It is always a struggle to build and improve on a game that still impresses two years after its release but in bringing us a sequel to Killzone 2 Guerrilla Games has done just that.
Picking up the story directly after the events at the end of the last game and stretching over the next six months, Killzone 3 jumps straight into the action.
You reprise your role as Tomas ‘Sev’ Sevchenko with the ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance) trying to get off the planet Helghan – only to be met with the full force of the Helghast, who have regrouped following the climax of Killzone 2.
If you’re looking for a game to redefine or revolutionise the first person shooter genre then you are looking in the wrong place. Killzone 3 brings very little to the table in terms of new ideas but most people picking this up won’t be expecting it to.
This game is about taking down the Helghast, even if you are on the back foot.
The new ideas that do make it into the game (Jetpacks/the multiplayer ‘Operations’ mode etc) are handled brilliantly. Guerrilla has done a great job of taking on board fan’s feedback and tweaking the controls/feel of the game for the better.
I wasn’t entirely sure how they would improve the multiplayer beyond a few tweaks but they have knocked it out of the park.
Redesigned classes, with abilities that are more relevant to each class, are the biggest difference but you also now have two more game types (on top of the already awesome Warzone) in Guerrilla Warfare (Team Deathmatch) and Operations – an objective based battle in which the top players from each team feature in the cut scenes between action.
The maps are brilliantly designed with some great scenery and feature different parts of maps for various modes. For example the Frozen Dam map – in Guerrilla Warfare only the small section at the front is available to play in, in Operations you make your way through the map section by section (like Rush in Battlefield: Bad Company 2) and in Warzone the map is open in it’s entirety.
I’ve seen some reviews criticising the single player story of Killzone 3 but for me it was perfect – I loved the new bad guys and felt that the developers did a good job of bringing the player closer to Sev, and buddy Rico, than ever before.
I would’ve liked to have seen more about the background of Helghan or perhaps some stuff on the civilian population (I’m presuming there still is one somewhere on Helghan?) but those are personal points of interest so it’s not like the story is missing chunks of information.
The A.I, for the most part, impresses and I’d forgotten how unforgiving the game can be if you try to break cover and expose yourself completely. Although with the new brutal melee kills that are activated at close range, you’ll be tempted to try and get as close to the Helghast as possible.
There is a lot more variety in the level design this time around as you traverse in snow and jungle terrain and the game looks as gorgeous as expected. Not quite the same ‘smack-you-in-the-face’ leap as Killzone 2 but impressive nonetheless.
Overall then Killzone 3 doesn’t quite grab you in the way that the previous game did but that doesn’t really matter in the end. Guerrilla Games have delivered a game that improves on it’s predecessor in pretty much every way it could. A must buy for any PS3 owner.