Funnily enough Killzone 1's story is the exact opposite in strengths to Shadow Fall's. Where Shadow Fall had a really great plot hindered by not all that great characters, Killzone 1 has a so-so plot that is enjoyable thanks to the characters. As an interesting move, Guerrilla games decided to not make one main protagonist, but four protagonists all of equal rights to the main protagonist throne, and it's up to the player who they want to play as. This is a feature I actually really liked, although I disliked how while all four characters are talkative, they only are when you aren't playing as them. I played as Luger throughout most of the game because her main weapon, the silenced sub-machine gun type thing, was a massive help, although was annoyed how as a result she no-longer talked outside of cutscenes.
Structure and pacing is ultimately rather good other then a really ruff start that gives a horrible first impression for the game as a whole, however there certainly could have been a bit more character building then there was, and the main antagonist wasn't that memorable. Also, while I had the Killzone Wiki to help me understand the lore, the game itself does almost nothing to explain anything to you, other then the Helghast are attacking Vekta and that they are evidently British Space Nazis.
This is where the game slips up. Yes it's old but that's no excuse, I purchased Quake 2 not too long ago and that completely holds up gameplay wise. Controlling Killzone is horribly clumsy and awkward, and the weapons just aren't fun to use thanks to being practically muted. I had to go to the settings and turn everything almost entirely down in the sound except for sound effects, and then proceed to turn my TV up really loud, for it to sound somewhat normal. One of the biggest issues is WHY THE *bleep* IS IT that whenever you try and move diagonally with the left stick you go really slow, why did this EVER seem like a good idea?
The game also likes to be cheap, I've lost count of all the times I've turned a corner and got insta-killed by a Helghast soldier with a grenade launcher after going through everything else pretty much perfectly, and this game is not forgiving when it comes to check points, so prepared to get angry.
Also as I said before, the opening of the game is horrible. I was just about ready to turn the game off and go right to Killzone 2, ignoring Killzone 1 entirely. Thankfully the game does get better as it goes on, almost as if the level designers are learning as they go. Of course the progression of better over time comes a screeching halt at the horribly designed and frustrating final level that felt both unfair and unsatisfying to beat.
Not really notable anymore. At the time I could see this being really popular on PS2 but obviously now not so much. For those who get PS3 multiplayer is still there and while there is no online you can still play solo or split-screen with a match populated by bots. This is really only there for a nostalgia trip though if you've played the multiplayer before, as compared to more recent games, including the franchise's own recent release, Killzone: Shadow Fall, it really doesn't serve a purpose anymore thanks to it's clunky and annoying controls and slow pace.
- Characters make story enjoyable
- Age has not served this game well
- Cheap and unfair level design
- Horrible and clunky controls
- Horrible sound design
- Just generally dull
Certain games like Half-Life, Quake, System Shock 2, etc. have managed to stay good despite the test of time. Killzone is not one of those games however. In light of more modern shooters Killzone finds itself inferior to almost anything you pair it against. I only recommend you get it cheap and only if you have an interest in the franchise as a whole. If you are new to the franchise you're probably better off starting with Killzone 2 or Shadow Fall. The Killzone Trilogy pack is currently available as a great deal, so you'll probably want to get that just for Killzone 2 and 3 and you can consider Killzone 1 a bonus to get the whole story.