One of the biggest selling factors for many shooters is their ability to allow gamers to play with their friends, and more often than not, that is simply the ability to go toe-to-toe with a group of strangers. But, one concept that has been becoming more of a growing trend is the option to join up with other like-minded shooter fans to take on waves of AI controlled bots. This is where Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept comes into play, the latest DLC expansion for the PlayStation 4’s flagship shooter, which will also be released as a standalone later this year.
Primarily, Intercept is about grouping up in a squad of four players to do little more than earn enough points by holding three locations to complete the mission. That’s pretty much all this DLC is about. While it admittedly, does sound pretty simple — and in some cases it is — the amount of enjoyment I found myself having with this add-on far outweighed my experience with the game’s existing multiplayer. Even though it is built off of fairly simply constructs, the amount of managed chaos it can bring expands the experience, making it not only replayable multiple times over, but diverse and addicting.
Being able to only have one of each of the four classes does keep most of the matches well organized, as just about each class has a role to play. But on some level, it also has notably created an issue when playing with randoms, as some people will keep leaving rooms if they are stuck with a class they don’t want. On more than one occasion, I was stuck in a lobby waiting for someone to take on the Marksman class, since it seems no one wanted to play as them. This doesn’t mean that some classes are worse than others, but each does have their own benefits and limitations that can cause some people to simply not bother using them — which will limit the replayability significantly for that person.
The Assault class is more of the all-around fighter starting with decent weapons, but lacks anything terribly special about them except for being able to call in the title’s signature drone for support. The Medic has the ability to revive fallen teammates, and can drop ammo supplies but doesn’t get much assistance in the means of offense. The Marksman gets a high powered rifle, and a drone but has the lowest ammo capacity. And, the Tactician can only use a pistol, which means he cannot pick up dropped items, but does have the ability to drop three turrets and a shield around the map. Also, each class has the ability to unlock more weapons to use, which does add more value to sticking with a specific class.
All of this works within the DLC’s overall mechanic of having to reach one of three different target goals (1,500, 3,000 or 10,000 points), which is determined at the start of the match. Points are earned by holding positions, or lost by losing all of them. One of the more interesting twists is that each player will earn points by killing Helghasts, but will need to cash them in at a specific location to add it to the team’s pool or lose them if they die. Each death will cost the team 50 points in order to respawn, which will can cause a “lose state” if the pool cannot afford to bring anyone back.
Although, once enough points are banked, players will be able to recover a capacitor which can be used to call in a number of assists, such as air strikes, turrets, jet packs and an array of other options to help keep back the horde of enemies.
While you will end up taking on the standard Helghan soldier over and over again, you will also face a variety of other enemy types that will go to great lengths in keeping the battle feeling fresh. After days of going hands-on with the DLC, there are still enemies that I have not seen and some that I have only faced a handful of times. Fans of the series will easily recognize many of the enemy types and their abilities, but they will also be greeted by some of the main characters from the campaign, who will periodically enter the match causing serious damage and forcing your teammates to run for their lives.
Overall, the Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept DLC is a fantastic little package that does a great job of adding to the experience that the game already offers. But, the amount of value you can get out of it will greatly depend on your ability to rally friends or find quality players online to take on the game’s four maps.
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