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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Hope to Receive it as a Gift

Game Profile
PlayStation 2
Guerrilla Games
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-16
November 02, 2004
Killzone 3

Killzone 2

Killzone: Liberation

 Written by Chris Reiter  on September 29, 2003

First Impressions: Making Bill Gates sweat, one hundred droplets at a time.

First Person Shooter games are about as epic as an RPG, if you truly and honestly think about it. Really. RPGs have come to a major turn in the last decade, where gamers finally said, "Hey, it's cool to have an engaging story in the game as long as there's interesting plot twists, and an innovative gameplay system, and edge pushing graphics, and memorable sounds to keep me coming back to it." Whether you believe it or not, First Person Shooters have gone along that same line somewhere when the genre was strictly speaking PC. It was games like Castle Wolfenstein and Doom that began a revelation for the game type on computers -- and in the console realm games like GoldenEye and Medal of Honor that paved a foundation for dynamic storytelling and intelligent fast paced gameplay to build upon years later in the shooters we play today. Yeah, they're just shooters. These games use guns, blood, and people dying everywhere to excite us. But you have to admit that the First Person Shooter genre has gone from one face to a completely revamped makeover in the last decade: online and off. To that end, Sony's finally figured out there's a whole appeal to the genre. And come next year, they'll be there to show off what they've got to offer in the company's response to Halo, Killzone.

Not too long from now, Earth isn't going to be the only place for humans to reside, in a future where universal colonization exists. Don't think this expansion of the human race is any less hellish than on Earth, as out of nowhere in this same forefront, an interplanetary war commences between a rouge faction who calls itself the Helghast, and Earth's loyalist militant teams known as the ISA. Your perspective of this whole scenario will take place from behind the mask of four ISA agents trapped behind enemy lines in a feudal war territory effectively called a Killzone. Should you learn to command your troop, you'll live to see your way out of there. Should you succeed, you'll live long enough to continue the fight. Should you fail, you know what happens next.

If you caught on to how I mentioned earlier the comparison between Halo and Killzone, it's actually the truth. For as long as Killzone's been in production since early last year, it's been one of Sony's most secretive projects that's being heavily referred to as the company's "Halo killer." Before you Xbox fanboys get all red in the face, there is good reason for the call too. Imagine a sci-fi shooter placed into a first person view that's actually not as much related to science fiction as you'd think. Killzone takes place only a short time period from now, which is why the game's relatively closer to past wars of the late Twentieth Century rather than a laser show of Star Wars proportions; drawing influence from the guerilla tactics used in Vietnam to the street-fare of Stalingrad. Just the same as Halo, instead of a major brawl between human and alien, Killzone's element is human against human -- only you play as a team of soldiers. To that same effect, Killzone can be also described as, "When Halo met SOCOM." Each one of your four teammates will be a specialist in their own right, much like in a squad-based shooter where one will excel in handling heavy weapons and another in stealth. Unfortunately however, the other two members' abilities are undisclosed at this time. And unlike in your regular squad-based simulation, you'll only take control of just one of the quartet. Albeit, gamers will be given the chance to run through the game as each of the four ISA members at a time.

Getting back into Killzone's trail of Halo here, the war isn't just about being one guy against an angry horde. In Killzone, it'll be your four against dozens and dozens of Helghast forces, combined with help from the rest of your ISA team. You know how in every great First Person Shooter those scripted moments where something big happens appears? Killzone will have a memorable scenario such as that in every one of its 26 levels. Some examples so far will be squadrons stringing down from atop gunships to join in the fight, or a massive shootout right next to a crumbling bridge. Speaking of weapons, you'll eventually be able to store in your stockpile up to 21 different tools, ranging from grenades, pistols, bazookas, mini-guns, and more. Not to mention that there'll be secondary fire for each of your pain inducing equipment and plenty of fixed weapons, like turrets, laying around the riverbanks, urban blocks, and mall levels you'll get to track on through.

The nitty-gritty for most First Person Shooters in this day and age are that they must look good to qualify above the rest. For Killzone so far, reaching that standard is likely not going to be a difficult task at all. Killzone's massive conflict between two combative factions will not just take it up a level, but rather to the next level with insane piles of good and bad guys filling the screen in an all-out cascade of war. Using a scattered lighting system similar to the one found in ICO, you can expect some good things to come out of the quality of realism in Killzone as well. For instance, the way in which the character models will all animate separately on their own, either smashing opponents with the butts of their guns, or running around everywhere firing at everything they can, while embedded with a refinery of sharp textures galore.

Final Thoughts
Halo did well. Killzone is hoping to do better. Being Guerilla Games' first developed title for any system is a daunting task for the company formerly known as Lost Boys: especially considering the fact that their first release sets out to top a title that's bigger than big right now. Whether Killzone is to be the next best thing since sliced Halo is anyone's guess. But looking at the facts so far, there's no doubt that Killzone is definitely an interesting concept pushing toward warfare that's a little closer to home in a shooter's system many gamers have already fallen in love with. Combine all that with a supported but unspecified online system of play for a fall 2004 release, and you've got something to hype over for the next year.

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