Lives up to the hype, but gameplay and graphically

User Rating: 9.5 | Killzone 2 PS3
When it was announced at E3 2005, many people were amazed over the graphics, but were left wondering if it was all pre-rendered, like most tech demos that year. What followed was a 2 years silence from Guerrilla Games, the game resurfaced at E3 2007, where people still wondered whenever or not the graphics were pre-rendered. Now the game is finally released, but does it live up to the E3 2005 trailer?

Story
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The game takes place after Killzone and Killzone: Liberation. Two years after the Helgast invasion on the planet Vekta, an Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) colony, the ISA invades the Helgast's home planet Helgan and is set to capture the Helgast leader Scolar Visari.

There's nothing special about the story, though it does have it's moments and it does a good job of showing an invasion and chaos, and Visari's speech in the game's intro are impressive. The characters however are your typical marines who feel the need to comment everything and swear at every chance they get, it doesn't damage the game's story, but it can feel a bit misplaced sometimes.

7.5

Gameplay
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The game is, a first person shooter, you got all your standard first person elements, including a cover system, which works like the one in Gears of War, except the game always keeps you in first person, so you can't blind fire or see over your cover, so you have to pop out to see what's going on. It's more realistic and it does add more suspense to the shoot outs in the game. There's also a section where you control a drone in the game, and it works pretty good actually.

Beyond that there's not a whole lot to say though, other than it's small problems. The controls takes a while to take used to and while you can customize it, you can't do it to your heart's content. There are also some commands that requires the Sixaxis, but these feels tagged on and doesn't really work well. The campaign starts out a bit slow and only really get's intersting by the second half of the game.

There's also multiplayer, where you got your usual modes of Capture the Flag (Dubbed Search and Retrieve), Deathmatch (dubbed Body Count), Search and Destroy and Assassination, where up to 32 players can compete. The multiplayer is class based and while nothing new, it does the job really well. There's also clan support, which is a big focus online and the matches themselves are actually score based. It's almost like a soccer match, if one of the teams wins a round of Body Count (for example), the team gains a point and the game moves on to the next round, with a whole new game mode. What's surprising is, that it changes game modes during the match, with no loading times, it's very impressive.

The campaign takes 6 hours to complete, which is rather short, replay value is mostly based on specials marks that needs to be shot and briefcases that needs to be collected, and the creative trophies does insure you some replay value, if you care about trophies. The multiplayer is fun and varied and can become addicting, so that's where most of your time will be spent. Though disappointingly, there's no co-op option.

9.0

Graphics
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Killzone 1's graphics looked amazing on screenshots, but the final game was plagued by graphical glitches and bugs. Killzone 2 however doesn't fall for this, the frame-rate never goes down and there are no graphical glitches and bugs. The game is also very beautiful, one of the most beautiful games ever made for a console game, I've been saying this to a few games, but this is the best looking game that's released. The graphics lives up to the E3 2005 trailer and then some, it's technical achievement in console gaming history. Everything from the environment, the character design, enemy design that makes them looks scary, and the animation is just amazing.

10

Sound
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sound design is good too, with some great sound effects, supported by surround speakers, some great voice acting, by everyone and especially Brian Cox, as Visari. The music is epic and fits right with the game. There's support for custom soundtrack, though it only works in multiplayer for some strange reason.

10

Overall
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Killzone 2 lives up to the hype, both graphically and gameplay wise. While it doesn't do anything new for the genre (with the exception for the in-game mode switching), it does it well and with the addicting multiplayer, that's fits the rival quality for Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3, you have a game that you'll return to for a long time.