While I was in Gamestop today picking up my copy of Saints Row, I noticed they received their demo copies of Killzone. After plopping down $5 big ones, it's now mine, and I've spent enough time with it to give you my take.
First of all, I can't help but keep being reminded of Metal Gear while playing this game. With its isometric view, it looks a lot like Metal Gear Acid, but, thankfully, there are no damn cards involved in Killzone. But looking similar to Metal Gear Acid, which is beautiful in its on right, is not bad at all – oh hell no.
Read on to see my full review.
This game looks gorgeous. There's no way getting around it, but we've all seen screens and video before, so this comes to no surprise. Developer Guerrilla has definitely paid an extreme amount of attention to detail as they try to get as much horsepower out of the PSP as possible, and the results are simply amazing.
The demo drops you into a Dock level where you basically have to make your way through about a dozen enemies, a few sets of infrared-triggered explosives and deal with a nasty rocket-launching baddie to infiltrate the enemy's base. All in all, it will should take you about 20 minutes to complete after restarting a few times. But after you've mastered it, it will only take a few minutes to get through the level. However, it's enough to show you what the game is all about.
Pick Your Weapon
Like in most demos, you aren't given the full assortment of items or weaponry to use at your disposal, and Killzone is no different. In the retail version, you start off by selecting one of 10 weapons ranging from a pistol to a flamethrower, each rated in firepower, rate of fire, accuracy and range. But in the demo, you're only able to select from two different assault rifles and a machine pistol.
However, you can find and use a few of the locked weapons throughout the demo. My personal favorite has to be the crossbow with exploding arrows. Too cool.
How Does This Baby Control?
After selecting your weapon, you begin in the Dock level where you learn the controls. Immediately after playing the game for a few minutes, I was amazed by how fluid and easy it is to control your character.
The Square button fires your weapon. When walking near an interactive item, an icon appears above your character, and by pressing X, you can do things like smash boxes or pick up health packs. Pressing the R trigger allows your character to crouch, thus increasing his accuracy. But you're not able to move while crouching, which is a tad disappointing. And with no way to run, trudging along at a slow pace can get frustrating.
Also, in this level, there are many cases in which to hide behind for safety, but it also gives the enemy cover, as well. This problem is easily rectified by tossing a grenade with the O button. But remember, your enemies have grenades, too. And finally, pressing Select brings up a handy map, which will probably be useful in the final version, but you won't need it in the demo.
I'm Surrounded By Assholes!
And you'll quickly find out disposing of enemies is sometimes unnecessarily easy due to suspect A.I. In Killzone, I'm not sure if some enemies have a severe case of mental retardation or if the A.I. is just that bad because I experienced several occasions when enemies stood right in front of me but shot in an entirely different direction until they ran out of bullets ... until I pumped them full of lead.
However, as many times that I encountered a tard, I also came in contact with just as many intelligent enemies who shot at nearby gas canisters, attempting to blow me to smithereens. And the first few times those bastards were successful, too. Hopefully, this A.I. inconsistency only plagues the demo and will be fixed in the final version.
In addition to the A.I., sound effects often lag behind considerably when beginning the level. It takes a few seconds until it catches up, but this just a small flaw I noticed. But I'm sure this is due to the game not being fully completed, though.
Oh yeah, one more thing – don't leave the game sitting for more than a minute because it will reset automatically if it sits too long. Doh!
But Will You Respect Me Tomorrow?
After finishing the single-player mode, you may want to try your hand at multi-player if you have a friend nearby. The demo supports wireless multi-player via ad-hoc. Although the only game type available is a Death Match on the Dock level with the time limit ranging from 5 to 15 minutes, it's nice of Guerrilla to include it in the demo to prolong its life.
Killzone has so many good things going for it that I can't help but think this is going to be a no-brainer for any PSP owner. With its great graphics, smooth gameplay and tight controls, this may be the next must-have title after Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
However, there are some flaws I hope Sony makes sure are fixed before the game ships Oct. 31.
After playing through the demo several times, I'm more excited for Killzone than ever before. If you have a chance to get your hands on the demo, you should definitely pick it up and experience this game first hand. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10