Killzone: Shadow Fall is the first instalment of the series on the next generation console. Built by Sony owned Guerrilla Games, this playstation 4 launch title really is a jewel in the crown of Sony’s next generation gaming locker.
Killzone has been around since the Playstation 2 days, had a couple of strong outings on the PS3 and even had a brief flirt with the PSP and the recently released excellent Vita FPS Killzone: Mercenary. It has now found itself as a key component in Sony’s opening to the world of next gen consoles and gaming. Its a bold move by Sony to push Killzone a franchise which has always had potential, but never really taken a place among the elite of the first person shooter. Whilst the series has always had it’s stringent fans the unique weight and style has often been a turn off to the more mainstream FPS gamer. But this isn’t a Killzone game of the past, the fluidity and breadth have truly been enhanced, no longer just another shooter Killzone: Shadow Fall provides something fresh that really lets it stand tall next to the genre giants.
The opening is that of any classic playstation title, it shows off the epic scale of the game, it has amazing visuals and sets the scene for the continuation of the story. But this opening is somewhat different from the Killzone titles of old. It’s much lighter, compared to the darker settings of previous games. The feelings of endless war and conflict of the past are gone and replaced by a beautiful colour palette in the make up of what is one of the most beautiful skylines shown on the PS4. This first environment is just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come later down the line, with levels being played out in tranquil woodlands with the odd space station thrown in for good measure.
The gameplay works is based around a combination of various fighting styles, but the beauty of the game is that you are allowed to choose which approach you favour. You can take a quieter, stealthy option through some missions, using cunning and a well timed melee attack to take down enemies. On the other hand, you can simply charge right into the middle of the fight and blast your way out. The overall feel of the character movement is much less clumsy than in previous Killzone games, movement is swift and the speed of action is generally faster than in previous entries.
Overall, after only a few hours of gameplay, Killzone: Shadow Fall has gripped me and looks set to have me playing for a long time to come. The change in feel of the game has served as a fresh new start for the Killzone franchise, and one which could see it take its rightful place in the upper echelons of first person shooters.
Rhys Gibson / @rhysleopards