One of our readers, Kade, has prepared a special treat for PSP Fanboy readers. He was invited into the Killzone: Liberation infrastructure multiplayer beta, and he's written a rant/preview/hands-on about his experience. It's detailed enough to make you get jealous!
Check it out, after the break. It'll make for some good, relaxing Saturday morning reading.
[Update 1: Disabled comments.]
Yes, we had out first trial just recently, 2nd of March to be precise, and it was absolutely amazing for a variety of reasons.
Of course, there were some technical procedures that we had to go through, because this was a restricted beta-trial. However, once signed up, the whole process was smooth, probably one of the smoothest infrastructure experiences from a PSP game to date.
I have to admit that upon hearing that infrastructure mode was going to be 'patched' into the game, I had my doubts. It was supposed to be the first game to go down this path, and a pleasant breeze it was. The patch took a mere minute to download, and the patching itself took another, which then gave me access to 'Combat Zone (Online)' mode in the multiplayer section of the game. I believe it takes a few megabytes on the memory stick, so no problems there. This method actually implies volumes of possibilities about other titles getting an infrastructure mode if the developers find it fitting.
"Ah, and what about the game play? Smooth? Glitch-ridden?"
Really, writing it out would -not- be doing the game, or this new mode any justice. Since I lack the hardcore ad-hoc experience against other human players, I'm not going to refer you to the reviews of this game. I vividly recall what a raving review this game's 'multiplayer feature' had gotten by many videogame hubs from across the web. It was unanimously hailed as one of the most fun multiplayer games on the PSP. The flexible and fast-paced intensity of Killzone Liberation's genre and design were excellent variables for a little cocktail that I called 'fun ad-hoc'. Well, now envisage those very factors, but with the added benefit of an online arena - salivating yet? Fine, fine, that maybe a bit too much, but really, the infrastructure mode is tantalizing, and keeps you wanting more shots at this attractive isometric shooter. It would've been amazing to have the Americans participating in these trials as well, because I tried logging on during the non-trial hours to search for some players - very little luck there! Europeans don't seem to be too hot on playing around during the non-trial periods, so tough one.
We were currently offered the following modes:
Team Death Match
Capture the Flag
Maps were restricted to the Docks and the Airfield, but I guess this is expected with the beta.
The experience itself rocked, despite how many times I got my *** handed to me; I have yet to develop an aptitude for playing against skilled humans, so there. It can be challenging, but a hell of a lot less annoying than getting fragged in those FPS games; another bane for which I exude much experience.
The servers appeared smooth, and there were hardly any noticeable glitches experienced during the game play. If this is a mere preview of things to come, then I think you all can look forward to something amazing. Some might argue that server lag was minnow due to the fact that this is a restricted Beta Trial, but still - I am confident that the final product will not disappoint, because beta-trials aren't always the same as the typical Microsoft 'Preview' (Sorry, just had to toss that one in there).
I can now appreciate this great step towards remodeling the genre for this game on the PSP, since I never got to experience the game's multiplayer feature on a hardcore ad-hoc level - not many PSP and/or Killzone Liberation owners within my reach. Despite the lack of experience, it was very obvious to me that this would be one of the more portable-friendly multiplayer shooters around, so I always complained about the lack of infrastructure support, which would certainly enhance this game's appeal and replay ability. As already mentioned, I was also very skeptical with the idea of the feature getting patched on at a later date, which is a claim that I am pleased to see the developers lived up to - just the light at the end of the tunnel that I needed.
We'll continue to have more trial sessions in the coming weeks, but now I can't wait for this to be released as a complete public download, because seriously, every one who owns Killzone deserves to experience this feature. Better yet, this very feature should motivate every PSP owner, who's looking for a solid, total-package title with online multiplayer support to go out and get themselves a copy of Killzone: Liberation. Gaming websites and fans always talk about AAA titles, and that is all fine and dandy, but if you ask me, this whole deal with Killzone is AAA! Well done, Sony.