Let me frame this Killzone 3 review by saying that while I enjoyed the original Killzone, I wasn’t a huge fan of Killzone 2 at all. When I started hearing things about Killzone 3 being in the works, I hoped so much that they would find their way back to what made the first game so good. With all that said, I went into this review with an open mind, and Killzone 3 has made me a fan of the franchise again.
The first thing you will notice about Killzone 3 is the stunning graphics and visuals. I mean you expect a Sony game to look good but damn, this game is just gorgeous – cutscenes and actual gameplay. The game also features great voice work. Each of the main characters has their own personality and none of them feel incomplete. This game keeps with a great trend we have been seeing in recent first person shooters, and that is smart A.I. The Helghast won’t just wait for you to come to them, they will bring the fight to you. These guys are very tactical, will lay down suppression fire, move up in waves, and even roll out of cover and shoot at you.
From a gameplay perspective it plays really well. The controls are a little different than what we have become accustomed to, but nothing a switch to the alternate configuration couldn’t fix for me. Killzone 3 does an excellent job of explaining what happened in the last game and framing everything that is to come in this game early on. I don’t know if there is anything innovative about Killzone 3 from a gameplay perspective, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I did really like the weapons that you had at your disposal though, some of those guns really packed one hell of a punch. The single player game had a good length as well. The average player should be able to finish it in between six to eight hours, which is right on par for what we would expect. I also liked the small touches they put in the game. For instance, when moving through tough terrain your movement is automatically slowed down. Why? Because you can’t move through heavy brush at full speed in real life, now can you?
In terms of the multiplayer experience, I found less to love. I would describe Killzone 3’s multiplayer experience as … limiting. When you first start, you have certain classes which is normal, but the problem is that it won’t let you change the primary weapon for a certain class until you have leveled up quite a bit. The end result of this is that you die a whole lot. More than you have to because they force you to use a shotgun by default on a map that is not designed for that. By the time you line up a good shot and get close enough for the shotgun to be effective, more than likely you have been killed by someone with an automatic rifle. That’s the rub, the overall multiplayer gameplay itself isn’t that bad, but the way the game forces you to play from the beginning will turn some people like myself off to the point where they won’t come back. I would have really liked to see them give players the same type of freedom they get in other shooters.
The thing that I hated the most about Killzone 3 was the amount of ammo you had to use to take down even regular Helghast – it was absolutely ridiculous. You literally have to unload almost a whole clip into some of these guys, and don’t even get me started on some of the the mini-bosses. I know that the Helghast are a race with highly advanced technology and all, but come on. If I shoot you in the head, you should die the majority of the time. Even with heavy armor it shouldn’t take as much damage as it does to take down enemies. I also didn’t like the fact that when you died, and it was possible for your teammate to revive you, often times it would take them far to long to get to you, which meant you had to lay there and just wait for them or hope you died quickly.
The issues I had aside, Killzone 3 is a great game and we would recommend it to anybody looking for a solid FPS in a sea of really good ones lately. We don’t know what the next skirmish in the battle between the ISA and the Helghast will look like, but we can’t wait to find out. ZoKnowsGaming gives Killzone 3 8.5 out of 10.