If you've ever played a first-person shooter on the PSP, you know that the controls invariably suck, thanks to the lack of a second analog stick for looking around. The creators of Killzone know that too, and that's probably why they made the sequel to their PS2 shooter into a more handheld-friendly, top-down action game. Unlike every other shooter to go through a similar conversion, though, Killzone: Liberation is unique for not only being great on its own, but for actually improving on the console original.
As Capt. Jan Templar, you'll storm through war-torn trenches, mine-filled swamps and futuristic military bases, fighting a mostly solitary war against the Nazi-like Helghast army. What makes Liberation interesting, though, is how many elements it borrows from FPSes, and how well it implements them. You'll need to duck behind cover constantly, manage an extremely limited arsenal (you can carry only one gun at a time, as well as a few grenades) and sometimes order a computer-controlled sidekick around. Terrain also factors in heavily, as high-up snipers can instantly turn your hiding places into deathtraps.
In contrast to the gameplay, the controls - tailored to the PSP - are context-sensitive and simple. Templar targets foes automatically, so long as he's pointed in the right direction, and shooting while behind cover automatically makes him pop up and squeeze off a few shots before ducking down again. Issuing orders is similarly easy, as time slows to a crawl, enabling you pick a pre-designated strategic location or target. It might sound overly simple, but things like this effectively keep Liberation from tripping over its own complexities.
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