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Killzone 3: The best PS3 shooter ever?

The war is nearly over...

One thing's clear playing Killzone 3. Guerrilla listen to the fans. Like, really listen. Almost every niggle, grip and criticism from Killzone 2 seems to have been addressed in the threequel.

And nowhere more than in the multi-player. The first obvious tweak is the much friendlier movement. Forget clomping around like a lead footed klutz because motion is now far more natural.

Killzone 2's slow, heavy steps were realistic for a soldier loaded down with weapons and armour but, well, it wasn't exactly snappy under fire. "Run to the cover of that wall you say? How's next Thursday do you?" You're not tearing along like greased lightning now but it's definitely faster.

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The camera movement still keeps that sense of body weight as you peg it but things are faster, smother and, as a result, far more fun. For every beta player that criticised the COD-like change, one praised it, proving you can't please everyone.

However, if you like shooting people and not having to check your calendar to see when you'll be in range there's no argument...

GUN CLUB
Another obvious and welcome upgrade is that weapons no longer writhe in your grip like a live snake when you squeeze the trigger. It makes aiming and fighting far more manageable as you now only have to battle the enemy and not the bucking, uncontrollable gun you've opened fire with.

In all honestly this is going to need balancing. Some of the heavy machine guns currently have sniper-like accuracy at range. Even the lowly sub-machine guns are like magic death wands thanks to a rock steady aim. The semi-auto sniper rifles level the field but, right now? Not enough.

Also welcome is the simplified and far more flexible class system. The seven original classes - Rifleman, Engineer, Medic, Scout, Assault, Tactician and Saboteur - have been thinned out to a more manageable five: Field Medic, Tactician, Infiltrator, Marksman and Engineer.

These roughly translate as follows: the Medic, Tactician and Engineer stay more or less the same as before; with the first two now having a standard soldier loadout initially (the general purpose STA11 SMG) and the later taking the role of a heavy, starting with the M224-1A LMG.

While the Infiltrator replaces the Saboteur with its ability to disguise itself as enemy players, and the Marksman takes over the sniping and cloaked stealth duties of the Scout.

Interestingly, though, the possibilities haven't decreased. The old system of badges, which gave you class specific abilities like healing teammates, building automated turrets or cloaking, has been replaced with more flexible unlocks.

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Like the speedier movement it's a more COD-like touch - XP earned though kills and completing objectives can be used to buy skills for each type. The clever bit is that there's far more intermingling of guns between the options.

Certain core skills are still locked to characters, like cloaking or turret building, say. It's not perfect: having to unlock a secondary pistol for each class is a pain.

And the Tactician's previously game-changing respawn ability has been degraded from a smoke grenade you can deploy anywhere, to fixed points on a map to capture. That essentially translates to a fish/barrel shooting situation with the opposition easily able to camp out and pick off people as they appear.

On the plus side there are some general unlocks for everyone. Things like extra armour or the ability to use two primary weapons. It does reward specialisation, though.

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