Killzone 3 hands-on: 6 things you need to know about the gameplay

4. Your AI partners will be more useful this time

In Killzone 2, Rico, Garza and the rest of your ISA buddies weren’t really good for much aside from soaking up bullets, killing Helghast, helping you past co-op obstacles and needing to be revived when they'd soaked up too many bullets. This time around, we're told they’ll not only be smarter about how many bullets they soad up, but they'll actually revive you once in a while, which should remove most of the frustration from dealing with them.

5. The guns are bigger

After playing through Killzone 2, one of our whining points was that there weren’t a lot of big guns to play around with, apart from the rocket and grenade launchers and the brief, wonderful appearance of the chain-lightning gun. Killzone 3 changed that twice during our demo, first by letting us pick up and use the minigun from our crashed transport craft (which slowed us down a bit, but still chewed through the Helghast ranks beautifully), and later with a rocket-launching beast called the WASP.

The WASP is big, takes a couple seconds to reload and has two firing modes. The first, activated by just holding down the trigger, sends a volley of homing missiles at whatever you’re pointed at. The second – which necessitates looking down its scope and “painting” a target before firing – ejects your entire rocket-ammunition clip as one single, devastating mortar round.

And, of course, a lot of the ISA and Helghast weapons from Killzone 2 returned during the demo, including the ISA assault rifle (which is as weirdly satisfying to use as ever) – they were just a little better-looking this time. And while we’re on the subject of weaponry, the remote-detonated bombs from the first game – which have to be armed by tilting the Sixaxis pad side to side – are back as well.

6. The close-quarters violence is more brutal than ever

One of the criticisms developer Guerrilla sought to address with Killzone 3 was that Killzone 2’s close-up attacks – delivered with Sev’s knife or the butt of a gun – were too simplistic. This time around, rifle-butting some poor Helghast sap won’t kill them immediately, but instead puts an “L1” button prompt onscreen as they stagger from the blow. Hit it again in time, and you’ll deliver another hit, and maybe one more before killing him with a nasty, detailed stab to the chest or through the goggles.

Above: Sadly, Sony didn't give us any screens of that, so here's some more Helghast instead

The interesting thing about these is that they’re context-sensitive; sometimes you’ll simply go in for the face with the knife, but other times, you’ll slam your victim face-first against a crate or a table and then – just as he’s trying to look back at you in a daze – drive the knife into his neck. It’s a little horrific, but awfully satisfying, and hints at a much more interesting direction for Killzone 3 in general. Hopefully, we’ll see even more at E3.

May 27, 2010

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  • sterlins16 - June 4, 2010 1:19 a.m.

    sounds amazin
  • CAPST3R - May 31, 2010 10:36 a.m.

    I think of this as a Halo-Gears of War mix, that doesn't concentrate too much on gore or pretty colours. They need to make the campaign longer, and gameplay more fast-paced. I think they're trying to just make it gimmicky though, which will probably kill the game.
  • TBag - May 29, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    I played KZ2 and did not like it. The game had bad controls and poor shooting mechanics (which should be priority #1 in a FPS). I am excited for Halo:Reach I played the Beta and it was awsome. To all the people who thinks the Halo series is overrated. Halo:CE showed that FPS could work on consoles. Halo 2 set the bar for online play on console (which some games today still can't seem to pass) And Halo 3 has the forge and save films and is constantly number 2 or 3 on xbox live most played games so some people must like it. Bungie has the most polished online experience on any console shooter still after 3 years.
  • ryno - May 28, 2010 7:07 p.m.

    i wounder if we will see any female Helgast. cuz as far as i know Helgan is a sausage fest.
  • junkheep - May 28, 2010 5:51 p.m.

    i loved the first game even with it faults but form hat youve said there being fixed soo woop
  • Tommykrem - May 28, 2010 4:21 p.m.

    Ridgley: According to Guerilla they are, but I don't hope it'll be like super-fun-and-casual MW2. Something in between would be nice.
  • Clovin64 - May 28, 2010 11:50 a.m.

    I'm definetly pissed off that we have to play that boring steaming pile of blandness that is Sev. I hope we can play other characters aswell this time around. Maybe its just me, but this doesnt look too different from KZ2. I hope sony isnt totally relying on the 3D thing in order to make KZ3 feel fresh and new. I wonder if they'll make the aiming/recoil thing better this time around? That seems to be the major complaint that most people had about KZ2. It made the big set pieces frantic and exciting in the campaign, but I dont think it worked very well in the multiplayer mode. Oh well, I'm still adding this game to my most wanted list. Also I hope Sev dies a horrible painful death, or at least get a haircut and some decent dialogue lol.
  • PrimeSynergy - May 28, 2010 7:17 a.m.

    Can't wait. KZ2 was the game that got me interested in the genre again after the love of my life, Unreal Tournament, went down the drain.
  • Ridgley - May 28, 2010 6:17 a.m.

    Are the controls less horrible?
  • BLOODmuffins - May 28, 2010 6:08 a.m.

    I have to say that I am really not looking forward to this game. Even though I am somewhat of a PS3 fanboy, I hated Killzone 2 and I have no reason to believe that this game will fix what I disliked about the second game, namely the fact that the entire series is totally unoriginal and bland. It's also just no fun to play. And it looks like ass
  • NanoElite666 - May 28, 2010 5:51 a.m.

    It just occurred to me... With all the rampant talk going around of jetpacks also being in Reach and whatnot as well as showing up here... Did anyone stop and consider that Killzone's already done jetpacks? Yup, all the way back in Liberation on PSP. Killzone officially wins the modern jetpack race. Anyways, definitely looking forward to this. Killzone 2 was a blast, and I'm thrilled to hear that your AI buddies can actually pick you up when you go down this time around.
  • Evil_AppleJuice - May 28, 2010 2:51 a.m.

    Killzone 2 was fun, and I have to agree that Halo is the most generic shooter ever. But thats why it became so popular, it was generic. It was everything we wanted in a shooter. Killzone is lots of fun, though I hope the third time around its a little more hurried than the others. The issue Ive had with Killzone is that you run too slow and the pace is not as quick as other shooters. I hope they increase the pace so that the action compliments the pace of play.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - May 28, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    i went to the sony store yesterday in a mall in buckhead, GA and they it was like a sony paradise. as for the video game part of the store they had 6 playable ps3's. One of them showed aff a demo video with cutscenes and gameplay footage of KZ2,KZ3, and some psn games in 3d.
  • TheWebSwinger - May 28, 2010 1:47 a.m.

    Yes I'm interested. No, seriously, I'm all over this shit.
  • sham0na - May 28, 2010 1:30 a.m.

    i remember i was first to pick up killzone 2 at my local frys electronics. it was pretty epic at parts but the shooting wasnt all that good it was hard aiming at things but i still loved it the same hope this one improves the shooting though
  • EricBratcher - May 28, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    Don't worry - it runs on normal TVs as well. The 3D just adds a little extra something. It's just like how you can listen to the sound through your existing TV speakers or through a 7.1 surround system.
  • reverandglass - May 28, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    @db1331 oh you've stirred up a can o' worms haven't you? lol I have no doubt that killzone 3 will be as awesome as killzone 2 and then some. I know it's not to everyone's taste but I love it and can't wait. oh and played the reach beta with some Halo fanpeople and the more killzone-y elements confused and scared them! lol
  • CreeplyTuna - May 28, 2010 12:18 a.m.

    i hope i can play this on my "non-3D" tv. u may have mentioned it, but i only skimmed the article but still want it REAL bad, so im trying not to ruin it by learning wat its about
  • Wizrai - May 28, 2010 12:06 a.m.

    @db1331 The first time I tried Halo, it was at a friend's house and we were reaaally bored, so he made me play the first one on the Xbox, co-op, and it was really funny (Specially when the Warthog is introduced...), it was pretty much what dragged me into gaming...but yes, it's not the same anymore, I even got rid of the X360 I had and went for a PS3. :o