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    dkirschner's KillZone 2 (PS3)

    [October 8, 2013 08:11:42 AM]
    Killzone 2 was awesome, a huge step up in all things from Killzone. Sometime between the two games, the developers learned how to make a fun FPS. It's a little weird writing this now after also finishing Killzone 3, which I'll get to momentarily. Killzone 2 I guess was one of PS3's big-name shooters along with the Resistance series. It's got AAA production values with good voice actors, good audio and stunning visuals. The environmental art in particular had my jaw dropping. Each area looks huge and dwarfs any skirmish that is happening when the camera pans out, and when you look around you, you're in awe of the scale. I kept thinking how many battles like this were happening all over the city and nearby areas. The narrative also is much better told than in Killzone. In Killzone, the Helghast invade Earth. After driving them away, in Killzone 2 humanity goes on the offensive and attempts to capture Scolar Visari, the Helghast's leader, on their planet, Helghan. The planet is harsh and cold and has crazy lightning storms, which the Helghast harness and use for their defense system. After the first wave of the assault is decimated by said lightning defense system, your objective changes to go figure out where all the energy comes from and whatnot. You find out there's a giant power grid and some mineral that the Helghast use, so you destroy the power grid and move on to Visari again. He nukes his own capital city to prevent you from getting at him, but you go anyway, kill his security detail and kill him. Roll credits.

    At least halfway through, the game started to show signs of what I will call "Gearing," that is, being uncannily similar to Gears of War. Gears also takes place on a harsh and brutal planet. It also has a mysterious energy source lurking underneath that the bad guys also harness for their military. In Killzone 3, there are even little spider enemies filled with said mysterious energy that explode when you shoot them, just like the little spider enemies in Gears of War that are filled with mysterious energy that explode when you shoot them! Your squad in Killzone 2 and even more in 3 begins to resemble your squad in Gears. Similar banter, similar ideals and issues. Problem is they're not nearly as well done, which is not necessarily a criticism because Gears had perhaps the best characterization of any shooter I've ever played. Killzone's characters are functional. You're the level-headed one. Rico is the hothead who is going to disobey every order. Narville is the one who gives orders and does everything by the book and plays it safe. There's even the token female, Jammer, who should have been given a more prominent role so it wouldn't be so obvious that this was a game about men only. Gears had some female characters, but they actually fought with you and were serious badasses such that the game didn't feel like it was just for boys about boys. I can't remember, but you might have played as a female at some point. No reason to make military shooters with only male characters. So I really wish that Killzone 2 had more of its own identity because the problem gets worse in 3.

    Some great things about Killzone 2 were that the aiming and gunplay felt very good, even like a nod to older shooters. There's no auto-aim, which really tested my skills. There were some seriously difficult sequences. The one I remember most was the boss fight against Visari's head security guy, Radec. He can turn invisible and will *poof* appear right next to you with a knife and slice you up if you aren't always running. If you do run, he'll *poof* appear far away and open fire with a deadly machine gun. So you always have to be running, listening to where he's coming from, where he is, which weapon he has out, determine if you need to take cover from machine gun fire or charge him to shoot before he can stab you. Hit him and he *poof* disappears. The sequence leading up to Radec was so hard too. I loved it. I eventually figured out the best trick to killing Radec was just my gun choice, after figuring out how to move toward and away from him depending on his weapon and how he (dis)appeared and all that. Shotgun. Just use a shotgun. Don't get fancy!

    There was another great boss fight early on against this flying missile launcher drone thing. The designs of these fights aren't very complex, but they force you to be almost perfect in your execution, otherwise you die. So with this sentry bot fight, you're on a small square rooftop with a pillar in the center. On either side (front and back) there are two energy canisters (that mysteriously "refill" or something when you shoot them). If you shoot a canister when the sentry is near, it gets shocked and you can shoot it with the missile launcher. You just repeat this 4 or 5 times and stay behind cover as best you can. The sentry fires machine guns and constantly swoops around the pillar forcing you to shuffle around it to hide. But every so often, it will strafe and launch 3 rockets. You will always take damage from this, but if you move your butt ASAP you will live. Then while the smoke is clouding the air from the rockets, you need to quickly determine where the sentry is and get back to the pillar to hide from the machine gun fire that has probably already begun again. It was a really difficult but enjoyable fight.

    Unfortunately though, these are the only two boss fights I can think of. You never fight another sentry like that again, in Killzone 2 or 3. There are more, but they are either supposed to be ignored or they are killed way easily. And that's another big problem with Killzone 2. There is very little enemy variety. You ONLY fight Helghast troops with the occasional (easy version) sentry bot that just has machine guns. The troops all look more or less the same and just come with different guns. Oh, there's the flamethrower Helghast and there's the sniper Helghast and the submachine gun Helghast...Definitely needed more enemy variety.

    The game also suffered from lack of gun variety. This one is mind-boggling. You can only have ONE gun at a time, plus your pistol. Come on now. And there aren't but a handful of guns in the game at all. There's like one version of each, sniper rifle, assault rifle, LMG, flamethrower, missile launcher, SMG...maybe one or two more. And frag grenades only. The cool thing that I guess speaks to the good level design and encounter design is that I never really felt bored of the enemies or the guns. I enjoyed fighting the whole time, even though it was limited, something I was able to think more about after the fact and into Killzone 3.

    And that's about all I've got to say on that. I'll write a short entry for Killzone 3 soon, mostly just saying what I liked/didn't like that changed and say some more about more Gearing that went on in that game! Killzone 2 was really good!
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    dkirschner's KillZone 2 (PS3)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 4 October, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 6 October, 2013

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Complete opposite of Killzone. Feels like a proper this-gen shooter. Reminds me of Gears of War. -------------- Great game. Some tough boss battles and tough scenarios.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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    1 : KillZone 2 (PS3) by whoulihan90 (rating: 5)


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