Killzone 2 - hands-on

Making our way further into hell, we reach a giant metal door that needs opening. Rico sends Sev and another soldier named Garza to find the control room and open the gate. Making our way through a warehouse filled with Helghast, we cross a catwalk and hit a smaller door that Garza needs to hack open. Right about the time, naturally, Helghast reinforcements arrive. It's impressive to see them rappelling from the rails of a high catwalk, though that doesn't keep us from systematically pinning one between their red glowing eyes. Grenades help immensely, too. However, we're now out of ammo, and not likely to find any more in an enemy base. We grab a fallen Helghast soldier's weapon. It's less accurate, but has a massive 60-shot clip.

Finally, Garza gets the door open and we see a short wall with a Helghast operator on the other side. We can't get a shooting angle, but a quick grenade over the barrier proves devastating. Oddly, our screen turns black and white with a splash of red as well - a sign that we took some shrapnel. Apparently, the wall was permeable, so the grenade winged us as well.

But health can be regained by simply resting for a moment, so a short wait brings the color back into our world and we head into the room. It houses the controls for the giant door outside - a large valve crank. This is opened using the controller's tilt sensitivity - tilt right, hold L1 and R1, and Sev grabs the wheel. Tilt left, and he turns it. After a few short cranks, the blast door opens and our boys in APCs roll through.

That was the end of the demo, though the level itself was much longer - the attract video showed several other areas, including one in which Sev got behind a mounted gun and took out an entire balcony, Helghast, masonry and all.

So, how does Killzone 2 compare to recent smashes like Call of Duty 4, or upcoming competing shooters such as Gears of War 2? We'll have to reserve final judgment until we get more time with it - we don't even know the details of the multiplayer modes yet (we do hear co-op is planned, though). But for now, we can confirm that it is absolutely strong enough to give any of those titles some stiff competition, and that's more than enough reason for us to be eager for more.

May 16, 2008