Stahl, a ambitious and ruthless scientist and Orlock, the fascist lead of the military. It is truly dramatic to see how each sets their plans into motion to betray the other and seize control of Helghan, until it finally comes to a head in the climax.

    Jetpacks are featured prominently in a singleplayer level and in several multiplayer levels

    The story ultimately isn't anything spectacular, but it is interesting enough to carry the gameplay well. Its like a Schwarzenegger movie, don't think about it too hard... It really isn't.

    For better or for worse, this is the bread and butter of Killzone 3. Alot of time and effort has been spent balancing the classes and expanding the upgrade system. Much like the gameplay, at its heart Killzone 3 is a class-based shooter in multiplayer, with each player able to don a specific class with specific weapons and abilities. They vary from Sniper and Infiltrator with cloaking and disguising abilities respectively to the staple Medic and Tactician able to revive and create additional spawn points.

    What has really changed is the upgrade system, unlike Killzone 2 with its staple unlocks at specific points in time. Killzone 3 allots a specific number of unlock points each rank, these points can be spent on any class to unlock additional weapons, upgraded abilities, or new abilities. This is really where Killzone 3 comes into its own because the player can really customize how each class is played to their tastes... right down to the weapons, of which there are much more than Killzone 2.

    The other very interesting thing is the balancing done on Killzone 3 for each class, but, much like Dead Space 2, the balancing was done without "nerfing" a specific class. All the classes, with the proper upgrades, are capable of balancing out the pros and cons of any class. When this is added to the constantly changing objectives and goals of multiplayer, the result is very little degrading into camp-fests or grenade spamming. A player really can be incredibly successful with any class, and that is a good thing.

    Killzone 3 is a technical masterpiece. To be completely frank, anything other than agreeing that this game, graphically, is one of the best of this generation is flat out ignorant. The attention to detail in the design is apparent and the sense of variety in level design as this game really opens up the locations is great. It makes for a refreshing diversion from the earth tones of the urban warfare of the majority of the levels when sneaking through the bright yellow and orange flora of Helghan silently killing Helghast patrols... Or brutally raining down bullets on the oil rigs of the Helghan artic.

    One of the new locales: The Helghan Artic

    Everything else, visually, was amped up as well. The frame-rate is more fluid, guns have more detail as do the encounter areas of each level. A similar thing can be said about the audio as well, each gun packs a satisfying punch with each pull of the trigger, and gone is the "twang" of each gun in the previous version... instead opting for a more realistic sound based on calibur as opposed to individual firearms.

    The only complaints reasonably levied against Killzone 3 are also in the audio department, while I will not fault a game for changing voice-actors... and go so far as to thank it for toning down Rico and eliminating Natko entirely from this outing. Something is not quite right about the voice track, randomly lines will drop out at the end as a new voice actor starts their lines, almost as if they aren't properly synced up with the scene being played. This is likely just a bug, and is hopefully patchable, but in certain intense scenes it is irritating to hear the last word of a character be cut-off, even if it is intermittent.

    Killzone 3 is a relatively easy plat, the multiplayer trophies have definitely been toned down from KZ2. There definitely are some easy golds and silvers snuck into the mix. The only real farming trophy is the kill 1500 helghast, and this game is as difficult on Elite as the last one.

    Closing Thoughts
    This is ultimately a very hard game to review... Reason being it is unabashedly a shooter, its not trying to be anything else, its not trying to sprinkle in platforming or RPG elements or hybridize anything. Killzone 3 is a "realistic" FPS through and through, and for that reason its hard for me to dock points because of the polarizing nature of the game and the genre.

    In all reality Killzone 3, much like Gears of War, is a game for shooter fans. If you don't like FPSs of this style, KZ3 will not convert you. If you like FPSs of this style, KZ3 should be in your collection.

    Gameplay: 9/10
    It takes the mechanics of the first game and takes them to a whole new level. By adding the heavy weapons slot it effectively eliminates a major problem of KZ2.

    Singleplayer: 8/10
    The story is different than the first, and while not spectacular, the fact that this one focuses so heavily on survival and keeping your honor really means something... Even if it is stereotypical action movie, thats something that can be admired a bit. It clocks in longer than the previous title, which is a good thing.

    Multiplayer: 10/10
    The multiplayer for KZ3 is fantastic, it takes alot of things that were great about KZ2 and amplifies them... Only real complaint worth having is that there is no online co-op.

    Technical: 9/10
    Killzone 3 really pushes the PS3 to its peak, the visuals are absolutely breath-taking and levels like the space station and jungle really show what the PS3 is capable of... The only minor issue is some of the voice-acting is a bit buggy, hopefully this will be fixed in a patch.

    Overall: 9/10 Brilliant

  2. #2
    Up the Irons!
    APriceless's Avatar

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    Oct 2011
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    Good review, but I don't agree when you said that Elite on this was as hard as Elite on Killzone 2.

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  3. #3
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    Sep 2011

    great review man. enjoyed reading. now i might actually open my copy and play it. it's just been sitting in my collection gathering dust. time to change that lol member since April 2009

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