Killzone has been the crown jewel of the PS3’s first person shooter portfolio. Where the first game didn’t deliver the second one delivered in spades. Now the third game is on it’s way and a select few have been granted access to the multiplayer beta. I’ve gotten a chance to give a close look and give my impressions of what I played.
Let’s start off with what hasn’t changed at all. Killzone 3’s Warzone mode is so far an exact duplicate of the one found in the second game. The mode has the same exact objectives that crop up one after another and when a team successfully accomplishes a certain number of them then that faction wins the game. The mode is just as fun as the one that’s found in the previous game and is still different type of mode than you’d find in any other first person shooter.
Where Killzone 3 starts to differ from its predecessor slightly is the inclusion of two other multiplayer modes into this beta. The first one of these modes being the Guerrilla Warfare mode but anybody who’s played an first person shooter in the last 15 years will instantly be familiar with it’s more well known name of Team Deathmatch. There’s isn’t too much exciting to talk about here, first team to a specified number of kills wins the match. The other mode that was included is Operations where the Hellghast are defending different points on the map while the ISA are trying to game them before the time runs out. This mode is probably the most interesting of the ones found in the beta as the best members of each team are feature prominently in cinematic style cutscenes during the beginning, end and capture portions of the game. Doing well as the Hellghast will cause poisonous gas to released making the ISA’s advance harder while when the ISA does well they are given more time to capture all the points. The cutscenes are an interesting twist they don’t seem to add much to the gameplay which is your average defend and attack important map position mode.
Killzone 3 changes up the character classes slightly from the second game. You’ve got your Medic who drops health packs and revives dead soldiers, Engineer who repairs and creates turrets, Saboteur who can disguise himself as a member of the opposing team, and Tactician who can secure superior spawn points on the map and spot enemies. The only small difference is that the Scout class was dumped in favor of the new Marksman class that now acts as the new sniper class with little change. The Marksman receives the Scout’s clocking ability and the ability to spot enemies onto the radar is given to the Tactician this time around. The Assault class that basically was a fast and strong grunt was removed altogether.
The game has as every other popular FPS game out there today an XP type leveling system. As you level up you can improve the abilities of your favorite class, you can purchase new and deadlier weapons for that class to use. There are also generic upgrades like increased health, increased armor, more ammo and new explosives. There isn’t anything new about this approach but you’ve got at least a few incentives to level up your character.
As for the game engine, the graphics are about as good looking as Killzone 2 was taking advantage of the previous game’s beautiful visuals. The gameplay feels mostly the same, maybe it plays slightly faster than Killzone 2 but I couldn’t swear by it.
From what the beta has shown us so far is that there wasn’t many sweeping changes made to the multiplayer except for the jetpacks. So far as they’ve revealed it’s just a refinement of the previous game’s multiplayer offering which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s gives little reason upgrade unless something change between now and then. However, this is just a beta impression: I’m still optimistic that the final game will be something worth the purchase.