Killzone 3

David Versus (Robo) Goliath

We go hands-on with an entirely new (to us) Killzone 3 scenario featuring a level of scale unseen on the PS3 thus far.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: December 22, 2010
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Let it never be said that we here at TotalPlayStation can't appreciate the odd stroke of luck. After watching multiple outlets get their time with a new preview build of Killzone 3, we all but assumed our copy was lost in the mail. As it turns out, it was just delayed a bit. Yesterday, we finally got the chance to play what a lucky few did last week, and it was, frankly, mind-blowing.

If you haven't yet read impressions of the fairly lengthy one-level mech-felling experience, let us be the first to welcome you about the locomotive Hyperbole. It's a smooth ride for the most part, prone to random, lurching moments, but unlike most that seem to derail right before reaching the station, we're getting increasingly confident that this one won't run off the tracks.

Why? Simple, because every time we see Killzone 3, it seems to be markedly better than before. First, it was a little pre-E3 oohing and ahhing in 3D (WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS IN THAT LINK), then another peek at E3 proper, and now, finally, we get to see a little more of Helghan... and find that at least parts of Killzone 3 will share the same ruddy palette as Killzone 2. We're not worried, though; as that original preview pointed out, Guerrilla Games is keen on exploring the surprising diversity found in different corners of the seemingly bleak Helghast homeworld.

[Warning: Spoilers Ahead]

It's impossible to talk about Killzone 3 without spoiling a bit of the endgame from its predecessor, mostly because there have been some interesting character developments. The preview level we gunned our way through was clearly pushed a bit further along the timeline than the opening of the game, and as a result, we felt a little dropped into the storyline mid-point.

Even still, familiar players were here: Captain Narville seems intent on getting the surviving ISA soldiers off Helghan and back to Earth for a regrouping effort in the wake of the fall of Visari. Hothead Rico and fauxhawked Sev are obviously front and center, but the span of time between the close of the second game and the opening of this level has meant more than a few changes, most notably in the look of the characters. Sev's neatly-quaffed 'do has grown out a bit, leaving a shaggy point instead of the neat, close-cropped buzz cut of before. Rico's developed something of a fondness for facial hair in addition to letting the stuff atop his head grow out, and the uniforms of everyone have become more detailed and littered with those trademark ISA blue lights.

In truth, everything about Killzone 3 seems more detailed, particularly the texture detail, which is rife now with bunched-up clothing, copious amounts of gear on the soldiers and finer lines dotting the various mechanical bits littering the war-torn landscape. The uniforms themselves have been augmented with various weather-beating shawls and hoods, and the texture work on these is phenomenal, with an almost overzealous use of finely-mottled fabrics. We also got our first peek at the rather fetching Jammer, a cheek-streaked, hoodie-wearing cutie we hadn't previously been introduced to. Across the board, the characters looked more detailed, nicely updated given the passage of time, and swaddled in markedly more complex texture work.
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