Killzone 2 – hands-on

Our latest chance to play Killzone 2 had us starting with the third mission in the game, coming just after the training sections. It’s the first mission proper against the Helghast and sees Sev and his Alpha team attacking the coastal town of Corinth to secure its resources. The opening is a rush of tracer fire, explosions and shrieking that mimics the classic opener from Medal of Honor: Frontlines. The objective is to overrun the entrenched Helghast positions and secure the beach for the main force to land as they zoom in on flying sleds.

Controls feel very similar to Call of Duty 4 – you can zip to a down-the-scope view for improved accuracy, and fire from the hip and throw grenades at the touch of a button. Running is assigned to L3 CoD-style, and you can hug cover using L1. From cover you can blind-fire or poke your head out to take potshots, and unlike Rainbow Six Vegas 2 this all remains firmly in first-person. As we began popping Helghast in the head, legs and arms, watching them react as every bullet found its target was massively satisfying. The animation is superb and ensures that every shot you fire feels solid. This encouraged us to experiment with each pull of the trigger. Best of all, this play through puts to bed many of the concerns we had over Killzone 2. The original PS2 game wasn’t great; shooting accuracy and balance of weapons being a major fault, but this sequel has been polished to within an inch of its alien-bashing life.

We moved off the beach and through a warehouse full of Helghast (reinforcements crashed through the roof in startling fashion) and eventually made it to the Sixaxis-controlled switch. Holding L1 and R1, you ‘grab’ the wheel and turn it by going through the motions of turning a wheel – neat. This is the moment where everything got turned up to eleven. Once past the checkpoint where our previous playtest ended, everything was new. Ahead was an open space littered with handy cover – rubble, concrete slabs and broken masonry. Almost as soon we set foot onto the field, all hell broke loose and a lone gun post on top of a bombed-out tower block peppered our squad.

Using cover, we scurried to an abandoned gun turret and fired back. An oil barrel below the entrenched enemy caught our eye and a couple of shots later the thing exploded, bringing down the entire building. Sure, it’s massively scripted and shows Killzone 2 isn’t that original, but it does put on one hell of a show. This was more evident the further into the level we played. After demolishing the tower block with a well-placed shot to that clichéd barrel, we came across the real battle. Ahead of us were a dozen Helghast; behind us were our squad and armoured support.

As the firefight took hold, we used cover positions to progress and fend off the Helghast troops while enjoying the sight of enemies’ hats pinging off with well-aimed headshots. Then we got a shock as a huge tank burst onto the scene. The tank was ours, luckily. But as it arrived, so did a small army of Helghast, too many for us to deal with – so we retreated to a trench and watched the tank deal with the problem. While our tank was mopping up, we soon came under attack from one of the game’s mini-bosses, an armour-clad minigun carrying Helghan with a handy weak spot on his back in the shape of an explosive canister. The trick here is to use the accurate shooting mechanic to hit the boss in the leg, forcing him to spin and stumble around, exposing his back. Once again, just experimenting with the guns and body specific targeting proves fun and valuable.

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  • hostyledj - September 17, 2008 11:17 a.m.

    Who cares about xbox 360 anymore. Killzone 2 will wipe the smile off your red ring of death faces.
  • MW3M - September 7, 2008 9:19 p.m.

    Looks like this game has more in common with Frontline than CoD4. FINE BY ME!!
  • Synster - September 7, 2008 6:31 p.m.

    Learn to form coherent sentences then. Lol? And you call /me/ a 5 year old fuck? I'm not the one getting angry over this either. And the only good game you say?.......Just because games aren't talked about or have died down in hype doesn't mean they aren't any good. So cool your jets you "5 year old fuck". "Lol". And obviously, your not that smart, because sometimes something doesnt need to be said for it to be implied that your just a troll to everything about Playstation. so yeah.
  • Synster - September 7, 2008 5:13 p.m.

    Then give me a valid reason on why this game is immediately bad why don't you? The original wasn't as bad as people reviewed it as. And there was Killzone: Liberation, which was phenomenal for a hand-held game. Probably one of the best in my opinion. And this only seems to be following in its footsteps. And also. Not every game is based on it's bloody single player campaign. Multiplayer is almost exactly like CoD4 if not surpassing it with mixing classes. So really. Where is the flaws? The color? Who gives two cents?
  • TheSuburbiaRuins - September 7, 2008 5:09 p.m.

    Haha, could you read your own statement before you try to come back at mine. I think you should get your eye site checked. And I quote, "How many games have had Vehicles implemented into their campaigns?" You never said anything about them being used well. And yes I have seen the gameplay vids countless times, I work at a gamestore, it runs on the TV behind my head 24/7, it looks horrible, and just like all the other ones but with better graphics, nothing new and inventive about, besides a cover system that won't hold more then its own hours of gameplay.
  • cladboy2 - September 7, 2008 5:08 p.m.

    i think kill zone 2 looks great it will really booest the ps3s rep unlike halo3 for the 360 and my psn id in minibox
  • Dr_Daddy - September 7, 2008 3:27 p.m.

    Gonna suck :) have a nice day
  • Synster - September 7, 2008 2:15 a.m.

    Are you a complete ditz? If your leaned up against a brick wall. Tell me when you can see through brick. I'll be bought if you can tell me when you can see right through a solid object. You run around with a gun, and suddenly you can see yourself walking in real life? Hah. Your funny, Y'know that? And. I didn't say what games vehicles are in. I said what games vehicles have that are used /Well/. Read before trying to come back at that.
  • Synster - September 7, 2008 1:33 a.m.

    Generic? Are you kidding me? Since when has First person cover ever been used in any Solid FPS games? How many games have had Vehicles implemented into their campaigns? And what hype? There honestly isn't that much hype. @Delta: 'Zactly. Though about your second point. If it comes out Febuary, I doubt they're going to start the level-of-magnitude-hype Halo 3 had.
  • DELTA8558 - September 6, 2008 7:55 p.m.

    Screw colours, its a godamn war game! Looks like a breakthrough FPS, but i hope it isn't being overhyped like halo 3. @Akara. I think you should lay off the meds, its making you hyperactive!
  • Akara, Ranger of Majicka - September 6, 2008 9:24 a.m.

  • Akara, Ranger of Majicka - September 6, 2008 9:23 a.m.

    And by the way WO SUCKS ON EVERYTHING! MARBLES< TREES CHAINSAWS< PYRAMIDS! IT SUCK SYCUCUSUCUCKCKKSKCKCKKCKSCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! DANMN IT, it SUCKS! Guildwars kicks as though... I mean it's a total rip-00fff i mean, 15$ a month? A year 180$ i can buy 2 more consoles and a bunch of games!
  • TheSuburbiaRuins - September 6, 2008 5:25 a.m.

    Lolol can't see anything, Game = to dark = fail Flaimbait Getraped.
  • Synster - September 6, 2008 12:44 a.m.

    Halo, honestly doesn't live up the the hype it deserved. Halo 3 anyone? That game. Eh. It was a solid FPS, but I expected more out of the hype it received. And. FP Cover you ask? Have you not seen any of the videos where it shows it in gameplay. Only a moron couldn't figure out how to use it.
  • FancyRat - September 5, 2008 10:01 p.m.

    First off, lawl at anything being billed as a 'Halo killer'. It's like saying anything is going to beat World of Warcraft; even if a better game is made, it was there first. Second: First person cover? That sounds terrible. How could that work?
  • NelosAngelos - September 5, 2008 12:36 a.m.

    Finally something positive about Killzone 2. It did look amazing and it caught my attention ever since that first video flooded into my eyes, but hearing negative things about it ever since then made me start to think twice. Now I'm thinking three times, should I buy it when it comes out? Killzone 1 wasn't mind blowing or the "halo killer" as everyone was saying but dammit I had a good time shooting things! Guess We'll just wait for the actual review when it ships.
  • Synster - September 4, 2008 11:09 p.m.

    This just proves games don't need those vibrant colors to make them better. Of course, in some cases, it does. This case, personally, it doesn't. If they've compared it to CoD4 like they did here. It's shaping up to be quite the game
  • flare149 - September 4, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    I'm so excited for this game, looks and sounds amazing. One thing about it being similar to CoD4, I saw a writer posted "CoD4 was basically perfect, so if it ain't broken, don't fix it" which I think is pretty true. That's wy I really like how it's simliar but adds some extra elements and builds on it instead of trying to create something hugely new that might not ever be as good.
  • zeekzilla - September 11, 2008 11:21 p.m.

    KILLZONE TAKES DOWN halo-watever
  • Synster - September 8, 2008 6:43 p.m.

    Only proves my point.