Killzone: Shadow Fall - The Albotas Review
On a complete whim I decided to pick up a PlayStation 4 on launch day. I typically never get systems on launch day because their libraries either consist of updated ports or first party exclusives that look amazing, but are just kind of okay in terms of gameplay. Killzone: Shadow Fall fits into that second category.
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AWESOME
The graphics. The graphics on this game are bonkers and make this game a showpiece that perfectly demonstrate what the PS4 is capable of.
Seamless transitions. In one level you’ll go from being flown into a beautiful futuristic city on an aircraft, to that city being reduced to burning rubble while all heck breaks loose, to being flown across the city to a railway transit system in the sky. It’s all done in a very seamless way and loading screens are disguised as dialogue sequences when flying from one place to another.
Level design. These levels are HUGE. There’s futuristic ghetto slums reminiscent of Blade Runner which absurdly tall steel towers and neon lights reflecting on the wet streets. There’s apocalyptic desert wastelands where decaying stone buildings lay collapsed while the sun casts lens blooms every which way. I kind of want an “Art of Killzone: Shadow Fall” book.
The OWL Drone. This is a little flying robot dude that you control with the PS4’s all new touch pad. He has 4 modes: shoot things, hack things/EMP things, turn into a shield, or turn into a zipline. It’s sort of a gimmick, but it helps spice up the stale run-of-the-mill FPS formula.
The less FPS-y parts. For a mediocre FPS, this game deserves some credit for trying to mix things up with stealth, anti-gravity parts (one was a particularly challenging escort mission of sorts), summoning giant flying robot things to kill waves of enemies, hacking/controlling robot spiders, and ordering an unkillable sniper with unlimited ammo to take dudes out while you sneak around and get shit done.
After the credits. There’s a mid-credits mission that I really wanted more of. Rather than play the main protagonist, you play a completely different character with a different set of skills. It’s a stealth mission where your objective is to assassinate someone, but first you need to go around disabling security cameras. A whole game of just that with a little generic FPS action probably would have been way more enjoyable, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some sort of DLC expanding on the concept was made available at some point.
NOT AWESOME
Forgettable story. I seriously barely remember what it was about. The Vektans are the good guys and they let the Hellghast live on their planet after they messed up the Hellghast planet in Killzone 3, but they’re both still at war for some reason.
The falling parts. There are a few chapters that have you navigate while falling. You will die numerous times. Not because these sequences are hard, but because the controls for them are terrible.
The text is absurdly small. Even on my 47” flatscreen I have to get up from my sofa to read mission objectives. I felt like I needed binoculars.
Multiplayer leaves a bit to be desired. Where to even begin. The walls in almost every level are the shame shade of metallic grey as the character models, so it’s almost impossible to see anyone, not all multiplayer modes and loadouts are made available from the start and it’s unclear how to unlock them, and some of the levels simply seem more like terrain than actual well-though-out levels for a multplayer FPS.
VERDICT
As a tech demo to show off the power of the PS4 to your friends, Killzone: Shadow Fall is amazing, however, while it may have gorgeous next gen graphics and gimmicky-but-fun next gen controls, it fails to deliver next gen storytelling or next gen gameplay. It isn’t a terrible game by any stretch, but it isn’t remarkable either, just solid. If you own a shiny new PS4 and want to be blown away by some top-notch visuals, this game is quite the spectacle to behold.

Killzone: Shadow Fall - The Albotas Review

On a complete whim I decided to pick up a PlayStation 4 on launch day. I typically never get systems on launch day because their libraries either consist of updated ports or first party exclusives that look amazing, but are just kind of okay in terms of gameplay. Killzone: Shadow Fall fits into that second category.

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The PlayStation 4: Some Things You Need to Know

Alright, normally I’d make a post like this a little more in-depth, blunt, and I guess professional, but there’s a lot to cover. I’m going to pretty much wing this and write about what I saw from watching the live stream of the conference, as well what was exactly shown from tonight’s Sony press event, in which the PlayStation 4 was officially revealed.

If you want to watch the entire two hour conference, I haven’t found a link to a full video yet. You can definitely catch bits and pieces from the event in clips on multiple websites, like GT.TV.

So the conference opened up with a really loud intro in which Sony chose to give a short trailer to showcase their past generations of gaming. They used MSTRKRFT’s remix of Metric’s “Monster Hospital,” and I really like that song, so I paid attention. After the trailer, some boring guy got on stage and was like “Blahblahblahblahblahblah, thanks for coming out here. Here’s our PLAYSTATION 4!” Then everyone clapped because some people in the audience thought they actually wouldn’t fucking call it a PlayStation and they would call it an “Orbis.” 

(And by the way, if you’re still calling the PlayStation 4 the “Orbis,” and you’re blogging/writing for a gaming site, please get away from your keyboard and go outside or something. We have an official name for it. Motherfuckers don’t call Gamecubes “Dolphins,” so why you wanna call a PS4 an “Orbis,” still?)

Anyway, then some other guy who worked on some old games for the Atari and helped make Earthworm Jim or something started talking for a long time. Then he explained what’s new with the PlayStation 4, feature wise. The "share," button was explained, and it was revealed that gamers can now instantly post screenshots and video clips directly into Facebook or somewhere on the Internet. Sony’s actually working with Facebook and UStream, actually. Or something like that. The controller has a touch screen, but we’ve known that for a bit thanks to numerous rumors from the Internet.

The PS4’s camera will allow players to look at each other while playing a game. Different games, same game, etc. You can look at each other, spectate, talk shit, and you can even stream yourself. Pretty much instantly. There’s a pic of that in the image dump up top.

The console is NOT backwards compatible (physically, I guess?) but you will be able to play PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on your system by streaming. Downloads can now be completed when your system is off, which is an extremely cool feature. Games you buy are available to play ASAP. If you want to play Killzone, you can purchase it and literally start it up and begin playing with the game being downloaded while you’re still in-game. Also, there’s a lot to do with clouds. You can transfer games to your Vita, much like Wii U and its controller.

Some other people talked and games were shown. There’s a new Killzone, some other game with some robot in it that looked like a Dreamworks film, and Square-Enix came on stage to show some video too. Then Square-Enix invited grandpa/Final Fantasy board director on stage to say “Hey guys, wanna know what Final Fantasy game we’re making NOW? Too fucking bad, you’ll see it at E3!” Then he got off stage and some other shit was shown. I don’t remember. There was a car game that seemed overly detailed and extremely realistic, but I don’t like cars to begin with so I kind of blocked that out. Oh, and Infamous.

What I do remember, game wise, was Watch Dogs. That game looks incredible. Here’s a trailer of that. Highly suggest watching it if you wanna see what’s on some next-level shit right now. It’s also coming to multiple platforms, but it’s releasing on PS4 first.

Then Sony said “Hey, you remember when we made this?” and then showed off the PlayStation Move. And then I left the room to make a sandwich and watch my girlfriend play Dead Space 2 for a little bit, so I missed a big chunk of it. It was boring though, I’m sure.

Then Blizzard came out! And whoever spoke for Blizzard looked like a really cool step-dad or something, so I really paid attention to him. He was seriously the Tony Stark of Sony tonight, looking real comfortable and making jokes people had genuine laughs with.

Then this motherfucker announced that Diablo III was coming to PlayStation 4 (AND PS3) and every superior PC gamer in the world lost their fucking minds.

Then Bungie came out and said “Hey guys, Destiny is coming out on PS4, too.” Then this team from Bungie came out and stood there in blazers, looked real odd for a while, and then Scotty beamed their awkward asses up so Sony could close the event.

And that was it, for the most part. I’ve linked this post with a bunch of articles to further explain what I can’t right now. There’s loads of photos, videos, etc, so check them out. There’s bits I missed out on, but I’m okay with that. That’s pretty much what happened. I was kind of struggling to not fall asleep.

What we still don’t know is what Sony will price this thing at, what the actual console looks like, and what else is in store for the console. We know it’s out this holiday season, though. Maybe more will be revealed at E3, perhaps?

 

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Killzone 3 Story Trailer.

Looks like the latest upcoming installment to the Killzone franchise ups the production value tenfold compared to its predecessor. I can barely remember what happened in the first two Killzone games aside from shooting a bunch of Hellghast, so hopefully the story will be a bit more memorable this time around.

Or maybe it was just the music in this trailer that got me. The soundtrack by composer Joris de Man is amazing. You could put that music in the background of Jersey Shore and it’d probably win an Emmy for best outstanding drama.

Killzone 3 hits the PS3 on February 22nd. Pre-order it from Play-Asia (regular edition, Helghast edition pre-orders opening soon) or Amazon (regular edition, Helghast edition).

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