Killzone HD

For whatever reason, the original Killzone is a game that flew off of my radar even when it was initially released for the PlayStation 2 back in 2004. I’m not sure why, either, because I have a love for First-Person-Shooters: at least decently good ones, that is.

Killzone is centered around an odd storyline of world governments and an Earthly wasteland. You can pretty much sum it up as rebels versus the empire, though it’s not Star Wars-like in anyway. In fact, the game was released to be a “Halo Killer”, that is a flagship title on the PS2, but I have a feeling the adult-oriented content may have kept those expectations grounded.

Years later, the game received a high-definition refresh on the PlayStation 3, which is the version I opted to review here.

Now for the good: the game looks really impressive with the HD refresh. You can tell, especially with the cutaway scenes, that it’s an older title, but that really doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. The visuals, along with the soundtrack, are great.

The voice acting, along with the (in my opinion) unnecessarily added swearing (i.e. the “adult content” I mentioned earlier) gets repetitive and could be done without… though it does lead to a few laughs throughout.

Gameplay-wise, the game will have some frustrating moments. There are obvious squeeze points that force you to use more strategy, a specific weapon, or to conserve ammo. You can carry up to three weapons, and sometimes dropping one weapon in lieu of another may leave you almost empty-handed in certain situations.

The weapons often have secondary features, and as customary in these games, some are better at closer distances, load faster, etc. None of that is a shocker.

Grenades are also a part of the game, though I found them to be aggravating to aim properly. In fact, the controls are the biggest caveat in this game as the button layout doesn’t follow your traditional FPS pattern in some cases. Even reloading or trying to melee attack an enemy can be quirky at times.

In all, the game isn’t something to really be a downer on. I checked it out because of having it on my bucket list for so long, and having seen it spawned a slew of sequels. Playing a remake of a game two generations after it’s initial release, I won’t comment on any of its shortcomings as that would be unfair.

The only thing I can say is, the game does feel as if it becomes a chore to complete after you reach a certain point. A surprise or two here or there helps keep you into it, but I can see why it was never a true “Halo Killer” after all of these years.