Killzone: Shadow Fall Review
The PS4 is finally here with its Killzone: Shadow Fall bundle. As we all open our newest prized possession this week and for weeks to come, one of the first things we will see is the new game Killzone: Shadow Fall. Being one of the first games to be out for the PS4 we are all expecting great things, and Guerilla Games did not disappoint with this amazing new first person shooter. Being the fourth game in the main series but the sixth overall, this is where it was all leading. So be prepared for an awesome game in a great series.
The Killzone series has been around for almost ten years now, stretching its reach from the PS2 as far as our new gen console, the PS4. Even from its first debut in 2004, the Killzone title hasn’t been all that big whilst battling with the likes of Call of Duty and eventually Battlefield– it almost seemed like Killzone would fall off the face of the earth. Fortunately a loyal fan base kept it going through the years and has made it what it is today. Still yet the title isn’t as big as Call of Duty, but it has a chance at comparison now with Shadow Fall.
Decades after the destruction of Helghast, tensions are starting to bubble once more. You are on a currently-peaceful and lush planet named Vekta. Vekta is now home to the Vektans, and in an ironic twist of fate, the surviving Helghans from the planet Helghast that Vektan soldiers destroyed in Killzone 3. Each major city is split into two, separated by a giant wall– one side Vektan, the other Helghan. You, Shadow Marshall Lucas Kellan, are trying to keep peace between the two factions. It fails, and what seems to be a monotonous and endless hate between the two races erupts yet again. The story of Killzone: Shadow Fall seems to be the most complete in the series thus far, with its handful of high points and low points.
Through the game you start to feel a sort of pity for the Helghans and their loss, and when the end nears it almost leaves you asking which race was the real monster? We all remember the epic amazing space battle at the end of Killzone 3 when you nearly destroy the entire planet of Helghast with one nuclear bomb. Unfortunately Killzone: Shadow Fall definitely fell short of an amazing ending. It seemed rushed and empty, though the rest of the plot and story was full of amazing moments and times that made your blood pump. Killzone 3 almost immediately threw you into the action, whereas Shadow Fall seems to take its time getting to the fight, which gives you the time to take in the sights and story and let it sink in.
Gameplay in Killzone: Shadow Fall’s campaign was enticing and enthralling all at once. With its amazing new gen graphics and an almost sandbox appeal to the world around you it kept your attention for the entire ten hours the main campaign needed to be completed. Bringing back a multitude of weapons from Killzone 3 like the StA-52, StA-18, and M82 with 19 more weapons to choose from, the campaign is an intense first person shooter native to the Killzone series but the designers also added in moments where stealth was needed to complete an objective or to gather information. Just like in Killzone 3, some of the combat is taken to space as well as on ground. There is also a co-op game mode as well. It allows up to four players and is a wave-based survival. Single player mode is great but the multiplayer mode trumps all.
Killzone: Shadow Fall boasts an amazing online multiplayer that holds its own when pitted against that of Call of Duty: Ghost’s and Battlefield 4’s online any day. With ten initial maps to roam and battle in, the online multiplayer runs at 1080p at 60 frames per-second, whereas the single player only runs at 1080p and 30 frames per-second. Running at 60 frames per-second allows the multiplayer to move more fluidly and makes the gaming experience online much more enjoyable whilst cutting down lag immensely. While in gameplay online you are playing against an enemy squad, as you tend to do in online multiplayer, but the difference here is you are able to destroy enemy spawn points. This makes for a great, literal spawn kill.
The weapons in the online multiplayer are the same as the main campaign. Rocket launchers and grenade launchers are now attachments rather than an entire weapon themselves. Other than the larger more dangerous weapons, hip-firing is still an option for the smaller guns for those of you with deadly accuracy.
In Killzone’s multiplayer you can play as three classes that you can level. First one being the Assault class which gives you the ability to pack around FIVE primary weapons, and gives you awesome abilities like speed dash and stun blast. The second being the Scout class that gives you a handful of unique abilities. A couple of those abilities being cloak and tactical echo and the third being the Support class. The Support class is the more flexible class leaning between both the Scout and the Assault classes. The abilities are as the name of the class suggests, more of a supporting role, like supply box and support teleport.
Unfortunately in multiplayer there is no in-game chat or in-game party system. The maps being as big as they are, you are able to have 24 players in a match, 12 on each side, but in order to reach its maximum capacity you have to create a room all to itself. As mentioned you only start with ten multiplayer maps, but currently there are free downloadable contents that give you more for your gaming experience, but that’s not all. Straight from Playstation’s blog, there will be a $20 season pass coming out that gives you three DLCs and a new skin. Sadly it is not out yet though.
Being a PS4 launch title we all wanted to see some pretty great graphics, and we did, as Shadow Fall excelled in this area with vibrant colors, lush landscape, and beautifully textured environments. The game gave you great moments to take in all the beauty, whether it is in the sky over the massive cities, or on the ground sneaking through debris and destroyed landscapes. When looking on screen during gameplay you can notice a lot of things going on at once, like water cascading, lights flickering, natural sunlight glimmering off glass windows as you walk by, and vehicles flying by thinking nothing of it. The sheer hard work put into these graphics couldn’t be done on any current gen consoles. This just shows you the power the new gen can give us and more.
The multiplayer map runs at 30 FPS faster than the single player mode. While in a map full of foliage you can notice each individual leaf moving at its own rate, not slowing or lagging. When in intense battles with more than three people on the screen, the FPS might go down a bit, but what would you expect from an already spectacular experience? The graphics in Shadow Fall are amazing and very well detailed. It ushers in the new gen titles, and we are expecting great things in terms of graphics and gameplay. I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.
In my opinion, the best part of this game is the multiplayer. It was diverse and you weren’t constantly seeing the same thing over and over again. The classes were well thought-out and complete, and the leveling system was by far easier and less complex than that of other online multiplayers. The entire game overall was well-detailed and vibrant in its graphics. The single player campaign was as well beautiful, but the story wasn’t all that great in comparison to its predecessors. Through the beginning of the story it was great, and all the way up to the end was enthralling, but then there was the ending itself; it seemed empty and not very well thought-out. It wasn’t clever, it was just rushed. Other than the ending it was an amazing and fun game, with intense scenes and dramatic dialogue. I will definitely be playing it through again and again in the future.
Even having its handful of flaws, I’d say this game is worth the buy and the play. With its new gen graphics running at 1080p, this game leaves you wanting more from the PS4. Shadow Fall was a great idea as a launch title. However, I do not think by any means it will win over the hearts of those who didn’t like the Killzone series before this, but if you’re a Killzone fan like me, you will be pleased with one of the newest games for the PS4, Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Written by Guest Contributor: KendraTheGamerGirl