maybe not halo, but killzone tries to be as good as it but fails in some ways.

User Rating: 7.6 | Killzone PS2
Barring the obvious rip-off soldier element from Dead to Rights (which in turn was ripped off from Jin-Roh Wolf Brigade), Killzone has presented itself as a "Forever War" kinda dealie where various tactical battles from movies, from reality, and from various other sources are recreated in a game experience. Although touted as a "Halo-killer" by some, Killzone is a far cry from the multi-coloured mutant space baby cyborg adventure on the Xbox and instead, tries to keep itself grounded in as much reality as possible. Graphics and Animation - 7 of 10: Killzone's environment is a low intensity colour palette of greys and blues, tinged by a touch of red here and there. The appearance of the Killzone world hearkens back to the battlefields of Stalingrad of yesteryear and Grozny or Kabul of more recent memory. Everywhere are wrecked buildings, shattered concrete and bent re-bars littering the landscape. The enemies are military, meaning that it's okay to look dumpy and unkempt. Their faces are simple, clean, and utterly unmemorable as they get wiped out by enemy fire. All in all, Guerilla's art department does a great job conveying you the message, "You're in a warzone; don't relax." However, one can argue Killzone's gritty graphics are cleverly disguised by the shaky "Blair Witch syle" camera work. It has as much subtlety as using sandpaper to wipe your own butt -- the results are crude yet effective on the aging PS2. Enemy movements are rather tired walking, crouching, weapon aiming, shooting, etc. Nothing that hasn't been done in previous PC poly-FPS games, but only fairly recently in console shooters. The rag doll effect is prevalent with the legs of all the biped entities in the game. Blow one enemy up correctly and you can see their legs twitch in a hilarious fashion that detracts much from the tone of seriousness in Killzone. FX and Audio - 6 of 10: The music is rather muted; in fact it may be more realistic to turn off the overdone orchestral crap and stick with voices and SFX. Sound FX are done well in Killzone from the 15 or so different types of weapons to the explosions which can momentarily blind your character. There's even blizzard/wind ambience in some stages. The one downside to this flood of sound is that the PS2 can't seem to handle it. Several times, the PS2 simply "cut out" the sound as if it couldn't load the effect because forty thousand other ones were demanding to be played at the same time. A minor issue, unless of course, you need to depend on the sound effect to know when to dodge the grenade. The voices are actually quite palatable. The actors have all lent a great personality to each character; they don't just deliver the lines, they deliver the whole package as they adhere to the rather ho-hum Star Trek like storyline. The dialogue, while not terribly thrilling, is riddled with the f-word (about six or seven times) making it rather palatable to most of the intended audience. One of the reasons why the Xbox does suffer is the inability to have two shoulder buttons instantly accessible by one hand. Killzone exploits the Analog 2 righteously with a well-balanced control scheme. The default controls are not only agreeable, they are also open to be remapped by anyone (i.e., a freak) who decides that the game needs some tweak to the firing and movement controls. Although well designed, the lack of the game's response to some actions have lead to some weird bugs cropping up. The weapon animations tend to be buggy if the weapons are cycled too fast, or if the weapon is reloaded with a partial magazine left; hand grenades will show up briefly even after they are thrown; the vaulting feature of Killzone is not always "present", leading to sometimes unnecessary damage from enemies you were trying to dodge. Overall, the controls package is a mixed bag -- you'd wish the game was more responsive to your touch, but it isn't; thus Killzone takes a perfectly good schema and destroys it by denying you quick results. The most damning thing however, is the presence of "sniper scope lookspring", something that's completely unrealistic in terms of firearms, and a complete waste in an FPS. What is sniper scope lookspring? Pick up the sniper rifle in stage 1-2's water tower and zoom with it. If you don't hate it, please sell your games, as you have no reason to play another decent FPS down the road. The game consists of 11 episodes, each with two to four stages. Characters start with their default weapons at the start of each episode and then gather/carry over new weapons through each stage until the end of the episode. Earlier levels can be replayed once they are "unlocked", but you are always limited to the characters for each episode (i.e., you unlock all four characters and go back to stage 1-1, you can still only play Templar). Stages are basically one signature fire fight to the next, with nothing random, apart from where enemies may wander to. Enemy AI in Killzone can be summed up as, "deplorable", although they do their best to mimic soldiers being fired on. "Realism" can only be carried so far in a videogame -- no AI script in the world can match the intricate weirdness of a human brain and Killzone thankfully still proves our superiority. AI may react faster than we do, but they still lack the imagination you'd encounter on the battlefield. What's more, the game does a woeful job covering the lack of adequate AI; enemies simply get tougher instead of smarter. The only reason the game "gets hard" as you approach the last few episodes is because enemies no longer die as easily as they did in earlier episodes. Killzone isn't the first mil-shooter gone bad, nor will it be the last. If one was to compare it to Bungie's Halo, Killzone sports a more friendly campaign for one player, although it lacks co-op and adequate multiplayer (online only). Given that I live in unabomber style shack and game alone most of the time, I'd say Killzone would be more in tune with my tastes, although it's leaving a rather bad after-taste 16+ hours later. However, there are a lotta good ideas in Killzone that require more development, or simply better execution. Take away the game's theme, the dozen or so interestin' weapons, the curse-filled dialogue and Killzone is revealed to be a rather mediocre shooter that would barely blip on the radar (like Red Faction 2, which is neat only for that Battle Armor). Because the game has so much it wanted to do but couldn't, one can only hope that Guerilla and Sorny "wise-up" and defer/delay the next installment of Killzone on a more capable machine.
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