Guerrilla Games |
For months upon months, rumors had been floating around that Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Amsterdam-based Guerrilla Games (formerly Lost Boys Games) was hard at work on a killer app that would be even better than the original Halo on the Xbox. A bold rumor indeed, but without evidence, no one could confirm that such an amazing title existed. The people outside the development team who did witness the game legally couldn't talk about it.
Luckily, the rumors can finally be put to rest, as Sony Computer Entertainment Europe officially announced Killzone last Friday -- the game that is supposedly Sony's answer to Halo. The Official U.K. PlayStation 2 Magazine and other European press members have already seen Killzone in action, and so far, the demonstration that was shown has lived up to the hype.
So what makes Killzone so special? Well, for starters, the game is a squad-based first-person shooter that not only looks incredible, but it is also one of the few games that truly makes you feel like you're in a friggin' war, due to impressive scripted events. As usual, I am getting ahead of myself though. Here is the story behind Killzone according to the press release issued by SCEE:
In the near future, planetary colonization is a reality. Unfortunately, war has just erupted, as a human colony was attacked by a militaristic faction called the Helghast [insert stunning gameplay sequence here]. The ISA, an organization that is loyal to Earth, has no choice but to defeat themselves by going up against the Helghast. This is where the player comes in, as you'll need to control one of four soldiers that are sent behind enemy lines to eradicate the Helghast.
In the beginning, you'll be able to choose a character that you will have to use throughout the entire game. The goal here is to entice the user to play through the game at least four times, because each character has a different class. For instance, one person will specialize in stealth, while another will prefer to use big, noisy guns. Taking a page out of SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals, the other three characters in your squad will follow you around to provide coverfire, etc. Your buddies can't be killed, but they will retreat if they become too wounded to fight.
In the final game, there will be a total of 21 different weapons, including rocket-launchers, grenades, sniper-rifles, pistols, assault rifles, mini-guns and five turret-based weapons. Each weapon will have both primary and secondary firing modes.
All in all, Killzone offers 26 levels, with each one said to have several "Kodak moments" [Ed. note: Actually, Sony calls it 'memorable moments', but we prefer 'Kodak moments') that are sure to make gamers pee his or her pants with delight. For example, one event puts you in the middle of a massive battle near a collapsing bridge and another has you fending off enemy soldiers repelling from gunships. The amount of action going on at once is insane.
As you can see in the screenshots below, Killzone appears to take place in the jungle, but battles will take place in a shopping mall and the slums as well. Other locales have not been revealed yet.
Killzone is mostly being hyped as an intense single-player game right now, but the final product will have full online gameplay and a multiplayer mode. Apparently, there will even be a split-screen co-op mode, but we can't confirm this yet.
As of this preview, Killzone has not been announced for a U.S. release, but we are positive that Sony Computer Entertainment America will bring this promising game to North America when the time comes. The European version is slated for a March 2004 release date. Expect additional information and screenshots in the next few months.