After spending a few hours with Killzone 2, I have to say I’m coming away very impressed.
First off, the graphics are incredible….so much so that I think it enhances the gameplay. In single player, it seems like each new level is better looking than the one before it. Speaking of the single player mode, it isn’t as good as COD4’s single player if you were to base it on structure alone but it’s still very good in its own right. One thing it does do better is when shit hits the fan, it hits the fan. The game does a great job of capturing the chaotic feel of war. Granted, there hasn’t been one thing in the game that I’d say is completely original, but it’s all done so well and polished to high hell that I don’t care.
The AI in single player is at times on par with almost any FPS out there, and then it seems to dumb down a little bit from time to time. For the most part though, it’s pretty good and tries to find cover and gain ground when it can. The times that it feels like the AI is dumb is when there’s a Helghast soldier in the middle of the room shooting at you without bothering to take cover and the ocassional time that it will charge at you to try to attack you with a knife. I’m playing the game on the default difficulty setting, so it’s completely possible that the AI gets smarter on higher difficuty settings.
Killzone 2 does multiplayer a bit differently than your usual FPS, but I like the way it’s been handled. Boldly enough, it doesn’t have a party system . The way it works is that the game rotates the modes in real time and after the round, you get to vote for the map you want to play next, you NEVER have to leave the game, your friends can just join in, it’s not like you need to enter a party, wait for the match-making to find the game and then go into the game lobby. It’s not for everyone, but then again some people don’t like match-making between rounds and having to load everything back up so I suppose it depends on your preference. You can also pick and choose which modes it rotates through.
I love how you do a round of one game type and then it switches it to another game type on the fly after 5 or so minutes. I’ve never seen an FPS handle multiplayer like that but it really works for me because it keeps things fresh. I’ve always had a problem that I start getting bored playing FPS’ so I’m hoping that since the game rules are always fluctuating and changing it will keep things interesting.
You can also form squads within the game which allows you to respawn next to the leader, so for example if you are playing search and destroy and can’t breach the room, you can have the leader wait by the room you have to breach until everyone spawns next to him so you can breach the room together. You also only chat with your squad mates when you make a squad which is handy when you are playing with a few friends and just want to talk to each other.
I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of this game (I haven’t even ranked up high enough to make a clan, or open up any player classes) but I think it’s shaping up to be something special.