The Killzone franchise is one that has only been around about 8 years or so but, it’s one that most PlayStation gamers have come to know and respect. Now, The entire main Killzone trilogy is available in one package in the PlayStation Collections line. Is this trilogy worth your purchase or is it just another shameless money grab?
Guerilla Games is a well-respected studio in the video game industry and all of this respect comes mainly from one franchise that they have stuck to since creating it in 2004. Some people may say that Killzone is nothing more than a generic shooter with the standard action sequences and large-scale shootouts. I, however, don’t see Killzone that way at all. Killzone has been given a lot of love throughout the years from Guerilla and Sony and it shows in the quality of gameplay that you’ll experience once you pop any of these three games in.
Killzone is the first game in the series and came out on the PlayStation 2 in November of 2004. The game has been re-mastered in HD with trophy support which is a nice touch compared to what was originally scheduled to be an emulated version to be released on the PSN. I do have to mention that you will be able to purchase this game on the PlayStation Network if you do have the other games and DLC in the series. Killzone does come on Disc 1 of the Killzone Trilogy so you won’t have to download anything for those who are weary of the large downloads. The downside is that the game will take up over 3GBs of space on your hard drive which isn’t huge but, honestly why does it have to be installed? This is something that has bugged me about PlayStation 3 for a long time. If content is pressed on a disc, it should play off the disc!
Killzone HD is a much improved game technically as the issues that plagued the game on the PlayStation 2 are nearly non-existent on the PlayStation 3. There is still some pop-in in areas but, nowhere near the amount in the PS2 version. Killzone is actually one of the better looking PS2 HD remakes that I’ve seen with Helghast soldiers popping out of the mist as you mow them down in the most riveting environments you can expect from a last-gen game. The one thing I really couldn’t understand is why the AI was so incredibly terrible at times. I could literally run up to an enemy and hit him in the face before he could get two shots off. I never tried the game on Hard mode but, I would assume that on Normal mode, there would be much more of a fight given. That’s not to say it’s always that way. When endless waves are coming at you, they can be quite effective; get one or two alone though and they become unaware of everything around them. It’s a peculiar thing to witness. The game isn’t at all bad but, you can understand that it was a bit of a rough beginning for the franchise that was originally labeled a “Halo-killer” which was unfair and an expectation it could never live up to. Killzone is a good sci-fi shooter with interesting environments and solid gameplay. It is definitely a decent addition to the collection but, I can tell you that it will not be where you spend most of your time.
Let’s not dive into the story of the Killzone series because let’s face it, that’s not the strong point of the series. The two Killzone games on the PlayStation 3 are great examples of what a development team can do when they care about the polish on a game. Killzone 2 received a lot of unfair criticism over a CG trailer that was released showing unrealistic footage and I really believe the game never recovered from it. Killzone 2 came out in February 2008 and did moderately well but, the sales never did the game justice. From the single-player to the multi-player, the game delivered on all fronts and was a shooter I personally favoured over the the Call of Duty franchise when it was just stepping into it’s own. The game’s mechanics are fine-tuned and the shooting is some of the most precise that I’ve had the pleasure of using.
Where the PlayStation 3 Killzone titles fall a bit flat are the environments which I have to criticize for being a bit to mundane. There isn’t a ton of variety in the entire series when it comes to level design really although Killzone 3 seems to end in a better direction. The other problems I have these games is that there just isn’t very much focus on any semblance of a story which I think is the real problem as to why people don’t get attached to this game quite as well as they would with something with a more story-driven campaign. There are no moments in Killzone where the player really feels connected and it’s a problem that needs to be fixed in later games in the series.
The Killzone Trilogy is a great series of games that you’ll get a lot of play time with. The collection also has the added bonus of all the DLC Map Packs added in with a code inside the cover for all your multi-player goodness. I do recommend this collection for anyone who hasn’t experienced Killzone and anyone who wants a pure shooter with not a lot of extras. Killzone is bare-bones but, it’s as polished as they come and I can honestly say that it’s one of my favourite shooters on the market.