Monday, November 24, 2014

Games Thirst Review: Killzone 3 – Never A Dull Moment

In an industry that is overrun by first person shooters, all of which are trying hard to create their own personal space in the market, or like many would say, grab ‘piece of the pie’, the shooter being developed must be topnotch in order to standout. One cannot simply embark on a mission to develop a fps similar to the COD franchise and expect to get stellar results. You Must be different. Gladly, the Killzone franchise from the start, has managed to set itself apart from the rest by not only giving you a totally different feel and environment, but the franchise is also the best in its class when it comes to visuals, groundbreaking sound and masterful set pieces. It’s a tradition that really came into its own when Killzone 2 was released, and if you’ve yet to pick up Killzone 3 your next stop should be the closest GameStop, because Guerrilla Games not only continued the tradition of excellence with the third installment, they’ve completely outdone themselves.

What Quenched My Thirst

Gameplay
While Killzone 2 was a groundbreaking effort that was the best of its time, many gamers complained of the weighty feel the game had. From the controls and even to the way you moved – everything thing in Killzone 2 felt so loaded. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but gamers who were weary about the aforementioned will find that Killzone 3 feels and plays like a dream. The weighty feel is still there but Guerrilla Games managed to streamline it. It feels more fluid and the pacing is just right. You move along, mission to mission, in an uninterrupted manner. There’s the occasional delay that happens when the game is saving, but nothing that lasts for five seconds so it’s not an issue. In quick terms, you’ll run through the game and not even realize you’re to the end already because of how smoothly it runs.

Visuals
If Uncharted 2 is the best looking video game on consoles, then Killzone 3 is the best looking shooter on consoles. In fact, if you’re not too worried about dying a few times, you most likely will as you’ll be caught gazing at the game’s beautiful and impeccable design. From the Helghan war-torn cities, to its beautiful jungle, and even in Stahl’s abode, you’ll find Killzone 3 beats the rest hands down in the visuals department.

Variety
Helghan is a massive planet, and there are many arenas that Guerrilla can explore in future games, but what I like this time around is the amount of different environments offered that wasn’t there in Killzone 2. In Killzone 2, the game moved along slowly in the sense of changing scenery. It’s either you were in the desert or covered by steel buildings. This time, however, things change quickly, something that’s pleasing to the eyes, and easy on the brains. In other words, there’s never a dull moment in Killone 3.

Sound
I’m not exaggerating when I say no one does it better than Guerrilla Games when it comes to sound. It constantly changes with the mood of the game at the moment, but at all times, it’s beyond anything you’ve ever heard. Play the game with surround sounds and you’ll be perfectly blown away. Especially in the jungle. It starts out soft, but with progression, and with Helghast wittingly sending bullets your way, the music picks up and send your adrenaline rushing as your heart starts pumping blood carelessly to various parts of the body. Whoever’s responsible for sound in the franchise needs an immediate promotion; because Killzone would not be the same without it. The gun bursts are stellar – makes you feel like you’re holding one in your hands, and you’ll like the variety of responses that come after you’ve executed a good kill. Things like “that’s how it’s done”, or “nice one, Sev” or “that’s a confirmed kill”. Changing things up in unexpected ways.

Grandstand
If Killzone 2 failed in setting great set pieces, Guerrilla Games made it their business to make sure Killzone 3 did not. Although not ‘the best you’ve ever seen’, what’s in the game definitely manages to set the stage for upcoming events and gives you this kind of satisfaction in moving forward. You know the feeling that comes when playing a game for hours, only to find its ended without a gratifying moment? You play for hours on end, and the game never managed to stage a wow factor, leaving you rather disappointed? Kilzone 3 is the total opposite. Again, while it’s not the best you’ve experienced, rest assured there are some grandstand moments in this latest effort.

Multiplayer
There are definitely moments where KZ3 failed to execute the best, (I’ll get to those soon), but the game really and truly wins in multiplayer. It’s like a drug, to be honest. Once you get on, you’ll go back for more. I’ve played the game’s mp for hours, and I’m totally convinced that its one of the most defining aspects of Killzone 3. It feels and plays different, it’s not Call of Duty, so don’t expect the same feel – but expect to be wowed and impressed by the offerings.

There are three game modes: Guerrilla Warfare – it’s a type of Team Deathmatch that sees the winner being the team that reaches preset amount of kills before the other, or the one with the most kills before time runs out.

Second, you have Warzone – this game type mixes different matches into one big and long game. You’ll play Assassination, Team Deathmatch, Capture and Hold, Search and Retrieve, Search and Destroy and more, all in one massive, 24-player game. It’s a good mode to rake up dozens of kills.

Finally, and my favorite, there’s Operations – Operations is where two teams fight to accomplish goals, Helghast defending, and ISA on the offensive. The most beautiful part about this game mode is how it progresses. You’ll see the best players being featured in cutscenes before the other objective starts, giving them notoriety among the team. The dialogue from both the ISA and Helghast, as they encourage their teams to fight on is also very energetic, and sometimes downright hilarious. You’ll have a blast in Operations, once you get a hold of it, guaranteed.

Killzone 3 also comes ready with single-player co-op, but doesn’t feature online co-op, however rumors have it we’ll see a patch soon that’ll rectify the latter. There’s also a Botzone mode where you play against enemy AI. There, all the matches are available and you get to set the game’s difficulty. Also, every single class is accessible with everything unlocked. It’s a good way to test out the classes and see which one fits you best. Speaking of classes, Killzone 3 comes ready with five of them: ENGINEER, MARKSMAN, TACTICIAN, INFILTRATOR and FIELD MEDIC. Find out more about them through here.

What Left A Bitter Taste
In Killzone 2, there wasn’t much of a story, and a lot of vulgar language. Mix the two and what you have is a bunch of ISA clowns perfect at fighting war, but incapable of having a decent conversation. Critics and gamers alike spoke openly of their distress concerning the aforementioned, so you’d think Guerrilla Games would improve the story. To be honest, they obviously tried, but I was left wanting.

The ISA, especially Rico, still act foolish and spew out vile language, though this time, most of them came at respectable moments. But the game’s story is still weak. There’s so much that can be accomplished with the Helghan universe, and I’d like to see Guerrilla Games explore it in more ways – give the citizens of Helghan a voice. Don’t only portray them as hellbent to destroy the ISA, but show a compassionate side of their life. Why they do what they do, and give a bit more about their background. In doing this, Guerrilla Games will make the players feel more connected to the game, an accomplishment not many titles can boast of having.

While playing, you’ll definitely recognize the efforts placed into making the game’s story relevant, especially the moment when the ISA’s general reaches out to a hurting soldier, encouraging him with promising words. But apart from those sporadic tidbits, everything falls flat. Maybe they need to hire a new writer – I’d be up for the job.

Water Scale
Overall, though, Killzone 3 will definitely quench your thirst. It’s the type of game that will get the action racing and keep you locked in – never a dull moment indeed. It’s also one with great online features that boosts its value, making your buy more than worth it. I’ll be playing for months on end, and I’m sure you will too. Buy it, play it. You won’t be disappointed.

9.5/10

I bought A copy of Killzone 3, played through the single player on trooper, and later on veteran. I’ve played the multiplayer for hours, currently using the Engineer class.

Publisher – SCEA
Developer – Guerrilla Games
Number Of Player – 1-32
Genre – FPS
Release Date – 02/22/11

About Ernice Gilbert

Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!
  • Joshua Tompkins

    great review. I am really fond of the mp, but there are some things they need to fix. I have not played the sp yet, but I can’t wait to get into it. Also, my Bulletstorm review may be delayed.

  • http://www.gamesthirst.com Ernice Gilbert

    Thanks! Yeah, when you get into it you’ll see how fun it is. Great game. Why’s your BS review being delayed?

  • Joshua Tompkins

    i will get it posted it tonight. i thought i had more homework to do, but i don’t. i will have it posted by tonight.

  • http://www.gamesthirst.com Ernice Gilbert

    Waiting for it!

  • http://www.gamesthirst.com newyearnewrule

    Wow. Let me admit, that’s the best Killzone 3 review I’ve read thus far. I must say I’m now convinced it’s a great game!

  • http://www.gamesthirst.com newyearnewrule

    You didn’t make mention of PSMOVE, the Sharpshooter or even 3D, though. Why?

  • http://www.gamesthirst.com Ernice Gilbert

    Good observation, newrule, but that’s because I didn’t play the game with the Sharpshooter or PS MOVE. But you’re right, I should have at least make mention of the peripherals and 3D.

  • nick

    until you get to the ending, got to be one of the most underwhelming endings in the history of video games!
    and i thought alan wakes ending left allot to be desired!

  • ExclusivesMostly

    I found KZ3 to be a great game overall. Improvements need to be made though. I agree with this review.

  • http://www.gamesthirst.com Ernice Gilbert

    @ExclusivesMostly: Indeed. There are a few issues with multplayer, but luckily they can be patched. Overall, awesome game.

  • Sole Survivor

    Nick, you’re talking trash. But your trash is your opinion. Moving along. Killzone 3 is awesome. MP is addicting.

  • Sole Survivor

    You did not mention the game’s replay value, but checking for myself, I think it’s moderate. MP is where loads of have is though. Don’t get me wrong, the SP is great and worth playing over time and again, but once you jump in the multiplayer, the game thoroughly wins!