Killzone: Shadowfall was first announced at Sony's Playstation Conference on the 20th of February, this year.
You'member? Huh? Huh?
Here is a Q&A with the Game Directer, Steven 'ter Heide:
Rurico Martinez asks: What is the biggest change in this Killzone game that it makes it feel different from the other ones?
“Obviously, we are keeping what is great about Killzone - we have a unique universe, iconic enemies and some great features like the hit-responses, first person cover and the melee system. But we’re also building on that, expanding and polishing those systems with things like drop-down melees and combo melee attacks. More importantly though, we’re adding many more player abilities and providing larger, more open arenas for you to play in and find your own unique solutions to problems.
The OWL attack drone is a prime example of this: its combat abilities allow you to fight on your terms and decide how the battle plays out. We want to encourage that kind of thoughtful and dynamic play-style, to create moments you will want to share. It is not just about outgunning your enemy – it’s about outmaneuvering and outsmarting them as well. Killzone Shadow Fall is a shooter that requires both skills and brains.”
Dominik Asch asks: How much do we learn of Helghast society?
“For this game we’ve created a highly detailed world that is both futuristic and believable. The new, more thoughtful gameplay style will afford you more opportunities to take in the rich history and backstory of its people.
The game starts out on the now divided world of Vekta, with only a wall separating the Helghast and the Vektans. The deep-rooted hate and distrust between the two factions has built up and the world is on the brink of war. Your missions will take you across the wall, where you will get a first-hand look at how Helghast society lives and works. Again, we’ve put a lot of effort into creating this world – we’ve looked at the people, the infrastructure, the brands, the culture and news reporting that form part of a living and breathing futuristic world.”
@PsVitaLifeStyle asks: Will the guns and characters have the same weight and feel like Killzone 3?
“The feel of the weapons is hugely important to us. We have always gone for a way to connect the player to the game-world. This should never feel cumbersome or frustrating, but be responsive and allow for fluid gameplay that has a believable weight to it. This weight is created through realistic animations and should not be a result of input lag, which is something which gets often confused.”
@StevenNoble asks: Can you customize control layout? I struggled when moving between Killzone, Battlefield and Call of Duty.
“We are ensuring that the default setting feels intuitive and covers the important gameplay mechanics that we have in Killzone Shadow Fall. It always takes experimentation and lots of testing to get this right, and we realize that even then it’s probably not the best layout for everyone. So we will provide options to change the layout. The new controller feels different in a couple of important areas, and we are taking advantage of the new features and feel. But if, for example, you don’t like to fire using the new outward curved triggers, you can change that.”
@BossDooley asks: You always pushed the PlayStation 3 with AI and Graphics, how has the PlayStation 4 opened up building on these mechanics?
“As a developer it is great to get new tools to play with, because overall it allows us to create richer experiences. Obviously there are always choices to make on issues like design and production values, but the boundaries of what we're able to do have been extended. The PlayStation 4 allows us to add more things and take them a step further. We can, for example, invest in more realistic animations, larger scale, better visual FX and more characters, and reach a higher quality on all of them.
At the same time, we’re pleased that the PlayStation 4 isn’t just about more power
– it’s also about new control methods and features and services that encourage a different kind of interaction with the game and the people around you. In that regard we’re also very excited about Killzone Shadow Fall’s multiplayer mode, but more on that later...”
On a scale of M. Knight Shabalaba to Zack Snyder, how awesome is the story line??
The piece of live gameplay we presented at the PlayStation Meeting 2013 shows you a new world, a new situation and a new hero.
The game is set in a near future, thirty years after the events of Killzone 3. The world is a very different place; two rival factions known as the Helghast and the Vektans live side by side in a futuristic city, divided by a vast wall.
Tensions are high, and the cold war they are embroiled in is about to go hot. In the midst of this all stands a Shadow Marshal, you. The most special of the special forces, tasked with maintaining the delicate balance. From responding to bold attacks, to quiet
infiltrations or all out combat, you will be required to adapt and think on your feet as you have to face a variety of escalating events that could destroy your home world.
Here's more details from IGN:
What the heck happened thirty years ago?
Killzone: Shadow Fall acts as a reboot for Guerrilla Games’ Helghast slaughtering series. However, rather than throw away the plot of previous entries, the Dutch developer has opted to look to the future instead. As a result, the impending exclusive is set thirty years after the events of Killzone 3. This is referenced in the latest trailer when a female voice mentions that three decades ago “it was Vektan aggression that led to the slaughter of a billion Helghast lives”. But what exactly caused that?
Fans of the series may recall the ISA (the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance) invading the orange-eyed antagonist’s planet at the start of Killzone 2. This action prompted a cruel war, which continued into the title’s sequel. In an effort to improve its position against the invading forces, military tycoon Jorhan Stahl began to manufacture a new weapon using irradiated Petrusite, which he intended to use to wipe out both factions’ former home, Earth.
However, series protagonists Tomas ‘Sev’ Sevchenko and Rico Velasquez managed to thwart the plans by hijacking two fighter jets and dropping a nuclear bomb on Stahl’s intergalactic cruiser. The impact of this explosion – just over the planet Helghan – was devastating, with the irradiated Petrusite all but wiping out the planet, and forcing any remaining Helghast to shack up with their sworn enemies on Vekta. This leads us to the events of next month’s PS4 exclusive...
There's not much known about the story yet, but it seems rather dramatic in my opinion. I'm hoping for something as involving and live and Uncharted 2, but also as deep and connected as Metal Gear Solid 4.
This chick, that dude, this dude, that guy, her, him, her, oh...and him!
So, we're seeing some new faces so far in Killzone: ShadowFall. We haven't seen our main bro_dudes yet, but we know they're there. Let's have a look at some of the Chracters we know of so far.
“In order to get stronger performances from our lead characters on KZSF we looked to improve how we integrate the casting of our lead actors into the design process. Before we’d write, design and cast a character but due to the complexities of game development this wasn’t always done in an optimal order.
On KZSF we made sure we always started with a clear idea of who a character was and how we wanted them to be portrayed, then cast someone was perfect for the role. That actor is used as the likeness, the vocal performer and for full performance capture. In the likeness we subtly emphasize those traits of the actor that made us want to cast them in that role, in a design process we call characterization. We don’t want to spend time on lengthy exposition, so we wanted to make sure that when you first see a character you understand exactly who they are, their relation to you, their personality and history and so on.
This was pretty tricky – even subtle tweaks to someone’s face can make them look like unrecognizable or even inhuman (or inhelghast). We change as little as necessary – for instance we needed Sinclair to be a little older, partly to shorthand his role as mentor, and partly to show how the stresses of his very difficult job have taken their toll on him. Sinclair might have more worry lines than David, but he is still very much David. For Echo, we needed to make her Helghan heritage obvious without making her look sickly and unthreatening, or losing Jamie’s likeness - and we also added a few subtle design features to hint at her difficult background as a Helghast agent and before.
First of all...You don't play as Sev...Wait...WTF???
Sergeant Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko is second in command of Alpha Squad by rank. He is the primary protagonist in Killzone 2 andKillzone 3. Younger and less experienced than the veterans Rico andNatko, he makes up for this by being a superb technical soldier, having distinguished himself in service as courageous, intelligent and highly resourceful. This caught the eye of Colonel Templar, who saw something of himself in Sev and followed his rise through the ranks, until a fatality in Alpha opened up the position of second-in-command to Rico.
Rico is gone too! : /
Here's your suddenly strange Protagonist:
You’ll step into the armoured outfit of Lucas Kellen, a Shadow Marshal similar to Luger from the original PlayStation 2 game and PlayStation Portable spin-off Killzone: Liberation. Much like Lady Visari, there’s not an enormous amount of information on the character, but we do know that he’s able to freely travel between the wall that divides the Vektans and Helghans on Vekta.
How do you guys feel about this? I'd rather have Sev. I hate change.
Sinclair is the head of the Vektan Security Agency – his job is to make sure the balance of power favors Vekta without escalating the cold war into open conflict. Part spymaster - part diplomat, and with a shrewd strategic mind, he is Lucas’ direct CO and mentor.
Echo is an elite operative tasked to cross the wall, and her mission puts them on a collision course. She is extremely dangerous; an equal but opposite reflection of the player character.” Rumor has it we may get to play part of the campaign as her : /
Lady Visari, the daughter of the aforementioned head of the Helghan hierarchy, has taken charge of the faction.
We don’t actually know a whole lot about the feisty female – aside from the fact that she holds the chancellor position in the new Helghast government – but it appears from the trailer that she’s not afraid to fight for the same values as her father. In the video, operative Echo is overheard saying that “if you attack, she will not back down – she’ll be defending what she has”. With just a wall dividing the Vektans and Helghast, there’s mounting tension on the planet.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that we’ve actually seen Lady Visari. The character previously appeared in the intro for Killzone 3, where Scolar Visari is shown recording a rousing speech surrounded by his closest circle. Some have speculated that a scene at the end of the game, in conjunction with a quote from Admiral Orlock during the opening sequence – “Sir, you have to move, the ISA are here” – may mean that the leader is still alive and in hiding. We’ll probably find out for sure over the coming weeks.
We don't know anything about this character yet, but he's on the Killzone:SF official page under the name of Father.
Also no idea who she is, but she's listed as Massar. Must be some sorta' government secret lab, crazy conspiracy, 'she's the mother of the daughter and the fiance but the father doesn't know that the uncle is werewolf' sorta' crazy plot twist.
Seriously, no idea who this guy is either. Supposedly named Saric. He looks dangerous...Like Riddick gone wrong. Vin Diesel, buy a toupee!
No Wait: Apparently, Saric is the head of the Helghan Security Forces. A firsthand witness to the Helghan Terracide as a child, Saric's contempt and disgust for Vekta is matched by few. Part enforcer, part inquisitor, Saric sadistically relishes the opportunities for violence his position provides.
Another stranger...Seriously, who invited all these people??
From a technical standpoint, how have the characters evolved from past Killzone titles?
“They’ve improved in every way possible. From a straightforward modeling and rendering POV we’re now able to make them more real, and shave off all those rough edges - like missing detail – that would otherwise distract you. We’ve been able to nail the original vision for these characters withcomplete attention to detail without the technology getting in the way. We’ve been able to capture many things that were impossible before – from small things like iris refraction to broader things like metallic reflection. All things which combine to sell the illusion that the character you see on screen is a living, thinking being.
Besides more detail, more advanced lighting and more accurate material expression, we’ve also improved our animation systems including full soft and rigid body simulations. This obviously gives fully dynamic cloth, which works brilliantly for simulating things like the cape on the Helghan Sniper, but on our lead characters we also use it for more subtle things.Sinclair’s collar will now bend and fold as his head pushes it away for instance – a small detail, but what would have been an distracting intersection is now seamless. This technology opened up new possibilities in terms of design – suddenly multiple layers of loose clothing are no longer impossible for example – and so whilst we avoided adding these things just to show off, we no longer have to dismiss them at the drawing board.
In addition to improving our engine technology, we’ve also make technological strides in our capturing and authoring. Our ability to capture the likeness of an actor has improved, utilizing state of the art photometric 3d scanning. We now do full performance capture, recording the voice, body and face of the actor at the same time – ensuring the final game has the same consistent, authentic performances our actors delivered in the studio.”
With the new changes of plotlines and characters, most of Killzone's previous models and characters have been changed and updated. We're seeing classes we've never seen before and also characters we've never seen before. . Anything not covered here about classes and character models will be in the multiplayer section.
What kind of role does the Helghast Infantry have in Killzone Shadow Fall?
Dan Calvert: “We added a lot of new ideas to Killzone Shadow Fall, but we also wanted to show the familiar Helghast regular forces and how they’ve evolved since Killzone 3.
In many ways they havechanged, but in some respects they’re the same – their gear and tactics have evolved, but they’re all still zealous and brutal Helghast troopers on the inside.”
Roy Postma: “They’re still the mainstay of the Helghast military, of course, but the role of the military itself has shifted since the war has gone cold.
After incurring devastating losses during the destruction of Helghan, the Helghast military was forced to rethink its attrition-based approach to warfare.
While rebuilding and restructuring itself in the ensuing arms race with the VSA, its focus shifted to obtaining an edge over the status quo by any means except open warfare.
With limited numbers of able-bodied Helghast available, the infantry required a new breed of soldiers – more durable, more versatile, smarter – and most importantly, able to perform in different and more specialized roles than before.
These soldiers are now used to police their own population, guard the endless borders against ISA incursions, and tip the balance in their favor wherever, however and whenever they can.”
Dan Calvert: “Still, while their ability to field masses of troopers isn’t an option anymore, the Helghast doctrine of overwhelming force hasn’t changed all that much.
They’ve just improved the force capability of individual troopers, and augmented them with an enormous army of combat drones. If and when war comes,
these guys will march over the walls and take Vekta through raw power.”
How did you approach updating the iconic Helghast Troopers for the new setting?
RP: “The Helghast troopers form the foundation of all the Helghast soldiers we design. They are the first and the last characters we design, and they’re continuously evolving throughout the process.
We tweak their looks, details and materials to perfection to make sure they embody all that makes Helghast… well, Helghast.
For the new setting we had to make sure they conformed to a much more specialized and high-tech soldier look, while still maintaining that classic appearance.
The most notable part of the Helghast Troopers that we upgraded was their armor. In doing so we increased their survivability and allowed for maximum customization, depending on their roles.
All of their soft armor got replaced with a modular, sturdier version made from ballistic-proof composites with a soft low-reflection outer material,
in which various high tech communication and respiration systems were embedded. We created the armor from a wide range of separate components, which were layered on top of each other to obtain a realistic and highly detailed look, but without affecting mobility.
On top of this, we added a light additional layer of soft gear which, combined with the regular base clothing underneath the armor, stayed true to the classic Helghast Trooper look and feel. It had the additional benefit of maintaining high
differentiation between the material types, and increasing the readability of the details.
Style-wise, we maintained the hard, angular edges, realistic construction, and red glowing eyes of the Helghast. We also worked hard and long on updating their masks,
to make them even more fearsome.”
DC: “Regarding the masks, it’s difficult to update something iconic like the Assault Trooper mask without either losing its fundamental appeal or just making a predictable remix.
The glowing red eyes are the most obvious Helghan motif, obviously, but sticking red eyes on something alone won’t make it look Helghast automatically – and of course you can make something look Helghast without red eyes.
What is fundamental is that their gear de-humanizes them, makes them look monstrous and unfamiliar, so the updated masks distort and conceal facial features as before – we’re just using shapes and components that suggest something more technologically advanced.
We looked to the Capture Trooper from Killzone 3, and to a lesser degree the Sniper, who at that point in the fiction had gear that was at the peak of Helghast technological ability. We then asked ourselves what the regular Helghast Infantry would look like if that level of technology was now commonplace and mass produced.”
How did you balance the differentiation between the classes whilst keeping them feeling cohesive?
RP: “After we established the base design for the Helghast Infantry Trooper, we took the otherclasses as far apart from them as possible, based on their roles and functions in the world. The Commando, for example, is a much heavier and brute-power version of the Infantry.
Trooper. We bulked them up by adding lots of armor and replaced their helmets with full ballistic face plates, making them more fearsome up close and giving their bodies an even bulkier look in proportion. Since all classes have their own basis, bringing them together was not that hard. Our new main infantry design was strong and versatile enough that we could swap and share many components back and forth between the characters.”
DC: “In cases where characters had equivalents in previous Killzone games, we tried to keep their larger forms intact so they’d be instantly recognizable to fans, even if the details had evolved. For example, the Engineer is completely overhauled in terms of the forms and shapes used in his helmet and armor, but his basic proportions and design motifs, i.e. the Hazmat suit layered under his armor, are intact.
For the new enemies, we’ve not only tried to make their appearance diverse enough to be recognized at range – which is very important in a game like Shadow Fall, where you have a greater variety of tactical tools available – but we’ve also ensured that the role of new characters can beinferred from their design relationships with other, more familiar characters. This can give players just enough information to begin formulating a strategy for how to deal with an unfamiliar class of foe.”
Why do the Black Hand look so different from any of the foes seen before in the Killzone universe?
Dan Calvert: “We’re dealing with the universe-changing consequences of the demise of planet Helghan, plus the jump in time between Killzone 3 and Killzone Shadow Fall. We’d already started to see the Helghast fragment in Killzone 3 after Scolar Visari’s death, and the loss of their home and a vast part of their population only furthered this. The Helghast maintain their identity and their ideals, but their goals are now splintered. The Black Hand are the most divergent Helghast subfaction we see in Shadow Fall; they’re not a regular army, and they don’t use conventional warfare tactics. They’re infiltrators, not invaders.”
Roy Postma: “From a design standpoint, increasing the diversity between the characters was a clear choice we made from the start. Instead of constraining ourselves to the Helghast military, we expanded the range of enemies to different groups, from security to the military to special ops and the Black Hand. This allowed us to create a unique and distinct basis for each group, which we finished off with the typical Helghast details to ensure no-one would mistake them for friendly forces.”
How are you differentiating the Black Hand from regular Helghast troops, design-wise?
RP: “The Black Hand are a good example of the setting of our new world, where Vektans and Helghast live next to each other with only a wall dividing them. Their costumes are a crossover of design elements from both main factions, combined into a whole new look. Like Dan said, the Black Hand are not an official army – they’re not equipped like regular soldiers. They hide and live among civilians until they’re activated, so the basis for their costumes is Vektan civilian street wear.
When Black Hand operatives get called into action they will pull up their hoods with the red combat goggles to hide their identity, and gear up with surplus Helghast military gear smuggled over the wall. The most noticeable elements in their equipment are the straps they wrap around themselves. On these straps they’ve fastened cloaking projectors, similar to the ones used by Helghast snipers. The Black Hand use older models, which means they need a lot of projectors strapped around their bodies, but this renders their combat gear practically invisible to the naked eye. It lets them to blend in and get close to their targets before they spring into action.”
DC: “There’s an interesting design tension between the conflicting Helghan and Vektan elements of the Black Hand costumes, and it allowed us to do world-building for both cultures. We wanted to make sure that the characters were recognizably Helghan, but as with the rest of Shadow Fall we also wanted to open up the Killzone universe and show you more of what’s out there.
At its core, the identity of the Black Hand is defined though chaos. Their goals are to unsettle the Vektan populace with random attacks. Chaos is their manifesto, so it’s something we express through their character design – the mismatched clothing, the haphazard gear and bags, the loosely attached projector straps that flail around as they move – none of this is detail for its own sake, it’s there to show exactly how these guys are different in character from your typical Helghan infantryman.”
How has developing for a next-generation platform enhanced the character design & authoring process?
DC: “There were a couple of important things that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve on older consoles, and if we’d lost these they would have really compromised our vision for the Black Hand. Having all those loose-fitting elements move naturally, respond to the motion of the character, and collide with one another would have been impossible without the advances in our simulation and character rigging.
In addition, we’ve become a lot better at cloth and civilian-style clothing – instead of sculpting the character’s clothes out of digital clay, we now cut and sew digital clothing patterns and then precompute how they would hang on the character to get the most natural folds and seams possible. We’ve also improved our ability to render cloth-like materials and simulate in-game cloth behavior.”
We don't know much about the ISA's side of the equation, except that they're now called VSA. All of the classes and soldier models I put in the Helghan Section are the same as the VSA. So, order to save time and space I'm not going to post too much for this section. If you need to see those soldiers and classes for the ISA side either close your eyes and pretend they're blue or go to the Killzone SF Official Page. :)
Get a good look at the OWL attack drone in this exclusive in-game screenshot from Killzone Shadow Fall! Lead Designer Eric Boltjes graciously volunteered to answer our questions about the OWL, its abilities and its design:
What exactly is an OWL?
“The OWL is an advanced hovering attack drone used exclusively by the Shadow Marshals to give them all kinds of tactical abilities in the field. It attaches itself onto the Shadow Marshal’s suit until he gives it an order. When damaged, the OWL automatically returns and regenerates health until it receives an order again.”
What can the OWL do?
“The OWL has several modes you can access via the new PS4 Controller Touch Pad: Attack Mode, Zipline Mode, Stun Mode and Shield Mode.
Attack Mode orders the OWL to move to an area and attack anyone within range; alternatively, you can tell it to attack a single enemy directly.
Zipline Mode gets the OWL to fire a zipline, allowing the Shadow Marshal to traverse incredibly quickly from point A to B.
Stun Mode is similar to Attack Mode, but lets the OWL use up its energy to create an area-of-effect shock blast that turns off all nearby electronics and stuns humanoid enemies within range.
Lastly, Shield Mode creates an energy shield right in front of the Shadow Marshal, allowing bullets/projectiles to pass through from his POV but stopping bullets coming in from the other side.”
Where did the idea for the OWL come from?
“We wanted to give the player more control over buddies in our game, and we quickly gravitated towards utilizing our futuristic theme to create something very technologically advanced and also extremely useful in the field. It was important that it was easy to use in the fray of battle and have suitable abilities for every type of situation the game throws at you, on top of all the other abilities/weapons the Shadow Marshal has at his disposal.”
Le'ts get to my favorite part of this thread. Zeh Weppins!!!!
Will rocket launchers be secondary weapons, like in Killzone 3?
Rocket launchers aren’t secondary weapons like they were for certain classes in Killzone 3. Instead, grenade launchers and rocket launchers will be available as attachments for the heavier primary weapons. This means less weapon switching in the heat of battle.
I prefer hip-firing rather than aiming down sights – can I still do that?
If you’re one of those players endowed with dead aim, you’ll be happy to know that ‘hip-firing’ (firing a weapon without using the sights) is still an option in Killzone Shadow Fall multiplayer. Some weapons can only be fired by aiming down the sights, however – particularly the heavier/more dangerous ones.
How did the PNV-06 come into existence?
“We really wanted to bring a Petrusite weapon back to the game, because we loved the special effects for the Arc Cannons in previous Killzone titles, and their presence clearly illustrated the potential of Petrusite as a power source. Of course, those Arc Cannons were just early prototypes, and 30 years have passed since. It’s safe to assume that the Helghast have perfected the technology by now.
While the old Arc Cannons were deliberately designed to feel incomplete or slapped together from custom parts, we went in the opposite direction for the PNV-06 and tried to show what weaponized Petrusite could bring to the Helghast arsenal. To achieve this we started out with a nice, sleek body that could properly house all the components and look like a real production weapon – one that didn’t look as though it might kill the operator as well as the target.
The initial design was based on the idea that the PNV-06 would fire heavy Petrusite projectiles in single charged shots, but in practice, that made it function too much like a sniper rifle-like weapon. We had to find a way to increase the fire rate, but we couldn’t just make it fire faster – this is still a Petrusite weapon after all, and each shot requires a charge-up period.
In the end we decided to triple the size of the weapon, creating a brand new body that could house three firing mechanisms and thee barrels. The resulting beast was so big it had to be fired from the shoulder, but our work paid off – the PNV-06 now fires high-power destructive Petrusite shells in fast, three-shot bursts, showing off its true damage potential and value as a suppressive fire weapon.”
Without real-life counterparts to use as reference, how did you ensure the PNV-06 appears functional and realistic?
“A weapon like this is supposed to look special and distinguished from regular firearms, so the trick is actually to not look at real-life weapons. The previous Arc Cannons were constructed out of parts we took from scrapyards, electric engines, car seat frames and so on.
For the PNV-06, I shifted my focus to modern sports car aluminum frames and motor blocks and such, to ensure that it would feel modern and clean, and would also stand out from the more traditional weapons. We retained the logic behind its firing mechanism from previous prototypes, and finished it off with more traditional gun parts such as rails, a standardized magazine and optics, to firmly cement it in the world of firearms.”
What sets the StA-61 apart from the rifles of previous Killzone games?
“While earlier rifles were mostly based on upgraded versions of the proven StA-14 system, this one has been redesigned from the ground up. It fires high-precision, even-heavier-caliber rounds to perform in a sniper role – but at the same time, it manages to be compact and mobile enough for urban operations. We even integrated a pneumatic recoil system on the barrel to allow better control of the weapon while firing on the move.”
Does that mean the StA-61 can be fired “from the hip”, like its Killzone 3 predecessors?
“Yes it can, just don’t expect it to hit anything at medium to long range that way! With the integrated recoil system, you can definitely hip-fire in close-range encounters though.”
Which types of attachments will be available for the StA-61 in Killzone: Shadow Fall?
“Aside from the aforementioned range of optics and the silencer, you can actually fit different secondary fire attachments to your rifle to adjust it to your play style and make it a more completepackage. For example, you can attach a taser to quickly stun and immobilize enemies that venture too close, or mount a pulse missile launcher to dispatch enemy bots before they locate you.
What are the biggest differences between the StA-19 and its immediate predecessor, the StA-18 from Killzone 3?
“Functionality-wise it’s the same gun, and its most distinctive features – the front-mounted drum magazine and the special cocking setup based on the classic Luger – remain intact. We did redesign the whole setup of the body, angling it downward at the front to better counter the recoil and make the weapon look even better than before.”
What role does the StA-19 have in combat? Does it have any tactical advantages?
“Its primary role is that of a backup weapon, but it will definitely hold its own when needed. In almost all cases it is better to quickly switch to your backup weapon than to reload your main weapon, and the large magazine on the StA-19 will ensure you can finish your opponents off.”
Is the StA-19 customizable with attachments, like the larger weapons in Killzone: Shadow Fall?
“Yes, there is a selection of tactical aids you can attach to the StA-19 to make it more versatile. For example, you can set it up to be complimentary with your main weapon so you can switch to your sidearm when you're going silent, for example, or when you navigate through darker areas.”
What was the starting point in designing the M55? Did you start from scratch or base it on the M82?
"The M82 has been with us since the very first Killzone game, so I wanted to stay close to the original version. I pretty much retained all the internal logic and base the setup of the original, and focused more on the external body parts, like the grips, the external casing, and the required mount points for all the new attachments."
How did the modularity of the attachments factor into the design?
"At first it didn’t make a huge difference, for the simple reason that adding mount points and rails for attachments is a basic process that helps in creating a realistic and believable design. However, when the range of available attachments extended over time, they became a much bigger part of the design of each weapon. Their individual volumes can be quite different, as well - you want the attachments to be visible on the weapon, but at the same time you also don’t want them to block out vital parts or shapes of the weapon itself. Besides that, they can add a lot of volume and completely change the silhouette of a weapon, so in the end we had to tweak a lot of detail placements and search for a delicate balance in composition and functionality between the weapon and the attachments."
What techniques did you use to make the M55 feel 'futuristic' while simultaneously keeping it grounded in believability?
"We set out to develop a more advanced overall look for the VSA weapons, so we redesigned all the external components and created a whole new body kit to fit around the original weapon. Even then, the M55 went through a lot of revisions; it is one of the core weapons we used to define the new futuristic style for our other VSA weapons, so we wanted to get it just right. You’ll notice that the M55 shares many small details and features with other VSA weapons.
Thankfully, the construction and logic of the weapon didn’t need many adjustments throughout this revision process. We mainly focused on the lines, replacing rounded ergonomic forms with more angular sides and lines like those of a stealth plane. The end result works really well with our material shaders and lighting. It also stays close to the M55’s predecessor in terms of volume and feel, while rocking a completely new look."
In previous Killzone games, there was a clear difference in design philosophy between Helghast weapons and ISA weapons. Is that still the case?
"The basic design philosophy of the weapons hasn’t changed for either faction. The ‘high accuracy and quality versus high fire rates and quantity’ approach still stands, and will reflect back on the weapon designs. However, because we were aiming for a more futuristic look this time, the Helghast weapons made a bigger leap forward in terms of quality. To prevent the VSA and Helghast weapons from becoming too alike, we started looking at a wider range of changes to reinforce the differences.
We kept the massive ammo drums of the Helghast and the comparatively small ammo box magazines of the VSA. We also upped the color differentiation between both factions, and created unique versions of each weapon attachment for both factions."
Speaking of attachments, how extendable is the functionality of the M55?
"As one of the standard weapons with an all-round performance, the M55 has a good range of attachments available, allowing you to modify its setup to suit any operation, situation or personal preference. For example, you can choose between a range of combat sights, from the basic short range dot sight, to the more advanced HOLO and long-to-medium range ACOG sight. Beyond that, you can add secondary fire attachments to your weapon, like the shotgun for close quarters combat or the grenade launcher for a more supportive role."
How has the look of the Helghast assault rifle evolved over the past 30 years?
“A lot has happened to the Helghast visual style since they began moving to Vekta 30 years ago. Simply put, we’ve made sure they caught up in time. We changed a lot of the materials and construction techniques on the weapons, to elevate them out of the World War 2 inspired root. This brings them more in line with what you would expect of modern/future weapons, without losing that authentic and functional look of the Killzone weapons.
To provide a simple example, we motorized the Helghast ammo drums, adding an authentic whirring motor sound to the guns when feeding ammo and providing a more distinct sound when emptying the magazine. We also unified the look of the weapons more, since the Helghast faction represents a single design and production entity and this should reflect on the weapons. At the same time, we tried to maintain the unique look, feel and experience of each individual weapon as much as possible.”
Were there any real-life weapons that served as the inspiration for the StA-55’s new look?
“We always look at real life weapons for inspiration – not just for the external design, but also for the internals and the handling of the weapon. For the new look I wanted to stay close to the original’s silhouette and setup, so the main focus was updating the materials and construction. Good examples for construction and materials reference would be the G36 and the MTAR.”
Aside from cosmetic changes, are there functional differences between the StA-52 and the StA-55?
“It’s still the same work horse of the Helghast, doing the same thing: a high fire rate with a big magazine in a nice, compact package. It’s the perfect all-round weapon if you don’t require high accuracy. So there are no new surprises on the weapon in terms of functionality.
The biggest functional change, and one that is not limited to the StA-55, is the reintroduction of attachments. We can switch out various sights and optics, secondary weapon attachments, grips, flashlights, silencers – you name it. This makes the StA-55 even more versatile, but it did require us to go over some functional and cosmetic changes to be able to make them all fit on the weapon in an appealing and functional manner.”
Q: Will Killzone Shadow Fall multiplayer have a variable frame rate?
A: No, we’re running 60fps. However, the game may drop a few frames in extreme situations – when there are a lot of GPU-intensive things going on at once. Guaranteeing a constant 60fps under such circumstances would’ve required undesired concessions.We wanted to make sure Killzone Shadow Fall multiplayer would present a visual spectacle, boasting a stunning level of detail in 1080p at 60fps, while still allowing 24 players and their drones (effectively 48 entities) to take part at once. We’re very proud of the results – when you move through the maps you’ll notice lots of intricate details, from beautiful reflective surfaces to individually moving leaves on the foliage.
We’ve also received several questions about the new Classes and their abilities:
- Q: What happened to [multiplayer class X] from previous Killzone games?
- A: There are now three classes to choose from in Killzone Shadow Fall: Assault Class, Support Class and Scout Class. Classes from previous Killzone titles such as the Tactician, Engineer and Medic are now represented by the secondary abilities of the highly versatile Support Class. We’ll have more on the Support Class and the Scout Class in upcoming Killzone.com articles.
- Q: How are the Assault Class Nano Shields balanced?
- A: As mentioned in our Assault Class article, Nano Shields can block enemy attacks while allowing your projectiles through. Activation isn’t instantaneous, though – there’s a slight delay as you set it up, and you won’t be able to wield your weapon during this period. After activation you have to wait until the shield is destroyed or dismantled before you can place a new one.
- Q: How are the Support Class Spawn Beacons balanced?A: Killzone Shadow Fall sees the return of player-deployed spawn points, known as Spawn Beacons. The Support Class has the ability to place them almost anywhere in the map (like Killzone 2’s Spawn Grenades), but it takes a while to set them up (like Killzone 3’s Tactical Spawn Points). Spawn Beacons can be destroyed by any class, although some weapons will yield quicker results than others.
Next, a couple of points about weapons in Killzone Shadow Fall multiplayer:
Q: Will rocket launchers be secondary weapons, like in Killzone 3?
A: Rocket launchers aren’t secondary weapons like they were for certain
in Killzone 3. Instead, grenade launchers and rocket launchers will be available as attachments for the heavier primary weapons. This means less weapon switching in the heat of battle.
Q: I prefer hip-firing rather than aiming down sights – can I still do that?A: If you’re one of those players endowed with dead aim, you’ll be happy to know that ‘hip-firing’ (firing a weapon without using the sights) is still an option in Killzone Shadow Fall multiplayer. Some weapons can only be fired by aiming down the sights, however – particularly the heavier/more dangerous ones.
Concerning the new Custom Warzones feature:
- Q: Will there be official Warzones?
A: For those who prefer their Warzones tried-and-tested, there will be default Warzones to play in. In addition, Guerrilla will frequently try out and highlight new and interesting custom Warzones created by the community. Both types of Warzones will be easily accessible from inside the game.
Q: Can Challenges be completed in bots-only Warzones?A: To emphasize true skill and prevent players from artificially boosting their stats, custom Warzone games featuring bots will not count towards completing challenges in the Progression System.
Q: Can I play Custom Warzones against just my friends?A: Custom Warzones can be private games that only you and friends can play. This is particularly useful if you want to train in a less competitive environment, or if your custom Warzone is a work in progress that you’re not ready to share with the community yet.
A word about Killzone Shadow Fall multiplayer network structure and colorblind support:
Q: What is Killzone Shadow Fall’s multiplayer network structure like?
A: Killzone Shadow Fall has dedicated servers hosted in various regions around the world. These servers do not run the logic of the game – they only act as a hub between the clients, forwarding
from one player in game to all other players in game.
This allows people with a slower connection or strict firewall settings to play without issues. Almost all logic relating to you (e.g. moving, shooting and taking damage) runs on your local PS4, with only a very small portion of the game logic (i.e. mission/scoring logic) running on the ‘session master’, one PS4 in the game selected for its connection quality.
Q: Will Killzone Shadow Fall offer colorblind support?
A: Killzone Shadow Fall will have colorblind support options that can be activated from the options menu.
Finally, the recent
Season Pass announcement
generated some confusion, so we’d like to clear that up:
If multiplayer map packs are free, what is the Season Pass for?
A: The Killzone Shadow Fall Season Pass entitles you to:- an online co-op expansion pack that introduces a brand-new horde mode for up to 4 players- three arena map packs for use with the online co-op expansion pack, and- two additional multiplayer expansion packs that will be detailed at a later date.The expansion packs and map packs covered by the Season Pass
include maps for Killzone Shadow Fall’s built-in multiplayer mode – as we’ve said
, such maps will be released for free so as not to fragment the online community.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is set to be an exclusive launch title for the PlayStation 4 come November.
Guerrilla is a growing game development studio with an established reputation as one of Europe's leading game companies. It was founded in 2000 as the result of a merger between three smaller Dutch studios, and acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2005. In 2012, it welcomed the SCE Cambridge Studio into the fold. Guerrilla now operates in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, employing over 200 developers from 25 different nationalities. The Dutch studio is located in the bustling cultural center of Amsterdam, while the British studio is based in the beautiful town of Cambridge.
Guerrilla is a growing game development studio with an established reputation as one of Europe's leading game companies. It was founded in 2000 as the result of a merger between three smaller Dutch studios, and acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2005. In 2012, it welcomed the SCE Cambridge Studio into the fold. Guerrilla now operates in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, employing over 200 developers from 25 different nationalities. The Dutch studio is located in the bustling cultural center of Amsterdam, while the British studio is based in the beautiful university town of Cambridge.
After the successful release of the original Killzone on PlayStation 2 (2004), Guerrilla went on to create the critically acclaimed PlayStation Portable spin-off, Killzone: Liberation (2006), and the award-winning PlayStation 3 sequels, Killzone 2 (2009) and Killzone 3 (2011). The company released Killzone Trilogy to eager audiences in October of 2012, and is currently working on three new titles: Killzone: Mercenary for PlayStation Vita, Killzone Shadow Fall for PlayStation 4, and a brand-new, as-yet unnamed IP.
HERMEN HULST: Managing Director & Co-Founder
As Managing Director, Hermen is responsible for the company's direction and ultimately for Guerrilla’s games from a creative and commercial perspective. He gained his first experience in the games industry during his student years at Ubisoft in the USA, and started his professional career at Philips Electronics in Strategic
Marketing. He subsequently worked as a management consultant at Andersen Consulting before returning to the games industry. Hermen has been the Managing Director of Guerrilla since 2001, and the Vice President for Sony Computer Entertainment’s World Wide Studios in Europe since 2011. He holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management and graduated in Philosophy from the University of Amsterdam.
MICHIEL VAN DER LEEUW: Technical Director
As a Technical Director, Michiel van der Leeuw defines Guerrilla’s overall technology strategy. Proficient in a broad range of programming fields from an early age, Michiel worked on Epic MegaGames’ Jazz Jackrabbit 2 engine while he was still in high school. He left college to pursue a full-time career in the games industry,
successively becoming Guerrilla’s Lead Programmer on Killzone 1, Lead Tech on Killzone 2, and Technical Director from Killzone 3 onwards.
JAN-BART VAN BEEK: Art Director
As Art Director, Jan-Bart van Beek oversees the art and animation quality at Guerrilla and Guerrilla Cambridge. A photography student at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, Jan-Bart turned to computer graphics software to enhance his work. After graduation he applied his knowledge as a
CG artist in the field of advertising. His ambition to create something more enduring led him to join Guerrilla, where he quickly became the Lead Artist on Killzone 1 and the Art Director on Killzone 2 and beyond.
STEVEN TER HEIDE: Game Director
As Game Director, Steven ter Heide is responsible for the vision and quality of the design of Guerrilla’s upcoming project, Killzone: Shadow Fall. Steven began his career designing pilot training programs at KLM, before making the jump to educational games for children at CMG.
In 2005 he joined Guerrilla, where he went from Producer on Killzone: Liberation to Senior Producer on Killzone 2 and Killzone 3. Somewhere along the way, Steven’s talent for creating ingenious schedules helped him discover his creative side.
ANGIE SMETS: Executive Producer
As Executive Producer, Angie Smets coordinates and supervises the development of Guerrilla's latest title. A Design Academy Eindhoven alum with a keen interest in Human-Computer Interaction, Angie began
hercareer as designer on a variety of media platforms, both traditional and digital. After joining Guerrilla in 2003, she rose from the role of Interface Designer on Killzone 1 to Visual Design Manager on Killzone: Liberation, to Senior Producer on Killzone 2 and Killzone 3, to Executive Producer on Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Alright so there you go.
I have to say this thread was a lot harder than I expected and I was in wayy over my head. Holy shit! This thread was harder to create than both the PS4 and Xbox one threads put together! Who would've thought. For this reason alone, I'm hyping Killzone a 10/10. But that's just me personally and doesn't reflect the hype of all cows, so hold your tits lemmings.