Killzone aims for top spot among PS3 shooters

In the world of first-person shooters, the Killzone franchise stands out, bringing fast-paced action along with a good sense that you are wreaking havoc on everyone in front of your gun. After the first slightly disappointing Killzone came the sequel,  Killzone 2, which continued the story and finally brought the franchise to a next-generation console. Killzone 3 brings a similar dish to the table with another continuation of the previous story line and slight tweaks to the gameplay.

The story of the third game starts out where the second one ended. The war between the humans and the Helghast rages on. The player begins the game playing as what is believed to be a Helghast soldier, learning the basics of the game play and attending to the Chairman of the Helghan army’s broadcast to the people. However, after the protagonist is revealed to be a human named Sev, the game cuts to six months earlier.

The gameplay of the main campaign is very similar to the previous game in the franchise, Killzone 2. The main part of the campaign is to progress through the story, picking up where the previous game left off. However, the game keeps things fresh with a couple of new weapons and abilities to use against the enemy. New weapons include the “WASP,” a multi-rocket launcher designed to take out heavy machinery such as tanks or airships. A new ability includes the “brutal melee” which is also the goriest part of the game. Performing this ability will do one of several moves such as gouging a Helghan’s eye out or breaking its neck.

The new weaponry adds a bit of a new element of strategy to the game, as well as a fresh way of creating destruction in your path. However, the players overall will notice practically no difference in the campaign from the previous game.

The multiplayer is where the game starts to look like a new invention. The player can choose from five different classes to play as such as an Infiltrator wielding a shotgun, a Medic who can revive players or an Engineer who is good with repairing structures and building turrets. Similar game modes to the previous games are available, such as “Guerilla Warfare,” which is a straightforward team deathmatch style game play, which just relies on body count as the objective to win.

Killzone 2’s “Warzone” has also made a return in Killzone 3 as another option for multiplayer action. Warzone is a multi-mission based mode which has the players on teams competing in different objectives such as Body Count, Assassination (targeting a single team member) or Capture and Hold (an area defense mode).

The new mode for Killzone 3 is “Operations.” Operations have the two teams, one is the Earth based Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) and the other the Helghast, trying to take over or destroy the other’s base of operations. For example, in one map, the ISA must destroy a Helghan dam. The cool thing about this mode is that at the end of the game, depending on which team wins, a special cut scene will take place. The cut scene depicts heroic events of a player who contributed the most to the victory against the other team that ended up failing in their efforts and are ultimately destroyed. The multiplayer progression uses a simple leveling system, 45 in total. When leveling up, the player can choose to upgrade certain weapons from the various classes, such as upgrading the Engineer’s sentry gun or getting a more powerful sniper rifle for the Marksman class.

Players can also play in the “Botzone.” The Botzone is a place where players can play against AI in various game modes and team make-ups. With all of the good things Killzone 3 brings, there are some problems with it that irked me throughout the game. The first is the little annoyances in the campaign. The AI teammates would often not be able to see your dead body staring at them in the face when they look around to revive you if you are dying. Another problem is that the character will randomly clip through the environment and get stuck in certain places, which can be annoying if the player is in the middle of combat.

A big gripe about this game is the annoying acceleration that takes effect when you move your sight around. This was also present in Killzone 2 and isn’t any less annoying. It makes it difficult to move your target onto exactly  whom you want to if your sensitivity is on the higher side. Once you get used to it, however, it becomes easier to target.

With these problems, Killzone 3 is still a very acceptable sequel to the previous games in the series. It rightfully earns its place as one of the best shooters on the Playstation 3 so far, and it will take a lot to best it in the future.

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