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Killzone 2 (PS3)

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Killzone 2 is undeniably very visually impressive. The playing mechanic is strong, allowing for fluid and engaging First Person Shooter action. Largely a solo game, as there are few team game modes.

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      15.12.2011 01:47
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      An epic shoot 'em up given an extra dimension by it's world-beating visuals and superb design

      In 2005, a brief tech demo of Killzone 2 was enough to generate a wave of hype among gamers. Was this wondrous footage of actual gameplay or merely a clever marketing ploy designed to imitate it? With the benefit of hindsight, the issue seems incidental now, but it's easy to forget how such powerful imagery can have a bearing on expectations. Four years of tantalising sound-bites and teasers later, the game finally launched in 2009, by which point the media had its knives well and truly sharpened, poised to decree the latest big thing a failure should they find the slightest chink in its armour. In the absence of anything concrete, many settled for Killzone 2 bearing the ills of the first-person shoot 'em up genre's most enduring weakness - a lack of originality.

      But marking Killzone 2 on the grounds of familiarity is somewhat akin to judging a car by the smell of its air-freshener. Here, originality is of secondary importance to the sheer quality of the experience itself. For what it's worth, the game does in fact showcase a number of elements that explore the PS3's hardware in ways other FPSs on the format have not, but it's not new content that gives it the wow-factor; it's the stuff you'll have seen before, but rarely this good. Certainly, it doesn't rock the boat thematically, and from a purely objective standpoint, both its controls and sci-fi 'n' soldiers setting will seem well-worn to the more dedicated of FPS fan. But if the PS2 original was technically accomplished, its sequel is technically outstanding.

      That K2 should sport such a shallow, clichéd story lead by a shouty cast of could-be-anyone soldiers seems almost contradictory to it harbouring one of the most intense, enjoyable and intelligent gameplay experiences around, and yet that's exactly what you're getting. The game follows "Mr Generic" Sev, part of the human ISA invasion force tasked with overthrowing the Helghast's (powerful, gas-mask adorned hominids) home planet, with a view to capturing their defiant leader Scolar Visari and his sadistic henchmen Colonel Radec. The combat is pleasing for several reasons. It doesn't do anything exceptional within itself, though the strength of the game's architecture and the rock-solid design means every inch of Killzone 2 is quality.

      The weight of the controls takes a little getting used to - turning in particular feels heavier than in many of its contemporaries - though Guerrilla Games accurately gauged the divide between testing the player's quick-thinking whilst also gradually challenging you to improve precision aiming in pressure situations. The guns don't strike as imaginative a balance of human/alien technology as in the first game, though nevertheless feel like they're dealing real damage; they don't feel lightweight in the way many FPS's do, and the collision physics are completely immaculate even from extreme distance. Between the juddering use of the DualShock's vibration function and the visceral, war-film styled puffs of blood that linger briefly in the air after you land a hit, it's very satisfying.

      Visually it's nothing short of a masterpiece; gorgeous to look at and flawless in its continuity. The brutal beauty of Helghan cannot be understated, even if the finer qualities have sometimes been overlooked amongst sentiment that the game's muted green, murky veneer is derivative. But make no mistake; Killzone 2 has one of the most remarkable graphics engines of its era, enough on its own to lift an accomplished FPS to a level of excellence, and in doing so it delivers a level of overall immersion that even Uncharted 2 couldn't fully emulate.

      It's a number of technical triumphs, both obvious and minor, that help create such a remarkable, tangible atmosphere. More than just the explosions, it's the sum total of everything that happens in the environment 360 degrees around the player. The use of light and shadow is brilliantly foreboding, wind and rain effects have never been so convincing in how they affect surroundings, whilst the cut-scenes and depth of field, as you spy other battles taking place in the distance, are of a simply jaw-dropping quality. Every section of every level looks stunning, whilst allies and foes alike are supremely animated. The iconic Helghast still emit that haunting red glow from their eyes, visible as terrible streaks through the incredible, gritty swirling dust effects - and you have reason to be apprehensive, as they're some of the best A.I. in gaming.

      You're usually outnumbered and made to feel like it. Regardless of difficulty setting, enemy soldiers have got plenty of sneaky tactics up their sleeves. The bare minimum you can expect is for them to be finding effective cover and taking pot shots, but the Helghast are smart enough to make their numbers count. As well as trying to remain a moving target, in many instances they seek to distract and surround the player. They'll lob grenades to draw ISA troops out into the open, attempt to batter you at close range, and if things look to be going against them, they'll regroup in classic, safety-in-numbers fashion. The two lowest difficulty settings present a good, durable challenge, whilst the highest make progression through each bloody checkpoint seem like an achievement in itself.

      Cleverer than the average action-FPS but more accessible than the tactical shooters, K2 represents the best of both worlds. Though story progression is linear, there are many instances where a bit of thought will garner greater reward than rushing into a fire-fight. Equally though, the shooting retains an element of instinctiveness, and there's no faffing around with menus or team-orders. It's relentless and rarely pauses for breath, though the game never lacks for sticking to its guns. Unusually, Guerrilla opted to make use of the PS3's six-axis motion control; occasionally, you'll have to twist the pad to open a valve or plant an explosive, whilst the Sniper Rifle's scoped-aiming also reacts to physically moving the pad. Nothing special, but nice touches on the whole.

      It's replete with standout moments that will have shooting fans drooling at the mouth. The unforgettable opening sees you flying in towards the hellish, muddy Corinth River warzone, in what feels like a sci-fi ode to the D-Day landings; bullets and missiles whistle past the stricken carrier, as you're powerless to help comrades being blown out the sky around you. In the closing stretch the ISA reach the final Helghast stronghold, but standing in their way is what feels like an entire army. Inching along trenches, finding an adequate enough stretch to cover you from the hails of bullets and occasionally returning a few of your own, sensing victory is agonisingly close - the intensity of the battle is amazing. Even the relatively few quiet moments are carried off with aplomb; ghosting around the remnants of a deserted outpost feels odd and unnerving after all that had gone before it. In an age where the Call of Duty's and Battlefield's of this world are attempting to marginalise the one-player experience, it's gratifying to see a big-hitter delivering such a full-blooded experience, and one you're certain to want to play through more than once.

      The online multiplayer is absolutely stonking too. Pitching all matches as team affairs between the ISA and Helghast, you are free to jump into games and sample a range of different team games which are on rotation, thus meaning matches neatly avoid stagnation. There's your straight-up, kill the enemy free-for-all; assassinations whereby you either have to kill or defend a particular target for a given time (very difficult in populated matches); as well as capture-and-hold marked territories and planting/defusing bombs. There's a mountain of enhancements to be found simply because good performances ultimately translate into new abilities or points bonuses for certain soldier types. A healer for example can to begin with resurrect downed allies, but later on they can produce health-packs too. You can strategically place gun-turrets, or spawn-points to help teammates crowd an enemy base, and if you prefer to be sneaky, you can masquerade as an enemy in order to infiltrate them or even use cloaking. The odd level does leave you with the impression that you're doing more running than fighting even with a 32 player field, but a majority of the eight maps are superb.

      What could have been better? The story, certainly - not so much it's content, which has some potential, but more its hackneyed articulation. Whilst the vicious Colonel Radec is proper villain material, the goodies are unfortunately a bunch of meat-heads. When they're not reeling off expletives, they're making some tired, humourless jokes about "your mom"; it's no coincidence the game isn't viewed as high-art. The voicing as a by-product is passable at best, though the music saves face somewhat with a succession of rousing military-themed epics. The vehicle bits are oddly unnecessary, whilst the yawning gulf in intelligence between your sly Helghast adversaries and moronic, seemingly-suicidal teammates is also rather galling. This becomes more of a pain on the harder skill settings, as they are little more than a hindrance by then.

      Still, Killzone 2 is the sum of its impressive parts. Dazzling graphics are backed up by a flawless game engine and a host of grand, show-stopping action sequences that are as immersive and involving as any game available. The one-player has scope for weeks of play, the multiplayer possibly months and for all the time that's passed, it still feels like one of the few games to have got the absolute maximum from its PlayStation3 hardware.

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        18.01.2011 19:20
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        a bit disappointed

        Recently I had some free time on my hands so I decided to pick up a game to play on my PS3. I usually only use to watch videos. Unfortunately, new releases tend to retail at around 40 GBP yet within weeks already discounted and by the end of the year only a fiver. For this reason it makes it hard to justifying buying a brand new game that has just been released. I wait over a year and then buy heavily discounted.

        In this instance I purchased Killzone 2 for only 5GBP second hand. Considering this was a highly rated title it seemed like a bargain. Upon booting the game I was slightly disappointed by the graphics, they just didn@t have that next gen wow factor which we were shown in the tech demo 5 years ago. The game also suffers from frame rate problems slowing down to what seems like 5 fps sometimes. Some stages have a very immersive action film like experience with your troops helping you fight the enemies, however at some points you are left alone walking down another boring plain corridor giving you the feeling that your playing a geeky first person pc shooter rather than an action packed console title.

        The game attempts to introduce a convincing story line but it just seemed rubbish. The action and voice overs are also fairly poor. Whats worse, the game is rated 18, contains strong language yet the acting and story line make it look like it would appeal to the 10 - 16 year old range. Every other dialogue contains the f word. This is not an adult title, more like a childrens' game that pretends to be grown up. The producers of the game should seriously reconsider who this game is aimed at.

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          07.08.2010 19:03
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          Excellant game! Hope same can come from yet another sequel later this year!

          Everyone knows deep down that PC online gaming is dead, whether or not they'll admit this is a different matter. The true way of showing this is when a game like this comes along. No matter how much you're willing to splash out on for a PC it will never come close to the pure qualities of genuine gameplay a console such as the PS3 or even the 360. My evidence? You may be wondering? Well, this: Killzone 2.

          This title is the well anticipated sequel to the original game 'Killzone' which hit the stores on the 26th of November 2004. Since then the Netherlands based company 'Guerilla' has had plenty of time to rectify their efforts on the first game and eventually came out with this stunning game on the 27th of February 2009.

          The main storyline is a true masterpiece. The main character (which you play as) is Sergeant Tomas Sevchenko, AKA Sev. He is a man familiar to the battlefield due to the ongoing war. The war is between the Helghast (humans who were sent to the planet Helghar as experiments to test the planet's abilities to bear Human life) and the ISA, who you are fighting for. The ISA are trying to reposess the Helgan capital city of Pyrhus enabling them to fight off the rest of the Helghast troops from their heart of operations. However, when the ISA realise that this is overall impossible due to the uncanny amount of Helghast Anti Air defenses, plan B must be put into action. This involves sending in an invasion force, of which Sev's squad (Alpha team) is part of. From this point onwards the story unfolds itself.

          Throughout the main campaign you will be headshotting so many guys you forget to even notice that for every headshot the mans helmet falls off, which really adds to the detail in the game.
          Aswell as lots of bloodshed, you will be taking on tasks such as manning tanks, manning robots with grenade launching cannons attached to each arm and stepping back and taking on the roll of sniper as you force your way through to Helghast HQ to have a full on duel with a Helghast general. Every mission is something different and really will keep you going and going in the game, even if there is the occassional enemy that gets you everytime. The graphics are superb, they really expose themselves in the totally unique gameplay locations which seem to change every mission. Operations take place in a variety of places such as rocky crevaces, small tightly packed alleyways packed with angry troops and sometimes even a Space-going ISA HQ ship floating 50,000 ft above the Helghast landscape.

          Where Killzone 2 really comes into its own is a great online experience. The game offers around 8 character classes, such as Assault (a heavily armoured assault man with a rocket launcher or grenade launcher) a saboteur (A light nimble ninja type man with the ability to turn into an enemy looking troop and infiltrate their stronghold) or simply a scout sniper. The game is full of high octane action packed multiplayer and will have you engaged for hours, especially with it's smooth graphics and outstanding online experience. Maps are full of detail and contain lots of spots for any type of player. Additional content is available for purchase from the PS3 store, there are at least 3 map packs I can think of.

          Hope you've enjoyed reading this and please don't forget to rate me for my efforts.

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            13.05.2010 18:37
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            read review

            Killzone two is a follow up of Killzone and is set in a plant by the name of helghan. In this plante lives the Helghast. The helghast invaded a colony called ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance). So due to this the ISA have launched an attack on Helghan. Their amibitions in this missions is to capture the leader and stop all this fighting and attacks. In the game you play a role of sergant tomas.

            Game play is good and it keeps some of the weapons from killzone which is good cause they were a great part of the previous game. The M82-G and the StA-52 LAR return to the game aswell as certain veichles too. The part of the game I love is being able to snipe I love this in call of duty and is just as good in this game. It is from a firts player perspective. The downfall all on this game is you can not play co-op which I think should have been introduced in the second game but developer has not introduced this feature yet. Although you can play multiplayer online which is good if you have the internet and are registered.

            The game is excellent but I think the fisrt game is better and there has been a lot brought from the first game to this game and a few minor changes and the fact they did not add co-op annoys me. The game is very ingrossing and I did like to play it and the graphics were up to the job too and the story can be a bit confusing but if you have played killzone then you will follow this follow up game. So for me this game get a three star would be four if co-op would have been introduce. Overall a good game to play and intresting and enjoyable to play too.

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            09.03.2010 19:05

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            A great game for the hardcore gamer

            Killzone 2 offers a gripping campaign, jaw dropping visuals and fantastic online play.

            The groundbreaking visuals in this game means Killzone 2 is easily a top competitor in 2009's best game. Technically and artistically, they are really revoluntianary. Maps are full of the smallest details crumbling brickwork jutting from dilapidated buildings, desert battlefields which will leave you feeling as if you were really there. But the main technical triumph of this game is the soldier animations, enemies are frightengly realistic as they move fluidly and act as real soldiers may do. Painstaking attention, dedication and love was given to making these men best in genre. Even the smallest details are striking. Raging fires react to the wind as it blows through the level, lightning flashes across the gloomy skies, and billows of smoke so thick you could choke on them.

            Killzone 2 offers not only these visuals although they are what I reccomend buying the game for but a great campaign which unforunatly lacks in story but makes up for in combat, and a fantastic multiplayer that could easily rival call of duty's empire.

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            04.03.2010 11:24
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            An amazing PS3 exclusive and strong shooter contender

            Back in 2004, Guerrilla developed a mediocre first person shooter that received mixed reviews from many critics. Now, five years later Guerrilla has released a sequel that is sure to blow you away. Killzone 2 is a beautifully designed first person shooter that takes place entirely on Helgan, the home world of humanities biggest threat yet, the Helghast. The player takes control of a new player in the campaign that is given orders from the previous playable character in the first Killzone game.
            When you look at this game, the visuals are one of the first things you notice and they are truly mind blowing. The games levels feature wonderfully designed locations that really look like they have been affected by the war. The games levels are usually large structures such as buildings or bridges, as well as large outdoor surroundings where the player must push forward to advance through the Helgan territories. The environments in the game are all incredibly detailed. The buildings are wonderfully textured and still look good up close. The terrain varies from dirt, to concrete and even rubble. Each location featuring the terrain types all suit the environments incredibly well. In some levels you will be running around in a waste land that features dirt and dust blowing around your feet. You may even see the odd tumble weed roll past as well as car parts blowing past your head. What makes these visuals even better is that there is so much going on around you. There are constant explosions, cars blowing up, objects on fire and even bolts of lightning in the sky. Many of the objects in the game are destructible. You can effectively use canisters and cars to blow up large group of enemies. These destroyable objects within the game all seem like they blend in within the level environment. For example in 'Wanted' your character will be running around in a church yard when all of a sudden there will be a 'conveniently' placed gas tank that can be shot at. Differences like this really build up the suspense of playing through the game. All of this really does immerse you into the battles and gives the game a unique feel to it.
            What's very cool is that besides the weapon ammunition count in the corner of the screen, there is no heads up display what so ever. Having no interface really adds to the feel of being right there in the action and unless your reloading all you have on screen is a realistic perspective through the eyes of the character.
            The AI in the game is also something worth noting. Unlike many shooters such as 'Wanted' and 'Call of Duty', your enemies will actually try and flank you. If that's not possible then they will use grenades to lure you out. The game also features the ability to play bot games. So you can play against computer players of a desired level. This really helps the player adjust to the games unique game play style if they are not confident enough to play online. Annoyingly however, at certain points in the campaign, your AI companion will be almost useless. You will be running constantly back and forth just trying to revive him rather than focusing your attention on the battle ahead. Aside from this minor irritation, there's really nothing to complain about.
            The campaign is of a reasonable length. Taking roughly eight hours to complete, you are literally thrown head first into an epic war that has a strong and firm campaign. In comparison to other FPS games, the campaign length is longer than some games such as the 'Call of Duty' series. Sadly if you want to know much about the back story of the Killzone war then you may have to play through the original game, if you have the patience that is. Many improvements have been made from the first instalment and it may prove difficult to play through for the more hardcore FPS fans out there. The narrative is linear in the sense that you are constantly driven to your next objective and way point arrows help you along in the right direction. In terms of how the story is told, it really does grip you and chances are you won't want to put down the controller until you have completed that last level. Even then you may want to go back and earn some trophies completing the game on the harder difficulties and gathering hidden secrets.
            The games flow is worth noting because most of the time you will carry on playing even with the intention of stopping. At the end of each level you are rewarded with animated sequences that merge into the next level, and with such short unnoticeable loading screens you don't stop to check the time to end your game.
            One of the biggest selling points in Killzone 2 is the game play improvements from the first Killzone game. Although difficult to get used to at first, the control system of the character works really well. Unlike games such as 'Call of Duty' and 'Halo', it's much more difficult to turn your characters view. It almost feels like you're weighed down by the guns you're carrying. A bad thing about the guns however, is that you can only hold one main weapon and a side arm as a pistol. Some may see this as realistic that you can't really run around with two huge guns but it's mainly just disappointing. Master Chief can hold any two guns he wants, so why can't this guy? On a lighter note however, a new cover system has been added so whenever you're standing next to a wall or something similar you can hold down the crouch button and then simply press up and you can pop off a few Helghast and return back to cover. For some reason this cover system was left out of online play, not a big deal really but it would have been nice to have the cover system online too. Grenades are also interesting to use as when you hold it, the four LED's on the grenade start lighting up. Hold it for two long and the fourth LED will go red and explode. It's a useful way of seeing how long you have until you blow your own hand off.
            The developers have gone two ways with the characters health in Killzone 2. In the campaign, you have no health bar, as you get shot and take on more damage, the screen goes dark and there's blood splatters. This works well as it eliminates the desperate attempts to find health packs. In the online mode you have a health bar. The health bar will refill over time depending on how wounded you are. If you have only an inch of your life left then your health bar will refill roughly about half way.
            One of the most exciting elements of Killzone 2 is the online play. The game features fully customisable matches allowing up to 32 players to a game. The ranking system works in a way similar to 'Call of Duty' but makes the player work that little bit harder to achieve those most wanted upgrades. The multiplayer has six playable classes to choose from. The default and only playable class from the beginning is the Rifleman but other classes are unlocked by ranking up. The classes each have certain abilities, medics can heal, scouts will snipe and engineers will deploy turrets. These are some of the primary abilities. Each class also has a secondary ability that can be unlocked but in order to do this, badges have to be earned online. An example of this is the medic. The medic has a shock gun that revives wounded players. Doing this eight times in one match will earn you a badge. Earn eight of these badges and you will unlock the class's secondary ability to use medical packs. Complete the medical pack badge and you will earn a medal for completing the class. There are many different types of badges and classes to unlock but I'll leave that to you to find out. The average online match takes between fifteen minutes to half an hour to complete. Quite long for one online match but there's so much more to do. The default game match features five different modes that all flow together to form the one match. One minute your Intel will tell you to assassinate a randomly selected enemy player and then once that player has either been assassinated or survived the attack your Intel will then tell you hold ground for a certain amount of time. The game modes are as followed, Team death match, Assassination, Search and destroy, Capture and hold and Search and retrieve. The player can customise his or her own game exactly the way they like it. It's completely possible to setup just a team death match game or a match that includes the modes search and destroy and capture and hold.
            Killzone 2 can easily be called one of the best looking games on the market. Other than the popular PC title, 'Crysis' there's really nothing quite like it. Graphically it is probably the best there is. Crysis requires a high end PC that costs gamers well over five hundred pounds, whereas an equally impressive game if not more so can be purchased on a brilliant piece of kit that is essentially a home entertainment system for a much more reasonable price.
            Killzone 2 is a strong competitor at being one of the best first person shooters to date. It features beautiful visuals, amazing game play and multiplayer that puts it right up there with top titles such as 'Call of Duty 4' and 'Halo 3'. If you own a PS3 buy this game, if you don't, buy a PS3 just for this game!

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            19.02.2010 11:45
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            Probably one of the most epic and movie like games ever created!

            INTRODUCTION
            Killzone 2 is a first person shooter for Sony PlayStation3, the concept basically being a variation of man vs aliens, although the aliens (or Helghast as they are called) are similar to men in terms of atonomy. They wear heavy armour, and their logo and general visual image does evoke a certain parallell to nazis. As evident from the title of the game, it's a sequel, although knowing the first game is not a prerequisite to enjoy this one. I haven't personally played the original Killzone game. The game has a linear story line, so you can't decide your own fate. You have to do exactly what the storyline expects of you if you want to progress.

            GAMEPLAY
            Killzone 2 is very cinematic. It tells a story through epic cut scenes, and in-game actions that have to be completed in order to progress. You can not choose who you want to play, and most of the time there are restrictions to where you can go. You are Sev, you are the protagonist of the story line, and you have to do the exact actions the game wants you to do in order to launch the following cut scene. This could be seen as a limitation of the gameplay experience, but I rather like to think of it as an aid to help you focus, and there is still enough freedom that you can use different strategies to obtain the goals.

            Visually the game looks great, especially in High Definition, if you have an HD compatible TV and an HDMI cable. The music is epic and engaging. The story line is very well developed, and the obstacles and goals are varied. Sometimes it can feel like you are being held back by the story line design. For instance, there is this great battle, and when you have killed all the enemies, you won't progress until you go talk to a specific guy. The first time I played the game it took me a few minutes before I realized that was the required action to launch the next cut scene. That being said, though, the story line is engaging and the cut scenes are impressive!

            CONCLUSION
            Killzone 2 is a big budget game. It's a blackbuster of a game. The story line and cinematics in this game are so well developed they could have made a film out of it. The story line takes you through constantly varying locations and music, with new challenges and goals and an ever progressing story. If you are into the style of gameplay, you'd be hard pressed to find a more engaging and epic game.

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              21.01.2010 00:17

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              See what you think of it

              I recently bought the platinum version of this game, purely because I had nothing to play, and some spare money. I wasn't expecting much from it and I thought name sounded a bit corny to be honest, but once I sat down and played it, I thought it was awesome.

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              You start off invading the planet of Helghan with your fellow squadmates, and begin to move closer to capturing Vasari, the leader of the Helghast.

              The gameplay is the same as your typical first-person shooter, and makes use of the motion controls when planting charges for example. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get used to the controls, it becomes a fun game to play.

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              I would say it has about 10 hours worth of serious game play to keep you occupied. However the option for online gaming makes this game much better than some of the COD games I have played and was more fun to play than the main game in many ways.

              If you are looking to buy this game purely for the trophies, they are fairly easy to get. I almost have platinum after 3 weeks of occasional game play.

              I found that there wasn't enough variety in the guns you could choose from, and that they were all fairly weak weapons. There ought to have been more thought put into this to my mind.

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              It is one of those games that can leave you frustrated at your lack of progress at times and stuck on points for ages, which is a shame, but overall it is a good game and can be picked up fairly cheaply.

              The online gaming adds an extra dimension to the game that may change your views on what the game has to offer and for that reason my rating for it is 4 stars.

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              16.01.2010 21:50
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              Awesome fragfest for gun toting headcases

              First Person Shooters have pretty much defined the market for the true hardcore gamer who wants frenetic action in a realistic and immersive environment. Really the choice comes down to the main platform be it PC or console. It may be a no brainer for the serious and committed player who has a £5000 PC which cools the overclocked hardware with non-conductive coolant but PC games tend to get ever more demanding of hardware and sooner or later that rig will be generic in terms of performance. Step up the console with all hardware resources dedicated to gaming and you have a £250 animal. What better then to unleash the beast within than with a full on FPS bloodfest which uses the real power of the console and gives consistent frame rates throughout the carnage.

              There are a lot of loyalties within the FPS genre to established franchises such as Call of Duty and the Unreal series. CoD in particular is worthy of the praise for it's excellent content, presentation and strong online mode. Stepping up to raise the bar is the frankly bonkers Killzone 2 which continues the generic stereotype of placing two factions at war on a dystopian planet run by a mad dictator.

              Strength of storyline is not something that comes near the top of requirements in most FPS games but it does add to the adventure. Whilst everything seems quite routine here there is some nice interplay between the characters which certainly exceeds the quality in some straight to DVD Hollywood releases! Basically you are part of a Marine unit thrown into the thick of the action with re-con, rescue and assault objectives all of which invariably include contact with the enemy who you then slaughter with some awesome firepower. The cut scenes look really good and give a nice feel and sense of engagement with the story. This is backed up with some great audio, whether it be the relentless sound of gun rounds being fired or the rather creepy voices of enemy combatants. Obviously a great deal has been put into the whole presentation of the game.

              Graphically, the game is frankly awesome. Playing in HD gives the perfect opportunity to marvel at the excellent rendering and detailed textures. The whole thing is moody but still manages to use a full range of colours within the dark settings. The lighting effects are particularly good as is the animation of the enemy characters no doubt helped by the use of the excellent Havok physics engine. You need to see the effect of multiple body shots on enemies to appreciate the work that went into that engine and how it's use is so vital for a sense of realism. As an ex-PC gamer I would be always straight into the visual settings to tweak Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, Bump Mapping, HDR lighting etc to find the best possible look and still maintain a playable frame rate. With the rampant power of the PS3, everything looks 'turned to full' from default resulting in a game which is beautiful to look at which is quite a feat when a lot of the time it is bleak landscapes and hole ridden corpses. Expect no problems with draw depth or any odd graphical artifacts, this is highly polished.

              So if everything is so astonishingly good looking, then how does it play? Well as someone who has played a bucket load of FPS's from Unreal Tournament to Modern Warfare I would say that this ranks as one of the best. The motion is fluid and efficient and the main character is easy to manage across a variety of terrains. The layout of the control set to the PS3 joypad is both intuitive and natural and very little effort is required for a lengthy session of play.

              A big plus point is this regard is also the advanced level of AI in the enemy characters. They move independently instead of swarming towards your NPC team mates and are wise to any attempt to pin them down to a particular area. Equally good, an enemy may move towards a strategic point and be totally unaware of your presence until you either open fire or remain still for too long. These are little things we take for granted but you really notice them when they are absent. The last time I saw proper tactical AI like this was in FEAR which was an excellent game.

              Curiously, it is probably this point that pulls it down a bit. Your comrades are pretty poor when it comes to strategic competence and frequently require medical attention during frenzied fire fights. Then you will often find they stand around not really sure what to do unless you initiate something which is quite annoying. Generally however this a small blight on a glorious landscape. I imagine seasoned military game players might feel slightly short changed that there are no interactions between your Marine buddies and there is a slightly Gung Ho attitude to some levels but there is little to complain about in real terms.

              Summary:

              Killzone 2 is a visually stunning game with a strong playability mechanic that is up there with the best FPS titles. On looks alone it is a showcase for the power of the PS3 but the game is engaging and freeflowing throughout and not overly difficult on default setting. There is real strength in the audio and it has both high replay value and a good online mode. Best played in Hi-Def for the fullest experience and with the volume cranked up high. Stunning.

              This game is rated at 18 due to high and sustained levels of violence and there is a lot of swearing throughout the cut scenes and the in game action.

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                30.12.2009 16:31
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                Good, but not on a par with Call of Duty or Halo.

                Killzone 2, like Halo 3, will have its fair share of fans, and its share of haters. Personally, I found Halo 3 a little slow when compared to the likes of CoD4, but it was still FUN.

                Killzone 2, on the other hand, is quite possibly the most visually impressive game I have ever played. The scenery is well rendered, the characters are lifelike, and the effects are outstanding. But something is missing.

                My friends were all addicted to the multiplayer game, but I find it tedious and monotonous. This was sold to me by the promise that the online battles are frantic and bloody, with no time to pause and think. This is an accurate description. The battles are chaotic and quick paced.

                What they didn't tell me was that if you get killed, you may have to spawn back at your own base and spend almost a full minute running to get back into the fray, only to be sniped at distance and start your running all over again. This isn't a problem if you are good at the game, but this ensures that newbies are pretty much cannon fodder!

                What they also failed to mention was that it takes you forever to turn around and face the other direction! I like to be able to check my surroundings but it takes almost 5 seconds to look left and right before realising that you've been shot from behind by the bloke that just spawned next to you. A patch may have fixed this since but I gave up on it a long time ago.

                I am also appalled at the ranking system. While some will say I am just rubbish at the game - which is probably true - I find that 50% of the games I try to join deny me access due to me not having the required rank. This makes it hard to actually join my friends in games as they are better than I am and have more time to play and level up than I do. So the only way around this is to join games that are not locked to a specific rank range and get slaughtered by Generals while I'm still a Sergeant.

                The single player game is great, but I hear from those who have persevered with the clunky controls and bad friendly AI that it is quite a short campaign.

                Personally, I think this is a glimpse of the future of FPS gaming, but it is not the great leap that was promised. As for my friends, not one of them is still playing this, having moved on to Modern Warfare 2 or Borderlands.

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                25.12.2009 18:25
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                A visually stunning actioner

                Killzone 2 was a hugely hyped game prior to release, with many touting it as the "killer app" of the PS3, paying particular attention to the stunning graphics, which were seen as a huge advancement. The game was released in February 2009 to huge acclaim, and indeed, it is one of the best and most visually appealing FPS games of the year, and this is coming from someone who wasn't particularly fond of the first game.

                The game has a very simple plot; you are an army grunt who is trying to repel the evil Nazi-like force called the Helghast. You team up with other grunts to try and oust them, but only with limited success due to their superior number and advanced weaponry. The game throws you straight into the milieu of the combat, and there's not really much more to it than that.

                The gameplay is quite standard FPS fare, but it is more about the presentation and mood than anything else: the graphics are STUNNING, and the best than any FPS has seen to date probably. It has very cinematic cut scenes, and everything from the gun models, to the motion blur, to the thick squibs of blood that fly out of the enemies looks great. It also has very quick loading times and overall is just a presentational delight. The game bolsters its excellence with a great online mode, which, although not a Call of Duty-beater, has an intuitive ranking system much like that game, and of course, is visually amazing to boot.

                The controls aren't as responsive as I like, so this takes a bit of getting used to, but overall this is a thoroughly entertaining, challenging game with great multiplayer.

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                27.10.2009 13:40

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                must have for ps3 owner

                I've compared it to Rainbow Six in the past, but it also calls to mind F.E.A.R, another tough tactical effort that was often misunderstood by those expecting a frag-happy spook hunt. You will not simply be able to run in shooting anything that gets in your way with this game. You will need to take a more tatical approach if you want to complete it. I have tried many times to use braune over brain, but in this game it will not work, no matter how many times you try,
                Stunning looking and good gameplay make this a must have for a ps3 owner.
                The skermish mode and online play are solid, making it a game that has good replay value. I have spent many hours in skermish mode, against the computer as well as human opponents.
                I feel this is one of the best fps' on the ps3 to date, along with resistance of course.The PS3 finally has both ends of the shooter spectrum covered in grand style.

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                17.10.2009 20:50
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                Single Player is the only thing keeping the game from 5 stars.

                Space marines, space Nazis and a futuristic intergalactic conflict; that more or less sums up this game. Killzone 2 is a First Person Shooter set on the rotten wasteland of a planet ruled by the evil dictator and master of propoganda: Visari. With a hype to live up to, Killzone 2 has a lot of pressure to succeed and make sure the years of production are not to waste. Killzone 2 is best known for its cutting edge graphics, a visual phenomenon at its time of release in February 2009.

                Killzone 2 begins where the first title left off. The Vektans (space marines) are seeking revenge on the Helghast (space Nazis) for the previous invasion of Vekta with the intentions of finishing the war between both planets. The story is far from compelling; with very little character development. The characters themselves add a bit of personality to the game and despite being your generic fowl mouthed troopers, they can become quite interesting.

                The eye candy in this game is outstanding. From the weaponry to the pillars there really is a sense of hard work and polish. Particle effects such as explosions are some of the best and Guerilla Games are not shy in showing this off. The only loading screens you will see is when you begin a new mission. Each mission can span a large map with no delays apart from the occasional half second delay when you pass certain points. The frequency of delays varies and can become quite irritating. Killing enemies can leave puddles and splatters of blood which is not for the squeamish.

                Taking control of the game you may find the default controls not to be your kind of style. Luckily there are a variety of different controller set ups that you can choose. You may also notice you have the option to toggle aim. I really appreciate this feature as I much prefer to press rather than hold a button to aim down the sight of the gun. When you attempt to kill your first enemy your first intention quite possibly could be 'woah'. Moving the gun you really feel a sense of weight to it which may or may not be to your taste. Personally I do love that you can't spin around 3 times in 2 seconds and adds more balance to the game. If however you find it is all too much you can change to 'High Precision' which takes out some of the dead zone on the analogue sticks (where pushing the stick doesn't move the gun) which makes it feel a little more like other shooters you may have played. The second thing you may or may not embrace is the Artificial Intelligence of the Helghast. They are smart! If they aren't flanking you, lobbing grenades or spraying bullets at you then they are probably hiding, possibly blind firing over their cover. Throwing a grenade causes them to scamper and find new cover and quickly you will realise they are not to be toyed with. Killzone 2 implores a lean and peek technique in single player in which you can fire at an enemy with as little body showing from the cover as possible.

                During the course of the campaign you will experience the likes of assault rifles, machine guns, mounted turrets, flame throwers and even armoured walkers. The bolt gun especially can be incredible fun; it launches bolts at enemies pinning them to walls and exploding. Taking out your knife you can slash away at enemies cutting through them at ease. There are hidden Intel packages and Helghast symbols to find throughout the game which can be used to access bonus content on the Killzone.com official website.

                Multiplayer
                --------------

                Multiplayer, for me, is where Killzone 2 truly shines in the FPS department. Supporting 16 vs 16, each battle requires dedication from the team in order to win over the opponent. A tactical approach is absolutely vital to success. A team of less capable players could win over a team of experienced ones with the right tactics. Squads can be made which the leader of each acts as a moving spawn location for the other 3 members. A total of 6 squads can be formed which all have their own headset channel. Some questions you need to ask yourself on the battlefield is; are there enough turrets placed, do we have sufficient medics, do we constantly have maximum spawn locations. The right blend of player classes are crucial to success.

                There are a total of 6 different classes each with unique skills and access to certain weapons. Primary and secondary classes can be mixed and matched to suit your needs.

                The maps are well designed but can be a bit symmetrical at times on some. Including some of the downloadable content there are some truly unique maps such as 'Wasteland Bullet' which takes place on 2 freight trains running alongside each other. Also for nostalgia, an upgraded Southern Hills map from the first game which periodically nukes the whole field killing everyone not in sufficient cover. I never get bored of the nuke; friends and foes scrambling into cover to avoid death is great fun and also leads to interior conflict. It is a sick twist that the safest area from the nuke is also the centre of the map where the most battles are waged.

                The support this game has had from the developers is top class. Players moaned about the power of air bots being too weak for example. It got improved but was too strong for some. It was then put into a middle zone to accommodate everyone. There are a total of 3 Downloadable Content map packs which you can pick up for £10 as a bundle.

                The clan support is much appreciated. You can create a clan with your own unique tag. You can host clan only matches, send messages to members, employ officers to help with recruiting, compete in clan games. There is a clan leaderboard and the current matches of the day can be viewed. Being a member of a clan previously I really appreciated the support and found it rather easy to use.

                For those who are concerned about your statistics then you might feel a bit exposed with this one. Weapon accuracy, headshots, grenades thrown, grenade accuracy, times kicked from games. They are all there and can be compared with all your friends. You can also log onto Killzone.com to check your statistics, form clans and watch match replays.

                Killzone 2 manages to successfully migrate hosts during games, this stops the game having to end. It is done fluidly and you won't even notice the swap. Generally you will not 'see' any lag. The game runs very smooth and handles lag well. Unfortunately it can't be helped with players with poor connections. Occasionally you may find you shoot and enemy, you wait a few seconds, then he dies. This happens not often however.

                Overall, regardless of the flaws, Killzone 2 is a stunning game that truly sets a standard for PlayStation 3 games. I still actively play this game after 8 months and find it entertaining. It's a shame it isn't for everyone, especially those who are really into Call of Duty. Not saying I don't like CoD myself, I actually think it is great and I enjoy playing it with friends. But that is possibly only because they are always playing it, Killzone 2, well... most of them hate it making it a pretty lonely experience online for me.

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                  11.10.2009 14:21
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                  excellent - top marks!!!

                  i origninally brought my ps3 with this game in mind and was hoping it would be as good as i thought. i have to say i wasnt let down in anyway. Killzone clearly surpasses all previous games including cod - modern warfare!! the story mode is exciting and easily playable and returnable after completion.

                  The best part of this game is the online play, there is a great selection of other levels and you cane also download extra levels from the ps3 store if wanted, although these arent as good! there is a wide selection of game types to play all entertaining which get even better if you have a microphone and chat to other users.

                  Also while playing online you can achieve rankings which is a good goal to work towards, and also helps unlock new weapons and characters. the Sniper is by far the best, however shooting someone up close with a shotgun and seeing the blood spray everwhere is just as cool, the attention to detail is remarkable!!!

                  There are also a wide selection of ps trophies which are achieveable if focus on specific ones and work at it.

                  this game ticks all the boxes and doesnt disappoint, i have spent hundreds of hours on this game and am still not bored!!!!!!

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                  04.09.2009 15:28
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                  Next Gen sequel to a classic game, well worth a purchase!

                  Killzone 2 is the long awaited, longer delayed follow up to the smash hit title Killzone on the PlayStation 2. Killzone 2 is a PS3 exclusive developed by Guerilla games.

                  The game is a fast paced first person shooter set on a fictional planet called Helghan. You play the lead character in the game Tomas Sevchenko a full on army vet from the special forces. You are part of the Alpha team and employed to help take out the risk

                  The planet of Helghan is under attack by the ISA and they want to capture the planets leader (Scolar Visari) and to destroy the Helghast war machine.

                  Helghan is a dark thick polluted planet and has many obstacles that will keep you from reaching your target


                  Graphics :


                  The graphics for this game are amazing, very detailed and look brilliant on a large HD TV, the only problem is there is brief slowdown between some loading screens and it tends to stick sometimes when it does this. It isn't a major problem but isn't to be expected really on a next Gen game.

                  The detail of the characters is great as is all the background, sky etc.



                  Sound :

                  Very atmospheric sound, great explosions and voice acting. Be warned swearing is often used in this game, so not one for the kids.
                  The score was composed by Joris de Man


                  Controls :

                  The controls are very easy to use, standard FPS controls really. Only problem is that its abit tricky when you try to zoom with your weapon as it doesn't make things that clear and accurate. But this can be over looked.


                  Multiplayer :

                  Killzone 2 can be played online and will keep you entertained for many nights over the winter. The multiplayer game is classed based which means you can select a certain class of what your player will be in the game. There are 7 classes to choose from.



                  Conclusion :

                  I really like this game and i am still enjoying it to this day, there are 4 different skill levels so anyone can pick this up really. Also good replay value to unlock the trophies if you are a collector.

                  Only downside as mentioned above is the slow down on occasion and the zooming of weapons could be more accurate. Its a great single player campaign (10 hours plus) and even more fun online with your friends

                  You can pick this up quite cheap now in the highstreet / ebay / amazon so i would recommend this to all first person fans

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              • Product Details

                Developed by Amsterdam-based Guerrilla, Killzone PS3 is a military first-person shooter that builds upon the 2004 PlayStation title. A non-linear and intensely cinematic gameplay experience that combines elements from multiple genres, Killzone thrusts players even deeper into the conflict between the ISA and Helghast. Set in a rich and highly interactive world, the game aims to set the benchmark for facial and character animation, advanced physics, destructible environments, sound and special FX. Combining on-foot and vehicle combat across air, land, and sea, with both off-line play and a customizable on-line portion, Killzone should be one of the premier shooters of the next-generation.