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Alright, so Killzone 2 has the spotlight here for a short time while I apply my game theory and critical analysis abilities (or until I start hating it [don’t hold your breath]).  Killzone 2 is a good game.  There are many things that Guerilla did to make it that way.  Here is a list of design decision, ideas, and technologies that the industry should take note of:

  • First and foremost: The AI.  The AI in Killzone 2 is fantastic.  Enemies take cover, blind-fire, throw grenades, peek, seek cover, and wait for you to stop firing before moving out of cover.  Allies take cover, press the attack, *actually kill things!!!*, are generally useful and helpful.  The powerful AI makes the experience feel that much more real and interesting and silences the common issue of the desire to kill one’s allies for incompetence.
  • In singleplayer, the variety of weapons is quite nice while still being believable and internally consistent.  Granted, there are some that are better than others (Helghast LMG anyone?) but the overall variety allows for some tactical choice.  On the flip side of this, some weapons are rather useless.  The Boltgun is cool and pretty powerful, but hard to use because the bolts fly so slow.  Also, the grenade launcher is infuriatingly hard to use well.  Once you get it, it’s not too bad, but it’s hard to get there.
  • Level design in Killzone 2 is very well done.  Each map is designed in a sprawling format, even if action moves a little linearly.  Many opportunities for cover and strategic placement of weapons and explosives helps to move combat along quite nicely.
  • The cover system is very helpful and makes combat feel very tight and real. I really wish they had a true blind-fire mechanic for the player, but it’s not entirely needed.
  • Toggles for different modes are really helpful.  KZ2 does not provide a toggle for taking cover, so it requires the pressing of three different shoulder buttons in order to fire from cover.  Fortunately, they have a toggle option for iron-sighting, which I promptly turned off.
  • Sloppy controls make for frustrating gameplay.  A lack of skill is one thing, but when you have to fight the interface to use those skills…this encourages the throwing of controllers through TV screens.
  • Grenades in KZ2 are actually useful!  Grenades are no longer a binary thing (Halo 3: grenade either kills you, or doesn’t, no in-between) with large blast areas.  If you don’t kill a foe with a grenade, you usually knock them down.  And at the very least, they can be used to great effect to flush enemies out of cover thanks to the highly responsive and in-depth AI (see above).
  • Diverse locations.  KZ2 sprawls between ISA Cruisers, desert wastelands, and industrialized caverns.  These locations keep the gameplay interesting and varied and allow for some very pretty visual variety.
  • Good multiplayer can make all the difference.  I have already stated that I dislike the Killzone 2 online multiplayer, but others absolutely loved it.  Some even went as far as to say that the multiplayer was one of the best they had ever seen and gave KZ2 higher ratings because of it.


    • Mike
    • Posted March 9, 2009 at 09:12
    • Permalink

    First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

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    • Mike
    • Posted March 9, 2009 at 22:53
    • Permalink

    Enjoy reading your blog.Btw, this is first time I visit to your blog 🙂

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    • Roucis Kyle
    • Posted March 18, 2009 at 09:55
    • Permalink

    Thank you! I hope you continue to enjoy. Say, what inspired you to start reading my blog, just curious?

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