Killzone 2 is perhaps the most-anticipated PS3 release in the console's short history. It's got graphics to die for, action that'll melt your eyeballs and multiplayer that'll keep you fragging long into 2009. Given that the Guerrilla Games-developed shooter is set to blow everyone and their dog away when it comes out in February, we here at VideoGamer.com thought we'd bring you a series of Killzone-tastic features every day this week to help you get in the mood (if you're not already!). Today, we bring you an in-depth look at Alpha Squad, the four-man team sent to the planet of Helghan to bring down big bad guy Scolar Visari.

Sergeant Sev

Alphasquadsev3.jpg

Military Profile

Full name: Tomas Sevchenko

ISA Security # - 021-332-3390-99

Service: 6 years

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Appearance

Gender: Male

Age: 33

Height: 6'2

Weight: 215 lbs

Eyes: Dark, volcanic blue

Hair: Black (but shaven headed)

Distinguishing marks: Scar on right cheek, Theater tattoo from Arcturus '69 on palm of left hand

Biography

Sev is Killzone 2's main man, and who you'll be controlling throughout the game. He is Guerrilla Games' answer to Master Chief and Marcus Fenix. He is, as you'd expect, a hulking marine, with Arnie-sized arms and a somewhat interesting haircut. Born to a solid, respectable family in the northern city of Vekta, Sev enlisted in the army against his parents' wishes, seeing it as his patriotic duty to defend the homeland against Helghast aggression. This youthful idealism acquired a more personal edge when members of his own family suffered during the Helghast invasion, an incident which still plagues Sev with nightmares. Despite this, Sev displays a responsible, by-the-book approach to his duties and the mission. He's not as well-educated as his friend Garza, with whom he fought numerous battles on Arcturus, but he is intelligent, observant and a fast learner. He is also a natural leader and by the time of the Helghan deployment had led units of up to a hundred men, earning mentions in dispatches and attracting the attention of Colonel Templar himself. Templar saw something of himself in Sev and followed his rise through the ranks, until a fatality in Alpha opened up the position of second-in-command to Rico.

Master Sergeant Rico Velasquez

Alphasquadrico.jpg

Military Profile

Full name: Ricardo Velasquez

ISA Security # - 021-332-4130-55

Service: 12 years

Rank: Master Sergeant

Appearance

Gender: Male

Age: 38

Height: 6'1

Weight: 240 lbs

Eyes: Black

Hair: Black

Skin: Dark Brown

Distinguishing marks: Scar from KZL

Biography

Rico is Killzone's version of Augustus "Cole Train" Cole from the Gears of War series. He's big, absorbs loads of hits and has a tough-talking attitude. He's also, effectively, your boss, being the battle-hardened veteran of the war on Vetka and leader of Alpha Squad, and spends much of the game by your side dishing out orders. Coming from a large family in the poor industrial south of Vekta, Rico was a born fighter, first with his older brothers, then on the streets. He found himself drifting into petty crime before enlisting in the armed forces to escape trouble. The military swiftly became his first true home and he never looked back. His naturally combative nature was honed by training and numerous battles, turning him into a superbly effective soldier. After his squad was wiped out by Helghast, Rico fought alongside Captain (now Colonel) Templar during the SD platform crisis, becoming a national hero. However, during the battle to free Vekta from occupation, he was captured by the Helghast and tricked into betraying his own side by the ISA traitor General Stratson.

Head to page two for background info on Alpha Squad's Lance Corporal Garza and Corporal Natko.

Lance Corporal Garza

Alphasquadgarza1.jpg

Military Profile

Full name: Dante Garza

ISA Security # - 021-332-4110-20

Service: 6 years

Rank: Lance Corporal (sniper specialist)

Appearance

Gender: Male

Age: 31

Height: 5'11

Weight: 180 lbs

Eyes: Black

Hair: Black

Skin: Light brown

Distinguishing marks: Theater tattoo from Arcturus '69 on palm of left hand

Biography

As Alpha Squad's sniper specialist you'll find Garza hanging back in most firefights, offering support with ranged weapons, as well as "sniping" with smart-ass comments. He also spends much of the game fixing broken machinery due to his mechanics skills. The same generation as Sev, with whom he bonded during several bloody campaigns before being picked for Alpha, he is entirely comfortable to serve with him as second-in-command of the squad, the pair forming a natural foil to the more seasoned Rico and Natko. Having dropped out of numerous schools and colleges, Garza was sent by his well-to-do family to a military academy to 'straighten him out'. Instead he found his niche there, discovering in military camaraderie the warmth and appreciation lacking from his rigid upbringing.

Corporal Natko

Alphasquadnatko.jpg

Military Profile

Full name: Shawn Natko

ISA Security # - 021-332-4130-55

Service: 10 years

Rank: Corporal

Appearance

Gender: Male

Age: 39

Height: 6'5

Weight: 220 lbs

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Red

Distinguishing marks: Wears a mustache and beard

Biography

Natko's the cynical pessimist of Alpha Squad. His bandanna and scruffy appearance reflect his general outlook on life - he doesn't much care. He's an experienced soldier though, a demolitions expert and a founding member of Alpha. You'll find that he likes getting up close and personal in battles with the Helghast - he specialises in hand to hand combat and will often whip out his combat knife to gut his enemy, or you'll see him run ahead and smash the Helghast with the butt of his rifle. His expertise in these areas is primarily down to his time spent on the road as a kid during the Grand Depression and subsequent work on the terranium rigs. Like Rico, he is older than Sev and Garza and comes from a relatively humble background, enlisting with many others when the Helghast first appeared to threaten the peace of the colonies.

Desperate for more on Killzone 2? Check out episode 1 of the VideoGamer.com Podcast for impressions from the review build.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for more Killzone 2-related goodness on VideoGamer.com.