Since Killzone’s first appearance back on the PS2, the game has sucked me in. I fell in love with the storyline, particularly the Helghast, and the admiration continued. I was fortunate enough to be able to pick up Killzone 3 on launch day, and I have been playing it almost nonstop since (no thanks to Minecraft). The game definitely improves on its predecessor in almost every aspect, and it provides a great storyline to stay involved in. Make sure you refill your ammo, and let’s get into my Killzone 3 review.
Killzone 3 takes place right where Killzone 2 left off, six months after the ending events of the game. With Viscari dead, the Helghans are racing to find an heir to their nation. Two men are fighting for control over the highest seat among the Helghan council – Admiral Orlock and Jorhan Stahl, a weapons manufacturer. Sev and Rico have infiltrated Stahl’s weapons factory in efforts to rescue Captain Narville from his execution. Upon rescuing Narville, Sev and Rico stumble on Stahl’s secret plans to use a new type of weapon on Earth, in efforts to destroy the home world all together. The duo relay this information to Narville, who plans an all-out escape from the factory – and the planet. Orlock discovers the troops’ escape and becomes extremely embarrassed, blaming the issue on Stahl. He demands that Stahl immediately turn over all of his weapons, as Orlock has become the new dictator of the Helghan people. This causes Stahl to eventually rebel, sending his fleet toward Earth to execute his plan. Sev and company learn of this, and set out to stop Stahl’s attack at all costs.
The gameplay of Killzone 3 resembles that of Killzone 2, but it includes many changes and upgrades in almost every aspect of the game. The first thing I noticed were the movement/aiming controls. In previous titles they felt entirely too sluggish and slow-moving. In Killzone 3 the movement controls are much more fluid, and they allow for much better precision. I didn’t find myself becoming frustrated when moving around as I sometimes did with previous titles. The game environments received an upgrade as well. Killzone 3 takes you through alien jungles, desolate fields, battle-ridden cities, and snowy tundras. The weather makes for a beautiful and amazing experience, putting you right in the midst of battle. I found myself being stunned by the landscapes and scenery that was before me at many points through the game. It literally looks polished.
A new feature in Killzone 3 is the implementation of heavy weapons such as jet packs. In some levels players can strap on this death-machine contraption and boost jump to different areas in the level. The jet packs offer a minigun with infinite ammo, however it overheats with time. Enemies will also have these jet packs (since they were manufactured by Stahl), so players need to stay on their toes. Another new feature to the series, and perhaps my favorite, is the addition of Brutal Melee kills. Players can press the L1 button when prompted to execute a Brutal Melee on an enemy, killing them instantly. These kills range from stabbing an enemy through the chest with their own knife, to jamming your thumbs through the goggles of their masks (a personal fave).
Killzone 3 offers offline co-op in its campaign mode, which was not offered in Killzone 2. Co-op is only offered in offline mode, but it’s still a lot of fun, and it helps to have a team mate in tough situations.
Online multiplayer in Killzone 3 is where the party’s at. The game offers three online modes: Guerrilla Warfare (team deathmatch), Warzone (objective based games), and Operations (a capture point variation). The multiplayer is fast, fun, and heart-pounding. Each faction has a set of five classes to choose from:
- Marksman – specializes in scoped rifles and precision and can cloak
- Engineer – places turrets/repairs ammo boxes on the field
- Field Medic – can regenerate health and revive fallen members
- Tactician – can see enemy positions on radar and capture tactical points on the map
- Infiltrator – can disguise themselves as members of the opposite faction
Each class has its ups and downs, but I went with the Engineer and Field Medic the most. I tried my hand in each game type, but I always kept coming back to Guerilla Warfare. The matches are packed with action and full of fun. With eight maps (unless you have the Retro Map Pack DLC, in which you would have 10 maps) to play from, the action never stops.
The multiplayer mode in Killzone 3 offers a leveling system, in which players rank up and earn “Unlock Points.” With these points players can unlock secondary weapons, special actions, and different primary weapons for each class. As you level you obtain more Unlock Points which can be used. This allows you to create your own unique classes, choosing what to have unlocked for each one. For example, the Field Medic comes with the primary ability to revive fallen team mates, but using Unlock Points players can unlock the class’ secondary ability which is a field of health regeneration for the player and surrounding members.
I found a lot of fun, and less frustration in the Killzone 3 multiplayer, which is different from other games. The multiplayer is much more straightforward – either you win or you lose. You have the choice of building the right class for each situation, but it’s not like other games in which it’s a matter of a more powerful weapon or armor.
All in all Killzone 3 was a complete success. I loved the campaign (which did take a while despite it being a bit shorter than the other games), and I transitioned right to multiplayer to keep the carnage a brewin’. I honestly find myself playing through the campaign again and again because it’s just so fun. With the new enemies, weapons, and scenery to keep you company, you’re a long ways off from being bored with this game. I definitely recommend you pick up this game. It’s not one you’ll want to miss for the PS3 this year.