Game Review: Killzone: Shadow Fall
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Killzone has become one of the flagship franchises for the PlayStation brand. After being touted as a Halo-killer for so long, it has finally shaken off that stigma and created its own identity and become a solid franchise all on its own. Will Killzone: Shadow Fall continue the legacy of this series or is it time to finally let this franchise fade away?
After the release of Killzone 3 a couple years ago, a lot of people were u happy with the direction the Killzone was going in and were worried about the future of the series. I wasn’t one of those people, Killzone has always offered an alternative to the Call of Duties, and Halos of the world and I was interested to see what they could do with a new console and a lot more horsepower. There is a lot of good to come of it.
Killzone has always been a bleak looking game as a result of the tones that it pulls the player through but, the ends with Shadow Fall as you’re brought into a far more vibrant world with many diverse locales and levels to battle through. It’s always wonderful to see the large, lush world Guerilla has created with a so much detail and scale. The game looks and runs beautifully.
Killzone: Shadow Fall begins with a rather lengthy tutorial/origin story where you try to get through to the wall safely only for some unfortunate circumstances to take place. The wall in the story feels very much like the real life Berlin Wall and ha sa really dark and ominous atmosphere. The story itself has a lot more exploration than previous games and you can easily get lost in the expansive areas that you are travelling around. You are able to easily walk around undetected if you are smart enough to use stealth to your advantage although there are some times when stealth just isn’t an option. Sometimes the stealth kills don’t work very well either with a rifle butt replacing a knife skill and alerting everyone in the area.
There are a ton of different collectibles to collect in the game, the coolest being the audiologs which play from the speaker in your DualShock 4. It’s really startling to hear out of the blue but, it makes it so much easier to hear through that speaker than over the game music and everything else. The missions are completely non-linear which makes the game have so much more replay value. The game lets you approach things head on or take different routes with the help of you OWL unit which makes it a whole new game.
Your OWL is your robotic companion and does a ton of useful things that can really help you get out of some really tight jams. The OWL can shut down enemy alarms and override electrical controls, it can attack people, throw up a shield for you, or even shoot out a zipline for you to fly down. It creates multiple possibilities and outcomes to every battle and really differentiates itself from other games in the genre. The OWL can even revive you provided it’s not in battle and that there is an adrenaline (health) pack available. It’s something different and it takes away the whole shoot, take cover, shoot mentality.
Well Killzone: Shadow Fall does a lot of thing well, it also forces the player to do some thing that it doesn’t do so well. There are areas where you have to almost complete puzzles when you’re putting energy into different slots to power doors and such, there’s platforming where you have to be rather precise with your jumps, there’s zero-gravity sections, and more. It all takes away from the core experience to make players do things that aren’t very fun and aren’t necessary to the story.
While the campaign is the bread and butter of the franchise, the multiplayer will keep you coming back again and again. Shadow Fall throws out the conventional experience based progression system for a series of different challenges to test your true skill. Almost every weapon for each skill tree is unlocked from the start and Warzones allow you to tailor the game to your liking. Want to just use snipers and knives with one life, you can? Want just shotguns on one map? You can do it. Toss that fact and the fact that this game is set to be supported for some time and I’d say Guerilla Games have built a pretty solid experience.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is the best Killzone game in the series thus far and one that will bring better direction to the future of this series. If Killzone 3 was a low point, Killzone: SF is definitely a high point for the franchise. I’d definitely recommend picking this one up especially with the low amount of games available on the PS4 right now, you won’t regret it.
A copy of this game was provided by Sony Computer Entertainment Canada to FYIG for review purposes.