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Killzone: Shadow Fall Review - From a Newcomer

Magma-Man November 21, 2013 User blog:Magma-Man

I've gotten my PS4 and I've had my first game, Killzone: Shadow Fall. I was unfamiliar with the Killzone series other then basic information on it, and now I will share my thoughts on the latest game.

Campaign - Story

Helghast Prison
For others like me I imagine the story of Shadow Fall may be a little hard to follow, and it was a couple of times, but ultimately I was able to make sense of it, which was especially helped by the presence of audio logs and newspapers to find. In terms of the shooter launch line-up for PS4 I think I can safely say this has the most well-written story mode of the three, the other two games being Ghosts and Battlefield 4.

There were some spots here and there where I felt the dialogue didn't impress me, such as a moment where a rather tragic thing happened to the main character but we didn't get much emotion out of him at all, just a back to business kind of tone. Another character's death was retconned near the end for a sub par boss fight that felt awkward and pointless, especially awkward in it's positing, being close to the end but not actually a final boss, and being the only boss in the game. The ending was also disappointing, but not in an infuriating way. Rest assured it works as an ending, it's not a bad cliffhanger leaving the series open for a Shadow Fall sequel, it just felt under-whelming as most of what the game did before the climax out did the climax. For the first time since Mass Effect 3 I found myself immediately thinking up a different ending, although another point in it's favor is that my ending was still the same ending with the same results, something that couldn't be said for Mass Effect 3, where I scrapped the original idea entirely.

Campaign - Level Design/Gameplay

Shadowfall Freefall
For the most part really good. While some may feel the experience may be a bit slow compared to the likes of Ghosts, I personally really like it. Almost everything in the game is built around being satisfying, from the melee takedowns (which I love) to the powerful and heavy weaponry. While many reviewers criticized the free-fall sections, I didn't mind them, I preferred them having challenge as opposed being like the one from Black Ops II where they give you the illusion of danger but there wasn't actually a way to fail. Making them have a challenge is what made one of them at the beginning of Chapter 8 be one of the most fun and exhilarating moments of the game, despite the fact I of course still didn't manage the section in one go. The zero gravity sections weren't that bad either to be honest, although I wouldn't call any of them highlights of the game. There was also a part where you were in a carrier flying away while tasked with shooting down a train with a minigun, where I really felt they could have given you some more fun with by throwing in several enemy ATACs to attack you. Also, perhaps I just suck at stealth but every attempt on my part ended with alerts going off and my big guns coming out.


KillzoneShadowFall RemainsMap

This game's multiplayer is simply put, excellent. The guns are still a massive ammount of fun to use, melee take-downs are still exciting and satisfying, more-so in fact due to the extra difficulty of taking down another player, and the map designs are incredibly high quality. Whether you take to the trenches in "The Wall" or have to fight in a small circular map while dealing with constantly rotating doors in the middle in "The Penthouse," you've got alot of good variety, and none of it I found to be too frustrating such as the likes of "Nuketown" from Call of Duty. The ranking system now completely depends on challenges, no XP involved. I was worried about that at first but I feel I can safely say the thrill of leveling up is still there. Getting a challenge is still exciting and it's great knowing that almost everything I managed to accomplish is most likely going towards getting me closer to yet another challenge completion. The class system is great, Scout, Assault, and Support all play their roles well, and their abilities aren't like the passive ones in Halo, they are essential to you doing a good job. The guns also offer a massive amount of variety, no one weapon is the same as the next.

I do have some issues though so far. One of the main selling points they used in marketing were the "Warzones." The concept is you could make any custom game mode you want and it would go up on the menus for anyone to join and enjoy, meaning that every time you log in there should be something new and fresh to play. The problem with this is that there are not enough option's. It can be boiled down to there being one mode, "Classic Warzone," which is everything. It flits between different objectives throughout the match and you get all your classes available. Making a custom warzone only means turning stuff off. That's it, you can't even make something like what they showed in the trailers, where there was one team of Supports with miniguns and one team of players that had a cloak and knife. You can't do that, you can only limited what every play can spawn with. There also is no option for anything like a free-for-all mode, only two teams. I only made one Warzone worth playing, called "Cloak and Dagger" where you just spawned with a knife and cloak for a ten minute team death-match, that also remains the only one I've found worth playing. If the developers want Warzones to kick off, they will need some massive over-hauls in the customization section. We need alot more options.

Another thing that needs to be addressed is the fact that they made a big deal about keeping things balanced by allowing all weapons to be unlocked from the start. That would be great if they had EVERYTHING unlocked from the start. By putting your time into the game you will still be able to out fight newer players with more powerful versions of the abilities and more attachment options for your weapons. Simply unlocking a x10 scope for one of the sniper rifles takes a ridiculous amount of grind. This isn't balanced and it's just frustrating.


ShadowFall Escape
Helghan Ruins


  • Well-written story with only a few hic-ups
  • Good level design with only a few hic-ups
  • Collectibles are fun to find thanks to story content included
  • Fun and satisfying weapons
  • Good variety in the weapons
  • Great multiplayer map designs
  • Rank-up system in multiplayer is fun and addicting
  • Free map packs


  • The aforementioned story and level design hic-ups
  • Stealth is perhaps a bit too difficult to pull off
  • An ending that works but will leave you underwhelmed
  • Warzones don't give enough variety

Final Recommendation

An over-all excellent game that may have it's flaws, but I recommend anyone who likes shooters and is getting a PS4 to pick this one up. I feel the full price is worth paying, thanks to a long, solid campaign and really fun multiplayer. The value is further helped by the promise of free map packs from the developers down the line.

I will soon be acquiring a copy of the original Killzone for my PS2 and will give you my thoughts on that one as well.

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