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Killzone 2 demo impressions

Brandon Erickson's picture
Killzone 2

I was going to write this week's blog entry about the general topic of "gameplay" and how it's defined (exciting, I know), but instead I've decided to shelve that idea in favor of something much more topical: namely, the new Killzone 2 demo, which I just had the unexpected pleasure of downloading and playing, thanks to some PSN trickery. Here are my initial thoughts.

Yes, the graphics are very good. In fact, these might be the best graphics I've seen in a game. (Before people start bringing up Crysis or whatever other graphics-heavy PC game they like to jerk off to, just bear in mind that I don't play PC games, so that's not what I'm talking about here.) The gritty atmosphere, the wind and dust, the explosions, the sunlight breaking through the hazy sky, all of it looks fantastic. The visuals aren't so much a giant leap above competitors like Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty 4 as they are a small step. But it's definitely a noticeable step.

The action is pretty crazy, and it really feels like there's a whole lot of stuff (read kablooie) going on. In the first section, for example, I could see everything from missiles flying in from every which way, to other soldiers running around in flames or lying on the ground, to things blowin' up real good. The conflict seems big and full of spectacle, and it was hard for me not to stop and get distracted by all the action going on around me.

In terms of overall feel, Killzone 2 has a nice sense of weight to it. The movement isn't as zippy as other first-person shooters, but I don't think that's a bad thing. There's a sense of inertia to the movement that makes things feel heavy and substantial, as though there's actual stuff inside all those polygonal surfaces. In a way, Killzone 2 feels like Gears of War meets Call of Duty with an extra layer of grittiness thrown in.

Since this is just a demo I can't really say anything about story because, well, there isn't any. But based on the combat chatter and general vibe, I'm expecting something about on par with Gears in terms of quality. That's just a guess, though.

I think Killzone 2 is in a bit of a weird spot in terms of mind share. There's a massive amount of hype surrounding this game among the hardcore audience, and it will inevitably feel overhyped to a lot of those people. On the other hand, a lot of mainstream gamers don't know anything about it, and it needs to be hyped up way more with these folks. Personally, I'm pretty excited to play the final version when it releases, but I'll also be very interested to see how it sells and what kind of effect it has on the struggling PS3.

Category Tags
Platform(s): PS3  
Developer(s): Guerrilla  
Series: Killzone  
Genre(s): Shooting  
Articles: Columns  

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Just got done playing the

Just got done playing the demo myself. Not too shabby, but Sony is really shooting themselves in the foot by only releasing this demo to people who pre-order. Talk about missing the point, the whole idea behind the demo is to get people excited about your game and this particular demo is certainly good enough to do that… is someone at Sony marketing not exactly clear on the concept?

(To anyone in the US wanting to play the demo without pre-ordering, create a new user and select UK as your region. Go through the rest of the process and the demo will be available in the UK store.)

It’s certainly sharp-looking and I enjoyed the past two Killzone games (PSP was better than PS2, by far) but there are still a few things that kind of made me feel a little cautious.

1> I forgot how loosey-goosey the PS3 controller sticks feel. It may just be that I've spent far more time with the 360, but despite turning the sensitivity all the way up, I still felt as though the aiming wasn't tight enough.

2> the way the enemies pop out from their locations feels a little fake, almost like Pez enemies being popped out of a dispenser.

3> when your teammate is defusing the lockbox at the end of the demo, you can sit there forever and he won't accomplish his task until you kill all of the incoming Helghast. Pretty weaksauce, IMO.

4> maybe this is a small quibble, but not being able to go in the water felt pretty lame.

I'm still fairly excited for the title, but I'm not quite convinced that Guerrilla knows what they're doing when it comes to level design/progression, and most of the early reviews are pretty blowjobby… hard to say.

Brad Gallaway wrote: 3>

Brad Gallaway wrote:

3> when your teammate is defusing the lockbox at the end of the demo, you can sit there forever and he won't accomplish his task until you kill all of the incoming Helghast. Pretty weaksauce, IMO.

I had the exact opposite reaction to this moment in the demo. It was nice not having a time limit to that scene, or worrying about your buddies health, or wondering when he's gonna finish the job. I was able to focus on killing the enemies at my own pace without the usual distractions such a moment usually comes with.

Normally I'd agree with you,

Normally I'd agree with you, but this little set up just reinforced the “artificial situation” feeling I was already having… I mean, the guy working on the box and I were both behind cover and out of harm’s way, so logically we could have hung out there and been totally safe while he popped the door. Keeping him working on that thing forever until I killed all the enemies broke my immersion and was generally, IMO, a bad choice. I mean, if killing them was the important thing, they should've just rushed up the stairs which would've forced me into a position where I needed to take them out. As it was, it just felt like a cheap and transparent developer trick. That's the sort of thing that sours me on a game pretty quick, so I hope they keep that type of stuff to a minimum.

Journalism

"I think Killzone 2 is in a bit of a weird spot in terms of mind share. There's a massive amount of hype surrounding this game among the hardcore audience, and it will inevitably feel overhyped to a lot of those people. On the other hand, a lot of mainstream gamers don't know anything about it, and it needs to be hyped up way more with these folks. Personally, I'm pretty excited to play the final version when it releases, but I'll also be very interested to see how it sells and what kind of effect it has on the struggling PS3."

Great article - unusual finish. Why say the struggling PS3.

Please explain !

I agree completely. Any

I agree completely.

Any amount of attention to detail can be paid to a game, but when the fundamental skills of level design aren't there, it's not going to be entertaining. This is evidenced by Treyarch's various forays into the COD series.

The demo wasn't that fun, was it? Fanboys are just lying to themselves.

It's little touches like the ridiculously scripted sequence you mentioned which restrict me from becoming immersed in the game. Fuck the graphics, really. I'd rather look at Uncharted, and play COD4.

killzone

i totally agree with you i tryed to keep myself away from the hype as much as possible so i would't be disapointed with the game but playing the demo.. it feels very weak :( dry and scripted i also did'nt like the explosions. so hopefully it has a gripping story.

The demo is not

The demo is not impressive.
It is short, the graphics are not impressive, and the low sensitivity of the controller does not make for a more realistic feel but a sluggish one. The enemies were all the same type. Sound was poor. This was on an HD setup btw. Disappointed. Will still buy it since there's nothing better in terms of FPS coming out. COD4 is still alot better imho.

Sorta Agree...

I was really just commenting because I wanted to applaud Brandon on one particular quote: "Before people start bringing up Crysis or whatever other graphics-heavy PC game they like to jerk off to, just bear in mind that I don't play PC games, so that's not what I'm talking about here."

I had read the site for awhile and then left. Comming back today and seeing this made me openly laugh. Kudos Sir.

Aside from that; the demo is pretty impressive. However I still have vivid memories or sloppy control and an over emphasis on style rather than substance from the first Killzone. In short I am curious as to whether or not Killzone 2 will be able to pull off the gaming hand job, that Guerilla has promised me.

Anyone that was in the beta

Anyone that was in the beta will tell you , you cant judge this on a ten minute demo

Games ace! already traded cod4 and waw and knew to stay away from the waaayy over hyped resistance 2 as i was in beta for that

Killzone 2 was the best online shooter ive played in a very long time , just hope the campaign is half as good

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