Review by rubsnick
"A slightly above average Generic Space Marine FPS"
I'll be honest with you right off the bat, I am tired of First Person Shooters, it is an over saturated genre this generation and it's become ridiculous with games like Call of Duty, Far Cry, KillZone, Halo, Team Forstress, MAG, Battle field Bad company, etc. it's all starting to become generic and become all the same. Usually these games have are become less Single Player Oriented and more Multiplayer oriented and I absolutely hate this trend because they are going as far as preventing splitscreen multiplayer in favor of online. It's lowering the quality of Single Player games. Where does this all fall in? Well Killzone 2 is a game that feels like the Single player was made as an way for someone without internet to play so it could have at least some sort of selling point. It feels like they put a lot of effort into the Multi Player and completely forgot about the single player aspect.
I borrowed Killzone 2 from a friend and I was able to complete this game in about 6-7 hours. I was expecting something slightly longer since I had little to no fun while playing it. Nothing blew me away, people kept hyping this up like it were the second coming of Christ, I cannot see why there was so much hype for this game. Keep in mind I'm rating the Single Player portion of the game, this is what I was expecting to be good and it falls flat on its face.
I don't know where to even begin I guess story, the story in this game is a big joke. It's the same generic space marine bull crap that we have all seen in the thousands of other First Person Shooters. You are a member of the ISA army and the Helghast army attacked earth and you are going to planet Helghan to get some pay back. That's it that's all there is to it there is no deep symbolism behind the story, it's in your face and shallow piece of crap. They could have done something slightly original or added an original twist but to be honest the story was barely developed in a proper way. It was all half assed, it left you confused and without a real idea as to what is going on in terms of mission. Not to mention that the ending is pure CRAP! There is no closure it's open ended (which I guess allows for a sequel) but overall it's just a horribly written and executed story. I'd rate the story a 2/10, it's pure generic rubbish!
Now to go to what a video game should really be about gameplay correct? Well this game plays like Call of Duty 4 with a hint of Gears of War/Uncharted. What do I mean by this? Well if you are next to box or barricade or something you can hold the L2 to take cover, unlike Gears of War tough you are not Invincible while taking cover which is actually something good. The game does this blend rather well and it's something unique to this game and it's a nice change of pace to be honest. Now the game fails to keep me entertained other then the cover system it plays just like every other FPS this generation, what is really sad is since the enemy relies on the cover system to heavily so the gunplay turns in to a game of peek a boo. This would not be so bad if it was for the fact that it takes about half a clip or more to kill one enemy, this system makes the game feel rather slow and clunky. This makes shooting an enemy such a hassle, it got to the point where I preferred to use the knife. This game allows you to meele with L1 and it allows a secondary melee with a knife, you press right on the D-pad and you automatically do two slashes and then you can slash with either R1 or L1. I ended up running towards the enemy and slashing my way through more than half of the game, it simply easier to walk up to an enemy that just took cover and slash at him twice. You will kill him in about 1 second; I personally find this incredibly sad when the best and most effective weapon in a first person shooter is a Knife. Not to mention everytime it loads a new portion of a level the game just Freezes up for a good 10 seconds which I personally think is unacceptable of a game of this generation or with this much hype! I personally rate the gameplay as 6/10, nothing stunning above average but in a age there FPS's are a dime a dozen they are very few things that separate this game from a game like Bioshock.
So if the story sucks and the gameplay is just slightly above average then what did Guerilla spend all those years developing? Ahhh It was graphics my dear reader! This graphics in this game are top notch, they blew me away. There was so much detail and animation, this reminded me of a Call of Duty commercial (If I recall correctly it was for the first one) where the soldier was jumping out of a tank or something and you heard him breathing and tripping over himself and loading up his gun and what not. Well Killzone 2 feels sort of like that commercial, it looks nice and it's what I've wanted in a FPS in terms of realism and animation.The lack of a HUD is also a big plus it allows you to be more immersed in the game. My only complaint it the lack of color, everything is kind of bland and gray looking but it just might be the planet Helghast that looks like this. Over all the graphics are among the best this generation and I'd give them a 9/10
But what are graphics without sound? The sound in this game is really well done explosions sound nice bullets sound nice, footsteps sound nice, the voice acting is top notch but at times there is too much cursing that seems out of place but this is just a minor complaint of mine. The music in this game exist and it's there for atmospheric purposes it's easily forgotten but the game would feel empty without it, it was very well done. Overall I give the sound an 8/10; they are some things that bug me like all the Helghast having the same damn voice!
As I stated before it feels like the Multiplayer in this game was Guerilla's main focus eh? Well yeah it was up to 64 players can play 32 on each team, it's always Helghast versus ISA. The game loads up a map and switches modes right on the fly, which doesn't disrupt the gameplay online whatsoever. The game doesn't lag and online is quite well done but it's also well done in all the other generic shooters. Yeah it's well done so what? It's boring dull and blah! I can't stand online multiplayer anymore this thing plays almost exactly like Call of Duty 4, so yeah people who enjoyed Call of Duty then by all means you'll probably love this as it stands it is not for me. Personally I rate the multiplayer a 3/10, there is no spilt screen which really ruins any fun that I could have had with a friend. I rate the multiplayer so low because this is nothing special anymore . It's generic and done before with so many other games it's just boring.
So how is the replay value of the game? Well if you are going to just stick with single player I guess you could play the campaign again in a higher difficulty for the trophies but I don't know why you would want to subject yourself to such a poorly designed and tough out single player experience, now online multiplayer? I guess you could find some replay value there if that's your thing. I'd rate the replay value for online a 7/10 and for the campaign a 2/10.
I honestly cannot recommend you purchase this generic rubbish, they are so many better FPS's out there for a much cheaper price, such example is Bioshock, Halo ODST (Not Halo 3 that was rubbish also), Hell I actually enjoyed Call of Duty 4's campaign better then Killzone 2, and I barely enjoyed CoD4 (the sniper missions where it's saving grace) to be honest Killzone is a game that will be forgotten by me. If you can get the game for cheap then by all means go ahead it's probably worth $20 but I cannot see myself purchasing such a generic shooter for $60 bucks. It is not worth it. If you want rent it play the campaign and see if the multiplayer is up your alley or if it brings anything new to the plate. But I cannot in good conscience recommend this game to anyone. I give the game a 6/10 overall it's slightly above average for its unique cover system but its implementation (at least on the enemies side) is just incredibly poor, as is its single player campaign.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/11/09
Game Release: Killzone 2 (US, 02/27/09)
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