Killzone 2 - updated impressions

Guerrilla isn’t focusing entirely on flashy visuals - they’ve also released details about Killzone 2’s story. Not only will heavy weapons expert Rico Velasquez be returning, but special ops lady Lugar and Evelyn from Killzone: Liberation also show their faces. The plot focuses on the ISA taking the battle to the Helghast’s front door after weakening them in the first game. You could also hear Scolar Visari’s rousing speech from the first Killzone’s intro movie blaring through speakers on the streets. He’s the Helghast’s evil dictator and we’d be very surprised if he doesn’t return to cause us more bother in KZ2.

The beady-eyed Helghast are more inventive than the ISA could’ve anticipated. Somehow, they’ve managed to harness Helghan’s atmosphere and, amazingly, use it as a weapon against invaders. Those Arc Towers we mentioned earlier play a key role. They use them to - we think - pull storm clouds from the sky, absorb their power and use the collected lightning energy like a laser beam. At the end of the demo we watched the developers destroy one of the towers. First, they fought their way through lines of Helghast to reach it, again showcasing the fluid animation and muzzle flash effects. When they reach the Arc Tower they push a button to open hatches on its side. This exposes a glowing red core, which is fired upon resulting in the tower’s epic, fiery destruction. And then nothing. The demo ends.

Killzone 2 was almost everything we’d hoped for, and miles ahead of what we secretly feared - not bad, for a relatively tame third level. The primary emotion, relief, was soon replaced with a tingling delight that Sony had lived up to the standards of that E3 2005 trailer. In 30 minutes, Sony transformed the perception of PS3 from an overpriced extravagance populated by me-too Xbox 360 ports, to the most exciting, important console in the world. It doesn’t have any gimmicks - time travel, performance-enhancing drugs, or gravity guns. Its “novelty” is good looks, intensity, and how it single-handedly shames absolutely almost everything rival consoles had to offer. That said, it’s the second time a Killzone 2 trailer has ruined E3 - this time for making almost every other game look so terrifyingly ordinary.

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