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Killzone

Moby ID: 15915
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During the era of space exploration, a faction of humans colonized the planet Helghan. In order to survive in the harsh environment, these people mutated to the point of no longer remaining human. They developed a passionate hatred for mankind, and eventually formed the Helghast Empire, attacking the planet Vekta controlled by the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA). As Helghast soldiers invade the planet's perimeter, the ISA forces are trying to hold the ground and find a way to stop them.

Killzone is a sci-fi-themed first-person shooter. The game's stand-out feature is the ability to control any of the four different protagonists, each with his or her own strengths and weaknesses. These characters are: Templar, the balanced squad leader; Rico, who prefers heavy weaponry and is on a quest for revenge; Luger, the team's only female member and a specialist in stealth, who can access special areas; and Hakha, a half-Helghast who can use Helghast weapons and proximity mines.

Up to sixteen players could compete in the online multiplayer portion, which includes eight maps and six modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Assault, Defend and Destroy, Supply Drop, and Domination. The online servers of the game have now been closed down.

Spellings

  • 杀戮地带 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

313 People (263 developers, 50 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 71% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 4 reviews)

Eat your heart out, Master Chief.

The Good
Killzone is an incredible FPS shooter for the Playstation 2. If you didnt know that, you dont appreciate good gaming. The graphics on this game are perfectly seamless. Never a dull moment or a break in the textures. Everything is stunning visually. Light affects and just pure beauty of the lush landscapes really sets it off. The characters are unique, each with their different perks and complete personalities. Rico hates Hahka, but is pals with Templar, which is just a simple example of the relationships. The level changes slightly depending on which character you choose to be, and offers some replay value. The enemies... Oh goodness me I love the Helghast. They're like the Combine, but alot more bad-assed. Brute strength and a lack of concious is all that's needed to be a low-level soldier, and the ability to massacre hundreds of people, even civilians is what'd getcha to an officer level. They're the epitome of the word "Bad Guy" or "Enemy". Plus, their arsenal is pretty slick and powerful too. The guns are SUPREME. Halo comes in LAST for guns. The sounds are heavy, and very realistic sounding. Alot of power with each weapon can be felt through the controller alone, even without the vibration on. Light reflections off of every single weapon gives a nice feeling, and the melee attack is different for each weapon, even giving a realistic/decent sounding crunch when it connects to the enemy. Also, each gun sounds different upon striking. The pistol would obviously sound lighter than the shotgun, for instance, or when you ram the minigun into the gut of a grunt, you can hear the wind get knocked outta his helghan ass. Way better than halo in every aspect. The storyline provided a well-fueled hate or love for the Helghan Empire. It'll shock you with ever twist and turn the story. Stunning intro as well.

The Bad
Well, very little. The comrades' banter during the levels kind of rattle my nerves, but that's by far the only shortcoming.

The Bottom Line
The game that is way better than Halo, hands down. The war is over, and master chief lost. Definate buy.

PlayStation 2 · by Kain Ceverus (30) · 2007

Killzone is a highly enjoyable, epic soldiers-heroes story.

The Good
Killzone's introduction promises an epic war story. The leader of the Helghast speaks to his soldiers, about how they will crush their enemies who drove them off their home-planet. While listening to his speech, we see short scenes that hint at a rich background story, as well as furious firefights between the Helghast and the ISA. These set the mood, and start pumping the blood of the gamer.

Killzone delivers plenty of hard action, with enemies (the Helghast) that take many hits before finally falling to the ground. They look suitably sinister, have rough unhuman voices and brutal-looking vehicles and weaponry. But you never forget that they are humans, somewhat transformed by their planet's environment. We hear them scream when injured, shout rallying cries when rushing to your position et cetera. They are a great foe!

All the while i was playing , the great atmosphere and tough combat really pulled me into the gameworld. Expecially during a mêlée attack, the weight of your punches and kicks is shown with the swaying motion of your vision, truly a joy to watch and play. And the yelps of the poor Helghast that you kick in the nuts! Hilarious and slightly painful to listen to. The sound is also an impressively crafted aspect: crunching snow, howling wind, hot muzzle blasts, deep rumbling explosions. There is excellent music in cutscenes , and these are also of high quality. However, the use of polygon models limits the amount of expression in faces, and they do not show the natural motion of real human bodies. Motion capture has its limits.

The firefights are very memorable, and its so refreshing to see rich tactical opportunities. Being a quarter of a team, they alert you to dangers and function as extra eyes and ears. Cooperating with the other soldiers is a good way to keep the gamer emotionally involved with the firefights: having to protect not only his or her own life , but the lives of others as well. It also discourages reckless behavior with grenades…

You won't be fighting the Helghast in boring corridors that all look alike and only allow one tactic. The environments are awe-inspiring. Beautiful parks with the leaves falling softly from the trees, depressing slums with dirty streets, huge hi-tech structures to enter and shoot your way through, misty swamps to wade in : very varied, detailed and convincing design.

The Bad
The AI is very challenging, and rarely messes up. So when it does mess up, you are painfully reminded that it is a game.

The visuals come with a price. Killzone's graphics are very advanced, and the PS2 can not keep them flowing smoothly all the time. This is annoying because it stresses the eyes.

There is lots of data streaming while playing through levels - the PS2 constantly makes annoying loading sounds. However, this doesn't affect gameplay. It's just annoying to listen to it if I'm not using headphones.



The Bottom Line
I have played many First-Person-Shooter games, both on consoles and PC, and i can say now that Killzone evolved from the history of the FPS, inheriting all the good things, and none of the bad. I started playing this game without expectations, but i found plenty of memorable gaming moments, and i was very much amused throughout the entire trip. It's such a rich experience, i want to recommend it to all who enjoy the virtual hunt.

PlayStation 2 · by re_fold (291) · 2005

Hey, a modern shooter that doesn't suck :O!

The Good
Killzone shares many similarities in terms of game design with the modern shooters we got today. I am talking about games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (which made it on my top 5 worst games of 2011 list), Medal of Honor and Battlefield 3, all of which are games I absolutely can't stand for reasons I am going to explain now:

First of all, all these games have characters that are downright boring. If they even have any personality at all it is mostly macho-behavior that is both childish and annoying. Playing a game like Modern Warfare mostly feels to me like how I used to play with those little, green soldiers (the ones who were also in Toy Story) and how I used to take one or two and make them punch enemies into the sky and grunt every sentence they said. Luckily for me, the characters in Killzone are actually quite good... Amusing even. You have the Captain who is a very dutiful soldier and not much special, the cold assassin who is his former girlfriend and with whom he has a lot of awkward dialogue, the racist black guy with the big gun that hates all Hellghast and the half-Hellghast half-Human who is really smart and sarcastic, but has a lot of issues with said racist. Sorry if that sounded nowhere near special, but I just can't go into too much depth without giving spoilers, just take my worth for it, will ya?

Another thing I hate about the modern shooter is that the stories are always very boring. I remember playing Modern Warfare 2 and thinking "Oh jolly, I am representing America. The largest military and economical force in the world who is supposed to be threatened by a bunch of rebels who live in the slums of Afghanistan. Boy, the stakes sure are high.", but Killzone actually reminds me more of F.E.A.R. in which at first it looks like the situation is under control, but then things go array and you wind up fighting your way through thousands of enemies with no back-up, limited supplies and not a lot of hope. That is a story with actual stakes, a story about a conflict with an outcome that simply can't be predicted and is therefore exciting.

Enough beating on other games though, another thing I really liked about Killzone was that you could choose between different characters as they joined your little squad of rebels. I often ended up going with the black guy because he had a machine gun in his hands that can only be compared with mounted turrets. Aside from determining which weapons you start with this choice is mostly cosmetic with no real function, if it changes your stats or something it was not big enough for me to notice, but it's still a nice choice to have.

The game is very linear, to the point it feels a lot like an on-rails shooter. This is really a personal preference, but I really love this, seeing as I am not the slightest bit interested in exploring a world unless it is really part of the narrative (such as in Half-Life). I am not interested in what might be on the other side of that hill, I am interested in going to the enemy base and planting charges there and Killzone makes sure that I don't get lost nor give me any incentive to think there might be something to search for in the first place.

Combat mechanics held up fairly well and contained some nifty extras over the standard things we have come to expect. You can pick up weapons, aim and fire them, but there is also a second function on most weapons that does something else. The standard Hellghast Assault Rifle for example had a secondary function that would fire off a shotgun round without taking ammo away from the main function, nice to have in close combat or during an ambush. You can also climb over small obstacles, take over turrets and rain dead on your enemies and finally you can throw grenades, but also cook them for some seconds.

The Hellghast are a very entertaining enemy to fight, just like the Hearthless in my last review (Kingdom Hearts) and the Replica Soldiers from F.E.A.R.. I don't rightfully know what the reason is, I was just taken in the second I saw the opening cinematic where they were all lined up and looking insanely imposing. That scene was awesome. There is also a variety within their ranks, not as much as with The Heartless, but at least they gradually started sending stronger units my way.

The game was made by a Dutch company and I'll be damned before I skip out on a chance to mention this and hand out a point for it. In all seriousness, I do applaud this studio for making a big game for a home console and do such a good job at it. They even put in a little joke where they gave the main protagonist the most Dutch name they could come up with. And hey, did Nationalist ever cause anything bad? (Aside from contributing largely to the Second World War and wars in general?)

I should probably end on saying that the game looks really good for something that came out on a system from the previous generation and in 2004 no less. Not only the environments look nice and occasionally huge, but also the action is great to watch and the cutscenes look nice too. What is the downside to all this graphical fidelity? Well, the rendering distance is just as bad as the one from World of Warcraft, but that is a fair trade in my opinion.

The Bad
While it's nice to not have to bother with searching around, it makes it rather annoying that the game is filled with little side-paths that lead to nothing but dead-ends and dark rooms. I actually think this is a joke on the developer's side because they also revel in putting knee-high obstacles on the path because the game doesn't feature a jump-command and the jump-over feature I mentioned earlier only works for certain objects.

The AI often think they are smart and start yelling orders at me, their favorite been hints telling me to use stealth, but there is no damn stealth in this game and enemies will turn around and shoot at you as soon as you come close to them. They also often yelled "Watch your back", but this was a prank because it would make me turn around and see nothing, only to be shot in the back by the enemies I was fighting before the AI yelled at me.

If an object is available for interaction, such as a turret you can control or a blockade you can jump over it is often very precise on how you must look at it and where you must stand before it will allow you to use it. This was very troublesome when there were Hellghast shooting at me from all sides and I just couldn't get into the turret, a situation that I only ran into like six times over the course of the game.

The Bottom Line
Killzone is definitely underrated and if I have to pick a favorite title between all the modern shooters we got nowadays it would definitely be this one. Odd that this game was launched in 2004 though, it was far ahead of its time, hell it even preceded F.E.A.R. which revolutionized the shooter genre. The reason why I like it is that it is just so far above-average, not on par with F.E.A.R. and less realistic titles such as Timesplitters, but just far better executed than titles made by Infinity Ward or whoever makes these Call of Duty games nowadays. They looked at the standards as a foundation and then built an actual home on top of that.

There was not a single moment in Killzone that I hated, unlike Halo 3 which has the Flood Ship section and Gears of War 3 which I will never play again after going through it on Hardcore, so I will definitely play it again sometime. If you like modern shooters, try this out sometime, it's pretty cool and all. Shooter fans in general will probably like this too, but if it's not your thing than I hardly doubt this game will change all of that.

PlayStation 2 · by Asinine (956) · 2012

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Inspiration

Some of the armor (most obvious is seen on the Helghast) and some of the weapons seem to have been lifted from the anime movie Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade.

References to the game

The game makes an appearance in the 2005 film Princess Aurora where two characters can be seen playing the game on a large screen.

Information also contributed by Sciere

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Iain Howe.

Additional contributors: Macintrash, Unicorn Lynx, NightKid32, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger.

Game added December 22, 2004. Last modified May 29, 2024.