Killzone 3 review

  • Multiplayer is more immediately enjoyable than KZ2's
  • More varied action makes campaign more fun
  • 3D and Move are cool additions, if you've got them
  • Co-op is strictly split-screen
  • Allies can revive you, but often don't
  • Main characters are still kind of dull

Best bring backup

They’re even better if you can bring a friend along, so those of you disappointed to see co-op left out of Killzone 2 will be happy to know that it’s been added to KZ3, with Cpl. Shawn Natko (who’s otherwise completely absent from the story) filling in as Player Two to Sev’s Player One. There’s a catch, though: it’s split-screen only, and your progress in the co-op campaign is completely separate from your single-player progress.

Above: Dammit 

While the lack of an online option (or, for that matter, a jump-in/jump-out feature) is a letdown, the split-screen feature actually works pretty well. There were times when the square onscreen windows felt a little restrictive (turns out Helghast are very good at hiding in our peripheral-vision blind spots), or when the framerate stuttered a little, but overall there wasn’t any significant slowdown or loss of clarity. Here, watch it in action for yourself:

Much as we like the addition of co-op, it’s hardly the best multiplayer experience Killzone 3 offers. For that, you need to go online.

Endless battle

Multiplayer in Killzone 3 is, like we said earlier, much more accessible than what Killzone 2 offered. In Killzone 2, for example, everyone started off as a grunt, with basic weaponry, and it wasn’t until you’d ranked up five times that you’d even get the option to play as a medic. By contrast, Killzone 3 offers five classes right off the bat – Tactician, Infiltrator, Engineer, Field Medic and Marksman – and gives you points with each rank-up that you can then put toward class-specific perks.

The difference is clear: with all the classes open from the start, multiplayer becomes less about grinding and more about experimenting with different weapons and abilities to see what suits you best, and things are kept fresher in the process. As an Infiltrator, for instance, you can disguise yourself as an enemy and take them out at close range for a big score – although Tacticians will be able to see through your disguise and point you out to other players (and can also capture territory more quickly). Meanwhile, Engineers can build turrets, Marksmen can turn invisible (and, eventually, hide their teammates from radar view), and Field Medics can not only rack up experience by healing teammates, but can also revive themselves from “death” once per round.

The maps feel a lot bigger than before, with a couple even featuring jetpacks and EXO mechs to drive, and the actual gameplay’s divided into three modes: Guerrilla Warfare (basically just team deathmatch), Warzone (which cycles through a series of five different objectives), and Operations, a new mode in which a defensive and offensive team fight over a series of mission objectives. Operations games are like self-contained, multiplayer campaigns, in that the offensive team gradually plows through defenses (or is turned away from them) to open up more of the map, with cutscenes (featuring the best players) following each stage of the fight. So far, we’ve had the most fun with Operations, although it’ll be interesting to see whether it or Warzone will have more staying power in the coming months.

As fun as the multiplayer is, it’s far from KZ3’s most talked-about feature. So now that this thing is winding down, let’s move on to the two things Sony’s been pushing hardest:

Move and 3D

Some people love playing shooters on the Wii. I’m not one of them; it’s awkward, and having to keep the Wii remote aimed at the TV is a wrist-cramping drag. By contrast, playing Killzone 3 with Move felt much more comfortable and responsive. Minimal movement was needed to aim, the few “gesture” commands were as simple as flicking the Move wand, and a lock-on feature ensured pinpoint accuracy. It’s still not quite as natural as simply using a controller, but if you’ve been eager for a “real” game to play with Move, it won’t disappoint.

Above: Apart from a floating crosshairs and different onscreen prompts, Move doesn't make any visual difference

Move also makes for a fun complement to KZ3’s 3D feature, which is pretty slick if your TV supports it, adding a cool depth-of-field effect to what’s already a very pretty game. You won’t miss much by not having 3D (and to be honest, it felt a little eye-straining), but it does help make some of the game’s more explosive moments – like the jetpack flight, or the near-endgame battle against a skyscraper-sized mech called the MAWLR – even more visually impressive.

Is it better than…?

Killzone 2? Yes. While some die-hards will disagree, Killzone 3 keeps its action moving at a faster, more entertaining clip than its predecessor, and ends up a much more varied, exciting experience as a result. The scale feels bigger, the battles more important and the story a little more personal, making this much more than just another bleak follow-up.


Call of Duty: Black Ops? No. The campaigns are about on par, so this one comes down to multiplayer – and this is where Black Ops has the edge (PS3 bugs notwithstanding), with more maps and more play modes – including, of course, “Five” zombies. A 24-player Operations match in KZ3 might be something to behold, but so is getting swarmed by legions of the undead at the Pentagon.

Halo: Reach? Yes if we’re talking about single-player; no if we’re talking multiplayer. Again, KZ3’s multiplayer action is great, but it’s damn hard to hold a candle to something as endlessly customizable, replayable and silly as Reach’s version of same. But KZ3, with its relentless gunfights and ridiculous set-pieces, easily outshines Reach’s comparatively so-so campaign, and looks a hell of a lot prettier in the process.

Just for you, Metacritic!

Correcting seemingly every complaint critics had about Killzone 2, Killzone 3 is visually impressive, relentlessly entertaining and far more fun than we expected. This is everything a good sequel should be.

Feb 3, 2011

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Sony
Developed by: Guerrilla Games
Franchise: Killzone
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
PEGI Rating:


  • IAmARobotWhoTurnsIntoATruckAndIFindNoLevityInThis - February 4, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    So. Killzone 3 has worse multiplayer than Halo: Reach, but it still gets a higher score? This is an outrage!!!
  • AlpineGuy - February 4, 2011 7:13 a.m.

    I think it's kinda cool to see Move and 3D support being used in something more...substantial. Anyway, thought I'd post before the sh*tstorm that can come with a major console-exclusive review happens. Let's hope I'm wrong, though...*nervous laugh*
  • QWERTYCommander - February 4, 2011 7:14 a.m.

    @IAmARobotWhoTurnsIntoATruckAndIFindNoLevityInThis The "Is it better than...?" section also mentioned that it has a better single-player mode, which is probably why it's a point higher.
  • Mexicutioner - February 4, 2011 7:14 a.m.

    Wait, when is this out again? 2/22/11? Wow, when the hell did this happen?!
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - February 4, 2011 7:15 a.m.

    @AlpineGuy: I confess I'm curious to see what happens when I don't give a PS3 exclusive a 10, but also say it's better than last year's biggest 360 exclusive.
  • Lozier10 - February 4, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    Not sure weather to get this or play one of the thousands of other FPS's I have...
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - February 4, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    @Mexicutioner: Just today. Sony always sets its review embargoes early.
  • Mexicutioner - February 4, 2011 7:19 a.m.

    @GamesRadarMikelReparaz I was just surprised that this game is coming out so soon. I somehow thought this game was at least another year away from being released. Lol @ QWERTYCommander for not getting the joke....
  • NanoElite666 - February 4, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    So to beat out Black Ops, it seems there is only one other thing that Killzone needs... Helghast zombies.
  • ChrisAntistaLikesLittleBoys - February 4, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    BIAS BIAS BIAS Just Kidding, but, I was never too interested in Killzone 2, and this one doesn't look like it's going to change my mind
  • garnsr - February 4, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    It also seems to me like this game should be a while away still, and I still don't know why all the Sony games get reviews so early, and nobody else ever does it before the day of release. I have no interest in FPSs, though.
  • lolwizards - February 4, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    I'm pretty bored with bleak, gritty FPS. I can't wait for Bulletstorm.
  • CoktorBloktopus - February 4, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    so now the real question is do I pose as a Halo fanboy and bag on the score being higher than Rrach or should should I fake outrage and demand that Mikel Reparaz be fired for having a valid opinion about a gamez? Well friends this is a hard one I beleave that I will have to gor with neither and just say that Mass Effect is the greatest game on the face of this earth and never will a story line, combat system, or R-Ape simulator (haha stupid news people) will ever top it as long as the earth is still spinning. Thank you all now all I have to say to you is "Good night and good luck." P.S. good review Mr. Reparaz if I had a PS3 I would be getting this game and enjoying it very much.
  • Unoriginal - February 4, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    Considering all the crazy, crazy shit that happened prior to release of Killzone 2 it's odd that I didn't even know this was comming out this year. Great review, but I'm tired of theese "real and gritty" FPSes.
  • ThePigHostage - February 4, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    Looks good, but I'm not sure if I should get this or just wait for Resistance 3... I really don't need more than one FPS a year.
  • CH3BURASHKA - February 4, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    KZ2 wasn't a game, it was an event. KZ3 feels much more subdued than that, much more a physical boxed product than any kind of statement. Whatever the reason, I'm much less interested in it.
  • sonicskateboard - February 4, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    can you play splitscren online multiplayer? Also, great review Mikel. Will you be reviewing it for Ptom?
  • HumorTumor - February 4, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    My only question is the controls. KZ2 had a really sluggish aiming/looking to it that did not feel tight at all ruining the game for me in most part. I'm curious if this entry improved that control lag/sluggishness.
  • marioman50 - February 4, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    Mikel, you probably don't even care, but if you don't want to point your wii remote directly at the screen when playing wii fps's, THAN LOWER THE POSITION OF YOUR SENSOR BAR! IT WORKS! You can play the game while resting your hands in the comfort of your lap. Ask Brett, he knows!
  • 435 - February 4, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    What?!?!?! A -9-?!?!?! Let me guess, Microsoft paid you to do this, didn't they? Obviously, Killzone 3 will cure cancer and solve global climate change, but NO, you couldn't put that in your review because MS gave you a hojillion dollars to give this saviour of the galaxy and deific creation of YAWHEH himself a mere and lowly NINE. How dare you, Mr. Reparaz. You spit in the faces of ALL owners of the PS3 by claiming that the horrible shit of a game known as Halo: Reach could outclass it in any regard, let alone that torrent of pus that is the multiplayer! And Black Ops? It's still better, despite the fact that it's TREYARCH that developed that game, ultimately dooming it immediately to being merely a third-rate Modern Warfare clone? For SHAME, sir! For -shame-. I hope that money Microsoft gave you was made by HASBRO, you bastard! I hope you're HAPPY!

Showing 1-20 of 96 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000