Previews

Killzone 3: The best PS3 shooter ever?

The war is nearly over...

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Max out the Infiltrator's disguise and you remain undetected by enemy turrets or drones and perform melee kills without breaking cover. That is going to wreak havoc behind enemy lines.

Similarly a fully leveled up Marksman can stay almost fully cloaked while fi ring, only becoming visible after a kill. There are also some extremely powerful abilities that make teamwork essential.

The Tactician can highlight every enemy, anywhere on the map with a blue cross on screen, something that can only be countered with the Marksman's ability to hide players.

The medic can also earn the ability to heal nearby allies. It means teams will really have to work together to avoid a well placed power turning a match into a turkey shoot.

STAR PLAYER
The match types have also been hit with the simple stick. The rotating Warzone matches are still available, rotating through various modes in the course of a single game, but now there are more simple and direct options.

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Guerrilla Warfare is bog standard deathmatch but far more interesting is Operations. This is an objective mode that sees one side attacking a position. It's a staggered campaign so it might involve breaching doors, planting explosives and so on.

Where it gets interesting is that the story is told through cut-scenes with the most valuable players highlighted in starring roles. Sure, getting MVP in the fi nal results is good, but being the Helghast who pistol-whips a POW, or the ISA who makes a last minute jump to safety from an exploding base, is awesome.

But what of the single-player campaign? Well it's not looking good for the ISA. The last game saw chief bad guy, Scolar Visari, dead at the hands of Rico as a massive Helghast reinforcement fleet arrived.

As a result Sev and his team are now trapped on Helghan in the middle of a civil war as rival factions fight for leadership. The ships they arrived in are gone, their support and back up are scattered across a hostile planet and, instead of fighting a war, they're simply fighting to survive.

Victory's all but forgotten - now the real battle is to escape.

GOING UNDERGROUND
Interestingly, despite the grimmer set up, Guerrilla are aiming for a lighter tone this time. War is still hell but apparently the OTT swearing has been taken down a notch.

Dialogue is now more about developing characters and story than it is letting rip with a cloud of sailor-strength profanity. We're even going to learn more about the Helghans - their culture and language for example.

Remember the first ever trailer? It showed Sev putting on a Helghan helmet, suggesting the ISA survivors might be going native in order to stay alive. Possibly even starting to mutate like the locals thanks to their extended stay?

Then there are new environments including Arctic ice flows and jungles, possibly filled with dangerous indigenous wildlife. And new toys like the hop-tastic jet pack and the Wasp, a Ratchet & Clank style RPG that fires clouds of missiles.

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It also has two fire modes, a general aim and shoot, plus a homing mode suggesting the secondary fire options from the first Killzone could return. You'll also be able to tear off mounted weapons to take their goodness with you.

Throw in those stunning, near CG visuals and it all adds up to a pretty impressive end to the series. If anything can show what PS3 is capable of then it's this. February never looked so far away.

Order PSM3 here and have it delivered straight to your door.

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