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Playstation 3 Impressions: Killzone 2 Demo

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Killzone 2 promises to be the Playstation 3's killer app of 2009, and Sony's Europe division is publishing this title in the hope that it will sell them more systems. Regardless of its success in selling the PS3 itself, the game already has more than a million copies pre-ordered in Europe alone. If you pre-order the game from Gamestop (the store that is quickly monopolizing game sales) then you get a short, ten minute demo. Here is a bullet list of some key points in the order I noticed them:

  • This looks exactly as if you bred Gears of War and Call of Duty together. You even start the demo in a tiny, D-Day-style amphibious landing craft, but everything is pretty grey and everyone on your side appears to be on steroids.
  • The writing is, eh, lackluster. The opening dialogue consists of almost nothing but "Holy [expletive]!", "Oh [expletive]!", and "Let's una** this thing!" (Yes, that's a real line. Not exactly full of metaphors, subtext, and allusions to Shakespeare.)
  • As soon as you start walking around, you'll notice the game's concept of "weight." You feel heavy, so you can't just zip around everywhere and point wherever you want immediately in sort of a Halo style. If you run into the open, it will take you a moment to reverse direction and get back to cover, which is good, because it rewards more realistic thinking in a war zone.
  • The controls are almost perfect, but I had to switch the buttons for zoom aim (R3) and melee hits (L1), because that felt awkward to me because it the traditional Call of Duty scheme.
  • These levels were obviously well-designed. You have three separate full shootouts in the same small indoor area at different points. It feels natural, but when you think about it later, that takes some real design to have good cover and everything for both you and your enemies from three different points of view.

So, this is clearly a good game. Whether or not it's an early build, I don't know, but it will leave you wanting more. The only other thing I could want is some sort of writing at all, but this just isn't that kind of game. I can't wait to pick it up on February 27. (By the way, if you're getting delays between your button presses and a response, download the game again. This was a common problem before, but when you press R1, the gun should definitely shoot immediately.)

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