Preview: Killzone 2 Quickie Impressions

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Last night, Sony set me up with a voucher for the single-player Killzone 2 demo — the same demo you can gain exclusive early access to by pre-ordering the game at GameStop. I was hesitant to play it at first. Not to say I didn’t want to play it, it’s just that I’ve come to find that most demos tend to serve as nothing more than buzzkills, especially for uber-hyped games such as this. Take the BioShock demo. I played that sucker so much that by the time the final product came out the wow factor had worn off some and I immediately regretted not having skipped the demo and toughed it out until the full game launched.

Because of this, I wrestled with myself over whether or not to risk the same thing happening with Killzone 2, but ultimately the opportunity to get a sneak peek at such a high profile game was too tempting to pass up. That said, I went into the demo, played through it one time and called it quits. I just wanted to get a taste of it, nothing more.

Obviously, the first thing that immediately jumped out at me was just how impressive the game looked. Screenshots and trailers have already proven that Killzone 2 is one of the most graphically impressive games ever, but all the screenshots and trailers in the world still won’t prepare you for just how unbelievably detailed, fluid and technically sound the game truly is when you see it playing out on an HD screen right in front of you. Everything seemed so polished too, which is a far cry from the considerably unpolished (aka buggy as hell) PS2 original — the original was still a great game by the way, despite the heavy bashing it took.

I knew to expect a graphical stunner of a game, though, so the main thing I really wanted to get a quick feel for in the demo was the gameplay. Again, I was amazed at how polished the game handled. The gunplay was solid as a rock, the controls precise and intuitive, the cover system superb, the enemies intelligent, the death animations frighteningly realistic and the atmosphere dramatic and intense. What pleased me the most, however, was how powerful and weighty the shooting mechanics felt. The weapons have that tactile heft to them that you look for from a triple-A FPS.

Overall, my impressions of the Killzone 2 demo couldn’t be any more positive. However, there were a couple of minor quirks I picked up on that are worth mentioning. For one, I thought the menu screens were annoying as hell. They like bounce and flicker like a scrambled TV signal or something, which for me made it difficult to look through the options. The character dialogue and voice acting also didn’t seem particularly inspiring, which unfortunately is consistent with criticisms pointed out in many of the early reviews.

From my bite-sized demo run, I’d say Killzone 2 is totally deserving of all the hype, and then some. Only spending about 10-15 minutes with the demo, I obviously didn’t thoroughly examine every nook and cranny like I will the full game, but the short demo time was all I needed to confirm that Killzone 2 will be a great game. Just how great is what’s still left to be determined, and we’ll all find that out soon enough.

Check back on or shortly after the game’s February 27th launch — depending on when I’m able to get a final copy in to play — for my full review.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!