Killzone 3 Hands-On Preview – Sticking The Knife In
Written Tuesday, August 03, 2010 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Those burning orange eyes of Killzone's stalwart antagonists, the Helghast, have become an iconic sight on planet PlayStation, which makes plunging a combat knife into one of them and brutally twisting it, all the more jarring. Uncompromisingly violent close-quarter melee kills are just the tip of the iceberg as far as Killzone 3's new features are concerned however, and Guerrilla is looking to make this a more than worthy successor to Killzone 2, which suffered from a somewhat drab and oppressive setting in the Helghast's native planet, Helghan.
While the spectacle of lightning splitting the sky as your ISA transport descended into the war torn streets in Killzone 2 was fantastic back in 2009, a similar aerial assault upon a Helghast oil platform in Killzone 3 already beats it hands down. Manning the mounted minigun, flying through a swirling blizzard, raining an altogether different blizzard of white-hot bullets down on the sparking, electrical weak spots, brings parts of the rig crashing down into the wildly undulating icy waters below. In 3D, the swirling snow looks great, as the ISA skiff sails by the platform, and like the majority of 3D games we've seen so far, there's additional depth on show, which in an FPS like this is a welcome and beneficial visual touch.
After briefly pursuing and destroying a Helghast vessel through a snowy canyon, our transport is shot down and ploughs messily into the stark white tundra below. Scrambling to his feet with old buddy and Killzone mainstay Rico, protagonist Sev is back once more and here you're presented with the choice of the detached minigun or your trusty, standard-issue ISA assault rifle. Being the gung-ho Arnie type, we opt to pick up the minigun and attempt to plod through the level, ripping Helghast troops to shreds with high velocity rounds. This is a dumb tactic in truth, as not only is the accuracy of aiming down the iron sights of your rifle an essential requirement, but the enemies you're facing are fairly smart, and will hunker down into cover until they're ready to pop up and thump some lead into your hide.
Although the assault rifle is still the weapon of choice, at present there's no option to customise your control setup, which was a major criticism of the previous game. It's a personal choice, but we prefer the squishy R2 trigger as our fire button, and in this demo, you're restricted to using R1. In fact, the only adjustments available at present are the options to switch the melee and zoom controls between the right stick and L1... oh, and and you can invert your look controls as well. Woopedy-doo. Every FPS worth it's salt needs fully customisable controls if you ask us, or at the very least 3 or 4 configurations. Still, for the most part, Killzone 3's control system works, but re-programming our brains having been weaned on a diet of Call of Duty for goodness knows how long and having to swap trigger buttons is a minor ball-ache that could be avoided with more control setup options. Really, how hard can that be in 2010?
When tasked with the objective of assaulting a fortified Helghast base that sits at the top of the hill, standing at the bottom looking up at your task is a daunting sight. Along the path to glory sits monstrous tanks and what seems like an endless amount of troopers who’ve dug themselves into positions behind heavy sandbags. Your weapon for this is more than equipped for the job though. The WASP is a rocket launcher capable of launching 9 projectiles at a time, raining a swarm of explosions down upon your target. It's a slow climb, but it's the perfect showcase for the WASP launcher as it makes mincemeat out of the Helghast tanks and leaves bloody puddles where soldiers once stood in its wake. Ammunition is limited, but there are mid-level ammo caches where you can hold down circle and replenish your arsenal. Making it to the top of the hill and weeding out the final few Helghast troops is massively rewarding and the perfect place to end our demo.