|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Guerrilla Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SONY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-32||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One thing that is a bit more of a substantial criticism is the lack of any co-op play. I see this as a missed opportunity for Killzone 2, especially considering how the campaign typically has you advancing with at least one other squad member. Because Killzone 2 is every bit as good as the last two Call of Duty titles, Gears 2, and Resistance 2 - all of which had impressive co-op offerings - it too should have sported such features. Playing through the short campaign by yourself is a hoot, but being able to share the experience with at least one other friend would have been ideal.
Thankfully, the crew at Guerrilla Games didn't skimp out on the multiplayer. Gamers will be able to romp through eight different maps of varying sizes and character. The level design of these maps is outstanding, and they truly lend themselves to hours upon hours of multiplayer fun. Enhancing the online package is a set of rotating objectives that keep multiplayer sessions meaningful; you'll constantly be shifting focus while playing. Objectives such as securing key chokepoints, delivering propaganda messages, assassinating or protecting random VIPs, and straight up deathmatch rules keep players on their toes and moving around the maps. Also, the ability to break up into squads and choose your spawn point is a great touch that truly enhances the strategic elements of multiplayer and largely eliminates static spawn killing. Topping it all off is a great reward and advancement system that lets you mix and match load-outs and makes key weaponry and equipment available to you as you progress and gain badges. The multiplayer component is truly fun, works incredibly smoothly, and will really enhance the play value of this title.
Of course, Killzone 2 is masterfully presented to players. The visuals are as attractive and solid as anything I've ever seen on a console. It is the kind of game that makes previously appealing titles seem ugly. The sweeping environments, highly detailed textures, and overall polished finish are second to none. Only a select few PC titles are Killzone 2's rivals in the graphics department. That said, there is a bit of shuddering while levels quickly load on the fly and when the auto-save feature kicks in. Other than that, the framerate is solid. This is one insanely gorgeous video game!
The musical themes are also quite good. The orchestral background music is what you would expect from a AAA title and does a great job of enhancing the atmosphere. The sound effects are very realistic, and the voice over work is very professional. I loved the sound of propaganda blaring over loudspeakers, and I quickly got into the characters because of the actors' excellent portrayal.
The final review copies we received had no initial install. Even still, the game did a nice job of loading missions quickly and only mildly suffered from in-level loading. In fact, with all the information this game uses, I was amazed at just how minimal load times were. Additionally, it really seems like the game data is organized on the disc in such a way as to limit the amount of resources our PS3s were using. This game is well-coded and purrs like a kitten.
If you're a PS3 fanboy and were a little bit jealous because your "Xbot" friends were loving it up with Gears of War 2, don't worry too much. Killzone 2 is every bit as engaging as that title is. In fact, the story and characters are much more interesting and, dare I say, the graphics are even better. However, the lack of co-op features is a substantial misstep; anyone who has gone through Gears 2's Horde mode, blasting away with their buddies can tell you that. All in all, Killzone 2 is an FPS that lives up to the hype and its AAA billing. Look for this game to be the first mega-seller on the PS3, and one that may help shift a few more console units for Sony. This is the kind of exclusive content we've been waiting for!
CCC Editor / News Director