Guerrilla demonstrates Killzone 3; promises a more epic, varied experience

Guerrilla Games showed Killzone 3 in action for the first time tonight at an event in San Francisco. Managing director Hermen Hulst was on hand to lay out some key details about the sequel -- unfortunately, any sort of release date wasn't among them.

Saying that the team was inspired by the ambition exhibited by other Sony Worldwide Studios releases, specifically Uncharted 2 and God of War 3, Hulst detailed planned improvements across the board for Killzone 3. Chief among them is more variety in environments, weapons, vehicles and enemies. Promising more epic, unique moments throughout, he pointed out that the first three minutes of the demo featured more cinematics and scripted events than the entire first level of Killzone 2.

My full hands-on with the game will be published tomorrow afternoon, but for now you can read on after the break for more on Killzone 3's new environments, weapons and other features.
Between showing clips of the demo we played -- a level called "Frozen Shores" -- Hulst explained that one of the goals of this sequel is to "really explore Helgan." Whereas the previous game was set in an urban environment, Killzone 3 will play out across wastelands, jungles and an arctic sea, all leading to a final act set in space. Calling the game a "colossal campaign," Hulst said to expect more vehicles and larger enemies. All of the game's environments will offer "new play styles," he added.

The more "epic" presentation came across during a clip where the player was controlling a turret on-board a dropship, firing on a Helghast oil rig as huge sections of it fell away into a raging arctic sea. This happened en route to a landing zone, where on-foot combat took place amidst snow flurries and heavy turret fire. The player in the footage eventually used one of the turrets to destroy a Helghast dropship, which spiraled out of control, slamming into a building and erupting into a massive fireball. The soldier then removed the turret from its mount and sent swarms of missiles at another building, bringing down its system of catwalks -- and the enemies on them.

Hulst revealed that this demo level was 10 times the size of a typical Killzone 2 level, allowing for Guerrilla's designers to create multiple paths through it, expanding on the largely linear settings of the game's predecessor.

Wrapping up the presentation, Hulst noted that the game will make use of some new technology, including improved streaming (eliminating the loading hiccups encountered in Killzone 2) and positional "depth of field audio." Multiplayer improvements were mentioned, but not detailed. "It's safe to say that every wish-list feature has been addressed," Hulst offered, adding that further info on the "more accessible" online experience will come later this year.

In one final clip, I got a look at what Guerrilla is calling the "brutal melee system" -- and it seems appropriately named. An ISA soldier took down multiple Helgast troopers using kicks to their heads, rifle stocks to their faces and, in a closing shot, knocked an enemy flat off the floor, holding his head down with his boot before squeezing off a kill shot.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.