First take: Killzone 2

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I’m a little late to the party with Killzone 2, another of the newly anointed messiah games for the PS3. Saw it at E3 and CES, liked what I saw, finally got to play it this week.

As far as first-person shooters go, I look at this game as the anti-Halo. Not in terms of popularity, but it how it feels. While the Halo series (and other PC shooters before it) have always been a haven for bouncy, up-and-down, gravity defying shooter action, Killzone 2 is rooted to the ground, both in philosophy and gameplay. It’s a meat-and-potatoes first-person shooter that will leave you with dirt and blood on your fingernails as opposed to inspired visions of intergalactic heroism.

The controls took some getting used to for me, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad. I’m not sure of the designers’ intentions, but you feel like you’re steering a guy who is not only carry a lot of weaponry, but it’s HEAVY weaponry — so it could stand to reason that one should not except the ability to whip your gun around at high speed. Then again, perhaps I’m overthinking, and the controls just feel sluggish at first. We’ll see. I’m on the final level (I think) and I plan to finish off the single player tonight. It’s a little short — it took me less than five hours to get there.

The visuals don’t particularly shock me, since I’ve already seen the game. They’re still excellent, comparable with the destroyed beauty concept we saw in the Gears of War games. Add in the waves of f-bombs from Rico and the other soldiers you run with for sounds, and you’ve got the foundation for some wartime atmosphere.

I’ll be trying multiplayer this week as well. You’ll get a review after that.