killzone 2

Fubar ClanI can remember way back to September 2007, when I first got my old PS3, that there was a lot of talk about this game. Even then there was great interest because apparently the original Kill Zone game, which was on the PS2 & PSP, had been described as a complete dog’s dinner. The general opinion being that the programmers had made only a half arsed attempt at the first game, but they were going to pull out all the stops for their next attempt. Now, almost three years later on the 27th February 2009, Kill Zone2 finally hit the shelves. Such was the hype and promise of brilliance on its arrival (a full two solid years of dripping under-pant soaked excitement) that I must admit I was first in the queue at the local games shop. And may I add, I stood in my own little puddle of anticipation.

Like many others that day, I managed to lay my fat, grubby little fingers on the ‘wrap it in a metal tin to make it look special’ edition. With the aid of a crowbar and a blowtorch I managed to remove the shiny disc from its miniature prison and I was instantly delighted with the first little surprise the programmers sprung on me. There was virtually no loading time!

From past experience, having spent a couple of wet, dreary fortnights waiting for what seemed like eternity for both GTAV and MGS4 to load, I had fully expected KZ2 to be equally as time consuming. So it was a nice touch then from Guerrilla, they must have known just how impatient I can get. Another good point is that the game’s intro really is first class. I must admit I like a bit of Brian Cox growling at me while I’m waiting to have my pixellated arse handed to me on a plate.

Without droning on too much about the single-player game, the plot from what I can gather it is set far into the future, well beyond tomorrow’s breakfast. Earth has gone to war with some mean, luminous -red- bog-eyed, gasmask and trench-coat wearing bunch of alien slap-heads. (A little like me on a Friday night). The whole game is then set upon various levels where it’s very much brawn against scrawn. I haven’t finished it yet, so if I can draw myself away from COD4 I’ll let you know how that pans out, but overall my first impression of the single player game has been favourable.

But now it’s time for my verdict the on-line multi-player game. Hmmmmmmm. Well I think I’m going to upset a few people here, so please remember it’s only my opinion and so ultimately that counts for Mr. Jack Shite Esq.

My main point is that Kill Zone 2 comes nowhere near to stealing COD4’s crown. This in itself is crying shame because I for one wanted Activision to finally have its bottom well and truly spanked. What? You may ask, are the flock am I talking about? Well, quite simply COD4 has been lauding it about for far too long now and that seems to be the reason why Activision has never seen fit to solve some of the glaring issues that are present within the game.Look Closely...

If they had been anything like a decent game available to challenge COD4’s superiority then I feel sure there would have been a lot more action coming from inside Activision’s offices. Besides, common-sense dictates that with strong competition in the market ‘the bar’ of excellence will always be continually raised. The laurels of yesterday’s successes cannot be rested on, and the perpetual onward path towards excellence must always be followed. With that bourn in mind it should be fantastic news for the consumer, because theoretically there should always be several corking games available on the market at any given time. Sadly, as we know this has just not been the case. In my opinion it also appears that Kill Zone 2 may have fallen victim to COD4's success, like so many other recent releases, and Guerrilla (the programming company) may have missed its’ golden opportunity.

It’s not all bad news though. The maps are great. In fact some of them are eye-poppingly-brilliant. They are fabulously lush and huge, easily supporting up to 32 players in a lag-free environment at any given time of the day. There is the opportunity of European gaming only (worked on time zones) so there’s no more pesky Americans pinching all our precious band-width. And, there is also the choice of only playing people of the same rank as oneself. The graphics are gorgeous and the sound quality is spot on. All of these are the game’s good points, and they are some of the general ingredients that are required to make a truly great game.

But, unfortunately, and again I must stress these are only my thoughts; here are the bad bits I observed about the game.

I can never get into a game where it takes almost all of your bullets to kill one given target. So, starting will less than 80 bullets when it requires 81 bullets to kill that one given target is definitely no fun at all! It’s even more exasperating when that target refuses to remain stationary! And, to add insult to injury, I find it almost impossible to aim at the roving pixellated bastard because the sights are so incredibly poor on all of the weapons unlocked when you first start the game. Weapons that also cannot compete with the guns that the higher ranked players have successfully unlocked, because yes, as no doubt you would have already guessed, the option of playing the ‘same rank’ players does not seem to actually work!

The whole online game play I think is incredibly frustrating. I believe that it’s because its’ more of a young man’s game that It does not feel right. Anyone over the age of thirty-five with fresh dribble on their chin and shaky hands that are too busy carrying slippers, pipes and walking sticks is going to be perplexed with the game’s complex systems. Or, maybe it was the fact I was too far from the telly and I had to manoeuvre my cumbersome commode closer to the magic-talking-picture-box in the corner of the room, that I found myself struggling with the general mechanics of this game.

Perhaps then it just me! But, as I mentioned before, the targeting aspect is not as forgiving as COD4 and unforgivably the rank system is, well for want for a better adjective, RANK!

KillZone 2

Foctifino 5th Feb 09.