E3'S Top Ten Games of 2008
- K I L L Z O N E 2 R E V I E W : R e l e a s e D a t e 2/27/09 -
Unlike the previous games, you're not stepping into the boots of Templar, the hero of the first two titles, who's been promoted up the ranks to become a commander of a fleet and his own troops. Instead, you'll take on the Helghast as Sev, part of a four-man team known as Alpha Squad. Led by Rico (who players might remember from the first two games), Sev and his other teammates, Garza and Natko, fight their way across Helghan through ten separate missions that will take you about eight to ten hours to complete. Each mission you embark on has multiple checkpoints and objectives that you'll complete, and these will cover large battles, ambushes, choke points, house to house fighting and even vehicular and turret sequences. Of all the segments, I kind of wish that the vehicles and turrets were expanded because you get a sense of truly affecting and turning the tide of the location that you're in with these weapons at your disposal.
The story of the game is pretty good for what it is. Themes of fascism and militaristic aggression, revenge and the costs of war echo rampantly throughout the entire title. There are a few dips here and there within the story. Rico is just as annoying and unlikable as ever; it's to the point where you can't help but hope that he meets an unsavory end in a sequel. The ending could've also ended on a much stronger note, particularly when compared to the final battle, which can be a serious challenge of your accuracy and ability to handle threats from all sides. When compared to that fight, the decision made at the end of the game is a poor choice -- it's obviously the weaker of two actions that could've driven the franchise forward. However, with that being said, the majority of the plot does an excellent job of driving the action throughout the campaign, which will give you a ton of action, hellish warfare to fight and survive through, and moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Much of this is driven by the incredible presentation of the title, which makes you feel like you've fallen into the middle of a warzone. Guerrilla has managed to make a technical masterpiece for the system that first-person shooters on the PS3 will be judged by from here on out. Whether it's the insanity of watching soldiers getting immolated by flamethrowers and ripped to shreds by bullets or avoiding the numerous explosions that rock your team's position, you frequently feel as though someone has you in their sights and is just getting ready to pull the trigger. This chaotic sense is only enhanced more by the start of just about every mission, which frequently has a dramatic crash or other striking moment occur before control is given to you. For example, when you crash land in the first level, you're almost given a burst of adrenaline because you've just managed to avoid bodies and the wreckage of a fellow lander that went flying past you. Leaping off that and into the fray really gives you a sense of how short the life expectancy of any soldier in this war is and draws you into the fight in a way that few cutscenes could do.