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Killzone 2

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Killzone 2
Developer(s)
US Date Released
February 27, 2009
UK Date Released
February 27, 2009
Genre:
First Person Shooter
Game modes:
Single-player, online multiplayer
ESRB rating:
Mature (M)
Platform(s):
Playstation 3
Media:
Blu-Ray

Killzone 2 is a science fiction first-person shooter for the PlayStation 3 video game console, developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the third installment in the Killzone franchise that began on the PlayStation 2 with Killzone and was continued with Killzone: Liberation on the PlayStation Portable. It was first announced at E3 2005 in Los Angeles, California and was released on the 28th of February 2009.

SettingEdit

In timeline, Killzone 2 follows after Killzone: Liberation, and Killzone, and takes place entirely on Helghan, the home-world of the Helghast who invaded an Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) colony in previous Killzone installments. Two years after the Helghast assault on Vekta, the ISA is taking the fight to the enemy's home world of Helghan. The ISA goal is direct: capture the Helghast leader, Emperor Visari, and bring the Helghast war machine to a halt.

Assuming the role of Sev, a battle-hardened veteran and a member of the special forces unit known as the Legion, players will lead a group of highly trained soldiers on a mission to take out the Helghast threat. For Sev and his squad, the invasion of Helghan is just the beginning. During the invasion of Helghan, Sev's unit is deployed behind enemy lines to assist the main invasion force. Tasked with securing Pyrrhus, the Capital City, the team quickly discovers that the Helghast are a formidable enemy on their home planet. Not only have they adjusted to the planet's hostile conditions, they have also harnessed a source of power they can now use against the ISA.

Sev discovers his squad is not just fighting enemy forces – their fiercest opponent may be the planet itself.[1]

StoryEdit

In the prologue, the ISA has set up their fleet of Cruisers, including the New Sun, in the clouds of Helghan over the Helghast capital city, Pyrrhus, preparing for a final assault to take the city. Unable to get their capital ships close to the city and destroy it with bombardment due to Helghast anti-aircraft firepower, the ISA deploys an invasion force. The ISA's troops, including Alpha Team (with the player character), are deployed in an attempt to capture the city. The invasion is seemingly successful until the Helghast activate their main defense system, a barrier of electric arc towers throughout the city, killing many ISA soldiers and crippling the first wave of the assault, reducing the ISA's advance to a crawl; however, the fight between the ISA and Helghast continues with unmitigated ferocity as the slowly retreating Helghast desperately repel the ISA forces whose compelling advances seize Visari Square in a climactic and pulsating battle.

Using an intact piece of an arc tower destroyed earlier in the campaign, scientist Evelyn Batton discovers that the arc towers are powered by an element called Petrusite, and large portions of the mysterious element are located around the Tharsis Refinery on the outskirts of Pyrrhus. The refinery is thought to be abandoned. Alpha Team is ordered to accompany Evelyn and travel to the outskirts of the city in an attempt to find a way to disable the towers.

During the mission, Sev and Rico depart from the team in order to activate a communications tower. Before the tower is activated, however, Garza, Natko and Evelyn are captured by Helghast. Eventually, Sev and Rico find their squad, only to see Colonel Mael Radec, a ruthless Helghast commander, interrogating the group in the hopes of obtaining the launch codes for the Helghast's stolen set of ISA nuclear warheads. After the squad refuses to give information to Radec, he loses his patience and threatens to execute the group. While Sev, realizing the danger of rushing into the fray, waits and attempts to find a good location to ambush Radec's unit, Rico's impatience causes him to rush in, attempting to save the squad. Unfortunately, Garza is mortally wounded in the ensuing firefight, and Radec escapes. The only thing the squad can do is return to the New Sun before they are attacked again. Evelyn heads to the nearest communications tower to call for extraction. The squad is then attacked by more Helghast troops, but the group is able to fend off the attack. Unfortunately, when ISA support finally arrives, the injured Garza collapses and dies in Sev's arms.

Back aboard the New Sun, Sev mourns for Garza; however, he is interrupted by a surprise Helghast counter-attack on the ISA fleet; initially ISA had established orbital control militarily but the Helghast breached them. All ships, including the New Sun, are boarded. In the assault, Colonel Radec reaches the bridge where he personally executes Evelyn and mortally wounds Fleet Commander Colonel Jan Templar. Before leaving, Radec steals the nuclear strike codes for the (previously stolen) nuclear weapons. Templar, in a final act of self-sacrifice, manages to deactivate the thrusters on the New Sun, sending it crashing onto Tharsis Refinery, destroying the city's Petrusite defense grid.

With the defence grid deactivated, the ISA advance and attempt to regroup near Visari's palace in Pyrrhus with victory in their sights; however, a nuclear bomb is deliberately detonated within the city by the Helghast, destroying it, liquidating most of the ISA forces. With the fleet decimated largely, and the ISA ground campaign crippled by the blast, Alpha team and the last remaining ISA troops attack the palace of Scolar Visari with only a small shard of hope, confronting relentless waves of a fanatical Helghast resistance raining blows upon them.

The ISA troops manage to breach the palace and Sev and Rico try to fight their way to Visari's throne room, but encounter Radec and his personal guard en route. Sev and Rico manage to eventually eliminate Radec's guard after a ferocious battle, but are then forced to battle Radec himself, who decides to duel the two interlopers personally. Eventually, the two manage to severely injure Radec who commits suicide to avoid capture.

Finally, Sev and Rico, still under orders to capture Scolar Visari and deliver him to the Vektan high command, find the Helghan leader waiting for them in his throne room. He tells Sev and Rico that the war is far from over and seemingly goads them to kill him, telling them that in death the Helghast will remember him as a martyr, and subsequently unleash terrible vengeance upon the remaining ISA forces; his survival is all that is keeping the Helghast "under control".

Rico, determined to avenge Templar and Garza, the latter of whom died due to Rico's own errors, and has left him wrought with guilt, falls for Visari's provocation and guns the Helghan Emperor down. As Visari succumbs to his injuries, he mutters his last words: "The madness...begins."

Worn from what he has been through and disillusioned with Rico's execution of Visari, Sev leaves the palace and sits on the entrance steps. There, he sees an overwhelmingly giant fleet of Helghast ships, which were believed to be destroyed by the first ISA wave, initiating an assault on what is left of the ISA fleet and sees, first hand, the destruction Visari envisioned.

CharactersEdit

Alpha SquadEdit

  • Cpl. Dante Garza - He is Sev's best friend and a loyal, headstrong soldier. He has served with Sev in over a dozen campaigns during the Helghan invasion of Vekta. In Killzone 2, he is often seen arguing with Natko over all kinds of things including lunch, Helghast weapons, etc. Garza was captured along with Natko and Evelyn Batton during a recon mission to uncover the source of the Helghast defense system. During interrogation, Garza insulted Helghast Colonel Radec causing a gun to be put to his head. he was mortally wounded when Rico charged the group destroying Sev's element of surprise. He died while the team was being rescued from Tharsis refinery. His death caused a rift to be formed between Sev and Rico, who jumped the gun on the ambush in Tharsis refinery. His body was destroyed when the ISA cruiser New Sun crashed into Tharsis refinery.”[2]
  • Master Sergeant Rico Velasquez - Rico returns in Killzone 2 with a demotion to Sergeant First Class.
  • Sgt. Tomas Sevchenko - Sev for short, he is a good soldier who likes to do it his way but always does stuff by the book. Described by Electronic Gaming Monthly as “a hard-working, by-the-books leader who exudes quiet professionalism.”[3]
  • Cpl. Shawn Natko - Alpha Squad‘s best hand-to-hand fighter and demolitions expert; he is the squad's resident pessimistic asshole.

Supporting castEdit

GameplayEdit

With Killzone 2, Guerrilla Games aims to provide the player with an immersive and cinematic gameplay experience that is grounded in reality with what they call "Hollywood Realism". The game is almost entirely presented from a first person point of view, through Sev's eyes. Killzone 2 features a cover system named "lean and peek" which allows the player to take cover behind an object, and then pop out to fire at enemies. The "lean and peek" mechanic stays in first person view at all times. It has also been announced that Sev is able to pilot vehicles, however further details are yet to be announced. Many Killzone classic weapons and vehicles such as the M82 Assault Rifle and the StA-52 LAR will be returning.[4][5]

AI-BotsEdit

Killzone 2 can support bots in Multiplayer, they can be turned off or on whichever the player prefers. It is also possible to use the bots offline in the skirmish mode. The bots have four difficulty settings that changes the way the AI reacts towards the player. Shortly after the games release, a patch was uploaded to stop people using bots as an easy, cheap way of ranking up.

MultiplayerEdit

Killzone 2's multiplayer component has been developed by Guerrilla Games in parallel with the game's single-player campaign.[6] The multiplayer gameplay is class-based, meaning the player can choose a class of character which is specialized for a specific role to better suit the player's needs in battle. There are 16 abilities (badges) in total in which the player can mix and match 2 of them according to their playing style, and can switch abilities upon death. 32 players can connect online, and group into squads of up to four players. Two squads can group together as a faction of eight players. Killzone 2 also offers a clan system, which allows clans of up to 64 players to compete for "Valor Points", an in-game currency that clans can use to bet on tournaments.[7]

Classes and BadgesEdit

  • Rifleman -A class that can use any weapon (except some guns including the sniper and semi-auto rifle and two explosive weapons) but has no badge abilities, a standard soldier.
  • Medic -A class that can revive teammates that have been downed. The Medic's secondary badge ability allows you to throw health packs.
  • Engineer -The Engineer uses a Shotgun and has the ability to place sentry bots which will shoot nearby enemies. The Engineer's secondary badge ability allows you to repair broken Machine guns, Ammo crates and sentry bots.
  • Tactician - A class that is best used as a Squad Leader, can throw grenades which will make spawn points. The Tactician's secondary badge ability allows you to throw grenades that call in a flying sentry bot.
  • Assault -The Assault class is a soldier who uses heavy weapons (like a rocket or grenade launcher) and is fortified with heavy armor. The Assault's secondary badge will give you a major speed boost and you regenerate health quicker.
  • Saboteur -The Saboteur class can disguise as an enemy model and take their name, if you kill someone or get shot you will lose your disguise. The Saboteur's secondary badge ability allows you to place C4 which act like proximity mines and are good for blocking off small corridors
  • Scout -The Scout is the last class you will get, this class is equipped with a sniper rifle and has the ability to cloak. The Scout's secondary badge ability allows you to "Spot and Mark" your enemies which shows them on your and your teammate's screens as blue markers.
Killzone 2 E305

Killzone 2 at E3 2005.

DevelopmentEdit

E3 2005Edit

At E3 2005, Killzone 2 was debuted with a trailer depicting soldiers landing in a hostile war-zone on Helghan and fighting Helghast forces. Critics in the media argued that the trailer shown at the E3 2005 trade show did not show actual gameplay footage, as its high level of visual detail has been argued to be impossible to render in real-time on the PlayStation 3. SCEA's Vice President, Jack Tretton, was quoted as saying that the Killzone footage, that was believed to be pre-rendered,"is possibly real" and "is real prerendered gameplay", but it was later claimed that Tretton was referring to Resistance: Fall of Man. Several days after the demo, Phil Harrison, SCEA Europe's VP of development, stated in an interview that all of the PS3 game footages at E3 2005 was "running off video" which was "done to PS3 spec" using "in-game assets" and "some things were rendered".[8] Tim Miller of the CG studio Blur stated in 2006 that they had turned down the offer to create the Killzone 2 clip, and that "a company in Scotland had worked on it".[9]
Killzone 2 E32007

Killzone 2 at E3 2007.

GDC 2007Edit

At the Game Developers Conference in 2007, a Killzone 2 teaser was shown behind closed doors, and was never released to the public. It featured various battles, destructible environments, and lighting effects among others.[10]

E3 2007Edit

Killzone 2 was shown to a panel of journalists at a special pre-E3 2007 event in Culver, California, and then the next day to the public at Sony's E3 press conference.[11] An in-game trailer showing real-time gameplay of Killzone 2 was also released,[12] along with several videos of extended gameplay.[13]

A number of media outlets since E3, such as the BBC,[14] have referred to Killzone 2 as being "one of the most cinematic and immersive games ever produced on a console."[15]

GC 2007Edit

At the Games Convention in 2007, Killzone 2 was presented in playable form to the media. It was the same demo level as shown at E3 2007, although journalists were allowed to play it hands-on.[16]
Killzone 2 PS Day

Screenshots of the "Corinth River" level from Sony's PlayStation Day 2008.

Sony's PlayStation Day 2008Edit

At Sony's PlayStation Day, the second level in Killzone 2’s single-player campaign was presented, named "Corinth River".[17] Killzone 2 has seen considerable graphical improvements since E3 2007, and demonstrates advanced particle and lighting effects among others.

Technical informationEdit

Killzone 2 can be displayed in high definition 720p, and is locked at 30 frames per second.

Michal Valient, a Senior Programmer at Guerrilla Games, presented details of their Killzone 2 Engine [18] at a Developers Conference in July 2007. Killzone uses a deferred rendering engine that integrates MSAA Quincunx (multisample anti-aliasing). The Cell Processor will also parallel process geometry and indirect lighting.

Reception and salesEdit

Killzone 2 received critical acclaim upon release with a GameRankings score of 90.44%, and a score of 91 out of 100 on Metacritic.

In Issue 27 of the Australian Official PlayStation Magazine, Killzone 2 received a 10/10, and the game was said to have "amazing, fluid graphics and animation" as well as "beautifully constructed levels and intense sweaty-palmed action." The review concluded saying "Killzone 2 is the best console first person shooter ever made." In their February 2009 issue, the US version of Official PlayStation Magazine gave Killzone 2 a score of 5/5, stating players "will instantly tag this sequel as a powerful contender for best game of 2009." In the February 2009 issue of the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, they awarded Killzone 2 a 9/10 with the editor Tim Clark stating, "The most surprising thing isn't the visuals - anyone who's seen recent footage will know it's the most handsome thing on the system - but the fact it's got the gameplay to match."

GamePro gave a perfect score, praising graphics technology and multiplayer depth. In their review, Edge gave Killzone 2 a 7/10, praising the online multiplayer, attention to detail, "unparalleled graphics" and the pacing of the single-player campaign, but included criticism of the game's use of "gameplay clichés" and its weak storyline and characters.

GameSpot did not review the game until after its release so that they could experience its online multiplayer features in more depth. Reviewer Kevin VanOrd gave Killzone 2 a 9/10 saying: "Killzone 2 boasts amazing visuals, an intense campaign, and extraordinary online play that will keep you coming back for more." but described the game's story and characters as "forgettable" and said that the motion controls seemed "tacked-on".

The debut sales of Killzone 2 in the United States were 323,000 within 48 hours of launch. The game failed to meet expectations in March and April, when it sold 296,000 and 58,000 units respectively; by the beginning of May, the game had sold 677,000 copies in the United States. Killzone 2 debuted at number one in UK sales to become the fourth fastest-selling Sony published title ever. In Japan, the game debuted at number 3, selling 41,000 units. On April 16, 2009, Sony announced that sales of Killzone 2 had surpassed one million worldwide.

Killzone 2 won Best PS3 Shooter from IGN. It won Best Competitive Multiplayer, Best Sound Design, Most Improved Sequel, and Best Shooter from GameSpot editor's choice. It won Best Graphics in the G-Phoria 2009 Awards. It also took in Game of the Year from Gamereactor. The soundtrack also won gaming's first Ivor Novello Award. In the 2009 Edition of their top ten PS3 Exclusives, Screwattack placed Killzone 2 as the fourth best.

SequelEdit

A sequel was officially unveiled to the public by Sony Computer Entertainment on May 24, 2010 through the PlayStation.Blog. The game was first leaked to the public on May 21, 2010 through an early release copy of the June issue of gaming magazine GamePro alongside a leaked screenshot. Rumors about a sequel to the Killzone series have been around since just shortly after the release of Killzone 2. It was not until March 20, 2010 that Sony officially confirmed that they were working on Killzone 3. President of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Jack Tretton, confirmed its development in an interview with GameTrailers, but at that point of time could not yet say when the game would be officially announced.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=55366
  2. Shane Bettenhausen, “Meet Alpha Squad: Killzone 2 debuts three fresh faces…and one old favorite,” Electronic Gaming Monthly 231 (August 2008): 61.
  3. Shane Bettenhausen, “Meet Alpha Squad: Killzone 2 debuts three fresh faces…and one old favorite,” Electronic Gaming Monthly 231 (August 2008): 61.
  4. http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=55366
  5. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/34201.html GameTrailers.com Interview with Steven Ter Heide
  6. GameTrailers interview
  7. Joystiq article (E3 2008)
  8. Gamesindustry.biz. E3: SCEE's Phil Harrison talks PlayStation 3. May 19, 2005.
  9. SpikeTV. Interview with Tim Miller.
  10. GameSpot Killzone 2 GDC 07 Impressions
  11. E3 2007: Killzone 2 Impressions. IGN
  12. Killzone 2 E3 2007 Trailer
  13. Gametrailers.com - Killzone 2: Reviews, Trailers, and Interviews
  14. State of Play: Killzone 2 hands on
  15. BBC NEWS | Technology | State of Play: Killzone 2 hands on
  16. Killzone 2 impressions at GC '07 by IGN
  17. Corinth River: Killzone.com News
  18. 2007 Killzone 2 Deferred Rendering Engine Presentation (PDF File)

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