Killzone 3 by Sony review

Action has rarely looked as good as it looks in Killzone 3...
Photo of Killzone 3 by Sony
£49.99

There’s a prominent health warning at the beginning of Killzone 3, and it’s not on the shy side, either. Those of a nervous disposition are clearly best not applying for duty here – and the game soon leaves us in no doubt as to why.

Fightin’ talk
Killzone 3 is a game about violence. About war on an alien planet – and it features an arsenal of weaponry that’d make Rambo shudder. It’s also, visually, brutally brilliant: a cocktail of excellent graphics, exquisite destruction and cinematic gaming that sometimes leaves you wanting to stand up and applaud. More than once it generates the kind of carnage you never believed your console could manage.

The game kicks off in the immediate aftermath of Killzone 2, and once you’ve plodded your way through the brief tutorial at the start, you’re flung back out into the fray. From the off, the screen explodes with action. In no time you’re ducking for cover, picking off foes as best you can (with the usual shades of Halo and Gears Of War to be found). It takes very little time to appreciate that you’re in the company of something really very special.

Stunning gameplay
Not only is Killzone 3 visually striking, it offers some of the most pulsating action gameplay to be found on the PlayStation 3. It’s a really challenging game, too – one that brutally punishes anyone who likes to simply hide and pick people off. Bombarding you with enemies that have genuinely impressive artificial intelligence, the game whisks you from one set piece to another, barely giving you time to catch your breath.

But heck, it’s really, really good fun. Splattered with enough variety to keep things interesting, it also pushes you – and pushes you hard. Knowing when to duck for cover and when to burst free, taking every opportunity to bring down your foes, is critical to success in Killzone 3. And, with the variety of weapons needed to make a mark on this alien battleground, the franchise arguably hits its high here.

Steep learning curve
On the downside, it’s not the easiest game for the novice to get a foothold into, as the screen swarms with activity and massive firefights are a regular occurrence. Furthermore, the storyline sometimes gets swallowed up in the melee. Killzone devotees may keep more of an eye out for it, but it’s quite hard to follow amidst all the noise.

All things considered, though, it’s a very good release – one that demonstrates the power of the current generation of consoles, and throws in a brutal fight for your money. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see whether developer Guerilla Games can top it…

Company: Sony

Positives
  • Breathlessly excited, fast-paced and gorgeous to look at.
Negative
  • Steep learning curve for newcomers to the genre.

Verdict

An astonishing multimedia achievement, tied to a relentlessly enjoyable action game. Action gaming has rarely looked better.