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Stabbing through Killzone 2

Like most of the gaming press, we’ve been taking some time lately to trudge through a pre-release copy of Killzone 2, and – in a shocking twist for a game that’s under tremendous pressure to be good – it’s pretty good. However, in our early attempts to play the game berserker he-man style (usually tantamount to suicide in any shooter that features a “cover” button), we found an interesting flaw that pops up mainly in Killzone 2’s early levels.

On Normal difficulty, the red-eyed Helghast stormtroopers are pretty formidable opponents – if you try to take them on from a distance, with a gun. But if you instead opt to whip out protagonist Sev’s one-hit-kill knife and just charge at them like a maniac, they won’t know what to do. Sometimes they’ll open fire, plugging you with a few bullets that you’ll easily shrug off, thanks to Sev’s unnaturally high endurance and (now standard) ability to heal just by not being shot for a little while. Other times, they’ll turn tail and try to run away. Whatever they try to do, they’re usually easy prey, even when you’re faced with a bunch of them at once, and you may find those early levels are much easier if you ignore guns completely and just go all Jason Voorhees on everything that moves.

As evidence, we’ve put together a highlight reel of a knife-only run through the first level:

Is the unbalanced knife-fighting an intentional perk, or just an oversight that’ll be corrected before release? It’s hard to be sure at this point, especially considering that the “tactic” is an excellent way to get killed while fighting the tougher, smarter enemies later in the game. Whatever the case, it’s just brutally gratifying enough that we’ve decided we don’t really have a problem with it.

Jan 8, 2009

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