Killzone 3 Review

Killzone 3
ESRB Rating: M
Players: 1-24
Genre: FPS
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Guerilla Games
Release Date: February 22, 2011
PlayStation Network Compatible
PlayStation Move (Sharpshooter) Support
3D Compatible

Parent Talk: Killzone 3 is rated M for Mature by the ESRB for blood, gore, intense violence and strong language.  Heed the warning; this is in no way a game children should play.

Review Basis: Played through the campaign on Normal difficulty.  Participated in ten different online matches (All gameplay modes).  Acquired 25% of the trophies.

The sky is scorched; bullets are flying. The Helghast resistance isn’t giving up.  You’re using an old wrecked tank as cover, pondering your next move.  Suddenly a radio communication states that the Helghast have released a new biological weapon against the ISA, and you’re the only one who can stop its use on Earth.  Biting down hard, you tightly hold that assault rifle and pop out of cover to take on hoards of Helghast troops breathing down your neck.  The fate of humanity lays sqaurely on the shoulders of your team.  Never give up, never surrender!

If you like that illustration, Killzone 3 (K3) should be in your possession.  It’s been referred to as an experience, a visual knockout, and a wonderfullyaddictive game.   I think it’s an FPS that every PS3 fan should grab.  It’s one of the best games of 2011.  Yes, I went there.

The Great

The audio-visual experience you can enjoy with a quality surround sound system and 1080p HDTV is incredible.  One of my qualms with Killzone 2 was its lack of color.  Everything was muted, saturated by browns and grays.  The animations were great, but overall Helghan was a very drab world.  That’s not a problem anymore.  There are actually blues and greens!  Who would’ve thought?  You even see man-eating flora and other vegetation.  I never thought I’d live to see the day.

Killzone 2’s animation engine returns, but with tweaks that improve your movement and interactions.  In fact, everything has a fresh coat of paint. K3 is one of the best-looking PS3 games to date.

The audio is equally impressive.  The cussing has been toned down, and the entire sound engine has been overhauled.  Grenades explode with more oomph, guns roar and the music/environmental effects help liven Helghan.


The Good

+ The story.  Some suggest that K3’s plot is lacking, I don’t know what game they played.  The narrative picks up where Killzone 2 ended.  You’re still on Helghan, and the resistance isn’t buckling. All your favorite characters…those that survived at least, return.  Together, you work to prevent a biological weapon from eradicating Earth.  What’s not to like about that?

+ Vastly improved control.  I thought K2 had sluggish movement and controls.  This isn’t Gears of War; you’re not supposed to sense as though you weigh 800 pounds, are you?  Improvements arrived through a variety of patches, but it never “got there” as they say.  With K3, you feel the difference immediately. It’s leagues better.  Running is more natural; aiming is quick and responsive.  That’s how an FPS shoud play.

+ Beneficial Move support .  If you don’t own the Sharpshooter peripheral, which uses the Move controller, I encourage you to invest in one.  It dramatically changes the experience, increasing the sense of authenticity that you’re part of the war. There’s a pump-action gun, different rates of fire and so much more.  I could write forever about the genius Move integration, but I leave it to you to discover.

+ Variety.  One moment you’re navigating an open environment eliminating dozens of incoming enemies, the next you’re manning a military tank, in the air with a jetpack, and even having a dogfight in space.  This is exactly why I play shooters, for an experience like no other.  The competition has made it so that every developer is forced to think outside the box. Mission accomplished Guerilla.

+ Robust multiplayer.  A variety of modes, bots, a newly-improved ranking system and virtually lag-free experience…Killzone 3 has it where it counts.

+ Ready for the future.  Great Move support is one thing, but how about 3D?  I’d love to tell you how cool it is, but I only enjoyed it once during E3 2010.  It was nifty, and I want to play the game in 3D with the Sharpshooter.  Sadly I don’t own a 3D HDTV, so I can’t comment.  I’m sure it’s a plus that the game features this unique mode.


The Bad

– Audio syncing.  I noticed lip syncing issues, where at times characters would talk, but their faces would lag a few frames behind in the scene.  It’s a little jarring.  This also applies to non-conversation segments.  Actions occur before the audio catches up.  It’s infrequent, but noticeable.

– No co-op.  An FPS without online co-op nowadays is inexcusable.  Seriously, it’s annoying.

The Ugly

It doesn’t happen often, but framerate slowdown takes away from the experience.  Killzone 3 drops to around 14 fps during intense moments, which is unfortunately because otherwise the presentation is outstanding.  Just be prepared for it.


The Lowdown

Killzone 3 is an achievement that I can’t recommend enough.  Buy it right now.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

10 thoughts on “Killzone 3 Review”

  1. I was really excited to get into its offline split-screen co-op, but the display is terrible! Why don’t they just fill in the whole screen instead of displaying two small screens that don’t cover the whole HDTV display? Reminds me of Call of Duty: World at War’s cop out as well. It just frustrates the heck out of me.

    From what I’ve played though, the game seems pretty interesting. Good review. I agree with the fact that it’s a lot more colorful than the drab and dark prequel.

  2. Thank Justin for his nice job with the editing ;). Also, thanks for the kind words :)

    Killzone 3 was a much better game all around, but moving forward I hope we can get a robust online and offline co-op mode to please the fans. I really dig playing these sorts of games with friends. Either way, I found this to be an excellent FPS.

  3. Haven’t picked this up, but probably will down the road. I liked Killzone 2 quite a bit. Sadly no 3D for me either, I’d love to see it in action though.

  4. I don’t think this 3D stuff is as big of a deal yet to warrant purchasing a compatible TV. Sure the experience is neat, I definitely attest…but plunking down $2000+ just to be able to enjoy it is too much. Not to mention those ridiculously expensive glasses that go for $100+ a pop. Come on now…

    Oh well, my folks actually have a 3D set at their place, and I’m vacationing there during Memorial Day week. Remember those Sony conference glasses we got to watch K3 last year Jarrod? I still have ’em ;) I don’t know if they’ll be helpful, but I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be. So my lady friend and I will get to enjoy 3D TV and movies, but probably won’t play any games. I don’t own any and don’t want to.

  5. I agree with Justin,

    Everytime a new game comes out that’s compatible with 3D I try it out at work. As neat as it can be sometimes (GT5 and Killzone 3 are my favorites so far) I really don’t think it’s worth 2000$ and over.

  6. Justin i don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but those glasses will indeed be useless. Those glasses at RealD glasses which only work with projectors that emit 3D signals. The 100+ glasses are battery powered shutter glasses, which open and close many times per second, giving the 3D effect. The glasses you get at the cinema or the ones we got at E3 are about $0.10 and won’t work at all. They will work just fine if you go see a movie in 3D at the cinema though.

      1. It’s the number one reason I haven’t bought into the technology yet. I just know we’ll get glasses-free 3D within the next few years and that’s when the next real leap will occur.

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