Killzone Shadow Fall Review
Killzone Shadow Fall tells the story of Lucas, a Shadow Marshal tasked with bringing down the Helghast threat on the other side of the Wall on the planet Vekta. But things are not what they seem. What exactly will Lucas uncover? And with a multiplayer suite packed with some action, where exactly does Killzone stand on the PS4?
What Killzone Shadow Fall promises to offer is a first person experience with a gripping story and excellent shooting mechanics. What it actually offers is something a bit different than that. While Killzone Shadow Fall is a nice graphical showcase for the PlayStation 4, it doesn’t actually seem to do anything different than your average first person shooter. Snappy controls? Check. Full HD? Check. 60 frames per second? Check. Multiplayer mode? Check.
During the course of the campaign, the story paints a picture of repression and war. Killzone Shadow Fall takes place some 30 years after the events of Killzone 3, after the Terracide, in which the planet Helghan was essentially bombed into a wasteland. The Helghast refugees were then allowed to live on Vekta with the Vektans, separated by a wall. It is here where most of the conflict takes place, on the Helghan side of the wall.
In terms of graphic fidelity, the Killzone Shadow Fall looks gorgeous, quite possibly one of the best looking games that I have ever seen. The lighting scatters through trees, shadows cast against walls with convincing clarity. Character models look and animate as if they were lifelike. There is still a somewhat cartoon or “fake” quality to the look of the models, which is not a bad thing. It’s just in comparison to the rest of the game, which looks stunning, the character models seemed almost out of place.
As you are playing the campaign, your character is outfitted with a device called an OWL, which grants several abilities to help you in combat. You can send it out as a sentry gun for covering fire or maybe to a distraction. Another ability is to let your OWL act as a shield and will float out in front of you, projecting a shield to help protect yourself. The other ability that comes into play during combat sequences is the ability to use the small drone as an EMP device, which can be used as a stunning device or if the opponents have a shield it will also take out their shield. However this ability is somewhat a limited in function as it will go to wherever you point it, and does not follow targets. The fourth and final ability allows you to create an anchor point with a cable line that you can use to travel around the level. However this mechanic was nothing more than a way to get around a level, and was not used in interesting ways during combat. I found each of the abilities, while useful, somewhat limited in function. The sentry gun was the most effective, providing covering fire while I took out targets.
As you traverse about the wide open levels, there are a number of collectibles to go and find, and while some this adds story and context perhaps the most interesting of the collectibles are the audio logs spread about each of the levels. These audio logs to my surprise, played through the speaker on my Dualshock 4. That being said, I had to turn down the volume of the speaker in settings because it was quite loud.
Most of the sound in the game was adequate, with guns sounding off with massive booms. Line delivery was also ok as well, though there were a few instances where I felt characters seemed to be a bit more robot like, as if they were in a separate room, and even sometimes would speak over each other. The character development was subpar and there were times in the story where there were glimmers of a greater character development, especially later on in the campaign. However those glimmers merely stop after the mention of it, with no further development.
The time I spent in the multiplayer modes was not satisfactory, as there were very few players, and then ones that I did come up against seemed to be far better than anyone else playing. However the return of the Warzone mode from previous Killzone titles is perhaps the standout mode wherein the objective is constantly changing allowing for multiple game types in a single match. This mode constantly tested my ability to play and work with a team, despite nobody using the included headset in the PS4. Having said that, I would go back and play some more multiplayer, if not to get better.
Killzone Shadow Fall is a game that seems like it is a by the numbers first-person shooter. Despite having some unique mechanics, good story-telling, and some of the best graphics this game doesn’t do anything particularly different than your standard shooter that is out right now. The character development was subpar at best, and line delivery in places was stiff. Is this a game worth your time? Being one of the exclusive launch titles for the PS4, this is not something you should go out and buy right away. However if you are looking for a game to play, this is certainly not a bad game to play on your shiny new game console, its just not all that special.
Killzone Shadow Fall
|Platform: PlayStation 4|
Genre: First person shooter
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
ESRB Rating: M for Mature