Killzone 2 Demo Impressions
After four long years of waiting, we have been fed a tiny-but-oh-so-juicy morsel of what is to become the most delicious three-course meal ever served on the silver platter that is the PlayStation 3.
The demo only encapsulates a brief 15-minute blip of the beginning of Killzone 2’s single player campaign (locked at normal difficulty), and no other playable modes are present.
I’ll start of by saying this – I am quite baffled (beyond what is written here) by the sheer amount of visual, audio, and gameplay fidelity woven into the fabric of this game at its core, and every single aspect of what you see and hear is tailored to fit the atmosphere of the dark, brooding world of Helghan.
Now onto the details!
One of the first little details you’ll notice are the loading screens. You can move your controller…and the screens move. The loading screens are 3D! There’s a bit of an interesting effect on the menu screens I thought I’d mention as well; it’s kinda hard to describe, but the screen…twitches (?) when you select various items and although probably pointless, it does make navigating the menus a slightly different experience in comparison to other games.
After a very brief load, you find yourself with several of your squad members on the landing craft we’ve all seen in those infamous trailers. There’s some back-and-forth barking and yelling of orders, and you “land” (i.e. crash) on the beach and off you go!
You’ve all seen videos of the first level after you land, so I won’t do a play-by-play analysis, but I will say that throughout the short session, I noticed wonderful textures, fantastic death animations, nice gore, great effects and punchy sounding weapons. Your character definitely has a sense of weight and you simply cannot throw yourself around like a faster-paced shooter. Killzone 2 forces you to use cover and take aim, and after you pop off some Helghast helmets while looking down your ironsights, you’ll value the cover system and the use of proper aiming. First person cover is a wonderfully-made and implemented system that hinders you not in the slightest while behind your cover of choice.
I want to make a special mention of the lighting. There are so many light sources in a level in Killzone 2, that I believe it to just have not been possible on any other current console hardware. There is just too much going on behind the scenes to have me believe that anything but the Cell Broadband Engine could run this. I am not even going to throw down a list of all the post-processing effects you’re seeing while playing Killzone 2 because it would be a country mile long, but I will say that it all comes together along with some great motion blur and depth of field, making this title the sharpest and best-looking console game I have ever played in my life, bar none.
The game’s controls handle very well, and I’m afraid sluggish is not the proper term. It’s weight. This is meant to convey a sense of presence and realism to you, the player. Your character is holding a heavy weapon and has armor on. He’s gonna be slow, whether you think it should be that way or not. Guerrilla made a stand for realism in that particular sense especially. Listen to the developer interviews around the internet…you’ll hear them more than once explain in detail about why your character controls the way he does.
I really can’t gush more about what I’ve been presented with in the form of this demo, but what I can indeed say is that we here at PlayStation LifeStyle are eagerly awaiting our review copy! Stay tuned for the full review, later on…