The Five: Killzone 2
The Skinny: The once-thought "Halo-killer" never garnered any true success on the PlayStation 2. With Killzone 2, can Guerilla Games redeem itself and take on the best the Xbox 360 has to offer?
1. Guerilla is keeping everything in-engine, and while in gameplay sequences, everything is from the first-person perspective. By pressing L1 near a cover surface, you'll initiate the intuitive cover system, which the team is calling "first-person lean-and-peek." While not as effective as using your scope, you can buy yourself time by blasting off a few rounds so that the enemies take cover, then stand up, get your scope zoomed in, and be ready when the enemy thinks the coast is clear.
2. The theater of war that Guerilla Games showed off in the faked target video has almost been matched in the game's pre-alpha stage. There were points that some muzzle lighting effects were pixilated, but fortunately the team has some time before the game is released early next year. It still looks pretty damn good.
3. While everything in Killzone 2 isn't completely destructible, quite a bit of it is. Blast bridges, or topple building structures to lay waste in situations where it would take longer to just pick off enemies one by one. For the record, while there will be destructible environments in multiplayer, they will be less pervasive than what is offered in single-player.
4. The team has gone above and beyond for the multiplayer campaign. Killzone 2 will support two to 32 players in multiplayer and will allow for some serious customization -- and we're not just talking about game types. Using a new badge system will allow players to mix and match different class types. Mix and match badges from Engineer, Medic, Assault, Scout, Tactician or Saboteur to create exactly the type of soldier you want to be -- which should make some Team Fortress players quite happy.
5. Killzone 2 is all about inspiring team play. Within your team you can create four-player squads that will share details such as health, badge choices, spawn points and a headset channel. Squads can be created on the fly, and if you're in a clan, you can plan ahead to split up into different squads to strategically accomplish key objectives.
The big question: Is Killzone 2 the Halo-killer the original game was once touted to be? While it doesn't have a Forge or video-share abilities, what it lacks in those areas it makes up for in a more robust multiplayer component, larger battles and a solid online and Web site community. Single-player was intense in our short play-through, and we're looking forward to seeing how the team-based multiplayer scenarios evolve.
This preview was based on a hands-on demo of the single-player game and a publisher-driven demo of the multiplayer game.