Killzone: Liberation Q&A--The Unveiling

We pick the brains of Guerrilla to see what information we can unearth about the developer's new third-person PSP shooter.


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In 2004, Killzone made a name for itself long before it ever hit the shelves as the PlayStation 2's answer to Halo. Whether or not it lived up to Bungie's megahit shooter franchise is up to personal taste, but there's no denying that the team at Guerrilla introduced a compelling, new sci-fi universe that mixed an effectively gritty, war-torn depiction of Earth with unsettling and iconic foes. Now, Guerrilla is bringing the Killzone franchise to the PlayStation Portable--but not in the way you might expect. The just-announced Killzone: Liberation will reprise the world of Killzone from a third-person, top-down perspective. Here to drop the first details on the new action game is product manager Alastair Burns.

GameSpot: How long has the game been in development?

Liberation will have Templar infiltrating the Helghast stronghold of Vekta sometime after the end of the first game.
Liberation will have Templar infiltrating the Helghast stronghold of Vekta sometime after the end of the first game.

Alastair Burns: So far, we have been working with a very close-knit team on Killzone: Liberation for close to a year. We brought together a team of people who really love the Killzone universe. Some are Killzone PS2 veterans, and some are new, and all of them are committed to creating the best game for the PSP. So, we have been prototyping game features, environments, and encounters--concentrating heavily on a pick-up-and-play approach, which basically means pacing the story and the gameplay in bite-size chunks, quick bursts of action.

GS: Why did you decide to take this approach with the PSP game?

AB: Guerrilla has always been keen to explore new technologies and create platform-defining games, so we had our eyes on the PSP from the beginning. The team--all the people working on Killzone: Liberation--is really passionate about handheld gaming, and the PSP is the best portable, versatile games machine out there. Being able to design a Killzone with all these new hardware possibilities was great for us.

We felt a first-person shooter would not work well on a handheld, and we needed something that was easy to pick up and play, something suited to gaming on the go. The third-person camera makes the game more tactical; you have a better overview of the immediate action and can really read the artificial intelligence behavior. The camera gives the game an old-school feel, but because it moves with you and follows the action, it really is very dynamic and a real gameplay aid. We've worked very hard to get this feature perfect. We like pushing the boundaries of the hardware and making the best game possible. As I mentioned, we set out to make a Killzone title specifically for the PSP, not just a port or forcing a game style more suited to the living room onto a handheld. So, we took a step back, and looked outside the box, and thought about what Killzone: Liberation needed from a PSP perspective.

GS: Where does the storyline pick up in relation to the first Killzone?

The designers have rethought Killzone to adapt it to the portable format.
The designers have rethought Killzone to adapt it to the portable format.

AB: In not too much depth to prevent spoilers: At the end of Killzone, the Helghast have been dealt a hefty blow, but the war is far from over. The enemy still controls large parts of the planet Vekta, and though the ISA armies are fighting hard, they are losing ground. A Helghast general called Metrac fights dirty and takes hostages, and Templar is ordered to address the situation and use whatever means to get them back.

GS: Will there be any ties to the rumored Killzone 2?

AB: There are so many versions of these rumors that we're not quite sure which "Killzone 2" you are referring to! And essentially, as a policy, we don't comment on rumors. Killzone: Liberation is a sequel to Killzone on the PS2, and although it is not necessary for you to have completed the original, the story carries on where that game left off.

GS: Are there multiple playable characters? If so, are they the same ones from the first game, or new ones as well?

AB: Gamers will be playing as Templar. His Killzone PS2 experience has made him tougher, and he is out to prove a point, as Vekta still isn't free. So there has been some character redesign, and the gameplay is really focused on having one particularly strong character.

GS: Describe the basic shooting mechanics and the objectives in a typical mission.

AB: At this moment, we can't really divulge any specifics. There's plenty of time for that, and more info will be coming soon. What we are happy to say is that the objectives and missions are all suited to the PSP and gaming on the go. We have concentrated heavily on short, action-packed sequences.

GS: What kind of arsenal will the player have to work with? Simple weapon power-ups, or a more intricate upgrade system?

Will it have multiplayer? We'll have to wait a bit to find out.
Will it have multiplayer? We'll have to wait a bit to find out.

AB: The weapons have always been a major part of anything Killzone, and in Liberation, this certainly remains the case! The action is always in your face, and our guns really pack a punch--however, we've got to hold back on specific details at this point. Again, more info will be coming soon.

GS: Is multiplayer planned, either cooperative or competitive?

AB: Again, this is another of our features that we will be providing more info about in the future.

GS: Thanks, Alastair.

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