Q&A: Killzone 2 devs on meeting the hype

Guerrilla Games producer Steven Ter Heide chats about the anticipation surrounding Killzone 2, whether it will live up to the hype, and what he thinks about the game being used as a weapon in fanboy wars.


Killzone 2--one of the PlayStation 3's most anticipated games for 2009--is about to be released amid an intense wave of hype and expectation from PS3 fans. We chatted to Guerrilla Games producer Steven Ter Heide to see how the Amsterdam-based team coped with the pressure surrounding the game, what comparisons could be made between this and the first Killzone, what downloadable content is being planned now that the game is about to ship, and whether all the fanboy adoration (or denigration, in some cases) made developing the game more difficult.

GameSpot AU: There's obviously a lot of hype and anticipation around Killzone 2. Do you think it will meet the hype?

Steven Ter Heide: Ever since the infamous 2005 trailer, we've been under pressure to deliver. And it has been a long journey for us--four years in the making--and hopefully the result is exactly what people expected.

GS AU: How did the team work under so much pressure?

STH: Especially the first couple of years, it was very hard. You kind of have to be quiet and try and ignore the forums as much as you can. In 2007, when we were finally able to show a level and say this is actual gameplay, put your hands on the controller yourself, that was the big moment we were working towards. Last couple of years it was just finishing up the game and making sure we got everything we wanted in there.

GS AU: Do you see any parallels between the hype here and what happened with the first Killzone?

STH: I'm not sure exactly how they compare. It's a different thing--there's so much more anticipation riding on this title now. We were a little bit overambitious, I guess, with the original Killzone. We weren't able to live up to expectations there, so we didn't want to make the same mistakes. So we decided these are the things we keep, these are the things we need to do better--delivering on our promises was one thing we were very keen to do this time around.

GS AU: There's almost universal praise when it comes to the game's looks. Is this the best you can get out of the PS3 at this stage?

STH: Absolutely not. If you look at PlayStation 2 launch titles, then look at God of War II and see what products at the end of the life cycle were able to achieve, then there's a lot more power left in the PS3. I'm pretty sure we can do better. Right now, we're firing on all cylinders at certain times in the game, but I'm sure we can do things smarter.

GS AU: What can you reveal to us about what DLC the team has planned?

STH: The plans are that there will be DLC, but I can't go into specifics yet. The important thing for us is we want to be listening to the community, we want to see people play the game, and we're anxious to get online ourselves. As soon as the game hits and we see what people really like, what they want more of, we'll try and incorporate that into our DLC plans. The guys back home are already working on content, so it's not quite holidays for us yet.

GS AU: Killzone 2 is being held up by many PlayStation 3 fans as being their flagship game when it comes to online flame wars. Are you happy to be the flagship bearer for PS3?

STH: It's a bit of a blessing and a curse at the same time. What can I say about it? It's good to be such an anticipated title. Certainly there's a lot of enthusiasm out there. But it can be difficult at the same time, because you have to ignore it at times and not get too involved, and just get on with making the game we want to make and that hopefully will live up to everybody's expectations--no matter how unrealistic those expectations are.

GS AU: Steven Ter Heide, thanks for your time.

For the full interview, check out this week's edition of Crosshairs, GameSpot AU's weekly video show. The Killzone 2 interview will be aired this Thursday.

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