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77 Reviews

Killzone 3

Hope in Helghast

We bet you couldn't believe your luck.

It was as if, at 3am in the club, just as you forced down that last overpriced, tasteless lager; just as you mournfully pictured the unforgiving, vomit-decorated, regret-ridden solitude of the taxi rank, the most attractive girl in the building bowled up and propositioned you.

Her name was Killzone 2. She came out of nowhere, she looked incredible, she loved your fancy new PS3 - and all of your mates were jealous as sick pups.

Oh, it was fun at first, showing her off to anyone with five spare minutes. You'd tell your friends: "This is it, man! Real love!"

Zoom

They dismissed your romantic crescendos as little more than lust-driven, deer-eyed wishful thinking, but you knew the truth. They'd roll their eyes when you'd swear she was The One - but you'd only have to glance at her to know this was the real deal.

Cruel, isn't it, how the weeks wear on? They seemed to become gradually longer back then, somehow. She never stopped being drop-dead, but something wasn't quite clicking. It almost began to feel like a struggle, like your conversations never drifted into something meaningful.

God, every 'stage' of your relationship begun to feel the same - as if every time you met, you were being restricted inside never-ending muddy, rundown blocks of broken buildings.

It had to end. Her personality, no, her - can you really say this, you arrogant monster? - her intellect... it all just wasn't enough. And boy, did she grunt in her sleep.

Now, though, two years later, she's sauntered back into your life. She swears she's changed, that she's a more complex, interesting character than before. Is that even possible? She certainly seems more... I don't know, self-confident? She hasn't even mentioned Halo once.

Early signs are good - heck, within half an hour in her company, you're not even missing Half-Life anymore!

Steady on, chap. Judge her fairly, that's all you can do. Try not to be captivated just by the beauty. You know it doesn't end well.

Then again, if you don't allow yourself to see the best in her, you might just regret it forever...

EYES ON THE PRIZE
So, then. Let's start with that which makes us all pant like knackered dogs: Visually, Killzone 3 is absolutely breathtaking - genre-leading, in places. At its finest, it tops anything seen in Reach. There. Said it.

Debris, dust, dew, sand, rain, snow; something is always drifting and brushing over the lens of your screen - bolstered by a fresh array and variety of environments which ensure Killzone 3 maintains its impact on the eyes.

Zoom

The familiar grey of rubble-ridden urban scenes are still there, but Guerilla's obviously made a real effort to open Helghan up and show you the real wonder of one of the harshest planets in the universe.

Exploding chunks of concrete contrast with the frozen Helghan coast, all wrapped in a blizzard that forces you to peer through a whipping wall of snow so well-imagined it actually makes you feel a bit chilly. Before you know it, the Helghan jungle smacks into view - and you're stuffed in claustrophobic growth with bulging, glowing pinks and reds pushing out of foliage; KZ2's relentless swathes of red dust replaced with fireflies and bits of grass caught by the hot air.

But then, you knew Killzone 3 was going to look special. You knew it was going to be a graphical showcase for the Sony platform. But you also knew that graphics only count for so much. We're after character, remember? And that's a whole lot more complicated.

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