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Posted by drew10 on Mar 3, 2011
Killzone 3 (Sony – PS3)

Killzone 3 (Sony – PS3)

For years Sony have been trying to come up with a shooter to rival Halo and for years they have fallen short. Seemingly throwing a lot of their hopes behind Guerilla Games, Killzone franchise has thus far not born the fruit they would have wanted. Now with the third title in the series can Sony finally claim they have a game to beat Bungie’s masterpiece?

Killzone 3 follows on directly from the end of the second game where evil Helghast leader,Visary is dead having just nuked his own city. You once again take control of Sev as he fights alongside Rico in an attempt to stop the Helghast once and for all. Things become slightly more complicated when the ISA forces for whom they fight surrender and pull out of the system. Left behind the small band of ISA troops set about trying to stop an impending invasion of earth.

This storyline is the backdrop to some insane action with action-packed being best way to describe Killzone 3. It is simply relentless from start to finish with one breathtaking set-piece following another. The games pacing really gives you the sense of urgency and desperation of the situation the characters find themselves in.

The one thing most fans of the series will realise is the change in pace from the first two titles. It seems the developers have been paying attention to the Call Of Duty franchise and have tried to introduce some of the gameplay elements here. Whether it be firing mini-guns from a support ship or a tank, or stealthily taking out troops with a melee attack, ideas have certainly been liberated from other sources. This is not a bad thing in our opinion and in fact Killzone 3 is by far the best in the series to date.

Once again Killzone excels in the graphical department with some stunning visuals and huge explosions. There is simply tons going on on-screen adding to the frantic nature of the action. Sometimes however you can be shot from areas unknown and this can lead to some frustrating replaying of the same section over and over. Generally though this game is stunning to look at with special mention going to the Junk Yard and the Avatar-esq plant-life in the stealth mission.

The sound equals the graphics in every department, the sounds of the battles are simply huge and you get a real sense of bullets rushing past your head while explosions go off all around you. The character voices are excellent and well acted with special note going to Malcolm McDowell and Ray Winstone for their performances as the villains Jorhan Stahl and Admiral Orlock respectively. Of course it is always good to know that us Brits are the bad guys again whilst the good ‘ol Yanks save the day as always. We are not sure whether it is blatant racism that means there are hardly any British heroes in these games or whether it is just that only British actors have the skills to pull off these parts.

The game also features a wealth of multi-player options. You can play the entire campaign co-op either online or split-screen locally. This is a nice addition and makes for some good replay value. Of course there is also the usual deathmatch games and we are sure many of you will love these but we simply can’t be bothered with most of these nowadays.

You can now also play the game with Move, this seems to work pretty well and some have actually claimed that it works better than with the pad. It is not something we agree with but it certainly adds a new dimension to the game and freshens up the overall experience.

So far so good then, but there are some pretty major issues. Firstly despite the well written storyline and the fact that we are now into the third game of the series, there is still no real connection to the games main characters. Even though you have shared some pretty intense situations with these guys you still don’t really care for them. There is a lack of emotion in the script that would take the series to another level. Perhaps some downtime in the action to get to know the characters a little better would enable the player to connect with them and thus creating a more emotional ride when things get tough. There is a section where you spend ages trying to rescue a Captain who spends the entire game making stupid decisions that neither Sev or Rico agree with and you find yourself questioning why you would bother. There is simply not enough depth to the characters for them to warrant your loyalty.

The control system has been tweaked making it more familiar and this works really well although there are times when the cover system seems to have a life of its own making for some serious screaming at the TV. Also some of the action sequences whilst great to look at make you feel very much a spectator. Yes you have control over a gun and you need to shoot the enemies, but this kind of on-the-rails gameplay was surely outmoded some time ago. There is a section late on the game where you take to the sky and we desperately wanted it to be like the space level in Halo: Reach but again you only had control of the guns.

Yet the biggest issue with the game is the length, if you thought Killzone 2 was short then Killzone 3 is going to really upset you. Expect to finish it within seven hours if you have anything about you. This is just criminally short, and yet they could have padded the gameplay out with more in depth character development. We would have welcomed another hour of getting into the characters and finding out what makes them who they are. Even if there would be no actual playing involved it would have felt less of a cheat and brought depth to the overall experience.

Simply put Killzone 3 is is a real mixed bag. Yes it is intense and beautiful and as action-packed as any game out there but it is simply too short. This married to the shallow nature of the characters that mean you simply don’t care if they live or die  means that once again the series falls short. On top of this it must have one of the most disappointing endings of any game in recent memory. I mean at least if you are going to make a short game at least leave us with something that doesn’t make you say “Is that it?” Well it would seem they have some work to do before Killzone 4 then eh?

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