Exactly four years ago, in the 25th issue of game play was the review of Killzone 1. And it had almost the same title, and the review went like this: "Our final verdict:Killzone is one of the finest FPS ever seen on the PS2 and one of top 10 shooters ever. And one of the best games this year". Four years later we are at the end of a long wait,that began at the summer 2005, when sony began showing the most famous trailer for a game ever-which started the very long throwing of rocks and sticks on itself, PS3 console and Guerilla Games. Nobody then believed that the trailer shown was actually achievable in real time,and that a game can even look that good,and run on the PS3. Now at the end of the road we can paraphrase the review of killzone and say: Killzone 2 is the best FPS seen on the next gen consoles, and one of the top 5 shooters ever.And is surely one of the best games this year, although the year has calendar wise-just started.
KZ2 begins its story by the arrival of ISA troops on Helgan, the birth planet of the Helghasta, hoping the invasion will stop the attacks on the peaceful Vekta. What in the beginning seems like a hunt of a handful of special forces on the Helgan leader Visari, will become a real SF human drama with action elements which four years later after the first game again reinvents the genre and raises the bar unthinkably high.
Just as it was the case with the first game, the highest achievement of Killzone 2 isn't the incredible graphics,unreal sound,incredible game play or the general level of technical polish in the game. The biggest quality of KZ2 is the atmosphere of the game,wrapped around a very interesting story that the shows that the line between video games and movies has shrunk considerably. As it shows that you cant look at KZ2 as a ordinary FPS, but more as a video drama which happens in the future,inspired by the present time, and played through phenomenally animated scopes of over twenty weapons that KZ2 brings.
There is something that needs to be said at the beginning of this review, and that is that KZ2 cant match the almost 30 hour campaign of KZ1. KZ2 will last about 10 hours-depending on the difficulty-but i must admit i have never lived through this kind of 10 hours.Without exaggeration i can say that absolutely every minute in the game is worthy of spending-from the first moment you docked the entrance to Phrryus, all the way to the final battle in the centre of the dark and terrifying Visari throne.
The atmosphere of the game is unique, unforgettable and filled with exceptionally recognizable designer and graphical style which in motion looks simply unbelievable.With all due respect to all other games-thinking most about the wonderful and megalomaniac Crysis-Killzone 2 is currently the absolute winner in the category of visual beauty and graphical reach. Of course Crysis on a high end PC will look more "real", yet despite the effort of the genius from Crytek it simply cant match the overall artistic quality of Killzone 2. Which needs to be seen to be believed. Because movement as it is, is one of the most fascinating things in the game, since 99% of the time in the game you will be moving. The animation of walking, looking, hiding, aiming, reloading weapons, climbing, running, jumping, falling and all other little things you will do-including an animated screen when you are being hit-it bay far contributes to the overall movie like gaming. Of course the animation are just a part of the overall artistic/graphical style, filled with diverse lighting, effects of lights, particles and fire in real time and exceptionally detailed environment in which the sky and atmosphere conditions always take a very important place. Dozens of time you will get killed because you were looking at the surrounding environment-and you will not be sorry at all.
That is all matched by a richly and almost perfectly produced multi channel sound(especially the ultimate support for 7.1 systems), with epic orchestral music and excellent voice acting. Even the dialogue in Killzone 2 excels, because it manages to characterize each of the protagonist, and by doing so suck you in the so many times mentioned atmosphere.
On the technical side, Killzone 2 is simply flawless. Only on a few ocassions you can notice a slight stopping of the game between loading sections inside the chapter, but it is forgotten the next second.The graphical engine of the game shows its excellence especially at the end of the adventure, in the chaotic and crazy battles in the heart of city, when you will be fighting with your teammates against the swarm of helghan chargers and
officers. In the overwhelming chaos you will not even notice all the real time rendering that is going on, and how smooth and flawless it runs-and those are the moments where Killzone 2 shines the most.
In the story mode you lead a specialist of the ISA forces named Sev(at the end you will find out that his last name is the same as one of the best AC Milan strikers of all time)in a operation to take the helghan throne, and capture the leader of helghan, the infamous chancelor Visari. In the adventure you are joined by fellow fighters Natko, Garza and Rico, with whom you will be spending some of the most unforgettable moments in the FPS genre ever. As a game filled strongly with drama, Killzone 2 will give you a couple of surprises, and at the end set a strong foundation for a sequel-which might happen a lot sooner than we hope for. And after the 10-12 hour single player campaign, you will unlock the mythical elite difficulty, which can be even be hardly compared to the veteran one in Cod 4(almost impossible).
The game keeps the statistic information all the time-and it enables direct upload to the ranking system on the official site-it is to be expected that many players will try to pass the game on elite-to the ones that do we congratulate in advance.Even if you dont try the elite, i am sure sure everyone will try to go through the campaign once more.One of the lesser reasons will be to search for all the hidden helghast markings or bags with documents-for which you unlock trophies or parts of story on the official site-but in the end you will do it for the entire experience, for which the incredible AI of the helghast is responsible.
Ridiculously critized two years ago, AI is one of the best and most convincing in the genre. Starting with the ordinary foot soldiers with which you will be fighting at the beginning, althrough the armored specials, to the fearsome officers of Helghan which will atack you in squads, and will not shy from atacking you with knives. Enemy soldiers cooperate, hide, blind fire, run at you when you are reloading. It is exactly that type of AI that is the second most valuable trait of the game, only second to the planet Helghan because the entire time you spend there you will feel vulnerable and afraid-and we remember that from the first game. Another evidence of the persuasiveness of the AI is the skirmish mode, which in essence is the "multiplayer without the multiplayer", in which it is possible to play the basic war zone mode of multiplayer with bots. Whether the friendly or the enemy AI, it is equally impressive and one begins to think that Guerilla put skirmish to show of its effort and reach in programing the part which is usually the weakest in most FPS(and not only FPS).
Have a nice day-is the same title of the last section of our review of the first game from 2004 is intentional, because it best describes what is waiting for you at the end february. Put aside all minor flaws,as ocasionaly seeing your teammates getting stuck in front of your scope when you expect it the least, and all other tiny mistakes, which will be filling the headlines over the course of weeks and months.
When we played Killzone 1 four years ago, it seems we were one of the rare people that actually finished it on hard, and played through with all the characters(in Killzone 2 you lead only one character, but it makes up for it phenomenal MP)and gave it a well deserved high score.And today in 2009 if were to look for a big fault in Killzone 2, then we can only think of one-the fact it is a PS3 exclusive Without any intention of going into debate whether the X360 could run the Killzone 2 engine, or would Killzone remain the same experience on Wii, and due to specific controls of the PS3 controller, how would the PC players adjust it to the mouse and keyboard.
The biggest shame is that only the owners of the PS3,will be able to experience Killzone 2. The owners of every other console will not get the chance to play and enjoy Killzone 2-which goes far beyond the impressive screenshots and the far more impressive trailers available on the internet. Because of all of that we give Killzone 2 the score it deserves, which is not exaggerated at all. In this case it is truly a masterpiece of the genre,that has been in the making for many years, with incredible effort and no compromise. So i am glad we got a pure breed heir of the first game,which realy shows what next gen means. Welcome to Kiilzone for a second time,have a nice day.AR