A video has surfaced today showing the original pitch trailer for the first Killzone game - 'target footage' before the phrase was ever linked to the series. It makes for interesting viewing, but what's more interesting is that it comes from later in the same year that Halo's first ever footage was revealed. Co-incidence? Either way, we've put them up against each other... and there's a clear winner.
Here's the Killzone pitch video:
And here's Bungie's first Halo footage - back when the game was a third-person action game:
It's clearly unfair to compare the two series when they were both embryonic versions of the franchises we know and love. But since when did that stop us?
Despite that rather low frame-rate, Bungie already had driveable vehicles (both ground and air-based) which were already combat-ready. That was revolutionary back then. Even simply getting into a truck in Armed and Dangerous on Dreamcast made the game chug to a halt - characters in vehicles were just too much to calculate on machines of the time, yet there it is, being done in real-time, on a Mac. In 1999.
Also, unlike the Killzone video, the whole Halo universe is recognisable. Look at this lot:
Above: Suited-up Master Chief, the unmistakeable Halo horizon and Covenant soldiers with energy swords
So what if it was a third-person game on a Mac? Everything was already in place, two years before launch. Compare that to the Killzone video's generic iconography:
The Killzone target footage looks like it's set on an alien planet, with plenty of orange. It doesn't look like Helghan (which is, admittedly, an alien planet). The characters and vehicles are significantly removed from the imagery we know from the game today - look.
Above: Generic soldiers, Halo-esque flying machines and trench-based warfare in Killzone's pitch trailer
In fact, those colours and flying machines look more like Radiant Silvergun than Killzone.
Above: Treasure's classic Radiant Silvergun artwork and Killzone's flying machines.
It's not surprising really that Halo looks the more fleshed-out franchise. For starters, the Killzone pitch video was very early, and a demonstration of what the team thought they could do with the tech, rather than the outline for a complete game universe. Then there's the fact the original Killzone was always billed as Sony's 'Halo-beater', yet didn't really come close in the first instance. It wasn't until Killzone 2 and the huge hype that surrounded it that the game suddenly carried real credibility.
Above: Even on Mac, 11 years ago, Bungie knew they had something worth shouting about. So they did
It's been a week for old game videos, even if they are snatched away from us as soon as we get excited.
23 Aug, 2010