Review: Killzone Shadow Fall

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If you have played the previous Killzone titles you will find this a blast…

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For anyone that doesn’t know Killzone, there are 2 warring factions being the Vektans and the Helghast fighting for their side to be victorious. The ending of Killzone 3 left unanswered questions as to the fate of Stahl after his cruiser was blown up, however Helghast soldiers were shown finding an escape pod in a destroyed city and saying “Welcome home sir”. Was this Stahl? Well don’t expect the answer in the Playstation 4 exclusive Killzone Shadow Fall’s opening scenes.

Killzone Shadow Fall is set 3 decades after Killzone 3 and mostly contains new characters that only know the wars and therefore distrust one another. Add to this distrust the fact that the Helghans were forced to settle on Vekta with half of the planet divided by a massive wall, even though they are all living in supposed peace.

Chapter 1 begins with you as a young boy following your dad through the new Helghast land heading to the wall to safety. This is more a tutorial level to get used to controlling your character, crouching, climbing etc., so if you are expecting firing guns from the outset, you’re in for a surprise – it’s evident from this chapter that the game is more methodical and stealth will be your saviour. Once you get to the other side of the wall, a series of cut scenes show that 32 years have passed and suggest that you have trained up in the Vekta army, the Shadow Marshall program.

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During the chapter you get a first glance at the at the graphics that will be greeting you thought-out the  game, and those that suffer from vertigo (like myself) are going to be feeling rather ill in places with Vekta City having very tall skyscrapers and monorails in the air. For a game to be able to give this feeling should give an idea of the high level of detail that has gone in to the game.

The next chapters of the game see you going into the Helghan side of Vekta time and time again for differing reasons, with a few exceptions such as being up in space. Chapter 2 sends you into Helghan territory to rendezvous with a fallen Vektan ship and crew that have important “Intel”, with only a knife for protection. As you proceed through the chapter you will eventually find a gun with no ammo, but will be introduced to your OWL.

Don’t think that this will mean you are able to go to Hogwarts, instead this OWL is an attack drone that you can use to target enemies either with guns or by stunning them, create a zip line to transverse to new areas or to create a shield to protect you from incoming bullets. These modes are controlled using the PS4 controllers touch pad rather brilliantly by swiping up, down, left or right followed by the L1 button. Should you get downed by the enemy you can request the OWL to come to your rescue and revive you using an adrenaline shot, however if there are a lot of enemy troops around and you have sent it out in attack mode it will continue to fight them even when you request it to come to you, allowing you to instead die and restart at the last checkpoint. This can be rather irritating to say the least.

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During the chapter you will find ammo and will encounter the enemy, and here is where the stealth part comes in. You can run and gun, but you will find that the enemy is split up rather well and you are most likely to be flanked at any time. Therefore moving slowly and taking out enemy without them setting off the alarms is rather more effective. Should you encounter an enemy and the alarm is sounded, you will need to kill the wave that is sent for you and then need to turn off the alarm before a new wave is sent to attack you. This is done once again using your OWL, and once you find the alarm terminal you select the hacking option the OWL will hack the terminal to be under your control.

You may be wondering by now how the stealth works, and this comes in the form of the Tactical Echo device that is fitted to your suit. Holding right on the d-pad sends a sonar burst out in the direction you are standing and highlights either the enemy (as if they have eaten Ready Brek for breakfast) or pickups that you might need. The longer you hold this the better the level of detail you are given, however if you hold it for too long it will emit a noise that will alert any nearby enemy, therefore it adds a little risk to the rewards of using it.

Through the game you will find a lot of collectables in the format of Helghan comic books, dossiers, newspapers and audio logs, split over 9 chapters, which adds to some replay opportunities to the game. Note though that you need to get to a checkpoint to save all but the audio logs.

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As with all First Person Shooters there is the obligatory multiplayer with the standard team death matches, domination and so on, as well as Warzone which mixes all the modes in to one game that switches once a certain goal is reached, much as we’ve seen in previous Killzone titles on the PS3. This is actually the game mode that you should play as there are not many game modes on offer, so Guerilla have added a Custom Warzone alongside the default modes that allows the user to create their own game modes. So that it is more of an even affair all the guns are unlocked from the start, so if you’re thinking that you will be left behind in the game with all the early adopters this won’t be the case. You will just need to learn the maps.

So is this game worth getting? If you have played the previous Killzone titles you will find this a blast for both the single and the multiplayer. If however you’re only really in to multiplayer games then you may not find this overly appealing with the limited game options. This is no Battlefiled 4 or COD Ghosts multiplayer beater, however it does have its charms. As also mentioned before, this is not the all guns blazing game as the past titles have been and this may put you off if you are not looking for a slower passed game. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its moments of mass gunfire, just that these are normally offset with sections that are slow and methodical.

Killzone Shadow Fall is a lovely looking game that all PS4 owners should experience, and one that utilises the new controller extremely well. There are small issues with the game such as the multiplayer side of the game and some of the slow elements of the single player, however these do not hamper the game too much for this reviewer. A good footing to the Killzone saga on the latest generation console.

Reviewed on PS4

 
 

2 Comments on Review: Killzone Shadow Fall

  1. Dan

    Good honest review. Played it at a friends house and it was very nice to look at but seemed a bit lightweight alongside KZ2 and KZ3. Nice to see you aren’t sucking up to Sony too!! Good work.

  2. Jacko

    Good review. Stealth elements are new, like it.

Leave a Reply to Jacko