The game details the events that occur during an ongoing war between the ISA and an extra-terrestrial dictatorship race, the Helghast. You play as Sev, a single member of the ISA Alpha Squad.
Killzone 2 is the best looking console game we've ever seen. Everything from the smoke, to the explosions, to the environments are stunning. Levels are littered with smoke and shrapnel which are all carried realistically by the wind. While Killzone 2 is not the most innovative game you'll ever play, it constantly manages to nail a very visceral and gritty tone throughout. This is perfectly complimented by the epic cinematic music score that rises and falls depending on the on-screen action. The game does stutter at certain loading points but it's only a minor niggle.
The guns in Killzone 2 are awesome. They feel heavy, are enjoyable to fire and there is a good variation all the way through the 8-hour campaign. The weaponry is accompanied with a realistic weight which differs depending on the type. Machine guns flail all around the screen due to the power behind the weapon, whereas shotguns have a heavy kick to them. This is all emphasised by the excellent physics responses of the Helghast. Shooting them will have a perverse effect on their body resulting in some really satisfying gun fights. It has to be mentioned that the contols do have a settling in period; those players used to Call Of Duty or Resistance will at first find the mechanics slow but you learn to love them.
Killzone 2's multiplayer is quite unique in the way it throws you onto a map and gives you several objectives without ever taking you back to a lobby. In one match you will play variations of Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, Assassination and more. It's not a particularly big touch but it makes the game super competitive. The online also allows you to level up and collect badges, granting you different abilities. For example, you will be able to place turrets as a certain class, which will allow you to protect points of interest from the enemy. It's this focus on levelling and badge upgrading that gives Killzone both its hook and learning curve. However, it can be a bit of a grind reaching certain levels.
From start to finish Killzone 2 is littered with fantastic set-pieces. We don't want to go into too much detail for fear of giving too much away but there are some really fantastic explosions, boss fights and objectives in this game. The campaign may well be short and the story dull, but you could never call Killzone 2 boring. It will constantly have you at the edge of your seat, mouth ajar a little.
Generic "Hollywood" story.The story in Killzone 2 (well, what story there is) is not very good. In fact it's pretty diabolical. Every twist the story takes is perfectly expected; because you've seen it all before. The characters are badly developed and impossible to like. In fact the only saving grace of Killzone's story, the Helghast and leader Visari, are barely touched upon by the games narrative. Apparently the game wants us to believe the enemy are all evil without ever telling us why. If you ask us, we think the macho-induced American stereotypes are the evil ones.
To further the horrors of Killzone's non-existent story are the woeful voice actors. The whole of "Team Alpha" are particularly irritating, continuously dropping unjustified F-bombs and generally giving the impression they are not emotionally attached to the incidents happening around them.
On the whole we think Killzone 2 has an excellent multiplayer component, but it's sadly let down by its difficult barrier-of-entry. It's not so much the games difficulty online that causes the problems, more its focus on levelling up before letting you do anything. When you first play multiplayer you'll have two guns and well, nothing else. Your opponents will be able to place turrets, revive downed team members and create spawn points. It'll take you 20 hours or more playing the multiplayer before you're even close to unlocking everything. We're all for the game rewarding the hours you spend with it but it feels like too much of an uphill struggle at first.
Killzone 2 is an audio-visual tour-de-force which defines a saturated genre without ever adding anything new to the recipe.
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