5 ways Killzone 3’s multiplayer is already better than Killzone 2

By now, a lot of you have probably had a chance to download last week's Killzone 3 beta and play it extensively – although a lot more of you haven’t, seeing as the beta’s only been made available to a relative handful of PS3 owners. If you’re missing out, then you might not already know that the PS3-exclusive shooter’s multiplayer – at least as represented in the beta – is a big improvement over Killzone 2’s relatively more straightforward run-and-gun. There’s a lot more going on and a lot more opportunities for fun in the beta’s three available levels, but here’s what stood out to us the most after a few hours of play.

1. Classes are much more accessible

If you’ve played much of Killzone 2’s multiplayer, you already know that it kind of takes a while to really start being fun. Rather than just give you everything from the beginning, KZ2 makes players start out as a grunt with access to only basic firearms, and gradually level up to earn better guns and class specializations. It’s a good idea, but KZ2 made the process too slow, with new players forced to endure match after match of getting chewed apart by more experienced foes before they could so much as try out the Engineer class.

Killzone 3, by contrast, yanks out the bullshit and cuts straight to the fun. Right off the bat, players are able to pick from five different classes – Tactician, Infiltrator, Engineer, Field Medic and Marksman – each of which have special powers available from the start. New Infiltrators can briefly disguise themselves as enemy troops, for instance, while Medics can immediately heal downed teammates.

As you rank up, you’ll earn “Unlock points,” which can be applied toward general perks (like armor or extra-ammo) as well as toward new, class-specific weapons and abilities. Engineers can unlock the ability to deploy turrets, for example, while Tacticians can reveal enemy positions to their teammates or call in flying drones to help out. While it still demands a hefty time investment in order to unlock everything, the rewards come fast and steady, giving new players something tangible to work toward while at the same time placating them with low-hanging fruit and making KZ3 a hell of a lot more enjoyable right off the bat.

2. Jetpacks

Jetpacks were one of the big draws when Sony showed off Killzone 3 for the first time earlier this year, so including them in multiplayer – and, more importantly, in the beta for players to try out – is a smart move. Restricted to one level, Turbine Concourse SE-6, the jetpacks are complicated flying rigs that take a couple of seconds to put on and come equipped with an onboard machinegun. (They also stand to become KZ3’s equivalent of the Battlefield series’ planes, as only a handful are available at a time.)

While coasting around in midair kind of makes you a sitting duck, it also opens up areas that would be completely off-limits otherwise. Engineers can set up turrets on high perches, and everyone else can simply cover ground more quickly and get the drop on their opponents. It’s also a lot of fun to bust out a jetpack; they don’t let you fly, exactly, but their simple boost-and-float mechanic is easy to control, even if it frequently gets broken up by gunfire.

3. More game modes

Multiplayer in Killzone 2 was limited to one mode – Warzone – that cycled through multiple objectives and game types while keeping players bound to the same map. It was an interesting approach, but being stuck on the same map for too long could get boring, especially if you hadn’t unlocked any class badges yet.

Warzone’s still in Killzone 3, although it feels a lot more brisk now that there’s so much more for new players to do. It’s also accompanied by two other modes, Guerrilla Warfare – a simple, team-based deathmatch – and Operations, which puts a team of ISA soldiers (the good guys, more or less) on the offensive against a defending team made up of Nazi-like Helghast. Operations is a bit like Warzone, in that you’ll face a series of different objectives, but they’re tied together by a loose narrative, punctuated with simple cutscenes starring your characters as they press through obstacles or fall back in a panic.

4. Mechs

One of the highlights of Killzone 2 came late in the game, when you got a chance to pilot a towering walking tank through hordes of comparatively puny Helghast infantry and tank divisions. The beta’s Corinth Highway level brings these to bear on multiplayer, offering up a chance to strut around in near-invulnerable power armor and squash your tiny enemies.

Above: Yeah, it’s kind of awesome

5. The close-quarters kills are brutal

Above: That's a facemask. With thumbs going through the lenses

While Killzone 2 contented itself with simple rifle-butting and knife-slashing, Killzone 3 ups the ante with far more gruesome, in-your-face melee kills. Sure, you could simply knock out or kill an enemy by swinging your heavy gun into his face, but why stop there when you can slit his throat, gouge his eyeballs with your thumbs, snap his neck or knife him in the eye?

It looks nasty, but killing at close range in KZ3 is alarmingly satisfying, mainly because it’s kind of difficult to get that close to an enemy without getting shot to pieces. (The game’s also considerate enough not to make it so personal when it happens to you; instead, you’ll see your own death in third person.) It’s even better if you do it as an Infiltrator, which – in a nod to Team Fortress 2’s Spy class – lets you disguise yourself as an enemy and get close enough for a vicious hands-on kill.

You’ll get perforated with lead if there’s even one other enemy nearby, of course, but it’s totally worth it. Just like the beta itself, if you’re lucky enough to be able to download it. As for everyone else – hey, maybe the beta will open up to a wider audience soon. If not, you can look forward to KZ3 hitting in late February.

Nov 2, 2010


  • Zetthy - November 20, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    I od not believe there is anything further to say other than the following points. Positive sides: *There seems to be slightly less lag. *You can cut to the fun part right away. That's good. *They changed the M82 zoom dot for a thin cross - It's quite a change, trust me. *No more Assault class per se. *Bots don't see Saboteurs anymore. *You actually fall from the stage and die if you try to jump in the wrong place. *There are new levels Negative: *The new levels suck. *The brutal melee is retarded. You go on to kill one guy, another guy gets behind you and brutals you, then another one goes behind THAT guy and brutals see where this is going. *The melee is terribly unbalanced in terms of aim and distance. *The Saboteurs is retardedly overpowered. It never stops running, it has a shotgun. Nothing further. *They took excellently balanced weapons like the StA11 and ridiculously overpowered it. a 0.5 second burst killed me from several meters away. Mind you, we are talking about the fastest-shooting weapon in the game, so giving it extra firepower was not so wise. *The EXOs, or "patlabors", are extremely unbalanced. I took down 47 kids from inside their base before they finally managed to blow me up. And I'm not even familiar with the KZ3 engine yet. *The Jetpacks are bad. Nothing to say about them. *You can't seem to pick rooms in a positive way, as has been pointed out up there. You end up in terrible rooms where your crappy team is absurdly outnumbered. *Contrary to what the article writer has said, the multiplayer missions haven't changed the slightest bit. It it his own fault that he never fully explored Killzone 2 before writing this article, because they are entirely the same. Deathmatch already existed under the name of BodyCount, as you could pick any of 1 to 5 different missions on Killzone 2 and play it. The "Warzone" mode was a long game that was comprised of all the possible missions in one single map. *The M82, the only noob-friendly weapon in Killzone, is not available until further on. This makes you stuck with the StA11 or the shotgun, or God help you, the StA14. *Talking about the StA14, do NOT get me started on Snipers. Snipers snipe. Period. Why Guerrilla deemed it fit to get them stuck with a medium range rifle instead is beyond me. Or below me, even. *The maps(I've seen) are poorly thought out. As one with military background, I gotta say there is little to no sense in stages like the Frozen Dam, from an architectural standpoint as well as tactical. *The lobby interface is completely senseless, confusing and to be quite honest, boring. *It takes a full minute of having to watch the post-game scoreboard before it loads the next map, as opposed to 30 seconds on KZ2. There are just so many negative points I'd have to play and write them down at the same time to give you a complete feedback. Please notice I was supremely excited about KZ3 as I am a huge fan of KZ2. I was bitterly disappointed. It seems to me like they tried to steal Call of Duty - Modern Warfare fans to the Killzone franchise merely by copying 1/3 of the CoD codes. However, a CoD-KZ mix is a bad one to make. Especially when you take the BAD things from CoD and shove it into KZ. Basically as my fellow up there has also mentioned, they took ALL the tactic and reality out of the game. Killzone 3 will be a 12-15 year old range game, extremely easy to play and will get boring alarmingly quick. What gave Killzone 2 the quality it had was precisely that you needed tactics to play, or at least to play it well. Furthermore, you were CAPABLE of developping tactics. Killzone 3 will be all about base camping and C4s, while running around like a crazy person with an INFINITE stamina ( never-ending running ) like the Saboteur (now Infiltrator) has. It's boring. It's bad. It's poorly thought. It's been developped in a rush. It's a shallow copy of Call of Duty : Modern Warfare. It makes me sick. See you on Killzone 2, Zetthy
  • kor2disturbed - November 4, 2010 8:51 a.m.

    I downloaded the beta theme but I didn't get in, looks like I missed out, oh and btw eye gouging FTW!
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - November 3, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    Seems like it's trying to be a cross between TF2 and CoD:MW Hope it goes well.
  • reverandglass - November 3, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    I'm a huge fan of KZ2 but couldn't get into the beta for KZ3. I must say this article and the comments from some people are starting to worry me a bit. If I wanted to play Halo I would, KZ2's multiplayer was one of my favourites just the way it was, I don't want it to change just be enhanced.
  • EdDeRs1 - November 3, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    looks like they have decided to copy from the best for mulitplayer *coughbungiecough*
  • CARDYKEV - November 3, 2010 6:44 p.m.

    Definately better than the Killzone 2 multiplayer but as other people have said it's definately no Kinectimals
  • shadowreaper72 - November 3, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    If the game just gets rids of the horrible load times trying to get into mutiplayer matches then it has won my heart.
  • Clovin64 - November 3, 2010 6:50 a.m.

    I remember playing Killzone 2 online briefly and thinking that the shooting mechanics werent suited to multiplayer. Yeah, its really realistic and tense during the single player campaign, but it just felt inconvienent in multiplayer with the gun jumping around. Its probably just a matter of personal opinion though, a lot of people probably prefer it. Killzone 3 looks like its shaping up nicely.
  • TheWebSwinger - November 3, 2010 4:19 a.m.

    can't f*ckin wait.
  • NightCrawler_358 - November 3, 2010 3:09 a.m.

    Up=close kills look sweet, but i could see mechs and jetpacks becoming very cheap... i hope they also fix some of the lag, like how alot of the time you and your opponent woould go head on and it would jump a bit then your both dead.
  • vekrote - November 3, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    Am I the only one hoping that Sev hit a growth-spurt during development?
  • Cleanser247 - November 3, 2010 12:05 a.m.

    Damn nice preview Mr. Reparaz! I can't wait for Killzone 3, and the multiplayer looks great : D Killzone 2 was really amazing! You were right when you said it needed improvements, such as the online loadouts taking much longer than necessary. Oh, and the close quarter combat really looks awesome! Thanks again! I enjoyed the article.
  • vigeoman - November 2, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    this seems sweet i really want the collectors edition but i dont know if i will have enough money because im buying the 3ds
  • elpurplemonkey - November 2, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    *Quietly side-steps trolls in comments section* This actually seems pretty neat. I could have cared less about Killzone 2's multiplayer, but with these changes it looks like it might actually be fun. Now if they could just add some variety to the singleplayer....
  • Fishow753 - November 2, 2010 8:59 p.m.

    No matter what, you still can't help but be bias against killzone 2. Also BIAS BIAS BIAS BIAS I DON'T READ ARTICLES.
  • HarryBalls - November 2, 2010 8:16 p.m.

    @GamesRadarMikelReparez Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, you saw through my facade! Curse you clever man!
  • roosterdip - November 2, 2010 6:32 p.m.

    also... after reading the aricle again. making me wonder why i'm a fan of this site at this point. you could set the search game for class only so no you were not stuck playing advanced people. you were not stuck on one map or collection of game mode. you could cycle any maps or modes you wanted. and again... having people lunge with the melee from 3 and 4 ft away is noob. basically they took away a game that had a million options and turned it into matchmaking... I wont buy.
  • weker - November 2, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    pssstttt I feel that games radar may be (looking left and right quickly so nobody see me type this) have a dislike to Microsoft XD
  • oneshotfinch - November 2, 2010 6:23 p.m.

    The biggest problem so far is that about 85% of the games you join will be a game that's already in progress where you're on a team of about three people outnumbered 2:1.
  • Ryan1991 - November 2, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    @roosterdip Spot on. I feel GG have ruined KZ3.

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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