GDC 07: Killzone Update

Sony shows off a shiny teaser for its anticipated PlayStation 3 shooter.


Word on Sony's Guerilla-developed Killzone for the PlayStation 3 has been scarce since it made its splashy debut in the I-can't-believe-that's-gameplay trailer from the Electronic Entertainment Expo a few years ago. Since then, the game has been mostly off the radar, save for a few mentions peppered throughout public comments from Sony reps. Though hard info on gameplay and a release date is still scarce, the game made an intriguing appearance, again in trailer form, at Sony's Game Developers Conference press event last night. Following a brief overview of the PlayStation Edge suite of developer tools Sony is set to release to devs in the hopes of helping with development of PS3 games, Phil Harrison casually mentioned he'd show a trailer of a game that had benefited from the tools. Before firing up the video from the cross media bar of a PlayStation 3, Harrison offered the disclaimer that the demo was meant to highlight technology and not the game itself.

The video offered a montage of sequences from the game that emphasized various technical aspects of it. A lone soldier running with a vast cityscape behind him segued to various combat sequences that showed situations that seemed tailor-made to highlight the tech Harrison had mentioned. An indoor combat sequence showed a soldier blowing to bits everything around him in a kitchen. Another sequence showed a soldier blasting the objects some enemies were using for cover. An outdoor combat sequence showed off standard on-foot combat as well as vehicle-based shooting, courtesy of a mean-looking tank.

Given the tech-focused nature of the trailer, there were some showy moments that revolved around blowing out individual windows in a warehouse area, as well as another sequence that showed shafts of light coming in through holes being blown in a structure. The use of light also figured prominently into a sequence, specifically the light on a soldier's rifle as it illuminated a dimly lit area. An extended sequence also focused on assorted soldiers getting plugged full of bullets in different venues, which yielded the expected twitching and flailing. The humanoid- and vehicle-focused action was livened up at the end of the video when wicked mechanical sentinel-like creatures unfurled their appendages and menaced the camera.

As with the previous Killzone trailer, the game looks like it has the potential to make quite a splash for the PlayStation 3 if it delivers on its promise. The action looks fast and detailed, and it seems to be covering all the right bases. The visuals are looking sharp, and the vast scale of the outdoor areas is impressive, while the indoor spaces we saw were good and claustrophobic. Granted, we didn't see anything quite as jaw dropping as the eerie human animation in the previous trailer, but as Harrison noted, this trailer was more of a technical showcase than a proper trailer. Look for more on Killzone at E3 later this year, where Sony and Amsterdam-based Guerilla will hopefully deliver the goods in playable form.

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