Review by TheLastAvatar05

"Welcome to Helghan, please prepare to drop."

Since release, Killzone 2 has received universal praise and critical reception and with good reason after the poor introductory title of Killzone on the PlayStation and the the moderate successful add on title of Liberation on the PSP. Guerilla Games apparently knows how to fix their previous mistakes as they introduce a new exciting campaign mode, multi-player (both online and off), weaponry, and gameplay features that make it so enjoyable and addictive to play though.

Storyline: (9/10): Following the continuation of Killzone and Liberation, you take the role as Sergeant Tomas Sev Sevchenko, who, is taking part of the invasion of the Helghast homeworld of Helghan with a few hundred thousand of his fellow human compatriots to end the war and bring the charismatic Helghast Emperor Scolar Visari to justice. As part of the elite Alpha Team, you are ordered to scout behind enemy lines and aid in assistance of the main invasion force by taking out various enemy structures and objective such as blowing stuff up, defending locations, and killing a lot of enemies, within 10-12 main missions. Considering how this is their planet, you face the best that the Helghast has to offer within 12-14 hours of actual single player campaign gameplay. The storyline is pretty simplistic and easy to follow if you are new to the series and haven't played the previous installments. A lot of the dialogue between characters within cutscenes helps bring the storyline to life and really connects with often humorous exchanges though there it could be overdone at times. I felt that the overall single player campaign is extremely enjoyable to play through and feels like an actual sequel to the continuation of Liberation and Killzone. You can automatically through each mission again after completion, which, allows more replay value before you enter online multi player mode. My only real compliant is that their should have more missions and the storyline feels a bit short, Hopefully this can be fixed with additional downloadable content missions.

Gameplay: (9/10): As Sev, you are dropped into enemy territory and must proceed mostly on foot to complete mission objectives. 95 percent of the time consists of you getting to fire fights with the Helghast and shooting until the enemy drops dead. Though this might be repetitive, truth is, it's the core aspect of Killzone series and fits extremely well within Killzone 2. Enemies tend to be extremely aggressive and can kill you with a few placed shots even on the lowest difficulty, which, is a nice challenge. The creators of the game obviously didn't want to make it too easy in a way that you could pull a Rambo and shoot everything with pure upfront brute tactics. Each action requires actual strategy and the game punishes you if you don't use it. Killzone 2 also forces you to use a lot of the environment for cover in order to survive on the battlefield. It is extremely vital and will become your second best friend when you're about to get your butt kicked by a load of Helghast in particular levels. Cover has a new unique ability that allows you to literally press against walls or flat surface and fire back with the, "lean and peek" feature. Lean and Peek allows you to fire back at enemies while still behind cover and enemies can do the same back at you. It's a interesting nice feature that can be abused and vital on higher difficulties though if can also be annoying. If you crouch next to an object that provides cover and try to aim, you will instead always stick to the surface and perform the lean and peek cover feature. It can mess you up during a fire fight and frustrating because there are those that still prefer the traditional crouch and cover feature that's found in other first person shooters. Weapons in Killzone 2 also make a large abundance return both in multi player and single player mode in the forms of shotguns, pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles, and the occasional rocket launchers. There are times when you are forced to actually man an actual ISA tank, exoskeleton suit, and anti aircraft turrets within missions though they are not usable within multi player and skirmish modes. As expected, combat relies heavily with you using these weapons and souring for others to survive on the battlefield. Each of the weapons feels realistic in actual weapon handling and comes with a variety features within each one though sadly it does not allow weapon customization. Overall, the gameplay is extremely tight though has a few glitches and issues regarding the lean and peek feature.

Multi Player: (9/10): I decided to add this separately because, in truth, Killzone 2's multi player is an entirely new gameplay mode in comparison of single player. Online multi-player consists of, "Warzone" that allows you to connect to other players online in various match types. The maximum amount is a staggering 32 players, which, can lead to pretty intense matches with so many online at once. Warzone has a ranking system that includes various type classes such as assault, sniper, medic, technician, and saboteur. Each of theses has various different abilities, weapons, usage, and strengths and weaknesses. In order to unlock each class you are required to earn mission points to rank up and this can be done in a variety of match types. Search and Retrieve, Assassination, Capture and Hold, Body Count, and Search and Destroy. Each of the matches are somewhat self explanatory. For example, Search and Retrieve requires you to locate an item and bring it back towards your base while Capture and Hold requires you to hold locations on the map as long as possible on the map. Assassination marks a certain target that one team is suppose to kill while the other team is to defend or vise visa. Search and Destroy is similar to Search and Retrieve with one team is to destroy a target while the other is to defend it for as long as possible. Lastly, Body Count is a, "kill everyone on the other team", match within a allotted time limit. All five of these matches can be played to rank up on the ranking system, which, also shows various statistics for each player. And if you aren't ready to play online, Skirmish mode, allows you to play with 15 other bots on various maps with the same objectives and match types. Finally, the cover system is completely dropped with a visible sprint and health bar within multi-player in order to give the player a greater challenge in gameplay. The multi- player mode is extremely addictive that adds tremendous replay value after the campaign mode is completed.

Graphics: (9/10): Killzone 2 looks extremely beautiful on the Playstation 3 and with good reason. Every texture from character model, facial expressions, to weapon detail and the overall environment is extremely detailed and animated. I enjoyed waddling through the dank dark world of Helghan while experiencing the gritty aspects of war as a solider. Shooting enemies with various weapons never looked extremely realistic and beautiful to look at. Every location is extremely dirty, dank, and looks appropriate within a war torn location such as Helghan. Very few locations have full sunlight environment that allows you to experience but it's hardly a negative issue. Overall, everything remains extremely solid in terms of graphics though there are some graphical clipping issues during gameplay.

Sound: (9/10): From hearing rapid gunfire and your buddies shouting and dying on the battlefield to loud mouth foul cursing during the cutscenes, everything feels like it belongs within a war torn environment during battles. The sound of bullets ricocheting off concrete, wood, or even human flesh is exciting to actually listen if you pump up your audio settings. Enemies shouting order and attacking on a battlefield is realistic, tense, and extremely enjoyable to listen to though it can sound a bit repetitive with some of the enemies that you encounter. Otherwise, everything sounds excellent during gameplay.

Closing Comments: Killzone 2 has extraordinary replay value along with it's enjoyable storyline mode and skirmish features that will last you a long time. This game will change how you play a first person style of shooter in comparison of others that barely scratch the surface of what Killzone 2 has to offer. There is three downloadable map packs along with more trophies to obtain that add for future replay value even when you think that you're done with this game. You're wrong. Killzone 2 will continue to give more and more and that's the strongest point within it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/08/09

Game Release: Killzone 2 (US, 02/27/09)

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