April Fools from Japan, to Norrath, and as far as Helghan

Have you been fooled yet? If you haven’t, you might want to take a look at how some of our favorite developers have tried to pull a fast one on their fans.
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Review: Killzone 2

Killzone 2 is dirty. Grimy. Hard. It’s a butt-scratching, steak-and-fries eating, beer-drinking shooter that lives down the hall from games like Gears of War, eschewing much of the galactic frilliness one sometimes sees in other games set in the far future. There are no lasers, massive robots, or delusions of universal heroism. You get bullets and fire, f-bombs and blood. And that’s plenty.
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More Killzone 2: Early multiplayer thoughts

If I’m still up at this time, it means I’ve found plenty to like about a game. Even though I think the single-player campaign was a little stunted, the multiplayer’s got more than enough to keep a person chained to their couch/gaming chair/cushion/worn spot on the floor.

As I write this, I’m attempting to move up in my multiplayer ranking, shooting at the enemy and mostly failing. I’ve got little or no lag in a 32-player game, and I’m really enjoying how mission types are handled. While most games stop and reload after a task is completed, Killzone 2 continuously rattles off one mission after another on the same map, which, to me, speaks to the versatility of the game’s levels. Of course, you’ve got the option to only play one mission on a map, but I like the commitment the “series” approach demands from the players.

OK, I just took a shotgun blast to the face. I can’t end the night like that. The next time I talk about this game, it’ll be in a full review.

First take: Killzone 2


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.