Killzone 3 Updated Hands-On -- New Boss and Co-op Details

It's out of the arctic and into the dirty industrial wasteland with our latest trek through the Helghast home world.

There's a boss fight in Killzone 3 where you go up against something called the MAWLR. To be honest, we're not entirely sure what that acronym stands for--trying to decipher its name wasn't exactly our biggest priority while we were fighting the thing. We suppose that's just how the human brain functions when you're battling a giant robot-crab monster the size of a skyscraper.

Hello, Mr. MAWLR.

You'll forgive us if we're a little fixated on this boss fight. The MAWLR battle was easily the highlight of a new demo Sony recently sent our way, a jaunt through the Helghast homeworld that takes place far away from the snowy Frozen Shores level that was demoed back at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Instead, you're dropped into a dingy brown industrial wasteland where the sweeping winds and chaotic sounds of warfare create a thoroughly ominous atmosphere. It's very much a setting that is in keeping with Guerrilla Games' penchant for haggard beauty; it's not the sort of level you'd want to visit in a million years, but it still kind of makes you stare at it mouth agape.

The demo itself was a brief taste of on-foot and airborne combat. You start in a big shoot-out trying to push your way uphill against a cavalcade of Helghast, those signature enemies with the glowing red eyes and easily exploited weakness for getting stabbed in the eye (something you can take advantage of with the new "brutal melee system"). A little while later, you wind up in the trenches going up against Helghast soldiers outfitted with flamethrowers. The common theme in all of these areas is this: Take it slow, don't be a hero. Killzone 3 is not Call of Duty. You need to hide behind cover, pick off enemies from far away, and make sure you don't go charging headfirst into a cluster of enemies. Otherwise, you're toast.

Your arsenal along the way helps you adapt to a variety of situations. There's the standard-issue ISA assault rifle with the familiar green dot sight, which is an all-purpose gun that proves useful more often than not. For close-range warfare, there's also a three-barreled handgun that fires a trio of shells at once--a gun that packs a nasty punch. This one comes in handy in the trench areas, as does the shotgun with surprising effectiveness at range.

Turret sequences are just better when your gun doesn't overheat. That's science, plain and simple.

But then, all of that slow, measured pacing gets thrown out the window when you eventually come face-to-face with the MAWLR. You don't really know what to think at first--it's just sort of this towering thing that dominates the sky, which you could easily mistake for a building. Then, of course, it starts moving, billowing out smoke, and shooting rockets at you. And that's when you think to yourself, "Oh. So…I have to kill this thing?"

We won't spoil how to defeat the MAWLR, other than say that it's got the usual glowing orange weak spots you'd expect and that you'll need to take care of a few annoying Helghast who show up halfway through your encounter with it. But the scale of this thing is something else. It's a behemoth blocking out the sun, moving around with an ominous groaning and filling the sky with smoke as you wear it down.

Once you're done, you're whisked up into the sky on an ISA airship to man the turret gun. To describe this sequence in detail would spoil what happens after the boss battle, so we'll just say that it's a nice change of pace from all the on-foot combat that leads up to it. Guerrilla has said that it's trying hard to include more set piece battles in Killzone 3 to provide more variety and cinematic mayhem than its predecessor offered, and this seems to be one such good example. Plus, the turret never overheats, and that's just awesome.

Shoot this flamethrower-wielding Helghast in the tank for a nice death animation.

Circling back to the start of the demo, you're given the option to play either solo or via split-screen co-op. This is, of course, a brand-new feature for Killzone 3. There weren't a whole lot of criticisms you could lob at its critically acclaimed predecessor, but one valid critique about Killzone 2 was that it seemed like a game perfectly suited for co-op play--what with the nearly constant presence of a squadmate or two throughout the campaign. Now, the sequel is taking advantage of that group mentality by letting you and a friend share the screen (you're each given a vertical slice of the screen on either side) and go through the entire story campaign as a pair. The game doesn't change much with co-op. There was a noticeable frame rate drop during the action-heavy scenes, but it was still very playable--and being able to share in the experience of taking down that MAWLR with a friend is an undeniably added bonus. So, in short, co-op is now an added option, but the entire feel of the campaign and structure of the game hasn't been overhauled or re-tooled for co-op. This isn't suddenly Army of Two--it's Killzone with the optional bonus of killing Helghast with a friend.

After this latest run-through of the Helghast homeworld, Killzone 3 still looks every bit the highly anticipated shooter we had it pegged as after E3. Now, we've just got a better picture of how some of the non-arctic environments will look, as well as how some of the bigger boss fights are going to shake out. Look for the final version to arrive in stores on February 22.

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Discussion

214 comments
NerdHerdman009
NerdHerdman009

I bet the campaign mode is great for this, I heard its hard to aim and fire if your up against people online, not sure heard mix reviews, I guess its not all cracked up to be, but I could be wrong if you have the money get it. I wanna say it has amazing graphics from video previews, course lots of them do now a days.

NerdHerdman009
NerdHerdman009

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

NerdHerdman009
NerdHerdman009

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

chedarcheese190
chedarcheese190

SPLITSCREEN!!! STORY SPLITSCREEN!!!! MEANINGFUL SPLITSCREEN!!! YES

puppeteer
puppeteer

Finally a few good games for the PS3. It needs some soild games the last year wasnt all that great for the PS3. As i've said and stick with if it weren't for the PS3's media cpabilities and great Blu-Ray playback ther would be no saving grace for this console.

mrouzi
mrouzi

So many games to play...so little time...aaarrrrgggggg! Look forward Killzone3!!! I wish I had a 3D TV!!! //PS3 RULLES

king0s
king0s

if killzone was food i wanted it still hot xD sory of is bad writen

nuclearglenn
nuclearglenn

best ps3 year yet i must say uncharted 3 killzone 3 MGS rising little big planet two twisted metal resictance 3 and infamous 2 i feel like a kid in a candy store

ff10andff12
ff10andff12

Trying to imitate R3 it seems like. I like! KZ3, R3, and ME2 are my day 1 purchases.

Dante-immortal
Dante-immortal

i finished the Killzone 2 i can't wait to play the Killzone 3 :D

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

@king0s Don't forget Resistance 3 and Twisted Metal and Little Big Planet as well! Beset year for PS3, damn skippy!

samus_my_life
samus_my_life

killzone 3 will be the best game 2011 i really love this kind of games cool O.o

king0s
king0s

wait...?!?!? killzone 3 infamous 2 uncharted 3 mass efect 2 BEST YEAR OF GAMING ON PS3 EVER

Tokinblckgie
Tokinblckgie

@gunnergod13 Lol, at all the "we" talk as if you are a part of this major movement at the center of some great, defining moment in history. Dude, you're nothing but a consumer like everyone else. A sales figure who's only significance to gaming companies is to buy their products and make their pockets fatter. I swear, some of you fanboys would pledge allegience to these gaming companies if only you knew the words to sing. Here's to hoping that you are just a child and likely don't know any better...

killeroo
killeroo

split screen co-op, the forgot form of multiplayer! thank you so much

fangtooth27
fangtooth27

any chance that there are more bosses?

syangan
syangan

it is expected if 2-3 more different boss types(other than the mawler) will appear in the game...sometimes i feel sorry for the helghast people...maybe in killzone 4 guerilla can give us a retaliation attack dropping helghan elite troops on ISA grounds just like what sev and company are doing...Killzone is the best FPS of all I played...(I own PS2,PS3,Xbox360)

gunnergod13
gunnergod13

@chapan17 we will soon companies will soon realize that if they put that game on the ps3 it will make them more money so soon the games will come to ps3 and if ppl are looking for the console that has better games they will pick the ps3 over the Xbox 360

chapan17
chapan17

@gunnergod13 i wouldnt say we are destroying xbox 360 because it still has great games. However i must agree that exclusivewise 2011 will be the year of the ps3 with games such as little big planet 2, uncharted 3, killzone 3, infamous 2, resistance 3. Wow that is a lot. And this game looks great

gunnergod13
gunnergod13

we now are just destroying the XBOX 360 we have all the exculivesand we are taking theres too they just lost mass effect 2 to the ps3 soon we will take gears of war than halo and soon everything

pabloxiaoyi
pabloxiaoyi

KZ3 + sharp shooter peripheral + 3D....say no more....

vejiku
vejiku

Does this have online co op?

trywizard
trywizard

i wish a two games on xbox360 just two KILL ZONE GAMES (but halo is better i think) and GOD OF WAR (but we got castlevania and it's great too)

gunnergod13
gunnergod13

@billyjunxix your both right there are meny games that are better than COD for example killzone 3 wait wat am i saying killzone 2 was even better than COD and COD keeps on using the same game but adding about 13 updates i dont know why people love it so much i just think is a rip off

billyjunxix
billyjunxix

@ PHOENIX1617 Exactly man, KZ2 is EPIC and KZ3 just got even better. Halo is overrated like COD games because if you compare BFBC2 to COD without being such a blinded fool you'll see immediately that BFBC2 rapes COD x10000000 times over, Halo feels to arcadey with lots of jumping around than actually shooting.

Paintballman97
Paintballman97

@YoungSinatra25- Battlefield has always been MP focused, ever since 1942. Which was, like, eight years ago. @JulianBeamen420- Have you even played Black Ops? It's all run and gun. Oh but don't forget about the campers with the claymores.

Dizzzyness
Dizzzyness

i have played alot of games that need co-op dont get me wrong those games are still fun.This was very smart idea to give the game splitscreen I hope it also has splitscreen multiplayer to.

ash162
ash162

killzone 2 was so siiick. Hope the campaign packs in a lot more punch this time! go playstation!!!

Scar-face123
Scar-face123

OMG I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS I AM A HUGE KILLZONE FAN, THIS ONE IS TE BEST KILLZONE YET!!!!!!

I982_PL
I982_PL

Its all about multiplayer!!! I hope that will be beter then in KZ2!!! More balanced please!!! Becouse single player is briliant!!!

JulianBeamen420
JulianBeamen420

Killzone 3 better have Online Co-op. There is no reason why Killzone 3 shouldnt have Online Co-op right out of the box. GG would be stupid if they didnt include Online Co-op. Im sure they will.

JulianBeamen420
JulianBeamen420

@Castlevania1986 You can Run and Gun in COD games but if you suck at MP which im assuming you do than you will die all the time. So either get better at MP games or donrt play.

Vrygar777
Vrygar777

I hope Move controls are actually integrated into the game and don't just feel tacked on. Nevertheless, this looks like a bad@ss game.

YoungSinatra25
YoungSinatra25

They fixed the controls, dialogue & story, and added co-op. As long as MP is balanced (with better servers/networking) it should be a great overall experience... I'm tired of games with all their focus going to the MP portion. COD, Halo, and Battlefield are all culprits and its sad.

jma1024x
jma1024x

Wow this LOOKS great. Nice as long as it plays great, has DLC, and is easy to get into it could be a Top 10 seller in '11.

lord-aa
lord-aa

this game with move and gun and 3d!!!!!best fps of the year

Invincibleloner
Invincibleloner

This game is pretty cool in 3d. Played it in DC at the MLG tournament for tekken 6. It was very cool. I am however not into the 3d thing too much.

kakirakia
kakirakia

i wonder how this game will go with 3d..... should be interesting.... and expensive....

GamerBaboo
GamerBaboo

They should stop making games like these. It's really effecting my work-routine.... Can't get enough sleep , and even when I do, these damn games keep playing in my head.... lol

Castlevania1986
Castlevania1986

Lame, more hiding like a coward. Last time I checked you can't run and gun in a COD game so I have no idea how this foolish person thought that. Whenever I attempted to run and gun in COD 4 I was instantly killed right off the bat. But the taking advantage of cover systems is part of the reason why I simply don't give a f*ck for shooters. Plus he just compared the game to two other games. First he says "this isn't COD" then he goes "this isn't army of two". -shakes head- well coop is what makes a lot of games fun. No coop means, boredom.

NWA90s
NWA90s

this game is going be the best FPS of 2011!!!!!!!!!!