Review: Killzone 3

Apr 2, 2011

Killzone 3 is many things. First off, it is beautiful. The sound, graphics, environments - everything comes together to truly make you say “wow” over and over again. Additionally, it is a pretty good story for an FPS. And lastly, K3 is a step forward for the series by fixing some of the mechanical controls of K2. But K3 is not a Game of the Year contender. The game’s campaign lacks innovation and there are interface issues which feel like a step backward for the series as well as the genre.

I begin with the biggest issue I have with K3: why does it have to be so unclear where I save point is? Countless times I needed to quit but couldn’t because I never knew if I would restart mid-chapter or mid-mission. This could have been implemented better by drawing from other games, including K2. I really only had one other issue with K3: the campaign path was already paved for the player, allowing him just enough freedom for replay value, and little enough to remove any frustration over how to complete a mission. Sounds great in theory, right? Wrong. The actual implementation came off controlling and frightening. At any point that you strayed too far from the path, you would die. Having your brethren-at-arms nearby allows for revival. Although this benefit is not always available nor does it always work. So if you like the anti-sandbox approach, you’ll love K3.

The fidelity of Killzone 3 is exceptional. The game manages to look better than K2 by introducing varied environments such as snow-capped bases and even outer-space. Be sure to tune your TV and surround sound perfectly so you don’t miss any of the action. The voice acting is solid, the story is actually cool (unlike other flagship FPS games), and the weapons have noticeable differences that cater to your skills (for the most part). But too often I felt like the game was forced on me. It didn’t feel natural.

Multiplayer is quite good. I’m an avid Battlefield player and I am a big proponent of story-based games that do not bother with multiplayer just to have it and not get bad reviews from mainstream outlets. But K3 has extended life thanks to a good experience element and crazy maps that are demanding to learn.

Overall, Killzone 3 is worth the $60 price tag and a must-own for FPS fans. It doesn’t do everything right but very few games do.

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