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Old 07-11-2007   #34
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I just got back from Sony's private Killzone 2 party. It was held at a little sushi place on Ocean Avenue called Sushi Roku. The good news is that Killzone 2 was playable, the bad news is that the only ones allowed to play it were the developers.

The game presentation started with a very familiar cut scene that showed a group of men being flown in to take on the Helghast. The trailer's graphics were amazing. It's probably some of the best facial animation I've seen in a console game. I did find the mouth movements to be a bit uncanny, but otherwise it was some pretty impressive stuff.

After what we thought was a short trailer, the game dropped straight into actual, live gameplay. And I do mean live, the game was actually being played by one of the developers as we watched.

The developer proceeded to play through an entire level of the game as we looked on in stunned silence. There was a lot to take in during the lengthy gameplay session. First, the game appears to not feature a HUD, in fact the only time I saw anything on the screen that was hud like was when the developer fired or switched weapons.

The game's look was the most stunning thing about it. Much like Resistance Fall of Man, it wasn't anyone thing that really stood out (though the lighting effects were just plain stunning) but rather the combination of everything you were seeing. There was so much detail, so much activity that it was hard for you to take it all in as it happened. Instead the game's intense action and detailed graphics helped to create what the developers called a violent theater of war.

The little things I did notice about the game included destructible environments, enemies that not only reacted to being shot, but to where they were shot, impressive weather, fire, and lightning effects and a world that was abuzz with activity.

The game seemed to have some pretty significant muzzle drift when a weapon was fired and the AI looked fairly intelligent, though I couldn't tell just how clever they were being because the developer ran through it so quickly.

After the gameplay session the developers told us that that one single level (which was played on a Playstation 3) had taken up 2GB of data. They said the game, which takes place on the Helghast planet, will have you taking on enemies armed with weather-based weapons. The game itself will also require you to pay attention to weather.

The game will include multiplayer that will have "links to" home and Killzone, but the developers said they couldn't yet go more into that. Oh, they also made a big deal out of the fact that their trailer did feature in-game, real-time cut scenes. In fact, they ran through the beginning of it a second time, pausing in the middle to move the camera around and zoom in and out, just to prove there was nothing up their sleeves.

I think Killzone 2 is probably the most impressive game I've seen so far at E3. Granted it's early in the show, but I think the game has a good chance to retaining that title. But don't trust me. Starting at 3 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, Sony will have the new Killzone 2 trailer up on the Playstation Store. Go check it out and report what you think of the trailer back here.

Sushi Roku is small, dark, and the type of swanky place you take your girlfriend for her birthday...if you really like her, that is. The servers deftly maneuver through the islands of game journalists, offering up tray after tray of delicately prepared fish and crab. The alcohol flows freely as the bartenders cheer each new guest's arrival.

This shindig was supposed to get underway at 9:30 and it's now past ten. The few last stragglers squeeze in to find their place in the darkness--Microsoft's press conference is finally over. By the time the first group is asked to shuffle next door into the viewing room, it's 10:30. I, and many of the people around me, have been up for more than 24 hours, running on little more than sheer will and whatever fuel remains from the afternoon stop at Starbuck's. All we can think is: this had better be worth it.

It is.

The Killzone 2 preview we see is an entire level of the single-player campaign. It follows the action as a player makes his way through a vast cityscape, picking off Helghast one by one. Though the demo has a few issues--it stops cold a few times as it saves, a problem the final version won't have--it is remarkably beautiful. The opening cinematic blends into the action seamlessly, dropping you right into the middle of an active war zone.

The detail is incredible, especially the faces of your comrades. The environment is massive and feels more open than it actually is. The progression through the level is really fairly linear, but because you can see so much, we don't get the sense that we're being corralled.

Most of the action we saw was basic run-and gun--working your way up and down, through the buildings of the city to reach various checkpoints. We saw a fight with a mini-boss that was relatively unremarkable, but it did at least end with a fairly satisfying "boom." The level culminated with the destruction of an arc weapon--basically an antenna that draws electricity from lightning and releases it to destroy troops.

The environment is as much your enemy as the Helghast are in Killzone 2, and as such, the sky we saw was practically a fully realized character in and of itself. Clouds boiled and rolled through the sky, swirling black masses broken up only by flashes of lightning. It was actually more intimidating than the Helghast soldiers that popped up, asking to be shot with either a machine gun or a rocket launcher, the two weapons we saw.

Killzone 2 is loud, dirty, and violently elegant. If you have a PS3, you're going to want this game. If you don't have a might have to figure out how you're going to get one.

A new trailer for Killzone 2 will be available on the Playstation store starting at 3pm PST on July 11th.

Looks pretty brutal.

Last edited by Japisee; 07-11-2007 at 03:45 AM..
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