Editor's Note: Steve has already rated the single-player portion of Killzone, which you can find at the bottom of this review. Here's his take on how multiplayer functions in the wild, as well as the overall score for both.
Underpopulated and underwhelming, Killzone's multiplayer has neither the frenetic action of Call of Duty, nor the overarching, team-based narratives of Battlefield. Not that it has to be like those games, in theory. But in practice it has to be closer to either one of them than what it is: a slow, oddly sterile shooter with large maps that are short on fun.
It's not terrible, merely mediocre, and signature Killzone hallmarks don't seem to sit well with what Guerrilla is trying to achieve. The 10 maps are stuffed with detail, but are largely sterile and lifeless, all over-saturated neon and flat shiny surfaces. It makes navigating them a chore: most of the areas you'll be fighting in look and – crucially – feel very similar.
These arenas are also, for the most part, a bit too big for both the amount of players (very few, in my experience) and the sheer distance you have to travel to get into the fight. There's an ability that speeds up movement, but for the most part your avatar moves veeeery slowly, even at a sprint.
When you finally run into an opponent, you'll also encounter Killzone's curiously feedback-free approach to letting you know where you're getting hit from. Oftentimes you'll just fall over, dead, without a clue as to the killer blow's origin. Firing your weapon is a little bit better, with guns feeling like they pack a punch. But it's still a system that feels lightweight and mundane, and as such Team Deathmatch suffers.
In fairness, the focus on the 'Warzone' setup, with a series of sequential gametypes that all take place in one session, fosters a feeling of cooperation, even in squads where no-one is talking. The three classes are differentiated well, leaving players in no doubt as to their roles, their strengths, and weaknesses. The ability system is also well thought out: being able to instantly spawn a shield or drone to help out in combat gives it a dynamism that that the weapons and maps don't. But ultimately this is pretty yet uninspired. Killzone, then.
Played for 12 hours.