|Dev: Guerilla Games|
|Pub: Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Release: February 22, 2011|
|Players: 1-2 (local) 2-16 (online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Despite these issues, Killzone 3's gameplay feels incredibly tight and the experience is definitely unparalleled on the PlayStation 3. And we haven't even talked about the game's most obvious strength: visuals. If Killzone 2 pushed the PlayStation 3 to its technical limit in 2009, Killzone 3 shows how much untapped potential there is on the platform. The graphics have a heavily stylized look to them, and eschew the trend of "gritty" shooter visuals for something a bit more fantastic. Though the character models and animations are all top-quality, special recognition must be given to the game's environments, which range from frozen arctic citadels to tropic-feeling jungle areas. No matter where you find yourself, the landscape features plenty of color and beautiful vistas. The only issue I encountered with the game's visuals were some odd framerate drops when I played local co-op in higher difficulty levels. The game still functioned, but the action would slow to a crawl when there were more than thirty enemies on screen. Though this issue seems isolated to local co-op (playing the game on higher difficulty levels single player produced no problems), if you are planning on playing the game with a friend, you may want to opt for the standard difficulty levels to avoid encountering annoying slowdowns.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed the single-player and local multiplayer modes in Killzone 3, I have to give props to the online multiplayer modes as well. The multiplayer modes are a bit like Team Fortress 2, where players can pick specific job classes that will help further your team's strategy. Classes like Medic and Strategist are fairly straightforward, but the game also features some specialty classes like Engineer, which allows you to build turrets in strategic locations to surprise opponents and earn kills even when you aren't in the same room! Though I've only had limited experience with the multiplayer modes, the new strategic elements make for a fresh-feeling experience that will keep players engrossed in the world of Killzone 3 for quite some time.
Killzone 3 definitely represents an evolutionary leap, both for the series itself and for the shooter genre on the PlayStation 3. Though the Xbox 360 has certainly had its share of amazing exclusives in the shooter category, spending as much time with Killzone 3 as I have, I can confidently say that Killzone 3 is a strong shooter in its own right, and certainly the best shooter we've seen on the PlayStation 3 platform. In addition to its great story, perfectly-paced gameplay, and stunning visuals, Killzone 3 has a certain charm to it that can't be denied (despite its at-time apocalyptic visuals.) Calling it the best shooter of 2011 thus far seems a bit like cheating (as it is only February), but no matter what superlative phrase you use to describe it, Killzone 3 is simply a game that deserves to be played, and re-played.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer