Bringing a building to its knees with a turret; nailing a gas canister and watching it spiral out of control; pinning a Helghast to a wall with the bolt gun and watching him writhe in agony; letting rip with the superb flamethrower; watching hundreds of bullets whiz and ping, sending chunks of concrete flying off of pillars and exposing electrical cabling underneath; marvelling at the most stunning, eye-catching war torn backgrounds and skylines your gaming eyes ever did see, makes Killzone 2 the best looking game ever made - a jaw dropping graphical showcase from start to finish.

Then there are the animations. Oh, the glorious animations. In many ways, the Helghast, or "cockney Nazis", steal the show from Killzone 2's disappointingly generic Alpha Squad. For one, you see them more often than you see yourself, the personality-starved Sergeant Sev. Two, when you do see them, you're almost always shooting them, which results in more satisfying limb jolting and spine spazzing than in a Rambo flick. The weapon reload animations are a work of art, often distracting the eye when you should be paying attention to what's fixed squarely in your targeting reticule instead. Some take what feels like ages - the grenade launcher, the flamethrower - but they're all worth it. In fact, when new weapons are introduced into the game, it's just as much fun finding out what they look like to reload as it is to discover how destructive they are.

Perhaps most impressive of all, though, is the AI. The Helghast are smart, to the point where they're actually genuinely hard to kill. Your typical fire fight in Killzone 2 plays out like this: move forward into a new area of war-torn Helghan, the Helghast home planet, get assaulted by numerous Helghast, find cover, fight for your life. The Helghast, with their creepy red eyes and gas mask-filtered voices, aren't dumb. They use cover at least as well as you do. They flank at least as well as you do. They fire at least as accurately as you do. They use grenades at least as appropriately as you do. They retreat, they regroup, they assault, they suppress, all at least as well as you do. In short, they're bastards who don't pop their heads out of cover just so you can whack-a-mole them on the head. If you try run and gun in Killzone 2 you're going to get your ass handed to you. You need to think. This is not mindless violence, just... war.

Killzone 2's stupendous graphical effects combine to provide an incredibly realistic experience, despite the fantastical sci-fi premise. Realistic and relentless. For some, working through the game's somewhat brief 10 mission campaign will feel like a slog. That's not a slight, but a deliberate move on Guerrilla's part. The game's levels are designed to play out like a series of intense fire fights that need to be battled through in order to progress, with few set pieces or breaks in pace. From the moment you're spat out onto the battlefield from one of those now infamous flying soldier carriers to the game's last, adrenaline-pumping battle, Killzone 2 is a roller coaster ride of endless death.

Screenshots don't do the game justice - it's the best-looking game we've ever seen.

Screenshots don't do the game justice - it's the best-looking game we've ever seen.

That Killzone 2's campaign feels like the opening 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan is in part due to the incredible graphics, but there's also a more subtle technique at play. Killzone 2's perspective is set slightly lower compared with other FPS games, to the point where you sometimes feel like a midget when you're fighting alongside other members of Alpha Squad. The view seems significantly narrower than in other games as well, almost as if someone's pressed the zoom function on your TV remote and not told you. As a result, Killzone 2 feel more claustrophobic, more intense, more heart-thumping. When the HUD drains of colour and blood covers half the screen, you feel very, very alone, but very, very involved.

Then there are the controls, which will perhaps prove to be more of a deal-breaking factor than any other for some gamers. At first, the controls feel terrible. There's an almost sluggish feel; a tiny but noticeable delay between pressing a direction with the Sixaxis thumb sticks and the shifting of the targeting reticule. Sev's not fast, and he's no super soldier. He can't jump 20 feet in the air, like Master Chief, or roadie run as if a speeding bullet, like Marcus Fenix. Guerrilla's gone for a more considered, realistic approach, grounded in a semblance of reality.

Having to snap to cover with the L2 button, (the default control set-up), forces your left hand to do things it really wasn't built for. The sniper rifle highlights this perfectly. As you'd expect, you zoom by clicking in the right thumb stick. However, to get the maximum zoom you then need to press up on the d-pad, which, when you're pressing L2 to stay in cover, can be more mind-melting than an episode of the Krypton Factor.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

Mar27w's Avatar

Mar27w

played this game at my mates,slight delay in the controls and movement?slight:its like your moving in treacle,its a nightmare,unresponsive controls in a 1st person shooter is about the worst thing imaginable,if werent for the graphics this game would have got a much lower score,buy COD4 instead
Posted 11:22 on 01 June 2009
clangod's Avatar

clangod

It's a f***** awesome game. Just play it!!!
Posted 03:07 on 18 March 2009
jakeistheman's Avatar

jakeistheman

this game is great buy it now if u havent already. they could ev made online ranking system better though got general rank in 3 days
Posted 22:45 on 17 March 2009
chambers's Avatar
Delete Post

chambers

The consoles couldn't handle this game @ 60fps and 1280x720, but they could always drop the resolution like cod4 and many other games. I prefer a game to be 720P at least, so I say leave it alone.
Posted 02:56 on 04 March 2009
Black_Douglas's Avatar

Black_Douglas

Zadam , i thought it did..............................!?
Posted 17:18 on 02 March 2009
Zadam's Avatar
Delete Post

Zadam

Why can't this game run at 60fps? Cod 4 runs beautifully and KZ2 just looks choppy. I think its time for all games to hit the 60fps mark.
Posted 16:47 on 02 March 2009
DETHDEVIL PSN's Avatar
Delete Post

DETHDEVIL PSN

WHO THE *** CARES IF GEARS IS BETTER OR KILLZONE IS BETTER. THEY ARE BOTH SUPERB GAMES THAT DESERVE PLAY TIME QUIET WHINING LIKE LITTLE BITCHES. GET OFF THE MESSAGE BOARDS AND PLAY. IF KILLZONE IS SO GREAT GO PLAY IT AND STOP DEFENDING SOMETHING THAT DOESNT NEED DEFENDING
Posted 16:17 on 27 February 2009
magichater's Avatar

magichater@ Black_Douglas

Just got my Killzone 2 through the post I am dying to play it but if I put it on mnow chances are I will be late for work :blushsmile:
Posted 09:51 on 27 February 2009
Black_Douglas's Avatar

Black_Douglas

Hello Zadam, all I can add to your comment above is it looks to me you were playing a demo but it doesn't seem to me it was Killzone2 , you must be mistaken.............................say gooodbye to your xbox360 now! today!
Posted 09:30 on 27 February 2009
Zadam's Avatar
Delete Post

Zadam

I just played the demo tonight... I don't see what all the hype is about the graphics! Sure the physics look great but the textures and other things don't look any better than whats out there now. Yes and everything was very grey. And I wonder what native resolution they were using? I don't know about this review, sounds like a fanboy rant to me. As for me I own all 3 consoles this generation and I like them all. I just wish the PS3 could deliver something that truly blows the 360 outta the water.
Posted 01:12 on 27 February 2009
Sarpadon's Avatar
Delete Post

Sarpadon

I think the review is well written with good style and valid points. I bought my PS3 for lots of reasons; a full media centre, not just game-play, but the graphics capability, when used well in a game, is what really blows me away. Odd...I still get a buzz out of playing DOOM.
I downloaded the demo and will now be getting the game. As for the AI, I just had a Helghast decide that sticking his head round the doorframe for me to take pot-shots at wasn't so bright and started to just push the gun round the doorframe to shoot at me. That is kinda impressive.
Posted 19:29 on 26 February 2009
Come on's Avatar
Delete Post

Come on

this was legitametly the stupidest article ever, first is the fact you can take away points for an additonal feature like co-op cod 4didnt have it and its better than cod 5 which has it, and second of all ps3 users had cod 4 along killzone tow is a gears of war killer thats what it was made to be
Posted 03:18 on 11 February 2009
Black_Douglas's Avatar

Black_Douglas

coder-oktay , I don't know what on earth you are talking about, and neither will anyone else i suspect, and out of all these positive posts regarding killzone2 , you are being very very negative, but plese feel free to enjoy killzone 3 when it might appear on the xbox 720 in about 4years.
Posted 16:48 on 10 February 2009
clangod's Avatar

clangod

Well well coder-oktay,

It seems that you can do nothing but launch flak at the graphics by comparing them to your own knowledge of "maya" program. What have you developed lately???

Whether the technical/ graphical aspects of KZ2 meet your irrelevant tech-talk in your second to last post, you cannot simply discredit this games' obvious graphical acheivements.

KZ2 looks nothing short of brilliant. While you sit there and whinge about it's textures and dated graphics, accept that what Geurilla have done has been done exceptionally well.
Posted 04:38 on 10 February 2009
icosotc1's Avatar
Delete Post

icosotc1

didn't like the controls at first....... but after playing the demo a load, im not sure this isnt the best game ive ever played. it kinda reminds me of the first time i played mario 64. controls were difficult to grasp but once i was in the sweet spot it was very hard to put it down.
Posted 07:01 on 08 February 2009

Game Stats

Killzone 2
9
Out of 10
Killzone 2
  • Frantic, relentless action
  • Brilliant multiplayer
  • The best graphics we've ever seen
  • No campaign co-op
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 27/02/2009
Platform: PS3
Developer: Guerrilla
Publisher: Sony
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-32
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 1,450
View Full Site