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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 July 2005
I initially ignored Killzone when it was released, owing to some fairly mixed reviews, and only picked it up recently after seeing the Killzone video at 2005's E3. Having had a chance to play the game however I could certainly recommend it as a great PS2 shooter. The environments are gorgeous, the combat and weaponary sufficiently pleasing and the atmosphere spot on.
The game pushes the PS2 to its absolute limits which is evident in almost every single aspect of the game. The AI of the Helghast is refreshing in that they simply don't just run into your gun fire and will only charge you if forced out of hiding or rush you with a partner.
The game is not without it's flaws - You'll hear your team repeat the same phrases an immeasurable number of times, and it's possible to get stuck in parts of the environment (this has only happened to me twice however). Some texture breakout can also be seen in more complicated scenes.
Whilst Killzone may not be all that the media hyped it up to be, it is certainly a better game than most would believe. It is worth a purchase even just for a taste of what Killzone 2 may offer on the PS3.
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on 17 December 2004
I remember first hearing of Killzone through Edge magazine in August 2003; the front cover of that issue bore the image of two Helghast soldiers, underwritted by the tagline 'Halo for the PS2?'. This, in my oppinion killed Killzone right from the off, as by getting an exclusive report on the unheard-of game, Edge made sure that it got talked about, but by using this tagline, it also made sure that people expected too much from it. Considering that Edge is supposed to be the magazine choice for the more astute gamer, this was a very stupid move on their behalf.
Anyway, I digress. Killzone is not Halo, was never intended to be a Halo clone and should not be compared to it. So for the reviewer who gave it 3 stars as a comparison to Halo, your point was point-less. Killzone is a first person shooter in it's own right, and more to the point it is an FPS on the PS2, which is why it garnered so much hype in the first place.
First off, gameplay; this is where people became disheartened at playing Killzone, as compared to the polish of the visuals and sound design, it feels rather less accomplished. Each level follows an almost entirely linear path, consisting of a move, shoot, move, shoot, objective based dynamic. Said objectives are usually very basic, such as reaching an area, and extra objectives are often added on the fly; but they are never more taxing than finding a button to press or eliminating a certain enemy. So the level progression dynamic is fairly basic, which is what a lot of reviews are picking up on. However, I believe that they have missed the point. Killzone is a wargame, albeit a futuristic one, and therefore is all about the fighting; soldiers serve a purpose, which is not to solve abstract puzzles, they are there to fight and take ground, eliminating any resistance they encounter. Fortunately, in this repsect Killzone succeeds, most impressively.
The combat just feels right. The exceptionally well-designed weapons feel real, and feel like they really could hurt you. Whether slitting throats with the knife, blasting Helghast up close with a shotgun, mowing down troops with a machine gun or blowing up armoured targets with a rocket launcher, each weapon feels like it truly serves a purpose, and the combination of superb sound design and unparalleled particle effects make it feel like you are involved in the fighting. Add on top of that the fact that you have four playable characters to choose from, each of which alters the level flow in some way or another, and you are presented with more futuristic combat than you can shake a stick-grenade at. OK, so certain things, such as the presence of enemy vehicles could have been made more dramatic and purposeful through better scripting, and it never quite feels like you're in the midst of a planetary war, more a series of skirmishes; but at the end of the day, the game is still great fun to play. The only concern I share with the average reviews is the enemy AI, which at times disappoints, with enemies turning their back on you in the midst of a firefight and continuing to run at you whilst you pelt them with fire.
Controls wise, Killzone works a treat, as the button configuration seems well tailored to aid you in the combat, whilst never getting you into trouble through illogical, or awkward assignment. The analogue movement speed is satisfactory, only occasionally proving troublesome when the framerate drops below the norm.
Now onto what put the game in the spotlight to start with - the visuals. I say visuals rather than graphics, as Killzone is not just beautiful because of the way it is rendered; it succeeds through some incredible design. Take the Helghast for instance, they look awesome. The glowing orange eyes, perfectly offset from the dark uniform makes them the definition of menacing. Combine this with some awesome weapon design, and some of the most believable sci-fi environments ever devised in game and you have a stylistic masterpiece. Then combine this with the fact that the artists at Guerilla were able to take this vision and translate it pixel-perfectly onto the weakest of the current generation consoles, and you have one visually stunning game. OK, so the framerate suffers slightly due to this, but the fact is that it really doesn't matter that much; nothing else on the PS2 looks this good, and I gladly accept the odd dip in framerate, considering that gameplay is hardly affected. Similarly, the LOD issues (with textures 'popping' in) are hardly worth mentioning, and besides PC gamers have had to put up with this for years.
The particle effects systems used to for smoke, flames and atmospheric effects are also superb and way above anything seen previously on the PS2.
The sound design is similarly brilliant, from the brutal sounds of the guns, to the immersive ambient effects that really put you in the scene. The cutscene music is also fantastic, coming across as a hybrid between Star Wars and Starship Troopers, perfectly complementing the on-screen action.
So overall, Killzone succeeds as a game. It's fun to play and striking to watch, minor niggles aside. Where it falls down is in not living up to the hype and over-expectations that were heavily put upon it from the off, due in no small part to Edge. However, this is hardly the fault of the game, or the developers; games are created to a strict schedule and set of criteria, and once the process is initiated it is very difficult to deviate if your product is to be released on schedule. Therefore, rather than criticise, I think people should applaud Guerilla for what they have managed to achieve in a relatively short period of time, as Killzone is a game that boasts both fun gameplay and better graphics than anything else on the Playstation 2.
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VINE VOICEon 3 January 2005
There are some you out there that really need to get out more. This game is called Killzone and its a very good, top quality shoot em up.. nothing more. I suppose it is similar to Halo but then again its a FPS so what do you expect?? Like there are some dorks about saying Call Of Duty is just a Medal of Honor rip off...what are you people on? Of course it is...any kind of WW2 shooter is gonna be like MOH.. and the missions will all be similar.. or perhaps you would like software companies to re-write history so the missions are different..leave that to the Americans.. they love re-writing history ;-)
All in all this is a great game and will give you hours of good fun. Plenty of mindless violence and blowing stuff up.. GET SOME!! The graphics are really good, the weapons are great, the story is interesting and after a while you get to choose from 4 characters for the missions. This is a top game... so dont listen to all these wallys saying its Halo or whatever... its a FPS and its dead good.
Can you stop the Helgast??? Grab your gat soldier.. and lets see if you are a man or a mouse!! Nuff Said!
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on 9 December 2004
Is there somesort of Killzone conspiracy out there? A conspiracy whereby all the official reviewers throughout gaming press and world wide web have teamed up with microsoft to over rate Halo 2 and underrate Killzone. Obviously not. However, anytbody would think that Killzone is a real turkey of a game and that Halo2 is the god of FPS. People, this is not the case... I for one strongly believe that Killzone IS a Halo 2 beater!!! Now, i know your all wanting to read another Halo 2 versus Killzone review like a kick in the crown jewels, but please hear me out because it is not often that i feel compelled to write a games review.
I am in my thirties and have been gaming since i was a kid and the FPS is my favourite gaming genre. I have the XBox, PS2 and a rather dusty Game cube and the pinnacle of the FPS is shared in my opinion between was the original doom and Half Life. (Ihave not played Doom 3 or HL2 as my PC is nowhere near up to spec).
I have read loads of reviews for both Halo2 and Killzone and whilst Halo 2 has consistenly scored 10 out of 10, Killzone has been unfairly been scored 7's and 8's. I believe that the reviews of Killzone have been overly harsh and far too lenient on Halo 2!!!
Of course Halo 1 and 2 are great games and every gamer should experience them. However, playing Halo 2 recently seemed a very shallow experience in comparison to that of Killzone. The storyline was the most amatuer, puerile nonsense i have had to play though in a very long time and whole experience seemed - well kind of empty. The game is obviously very polished, apart from the awful cut scenes, however it really does not offer a great deal of depth in terms of gameplay and atmosphere. When playing on line, the shallow gameplay design is even more exaggerated. Live games require little strategy or team work and in most battles, success is simply determined by who has the most powerful weapon. Thats not to say that Halo 2 does not have some outstanding elements. The AI is awesome and there are some genuinely breathtaking sequences, however to consistently give it 10 out 10 seems an exaggerated score to me.
Killzone on the other hand, is the most atmospheric, engaging and gritty FPS i have played since the original Half Life. Furthermore, i believe that Killzone is one of the most innovative FPS games available on any console. Most reviewers don't agree with me on this point. However, i believe that the outstanding visual style and overall design provides a truly unique gaming experience that no other game matches. Killzone exudes atmosphere and tension in all areas.
The Helgast are truly intimidating enemies and are the best designed adversaries since the stormtroopers of the original Star Wars. Taking a whole encampment of them out with nothing more than a stealthy approach and an assassins knife is one of the most exhilarating gaming experiences i have had. Believe me, these are the best melee attacks of any FPS so far.
The plot and cut scenes are truly engaging,providing a reasonable, low key story set against a huge and escalating conflict.
I knew Killzone was a masterpiece as i embarked upon the first level. However, the sense of awe continued throughout. OK, so the levels are very linear and there are plenty of staged events, but think to yourself, is this really a bad thing when this approach is implemented so perfectly? Reviewers in the gaming press don't seem to agree. I don't think that they are taking into account the fact that this is a PS2 game and the hardware is now - well lets just say - getting on a bit.
Anyway to finish off, Killzone beats Halo 2 in so many areas that it has totally restored my faith in the good old PS2. Ultimately though, it's a matter of taste - If you are just after a quick arcadey blast, then Halo is for you. If, on the other hand, you like engaging atmospheric games like Rainbow six and Ghost recon, then check out Killzone, and you could be in for one of the best gaming experiences to date.
Cheers for reading.
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on 4 January 2005
I have a Xbox and Ps2 and have played Halo to death, I also got Halo 2 which is good but I'm really bored of shooting Aliens and I hated levels set on Space Craft. So I hear about Killzone and buy it. Wow! What a game it is! The graphics are absolutly god smaking (in a good way) and the level of detail is unbeleivable.
In Killzone we're fighting the Helghast, a very hard opponent to kill. (They dont drop very quickly when you've just shot them.) There is a vierty of different battle zones, from Docks, to Parks to Malls and they're all really brilliant.
The levels are all really thrilling-escpeicaly the level where you have to stop the Helghast taking a beach. It's like being at D-Day, but being the Germans!
There are also four different characters, who will be with you all the time and all have their own special skills. They also chat to each other, and in some cases, argue.
Killzone also fells really great to handle, its great from the moment you start, to the sad moment that you finally have to switch it off.
Another great feature is the "Battlefields" this is the online game, but for those of us who dont have their PS2's online, you play by yourself against the computer. (Or obviously you can play them online, or with another player.)
The menus are also really stylish, and the cutscenes are brilliant.
Also with Killzone, whenever you squeeze the trigger, it really feels like you are actually having an effect.
The sound is very good too, the explosions, screams and shouts, the guns and bullets whizzing past, of the battliefeild sound really great. Especially if you have surround sound.
So it's THAT good right? Yeah. So why only four stars? Well, because of the repitition. After you've played the first few levels you've basicly seen everything. Its walk, shoot, run, walk, shoot, run, and thats it. It really does start to get very boring. The lifespan of this game isnt good. If you've got mates and an online PS2, its raised alot, but the campain will start to lose your intrest.
Killzone borrows quite alot of stuff from another shooter (cough cough HALO cough cough.) But it is my best FPS on the PS2. Alot of you will prefer Timesplitters, but I never liked it anyway. For ages we've been looking for a PS2 answer to Halo, and here it is!
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on 8 December 2004
I remember first hearing of Killzone through Edge magazine in August 2003; the front cover of that issue bore the image of two Helghast soldiers, underwritted by the tagline 'Halo for the PS2?'. This, in my oppinion killed Killzone right from the off, as by getting an exclusive report on the unheard-of game, Edge made sure that it got talked about, but by using this tagline, it also made sure that people expected too much from it. Considering that Edge is supposed to be the magazine choice for the more astute gamer, this was a very stupid move on their behalf.
Anyway, I digress. Killzone is not Halo, was never intended to be a Halo clone and should not be compared to it. So for the reviewer who gave it 3 stars as a comparison to Halo, your point was point-less. Killzone is a first person shooter in it's own right, and more to the point it is an FPS on the PS2, which is why it garnered so much hype in the first place.
First off, gameplay; this is where people became disheartened at playing Killzone, as compared to the polish of the visuals and sound design, it feels rather less accomplished. Each level follows an almost entirely linear path, consisting of a move, shoot, move, shoot, objective based dynamic. Said objectives are usually very basic, such as reaching an area, and extra objectives are often added on the fly; but they are never more taxing than finding a button to press or eliminating a certain enemy. So the level progression dynamic is fairly basic, which is what a lot of reviews are picking up on. However, I believe that they have missed the point. Killzone is a wargame, albeit a futuristic one, and therefore is all about the fighting; soldiers serve a purpose, which is not to solve abstract puzzles, they are there to fight and take ground, eliminating any resistance they encounter. Fortunately, in this repsect Killzone succeeds, most impressively.
The combat just feels right. The exceptionally well-designed weapons feel real, and feel like they really could hurt you. Whether slitting throats with the knife, blasting Helghast up close with a shotgun, mowing down troops with a machine gun or blowing up armoured targets with a rocket launcher, each weapon feels like it truly serves a purpose, and the combination of superb sound design and unparalleled particle effects make it feel like you are involved in the fighting. Add on top of that the fact that you have four playable characters to choose from, each of which alters the level flow in some way or another, and you are presented with more futuristic combat than you can shake a stick-grenade at. OK, so certain things, such as the presence of enemy vehicles could have been made more dramatic and purposeful through better scripting, and it never quite feels like you're in the midst of a planetary war, more a series of skirmishes; but at the end of the day, the game is still great fun to play. The only concern I share with the average reviews is the enemy AI, which at times disappoints, with enemies turning their back on you in the midst of a firefight and continuing to run at you whilst you pelt them with fire.
Controls wise, Killzone works a treat, as the button configuration seems well tailored to aid you in the combat, whilst never getting you into trouble through illogical, or awkward assignment. The analogue movement speed is satisfactory, only occasionally proving troublesome when the framerate drops below the norm.
Now onto what put the game in the spotlight to start with - the visuals. I say visuals rather than graphics, as Killzone is not just beautiful because of the way it is rendered; it succeeds through some incredible design. Take the Helghast for instance, they look awesome. The glowing orange eyes, perfectly offset from the dark uniform makes them the definition of menacing. Combine this with some awesome weapon design, and some of the most believable sci-fi environments ever devised in game and you have a stylistic masterpiece. Then combine this with the fact that the artists at Guerilla were able to take this vision and translate it pixel-perfectly onto the weakest of the current generation consoles, and you have one visually stunning game. OK, so the framerate suffers slightly due to this, but the fact is that it really doesn't matter that much; nothing else on the PS2 looks this good, and I gladly accept the odd dip in framerate, considering that gameplay is hardly affected. Similarly, the LOD issues (with textures 'popping' in) are hardly worth mentioning, and besides PC gamers have had to put up with this for years.
The particle effects systems used to for smoke, flames and atmospheric effects are also superb and way above anything seen previously on the PS2.
The sound design is similarly brilliant, from the brutal sounds of the guns, to the immersive ambient effects that really put you in the scene. The cutscene music is also fantastic, coming across as a hybrid between Star Wars and Starship Troopers, perfectly complementing the on-screen action.
So overall, Killzone succeeds as a game. It's fun to play and striking to watch, minor niggles aside. Where it falls down is in not living up to the hype and over-expectations that were heavily put upon it from the off, due in no small part to Edge. However, this is hardly the fault of the game, or the developers; games are created to a strict schedule and set of criteria, and once the process is initiated it is very difficult to deviate if your product is to be released on schedule. Therefore, rather than criticise, I think people should applaud Guerilla for what they have managed to achieve in a relatively short period of time, as Killzone is a game that boasts both fun gameplay and better graphics than anything else on the Playstation 2.
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on 5 March 2005
Like all things PS2 concerning FPS and 3rd PS, the controls (movement and aiming) have never quite cut it. Unlike the tried and tested mouse and keyboard of the PC, I sometimes feel that to get the best out of the PS2 you really have to be a serious gamer. However as far as PS2 games go this one went some way to giving hope for the future. Generally I enjoyed the game, however at times it did become a bit tedious, but I knew that I was simply buying into a 'kill em all and nothing else' type game. The graphics are cool and tend to stay away from the heavy technicolor of many games genres you see today. If you have lost faith in FPS for the PS2 I would recommend a blast at this one. This is the only PS2 game that I have went back to and played again. At least you get a good return on grenade coverage!! but the sniper rifle takes a bit of practice.
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on 26 February 2007
Im really dissapointed that people dont rate this game highly. It shows that basic arcade run in and kill everyone games are the hype. If, like myself, you prefer a realistic wargame feel, then by god this is for you. It was such fun trying to gun down a platoon whilst they tried to rope treverse from their air transport, and if not done correct, having to run while bullets scim past you to find cover. The story, graphics and multiplayer are nothing short of awsome. I imagine you can now buy this game for budget price, so if its under £20, buy and enjoy the ride.

( NOTE. If you fire a heavy power machine gun, your aim wont be great, but thats life.)
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on 14 June 2006
But a great price.

Killzone is a great shooter! Dispite it being a slight disappointment because there was so much hype about it before it came out it's a fantastic game!

It can be repetitive but also very challenging and there's plenty to shoot, sometimes to much but I enjoy that.

The levels look super with lots of variety; cramped cities, jungle swaps, snowy mountain tops, a space station.

The story is cool and the gritty futuristic look to it all is great.

It all works and makes a nice game, and for less then £5 it's amazing.

If your bored and looking for a new game to play and enjoy FPS this is perfect.
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on 24 February 2005
I was driven to write this review because Killzone is a genuinely stunning game.
The levels are perfectly designed, each one having it's own distinct atmosphere and style. Standout levels are the WWI style trench warfare of the opening level, the bombed military base, defending the beach head tipping it's hat to Saving Private Ryan, the murky mangroves and attacking the firebase.
Enemy AI is excellant. Witnessing shells exploding and a hardcore team of elites come at you gradually appearing through the smoke and shrapnel as you grenade them and frantically reload is certainly an experience to behold.
There are so many cool set peices like shooting down dropships with AA guns, calling airstrikes with a laser designator and climbing a mountain to a weather station-turned-shuttle launcher. All set against the incredible musical score - recorded by the Praque symphonic orchestra it really adds a certain something to shooting Helghast in the face.
The 1st person shooter genre is a tried and tested one, but Killzone really shines for it's own unique style and outstanding graphics.
Play it, experience it and you will not be dissapointed.
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