Killzone 3 is currently in the midst of a public beta, and we've managed to get in on the action. We've put a fair few hours into it and thought we'd update you with some of our impressions…
The Controls… Work! Some had issues with Killzone 2's controls, which had a weird sluggish delay - the kind of delay that a development team, having supped the kool-aid day in day out for the entirety of development, might have adjusted to and thus not really noticed.
Killzone 3 is far more responsive. It feels precise, and there's no delay whatsoever, which will result in a more positive experience for most gamers. For some bizarre reason, however, we found ourselves getting nostalgic for the unique point of difference that Killzone 2's controls allowed for. There was a certain realism and tactile feel to the more sluggish head movement of Killzone 2, and that's lost. Ah well, design over aesthetics we suppose – it's a good thing.
The Maps… Look Incredible The maps in Killzone 3 are dripping in detail, no corner is left uncluttered, with some form of decoration constantly informing you that you are in a warzone. Buildings are in a state of constant disrepair, litter and carnage is strewn across the battlefield, and everything just looks seriously worn in. It's ludicrously atmospheric.
There's an argument to be made, however, that there's almost too much detail, for a multiplayer title at least. At time it almost feels distracting, and we can't help but feel like the function of the maps themselves has taken a back seat to the visuals. Continually rewarding map design is dependent on recognisable features, and the ability for intricate map knowledge to develop over time. Sight lines, cool points of entry and exit, they're all present and correct to an extent, but definitely take a back seat to what looks good.
As expected early on in a game's lifespan, we seemed to find myself getting frequently lost in Killzone 3's maps. That's down to inexperience and lack of map knowledge for sure, but we found ourselves running into a good number of dead ends and maze-like corridors, where we felt like we weren't necessarily being funnelled into play like we should be.
But that could possibly be a result of completely rubbish spatial awareness.
Game Typecast We've always been a fan of the way Killzone managed rolling objectives in the multiplayer space. It's a unique mechanic that keeps players on their toes. You never quite know what to expect next, and this keeps multiplayer compelling. Killzone's Warzone mode returns for the third outing and the familiarity is comforting. Fleeting from one objective to the next maintains the pace of the action and makes it pretty bloody difficult to turn the game off. We played for a good couple of hours before we dissolved into a rocking pile of flesh and saliva in the corner of our living room.
And yes. That means we had fun.