After a slight delay due to internet issues in the prior presentation, a pack of media people shuffled into a little room to hear all about Killzone 2. Guerilla Games' managing director, Hermen Hulst, looked slightly horrified that the horde of journalists had left the two women in the room to sit on the floor ('Someone please get her a chair!'), but Kotaku writers getting stuck on the floor be damned, the show will go on! Eric Boltjes — senior online game developer — launched into a presentation and explanation of Killzone 2 online multiplayer's unique features and mechanics. After, of course, a nice video showing ... fast action, and lots of explosions! Boltjes underscored the fact that everything we watched was shot in real time on the PS3, and everything still looked nice even with 32 players in a game. We got a long laundry list of features and mechanics, which all seemed to come back to one word, 'customised.' For more from the presentation, hit the jump.
Boltjes laid out four goals for the game: 'everyone can enjoy Killzone 2 online,' 'play just the way you like it,' 'inspiring team play,' and 'create community beyond the game.'
Under the 'everyone can enjoy Killzone 2 online' category, Boltjes mentioned they wanted the hardcore and uh, less hardcore audiences to be happy and have fun, and noted a few features. The quick join feature will ensure that players can just hop into a game suitable for their ability level, but pickier players will be able to search for specific criteria before joining a game. The game will feature a 'slow introduction,' working up to advanced features; the advanced features will hopefully keep the hardcore audience chipper while not demoralising those who aren't ready for a really steep learning curve. Along with that, there will be transparency in the progression of the game, with twelve military ranks to progress through as you play the game (unlocking more features along the way), with an additional 46 badges and medals to be won for completing specific goals. Stats junkies will also be able to track 'over 100 statistics' regarding their progress and performance.
Boltjes seemed very proud of the 'play just the way you like it' features, which meant customise, customise, customise (within reason). Players will be able to select from six badges; each badge has a primary and a secondary ability. Decide you're really more of a medic-engineer than just a medic? Combine the two to take the medic's primary badge and the engineer's secondary badge (and vice versa if you decide to play as an engineer-medic). Custom games will allow players to select everything from the maps played, types of missions, weapons available, types of badges allowed, and variable settings (how long it takes to revive a player, how long it takes to set/defuse an explosive, etc.)
Under 'inspiring team play,' Boltjes discussed the benefits of having a squad, including the ability to see the stats of other squad members, a squad-only headset channel, and a 'spawn on squad leader' feature. Also under the spawning mechanics is the ability to cycle through available spawn points and check out what's going on in real time. Dynamic missions will also allow several missions to be selected for a game, with another mission starting after one objective has been won (there is also the option to switch in the middle of a round). There can be four members per squad and eight squads per faction.
Boltjes finished up by discussing the clan system and how they want to 'create community beyond the game.' Clans can support up to 64 players, and clan vs. clan matches can handle 16 on each side. Clan matchups will feature a 'valour' betting system, with winner takes all of the predetermined 'valour' bet. It is possible to run out of valour, but by participating in entry fee-free competitions, clans can rebound from a lack of valour. Clan tournaments can be set up in a tier-based system, with a maximum of 256 clans. On the issue of community more broadly, Boltjes talked about the leaderboards — including individuals, friends, clans, and clan member stats — that can be sorted on an all-time, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The Killzone 2 website was also brought out as a more in-depth companion to everything available in game.
During the Q&A, a few more things came up: no, graphics were not downsized for multiplayer (and the game did look nice, at least the parts we were shown). A public beta will be open later this year, and they will be closely monitoring for exploits and vulnerabilities. Killzone 2 will also be functioning on a global server system. Further, more single player news will be out later this year, and while they have some interesting ideas to go with Sony's Home, "we're not discussing it right now".