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First Person Shooters (Games) PlayStation (Games) Games

Early Killzone 2 Reviews Looking Good 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the console-exclusivity-wars dept.
Reviews are beginning to appear for Guerrilla Games' upcoming first-person shooter, Killzone 2, a PS3 exclusive that has received a great deal of hype over the past several months. The reviews are mostly complimentary, but not overwhelmingly so; Ars Technica says it has "some of the best graphics yet seen on the PS3," and is a "solid take on the war-gaming genre." They also acknowledge that this is the latest game being held up as a standard for how good PS3 games can be, though the PS3 may not need such validation anymore. Edge Magazine is critical of the story, saying, "you could play the levels in random order to little ill-effect," but found the gameplay redeeming enough to warrant a 7/10. Concerns were raised early about the quality of the controls, but Guerrilla Games has affirmed that no changes will be made. Though the game won't be out for about a week yet, rumors of some fairly typical DLC plans are already cropping up. Giant Bomb recorded some video showcasing Killzone 2's multiplayer a while back.
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Early Killzone 2 Reviews Looking Good

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  • Early? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhunachchicken (834243) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @04:57AM (#26900031) Homepage

    Early reviews? Scores have been pouring in for weeks! The game has received more than two dozen reviews from numerous sources, the vast majority of which have been unanimous in their praise of the game. The only blips have been EDGE (a magazine which has been going rapidly downhill for the past few years) and Maxim's review, which scored less than 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. There again, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    Having played the demo and watched all the gameplay videos, I'm confident my pre-order decision was a good one (£30 off Play.com, so it's not exactly breaking the bank).

    The only downer I felt was that the original cast members from the first game, Templer, Lugar, etc., are not the lead characters in this sequel. I'm not even sure if any of them feature at all, apart from an odd cutscene here and there. A shame, really. Sometimes I think video game writers and designers need to consider that games like Killzone should care more about what happens to these characters as they fight this war. They don't have to be the most overly developed of characters, but at least it would allow the player to build an affinity with them, be more drawn into the story, and therefore enjoy the game on another level. (rant over - sorry)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The only downer I felt was that the original cast members from the first game, Templer, Lugar, etc., are not the lead characters in this sequel.

      The first game was not a major title. It can safely be said that most people who buy Killzone 2 will probably have never played the first game. From a writers perspective, this is man from heaven. They don't have to worry about the dreaded continuity.

      Sometimes I think video game writers and designers need to consider that games like Killzone should care more about w

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by Dr. Hellno (1159307)

        From a writers perspective, this is man from heaven.

        I don't know whether to make a gay joke or a jesus joke, so I'll settle for a meta-joke.

      • I think a story in a shooter in particular is really necessary because otherwise the game will become boring pretty quickly and the player will start wondering why s/he has to go there and click button X, why object O is at spot Y etc. A story gives meaning to all that, and the player thus is able to accept why things happen the way they did and why the environments/objects are the way they are. If you for example played Gears of war 1, there are numerous moments where you simply wonder why you're there, wh

        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          I disagree. The story tends to provide some extra variety but it's by no means essential (Doom and Quake pretty much had a story that consisted of "Evil guys appear. You're a lone soldier. Go kill them and save the world."). Story can make similar situations seem different by changing the underlying motivation or providing interesting cutscenes but in the end you're shooting enemies because if you don't they'll kill you.

      • Here's a couple of counter-examples: Deus Ex [wikipedia.org] & Marathon [bungie.org]. Both of these games has extremely deep story lines which helped to draw the player in. IMHO, story is what differentiates a good game from a great game.
    • Re:Early? (Score:5, Informative)

      by AndyboyH (837116) <.Andrew.Howat. .at. .blueyonder.co.uk.> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @05:58AM (#26900293) Homepage

      EDGE (a magazine which has been going rapidly downhill for the past few years)

      Personally, I wouldn't agree with that. Edge provides solid reviews, and they actually use the full review spectrum (i.e. if a game's crap, it gets a 1 or 2, not a negative write up and a 6)

      While Edge is sorely missing someone of the calibre of Mr Biffo in their columns section, and their gaming comic, Crashlander is trash, they're the only review that I (as a dev in the industry) actually want to read (although Eurogamer's reviews are starting to become equally as credible, although sometimes they're still a little too easily distracted)

      Having read the review in question, I can also understand exactly why it is lower than the average. The game seems to be competant and pretty, but not anything 'great' in terms of gameplay or pushing the FPS genre forward. Which sounds like 7/10 to me.

      • by jregel (39009)

        I still subscribe to EDGE even though I've lost a lot of interest in the games industry. The main reason is that I've got every issue since 1 and it's a hard habit to break! :-)

        For me, the best thing about EDGE was the Redeye column, but that's been gone a long time.

        I've started reading Retrogamer instead, which I find more interesting.

    • I thought it was well known that Maxim's reviews for games were known to be written without playing the game on the basis of a few screenshots. I seem to remember them reviewing something before the review copies had been distributed or something like that.
  • Which is it? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737)

    So the reviews are looking good, but the game sucks?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Those aren't mutually exclusive. See Black & White. Or in the absurdly-overrated-but-not-complete-crap category, Half-Life 2 and BioShock.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Or in the absurdly-overrated-but-not-complete-crap category, Half-Life 2 and BioShock.

        Now you're talking crazy.

    • by Draek (916851)

      Cliff's Notes version of Killzone 2's online reviews: "The game is completely devoid of creativity and the story is paper thin, but other than that it's a fairly nice, fun game".

      Some websites focus on the first two points, others on the last part (the ones that have been spared from the "OMG leave KZ2 alone!" cries), but they all pretty much agree on the above description. Whether that means it's a good game or whether it sucks is, of course, up to each individual.

      • by macraig (621737)

        Errr... I was actually commenting on the careless lack of articulation in the title.

  • by alienunknown (1279178) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @05:09AM (#26900071)
    From one of the linked articles Here [arstechnica.com]:

    Gamers need to stop worrying about the sales numbers of the PS3 and arguing over the merits of PlayStation Home. The truth is that the system is flush with excellent, exclusive games, and we're way past the point where you can call yourself a hardcore gamer and not own the hardware.

    That is something I would expect to read on a fan-boy site and not a tech blog.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by retro.sufi (1288520)
      I agree. On the whole I found it all to be a bit biased. I own a ps3 myself and I do regard the killzone franchise as awesome. But I think all of this is just propaganda.
      • doubly so, as that article comes after month and years of bashing of the platform.
      • I see it as backlash against a lot of anti-sony sentiment out there; to say that the PS3 is pretty good (and I'm sure it's pretty damn good) isn't enough to counteract the bile spewed in various flame wars across the internet. A moderate statement of that nature simply sinks in a sea of venomous discontent.
        P.S. I only own a 360 and I've been happy with it thus far but I would have a ps3 too if I could scrounge up the cash.
        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          I don't think writing articles that reek of bias (like the "you're not hardcore without a PS3" claim) is going to help reduce the flamewars, instead it's more likely it'll fan the fires, maybe in an attempt to make flame warriors throw links to the article at each other to get page views.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You need a Wii, PS3, 360, 360 Elite, PS2, Gamecube, Virtual Boy, Atari, 486, Super Famicom, Famiclone, custom MAME cabinet, Game Boy, Game Gear, PSP, Japanese Super Megalo Cabinet, and a Sega Dreamcast to be a hardcore gamer.
      • by wisty (1335733)

        Where is your SNES? Poser.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      The comment was probably made for the same reason that ~50% of all car advertising is designed to make people who already bought a car feel better about your purchase - except possibly with less of an advertising slant. Hard to day in a world of slashvertisements, right? But the author clearly owns a PS3 - he probably bought it at launch and is trying to make himself feel better about his $599 george foreman grill. Wannabe hardcore gamers are always elitist. I would argue that you're not really hardcore unt

    • re: Ars and the PS3 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by King_TJ (85913)

      I don't know... Accusations are constantly flying about the folks over at Ars having a bias towards the PS3. Perhaps they do. But as someone who is, by and large, not even really a "console gamer" - I came to the same conclusion they have.

      I bought a PS3 only 2-3 months after they were released. At that time, Resistance and EA's Fight Night boxing title were about the only noteworthy releases I could find for it. Still, I saw the potential the hardware had, and realized it was finally a "console that ma

    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @11:55AM (#26903343) Journal

      Yeah he's way out of line. You're not a hardcore gamer unless you have a Sega Saturn.

  • my *personal* viewpoint is that KZ2 is one I am really waiting for.

    I was mildly unimpressed by the Resistance2 multiplay mode (though the single player is amazing) and I am really looking forward to KZ2.

    I think we are beginning to see the effect of the better capabilities of the PS2 in terms of performance, visuals and disc storage (BD vs DVD).

    • Re:Yay! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dr. Hellno (1159307) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @07:14AM (#26900623)

      we are beginning to see the effect of the better capabilities of the PS2

      yes, the PS2 will trounce all other current generation systems.

      p.s.
      In all honestly I think it does in a lot of ways. I have a 360 but the ps2 is the only system I brought to college.

    • by pizzach (1011925)

      visuals and disc storage (BD vs DVD)

      I still get the feeling that the only way to make HD games spill over into multiple DVDs is to stuff them with fmv. But given how fmv is generally looked down upon over in game cut scenes, I still don't think this will be a major problem. (Resistance: Fall of Man is an fmv offender.)

      • by Arivia (783328)
        An offender for doing what, telling an effective and fun story?
        • by pizzach (1011925)
          FMV can make a a game's story feel disjointed from the actual gameplay. What part of that is effective?
          • FMV can make a a game's story feel disjointed from the actual gameplay.

            Having just finished the PC version of Jade Empire and bitched about that exact issue, I agree wholeheartedly. The game was running at 1920x1440, all settings maxed out (on a mid-range computer, which is not hard considering it was originally an Xbox game), with AA and everything. Then it suddenly drops to a pre-rendered video at 640x480 with, aside from some of the smoke effects, generally worse quality even ignoring the drastically lower resolution, and on top of that, it was badly compressed. It's pre

  • I am lucky to already have a copy of the game, and can say to everyone: this game rocks!!! It is full pack with the best FPS action I've seen. Yes, there are more games in the market which I'd say the same, but definitely KZ2 is in my top list, it is worth all the good ratings, and I just can't stop playing!
    • by Devir (671031)

      At least someone has some enthusiasm albeit a little over the top.

      I've been dying for a good FPS to come out for the PS3 for a while now. (haven't played any of the Resistance games). MSG4 is still my top PS3 game to date. Now i want more "game" less "movie".

      I may be inclined to finally pay $60 for a new release in a very long while. It sucks, I was going to get another game the name of which I can't remember.

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      I am lucky to already have a blah blah blah marketing bullshit can't stop playing!

      Hahah, you have a crappy job.

    • by cshcrgo (1454975)
      I have pre-ordered the game and I don't regret it. The cover system,the graphics, and the atmoshphere seem really promising. I did, however, find the controls almost unbearable when playing the demo. Is this something you've gotten used to or did you simply enjoy the controls from scratch? I don't see how you could learn to cope with the whole delay-and-then-accelerate-thingy that they have implemented, but maybe (hopefully!) I'm wrong.
      • Actually, when playing the demo I also had issues with the controls, they seemed confusing. But the full game starts just a bit before the action that starts the demo, including a brief explanation of the main controls (move,run, etc...) and somehow that helped on getting used to them, it just felt more natural I guess. But ... what do you mean by delay-and-then-accelerate-thingy?
        • by cshcrgo (1454975)

          But ... what do you mean by delay-and-then-accelerate-thingy?

          In the demo I got the feeling that there was a slight delay between moving the (right) stick and an actual response in the game. Then it felt like I got a slight acceleration in the rotation rather than a constant velocity. Maybe I imagined the whole thing, but I found it harder to aim than in e.g. the Call of Duty games.

          • Uhmmmm, know what you mean. And you are right, i also felt that delay and then acceleration... I can't name them, but its not the first game I feel it. However, it didn't get in the way of the experience. I find myself aiming rather good after a few minutes of getting used to.
  • Reading the Edge Magazine review of KZ2, I get the feeling it is written by a person who clearly doesn't like FPS shooters, PS3's or both. Considering the fact that similar games on the 360 received high acclaim from Edge, it looks like Edge wasn't entirely fair with the review. At least, that's what the review tells me. KZ2 arrives a couple of months after GeOW2, it can't be that in those couple of months the requirements to be an entertaining shooter has become that much higher. The review has similaritie

    • by Ren.Tamek (898017)

      That's just the way Edge magazine roll. They actually had a heavy pro-PS3 bias for a long time, things were bound to swing back the other way at some point. There is almost universally no point in reading any of their reviews, they tend to just pick a stance, write a paragraph on the way the game 'feels' to them, and possibly throw in some pretentious analogies to liven things up. Actual review scores seem randomly picked at best, from what I've gathered.

      Shame really, their features are actually very good

      • I agree, Edge does seem to have lost its, um.... edge. GamesTM does seem to be the better read nowadays, and not clogged up with as much 'industry' stuff either - I want to read about games, not devs dammit, and I don't want to have to go to some PLAY like mag thankyouverymuch...
        • by Ren.Tamek (898017)
          The whole front and back sections is industry and culture stuff :). Thats actually the main reason I buy the magazine, I don't really even read the reviews, I prefer asking a friend whose personality and preferences you already know for their opinions. That way you know their biases well before you even hear the review. But each to their own eh?
          • That's cool. Sadly I am a gamer in a circle of one.. (strangely, I do have friends, but they would identify a sixaxis as a sex toy before anything else). I love to read about games and their reviews, even if I'm not going to buy them. Making of's and development diaries are good too. An old magazine in the UK called 'The One' back in the 90's had a monthly article or two called 'Blueprint' which gave you the 'making of' during development, not retrospectively, as seems to happen now. Dev diaries and sprite
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by twokay (979515)

      It wasn't really that odd. Sure the PS3 fanboys went mad, but that was to be expected for anything other than a 9 or a 10. The review its self was pretty positive (if you read it), and Edge traditionally scores lower than the IGN or Gamespot's. 7/10 is a solid score.

      Ive not played the game, but honestly from what i have seen, the gameplay is nothing other than run-of-the-mill for a shooter. Multiplayer seems to have had more thought put into it, but even that is basically COD4's level/unlock system.

      If i had

    • by MWoody (222806) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:17PM (#26904433)

      Edge places a high value on innovation, and openly admits to doing so. Even those who rate Killzone highly admit that, while amusing, it brings absolutely nothing to the table not seen before. It takes zero chances, preferring to polish the pre-existing experience. Even Gears 2 made SOME changes to the formula, both technically and in terms of storytelling and gameplay flow.

      For many gamers, that's just fine. But as someone who plays most everything that comes out, I'd much rather a score tell me if the game will truly surprise me, as opposed to just being a well-trodden path through the FPS woods. Not everyone looks for the same thing in a review, but then, that's why there are multiple review sources. You can't whine about the over-dependence on metacritic and the generally poor state of numerical reviews, as many do of late, then penalize one source for actually trying something different and using the full 10 scale.

  • Is it just me or does it just look like a fairly standard shooter, with a TF-style multiplayer? Graphics? Good. Sound? Good. Gameplay? Standard FPS fare. Controls? Dunno because I don't have a PS3, but I imagine that keyboard/mouse players would be thrashing anybody who's trying to play it with any other controller (ala every other FPS out there). Whoever shot that multiplayer video certainly wasn't using a proper mouse.

    I don't see anything astounding here. It might be a good technical achievement (g

    • by ledow (319597)

      Oh, and "you could play the levels in random order to little ill-effect"...

      That's a comment I could apply to 99% of FPS shooters out there, starting with the classics like Quake (four episodes, play them in any order, every X level is a boss level, little melding of scenery, story etc. between levels), Doom (linear levels, pretty much randomly made), even back to Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny. Admittedly, the more modern ones are more story-based (why people think that's so important, I don't know) l

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Storylines: Half Life 2 and its various episodes had a good story. But to be honest, I spent most of the cutscenes where I still had control jumping around bored to tears because I either wanted to get on and kill the scum, or I wanted the lift/door to activate so I could move on. And every "surprise" where you suddenly come under attack, I'm sitting there from the start of the cutscene poised in a nice safe position waiting while the character reel through thirty seconds of plot before the action starts...

        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          Seems to me that truly mindless shooting died out (well, with a few exceptions like Serious Sam, Painkiller and Earth Defense Force) shortly after Half-Life came out as every FPS wanted a solid storyline and smart enemies no matter whether that's a good idea for their design. They just have varying degrees of success.

    • I think most of the fuss comes from two things: The original Killzone was billed as a Halo-killer, but fell flat for technical reasons: The PS2 couldn't handle it.

      The second is that it's a PS3 exclusive. You just don't see exclusives much any more. Even though the PS3 as a platform is just as good (give or take a game or two) as the Xbox, the exclusives are either a given (MGS4) or seen as inferior (Resistance 1&2). So, when an exclusive title comes out for the system and there's no real response from

      • by Tiber (613512)

        Well that and the fact that their cover system has already been done to death, and it doesn't seem terribly interesting. I happen to really like how it's done in Rainbow Six and felt it was only "good" in Gears of War. However both of these harken back to Splinter Cell, which was the first shooter to really push the limits of the idea as I recall.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RogueyWon (735973) *

      Yeah, what we have here is a classic case of a game which is, let's face it, more about the petty politics of console wars rather than the quality of the game itself. It's not alone in this; Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3, Gears of War and its sequel on the 360 and... well... pretty much any first-party Nintendo game on the Wii (Nintendo fanboys are particularly bad for this) all fall into the same category. The rabid elements of the system in question's fanbase have a psychological need to believe that this

    • by metamatic (202216)

      Yeah, the character classes are blatantly inspired by TF2.

      An engineer who uses a shotgun and builds robotic turrets? Gosh, that sounds familiar...

      So basically, the multiplayer is TF2 with gritty and gruesome graphics. Not sure that's something I want, really.

  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:11AM (#26900359)

    They could "monetize" KZ1 all over again if they were to release it for PC IMHO. I don't think I'm the only one that would happily buy KZ1 for PC, even with no or limited MP capability. It was great on PS2, but with the control flexibility etc available with a PC, it would rock!

    Strat

    • by Narishma (822073)
      When was the last time Sony released one of their non-MMO games on PC?
      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        When was the last time Sony released one of their non-MMO games on PC?

        I know, I know, but I'm rather hoping this seemingly world-wide economic downturn might have the slight silver lining of causing companies like Sony to think outside the box. It would generate revenue without needing to pay a whole development team or to contract for an outside company to write a new game from scratch. After all, how much can KZ1 be making them currently as things stand?

        I actually think this would be a smart/profitable mo

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @08:40AM (#26901067) Homepage Journal

    Playing video games... on a blue ray player? How deliciously absurd!

  • Early reviews? We have published our review (based on a original retail game version provided by Sony) like 9 days ego and we are from Poland, which in game publishers calendar is even worse off than Australia.

    And yeah, the game rocks and rocks hard.

  • Exactly the point: most games look bad on PS3, unless they're exclusive. Then they come close to those on the 360 and sometimes even on PC. End yet, the KZ2 is a far cry from Sony's promised 1080p HD gamin. In fact, it doesn't even seem to be rendered at 720p - looks more like it's been rendered at a lower resolution, and then scaled up with antialiasing (similar to MGS4).

    I can't imagine how can you make a true HD game on a device with only 256MB of Video RAM, and with a BluRay drive that can only read data

    • You're missing the point of the PS3. Don't think of it as a gaming system with hardware arguably equivalent to that of the 360 but a poorer overall gaming experience due to poor software implementation. Think of it as a media center with hardware significantly superior to that of the 360 but a poorer overall media serving experience due to poor software implementation.

      • by dniq (759741)

        Well, I'm thinking of a PS3 as a hardware, developed by someone who has no idea what a _GAMING_ console needs :( And, quite frankly, Sony has mostly been pushing PS3 forward as anything BUT the gaming console, so no wonder it fails in that department :(

        And yes, I loved Uncharted, and marginally enjoyed MGS4 (sans its ridiculous cut scenes and ridiculous installation times). Besides that, there aren't many games there that run at least as good as they do on the 360. Dead Space, actually, is the only one that

    • Spoken like a true 360 Fanboy. MGS4 didn't take THAT long to install. Figure 5 minutes per chapter, and if you sit through all the cut scenes... that's a solid 5-7 hours per chapter for a 5 minute load. And as for the "Unless theyre exclusive" bullshit, you need to take a look at any review site. They score the games the same NOWDAYS because ps3 developers are starting to figure out the Cell and making ported games look and play as well on the ps3 if not better.
      • by dniq (759741)

        Well, I don't give a frak if you think I'm fanboy or anything. MGS takes about 8 minutes first time, and 2-5 minutes every subsequent time. Compare to a few seconds swapping the disk. And speaking of the cut scenes in MGS4 - the length is insane, and worst of all - it's not adding a tiny bit to the game. And I'm not even talking about loading screens every 30-60 seconds in the motorcycle ride scene.

        P.S. I own all of them - 360, PS3 and a PC, for a good measure - the one capable of running Crysis at High set

  • If you replace "PS3" with "Gamecube" and KZ2,Uncharted with Windwaker and Eternal Darkness, you start to have a very familiar story of a 3rd place console.

    For what it's worth, there's something to be said for not being the console targeted for every lame shovelware game that's released.

  • I am quite sure that THIS time, the killzone franchise will live up to it's "halo killer" predictions from 5 years ago. And by halo killer I do mean that it will be more advanced (and by that I mean graphically) than Halo 1.

  • KZ2 is excellant just like GoW or Halo but that said i does not have much replay value once you play thru it first time you are done (MP is not anything new there). IMO Action FPS will give way to Action/RPG games like Fallout 3, Bio shock, this where devs can clearly show their talent in developing a storyline/character and giving open sandbox environment for players to play with.
  • I'd been looking forward to this game for a long time. And then the demo came out.
    It looks gorgeous, but like many others I had that damn floaty/lag effect on the controls. At the default joystick sensitivity it's like moving around in the game by handing the joystick to a friend and using verbal commands to negotiate the level.
    Once I cranked up the sensitivity to max the lag decreased, but did not disappear entirely. Best case is 1 or 2 tenths of a second. And in an FPS that's just not the kind of controls

  • I have owned almost every system, and enjoyed them all. I bought KZ1 because it was the supposed Halo killer. While I didn't think it was even close I still think that it is the best FPS to come out on the PS2 (with Red Faction 2 being really close) and looks to be better this time around. Maybe it is enough reason to go buy a PS3, used if I can.
  • I've been playing a media preview version of KZ2 for the past few weeks. IMHO, the game rocks, basically because the AI is damn good, and you really have to 'work'. Resistance 2 had lame AI by comparison. KZ2 also has increidble sfx, and the smoke/dust fx are incredible.

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