Killzone : Shadow Fall Review
Cart: Killzone: Shadow Fall
Coin: Guerilla Games
The best thing I can possibly say about Killzone: Shadow Fall is that it doesn’t feel or look like a Killzone game. I love clunky, solid feeling games, but Killzone always took it too far, and previous games in the series sometimes felt far too much like you were controlling a massive mech instead of a futuristic space marine. The reason for the treacle-tastic controls was always explained as the host machine, either PS2 or PS3, not quite being able to cope with the tech of the games at full speed.
A strange explanation, as while the technical side of the graphics may have been impressive, Killzone always looked incredibly dull and depressing with steel grey and dark brown metal making up many of the levels.
I am happy to report that, not only have the controls been loosened up considerably, but that the new game now takes place in a series of lush and beautiful environments that actually showcase what the PS4 can do. If you are looking for something to show off your new toy with, then look no further than Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Your robot helper really opens up the levels
I said the same about Ryse: Son of Rome on the Xbox One, but bemoaned the rest of the game as a generic bore fest, outside of the pretty graphics. Killzone: Shadow Fall doesn’t suffer from the same problem if you take the time to experiment and explore each encounter.
Many of the battles and incidents can be tackled in a variety of ways. Far more than a choice between stealth and going in noisy, there are often a myriad of routes and techniques you can use to approach some of the situations, and it is here that the game is at its very strongest. There are elements of Dishonored and Deus Ex in some of the combat decisions you can make, and the game even features a robotic helper that is actually useful in opening up those choices even more.
The problem is, most gamers will just blast through this game without taking the time to experiment, which is because the game never really shouts too loud about the different options available. I suspect that many gamers will just cruise through this without even realising that there were other routes or approaches to each situation, but if you are looking for a little Crysis 2-style ‘tackle this how you like’ gameplay, then Killzone: SF is a surprising treat.
You will want to do this stage again and again
There are annoyances here, such as the overuse of the hacking ability of your robot buddy, the woefully bad zero gravity sections and the expectedly lumpen story. Aside from that, the campaign is everything you would not usually expect from a Killzone game, gameplay-wise: colourful levels inhabited by multi-layered, interesting gameplay. This is no corridor based, Call of Duty clone.
The online modes are very good, with an incredible amount of loadouts, upgrades and attachments. The multiplayer is addictive, more so than the last Call of Duty game, Ghosts, and is the only thing liable to keep you away from Resogun for too long.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Killzone: Shadow Fall. While there is nothing here truly innovative, the choice based gameplay, sumptuous graphics and addictive multiplayer means that early PS4 adopters will have something to smile about at launch.
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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.