Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Killzone 2

Although from the demo I wasn't overly impressed The Artist was and enthused so much I succumbed and picked it up. Last night I managed to give it a quick test drive; first things first a 16Mb update to v1.20 and then into the game. No waiting for the game to dump data onto the hard drive so perhaps they're finally learning.

Okay what I will say is that the demo did a disservice to the game, I played through the same section and beyond and it was much better in places. The scripting was certainly less obtrusive although the pauses as it stream-loaded the next area were more obvious. No pop-up or texture switch that I could see though I was pretty enclosed (not that that stopped Half-Life2 from suffering) and no jerky stop frame animation during big fire fights.

Still annoyed at the handicap of only being able to carry one weapon which results in the 'fortuitous' placement of the one weapon that'll defeat this particular enemy where you're standing or heading. This came to a particular head when rejoining my squad and being chased by a tank "Only an RPG can hurt it" I'm told - great I had one of those and ditched it for a rifle so I could, you know, shoot the bad guys without blowing myself up. Calling up my directional 'where to go' sent me to a small open spot whereupon I got blown up by said tank. Back from a checkpoint I spot an RPG I'd missed prior to the tank appearing. Why would I pick up this clumsy weapon unless I knew a tank was about to appear? There is another one near to the spot I end up, but it's not as obvious as you might think.

Then I got to drive a tank with an unlimited machine gun and rockets, although the rockets had a delay between firing one from each side, and it wasn't fully explained where they'd end up.

A fair proportion of the game was being told to do things without being told how to do them, once you got where you were supposed to be it turned out to be logical, but there was this slight panic at first.

It's also very easy to die, and as with the RPG incident sometimes it seems to be a Lara Croft learn-by-dying experience. Dying three times when strafing a building with fire and being hit with RPGs I finally discover you can take out the supports and bring the entire building down.

Okay the graphics are good, the AI is better than the demo suggests and the scripting is not so obvious, the stream-load is a little jarring but only occurs during a checkpoint save with normally zero enemies about so not a hardship. The directional 'where to go' needs fine-tuning though with it either being dainty steps that are so obvious or leading you to apparently nowhere when you then have to figure out what to do from the imprecations of your team-mates. "blow the doors, what doors? Oh those doors why couldn't you point at them?"

I'll have to see what the multiplayer is like, but so far it's been a reasonable purchase if so far lacking a little in replayabilty due its linear nature.