Here comes the blog ... here comes the blog ... the Aisledash wedding blog! | Add to My AOL, MyYahoo, Google, Bloglines

Killzone 2 at E3, revisited

Clouds dash by as a flying vehicle zooms ahead. Armored soldiers are yelling frantically, as the chaotic sounds of a war zone fill the jam-packed auditorium. Sound familiar? It's meant to be. The opening seconds of the new Killzone presentation bring to life the infamous E3 trailer from 2005 -- only this time, it's in real-time.

Certainly, the question on everyone's mind is: does it look as good as the notorious it's-not-CG-we-swear trailer from 2005? In many ways, the visual fidelity of the updated presentation matches the highly polished look of the debut trailer. Beautiful volumetric smoke filled the screen, and the characters were alive with animation. Motion blur was used to great effect, adding a subtle hint of realism (unlike the over-the-top blur of Crysis.) However, unlike the deceptive E3 presentation of yore, this one had an aura of believability. A critical eye could note a few rough jagged edges, and textures that are a far cry away from Hollywood renders. In particular, the floor textures were no short of terrible. The facial animation system could certainly use a bit more work as well. Were we a little disappointed to notice such identifiable indicators of visual flaws so quickly? Certainly. However, in spite of all the shortcomings within the game, there's no denying that Killzone 2 provides a visual feast that effectively demonstrates the technical prowess of the PlayStation 3.

Gallery: Killzone 2

The presentation continues with a Helghast that gets burned alive, much to the delight of this blogger. Although the fire didn't look particularly "next-gen," the way it interacted with the flailing body was intensely lifelike. Action connoisseurs would certainly be impressed by the first few non-interactive moments of the presentation, with innumerable explosions that would make Michael Bay jealous.

As the airship landed, we were delighted to see the presentation transition to gameplay seamlessly. The onscreen player moves down a passage, with rows of barricades, and dozens of soldiers being torn apart by Helghast fire. Even if the finer details of the game's visuals couldn't live up to the expectations created by the original E3 trailer, the actual gameplay maintained much of the same intensity. The senses become easily overwhelmed by an apocalyptic feast of aural and visual information: comrades fall, in battle, under a hailstorm of bullets and explosions. The director of the game noted Guerilla's team to create a "hostile theatre of war." They've undeniably succeeded in that.

The player, with SIXAXIS controller in hand, moved down the crowded corridor, using the default rifle's impressive zoom scope. The attention to detail in the weapons designs is much appreciated: the hand that holds the gun is well-modeled, down to the nails in the finger. The guns themselves look good, and utilize a subtle motion blur that makes it look even more authentic. Shooting through the sapphire-coloured lenses looked enticing, to say the least. As the game progresses into an indoor environment, the game stutters for a few seconds, freezing as it tries loading new data. We're told that this will be fixed in future builds of the game, but it served as a refreshing reminder that everything that we were seeing was, in fact, real.

People will most likely argue over the graphical quality of Killzone forever. It's true that it's not as good as the E3 trailer, but it's still impressive nonetheless. What made the original trailer so compelling and realistic wasn't necessarily its high polygon count, and stellar texture work. Rather, it was the incredibly lifelike animation. The new Killzone demo we saw delivered some stellar animations and ragdoll effects. Looking at the reload animations is a simple testament to the high quality of animation work in the game. One memorable moment had to be when an enemy was shot in the back, fell down, and began trying to crawl away. However, certain animations seem incomplete, as if they're missing keyframes.

Bodies are wildly thrown about due to the endless shower of explosives seen in this level, and we're glad to say that the ragdoll animations seem realistic, with an observable weightiness to the bodies. The various physics effects seemed impressive as well. At one moment in the demo, the player shot a bucket from high, and it fell and bounced as one would expect. In a particularly dramatic moment, the player ducked behind some wooden planks, which were slowly being destroyed by gunfire. It appeared as though the wood's destruction was physics based, and not from a canned animation.

A detailed animation and physics systems is a must for a game like Killzone 2. Even from the single level that we've seen, it's clear that the game lives up to its title ... almost too well. At any given moment, something must be dying in front of you, and not necessarily because of the player's actions. This is a war, and both the Helghast and the human resistance suffer severe casualties all the time. The incredible amount of carnage crafts an appropriately claustrophobic feeling, which serves as a reminder that you are, indeed, in a zone of killing.

The gameplay has us intrigued, but not completely sold. Killzone 2 will undeniably be an intense experience, but not necessarily one filled with original ideas. There were a number of moments where we saw echoes of Gears of War: at one moment, the player takes cover, and starts blind-firing at enemies that were also hiding behind cover. When running, the camera gets closer, and the camera shakes furiously, as if holding A in Gears. When a comrade falls down, it appears that players can revive them by running next to them and offering a medkit. This option suggests that Killzone will feature extensive team play, but it wasn't fully demonstrated in the demo that we observed.

A boss fight, of sorts, reminded us a little of Bioshock. "The Heavy Soldier," Killzone's equivalent of the "Big Daddy" tore apart soldiers with ease. The massive armored goliath easily pushed aside anything in its way, but it has one weakness: an explosive located on its back. After a satisfying explosion, more carnage and mayhem ensued. Of particular note was the way blood was animated: it appears to be location-specific, coming from specific points shot. In the mayhem, we thought we saw a tiny chunk of bone in one of the blood pools.

We really appreciated the HUD, or lack thereof. The ammo HUD appears on the bottom right hand corner of the screen when collecting ammo, or reloading. At all other times, it disappears, providing a clean look at the action. More interestingly is the Fight Night-inspired representation of health. When the player runs low on health, instead of using a more traditional HUD indicator, the screen starts to blur, go into black and white, and the sound becomes muffled. The worse the player becomes, the more red starts to appear, trying to recreate the experience of having blood in the eyes. As in most FPS games post-Halo, avoiding damage will restore the player's health.

One thing that'll certainly set apart Killzone 2 from other FPS games is its focus on weather. The Helghast are harnessing the power of electricity in the sky. Demonic strikes of lightning can be seen in the clouds at all times, and apparently is being used to power the weapons of the Helghast. The demo ends with the player attacking a lightning pillar, which appears to be one of the sources of the Helghast's power. By attacking its weak point, the massive pillar will explode, revealing a menacing new enemy. Too bad the presentation ended there, saying "Mission Accomplished."

The evening ended with a few brief comments on the tech specs of the PS3 exclusive. The game will feature (warning: technical terms follow) deferred rendering with ambient occlusion and multiple shadow casting lights. The effects used include "depth based color grading, motion blur, and full screen anti aliasing" with "proprietary lighting techniques to create a vivid and living world."

Aurally, the game will offer 7.1 surround sound, audio occlusion with wave tracing. We're assuming the game is running in 1080p, as we sat in the first row of a massive screen ... and it still looked stunning. The developers noted that they were "grateful for Blu-ray" as a single level has already taken 2GB of space. "The PlayStation 3 allows us to do so much ... [it] would not be possible on any other platform."

Overall, we're impressed by Killzone 2, even though it falls short of the incredible expectations that Sony has placed on it. Gamers that see Killzone 2 in action will be easily impressed -- but we'd like to know if Guerrilla can develop a game that expands upon the incredibly cinematic, overwhelming battles seen tonight. PS3 fans all over the world are waiting.

Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. first suckers , hahahahahaahahaha

Posted at 4:52AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Bubs

2. PARP! I just messed my pants with excitement!!! This looks amazzzzzzzzzzzzzing!!!

Posted at 5:00AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Ian

3. This looks great !!! Seriously, it looks like one of the best FPS so far ;) A release date ? Anyone ?

Posted at 5:09AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Prouted

4. Incredible. Wish I'd saved all the hater comments so I could say "I told you so."

Posted at 5:17AM on Jul 11th 2007 by upz

5. Funny thing is, the guy front and center (is that Rico?) has the worst looking model. The close-up on the first guy's face was amazing.

Posted at 5:28AM on Jul 11th 2007 by upz

6. it's certainly not as "shiny" as Gears Of War (i think that's a good thing)
next-gen titles seem to love that shinyness

can't say i'm overly impressed with the trailer though.
the blood effects towards the end however... were delicious.

Posted at 5:28AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Alex

7. The article over at IGN which describes the 15 minute Press demo in full detail certainly enthuses about the experience. I for one am very excited - Imagine this game in full on-line multiplayer Capture The Flag!!!

Posted at 5:47AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Ian

8. O.O ...pretty...

Ok, I'll admit that I don't usually care too much for FPS (tactical FPSs yes), but this game looks very impressive so far - I loved how the smoke and fire were reacting to air, movement, bodies... Now if only that guy in charge didn't look constipated - I'd be all set to buy in on this one! =D

Posted at 5:50AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Consolcwby


That is pretty unbelievable.

Surprisingly, Andrew's seems to be one of the most critical reviews I've read. (Especially considering Jem thought the screenshot we saw ealier today was "well and good.") IGN and Kotaku both have glowingly positive impressions.

Posted at 5:55AM on Jul 11th 2007 by upz

10. Not as impressed as I'd hoped to be, I still think Lair and Heavenly Sword look better, maybe it's just me.

Posted at 6:18AM on Jul 11th 2007 by MmhmBeer

11. I think it came out really really good!

I also Love how its not "Shinny" like most 360 games, for the most part the visuals are better then Gears, so I'm happy!

Also I like to see there is a cover system in place, however can't wait to see if I like the 1st person cover over 3rd person.

Posted at 6:36AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Jldowning

12. Holy crap, they nailed it

Posted at 6:36AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Bourega

13. This is THE BOMB...1st of ....this game lookz CRAZY... all the sites which ive read impressions on said this game is amazing...going further a destructoid editor said that its prettier than halo 3!!! On the other hand Kotaku said it is the most impressive game they have seen soo far...!!! ure face all of u sony hating fanboyz....!!!! im soo excited...

Posted at 6:40AM on Jul 11th 2007 by N.A.

14. @ 12

Yeah prob just you ;)

Killzone 2, Haze, and Crysis seem to be the leading edge on visuals today. Lair and Heavenly sword are beautiful, Killzone is dark and Gritty, they way it should be. So they are both diff sides of a coin. I suggest anyone with a HD monitor to Download the HD version of this trailer from IGN!

I also don't get the sorta Blurry effect used in Gears, but it makes it look good I guess >.

Posted at 6:51AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Jldowning

15. What impresses me is the amount of crap happening at the same time.. dynamically. Any word on release date?

Posted at 7:01AM on Jul 11th 2007 by humpty

16. The game looks good. I just want a Melee button this time around that you can use all the time. Plus the game Needs to be 60FPS. I do not like 30FPS. Also as much as I want this game it would be best for Sony to bring out the Beta this year. May be in November but bring out the game next year. That way Killzone can look even better when it comes out.

Posted at 7:41AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Joe

17. Yeah, this has to be one of the MOST critical reads of Killzone 2. Not a bad thing at all, but it would be nice to see a bit more enthusiasm Andrew!! Good write up though!

Posted at 7:55AM on Jul 11th 2007 by frombrosis

18. I only hoped that they could match the original trailer and I think they surpassed it. The game looked amazing. I can only hope it plays as well. I do think the argument for games on Blu-ray has been answered....Just wait for the MGS trailer and everyone will want a PS3

Posted at 8:14AM on Jul 11th 2007 by acedoh

19. Dude...that was sick. I like how the characters are thicker like Gears vs. Resistance where they seem a bit thin. The if the story, controls (the biggest deal),and physics can live up to the visuals, we have a winner. A solid multiplayer seems to be a selling point, as well as a point of criticism from the competion (and Xbots). If they nail these things, Haze and Halo may take a bit of a beating. Can't wait for part 3 already...

Posted at 8:22AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Titty Pink

20. It looks good, the lighting and spot effects cetainly lift the atmosphere. My only hope is that it's not ALL dark and gritty, I actually Like a bit of sunshine as well. Resistance had a different colour scheme for varying locations which personally, i liked. If it has visual variety it WILL go on my short term wants list along with HL2, GTA4, Assassins Creed and HAZE.

You shouldn't wish your life away but I do wish it was Xmas.

Posted at 8:24AM on Jul 11th 2007 by Neil

Next 20 Comments


Win the Ultimate Halo 3 setup from Xbox 360 Fanboy!!!Check out the PlayStation Fancast podcast!PS3 Fanboy interviews Everyday Shooter's Jon Mak


Contests and Giveaways (10)
Community (70)
Galleries (34)
Guides (2)
Hands-on (13)
Interviews (211)
Podcasts (12)
Polls and Surveys (41)
Rants (16)
Reviews (30)
Wallpapers (5)
Blu-ray (175)
Business (34)
Deals and Bargains (36)
Demos (48)
Downloads (80)
e-Distribution Games (77)
Firmware Updates (35)
Game Patches (17)
Hacks and Homebrew (19)
Hardware (24)
Multimedia (30)
New Releases (121)
News (256)
Peripherals (41)
PlayStation Network (160)
PlayStation Store (177)
Previews (484)
Rumors (333)
Videos and Screenshots (397)


Powered by Blogsmith

Sponsored Links

Featured Galleries

Soulcalibur IV concept art
Wipeout HD
MGS4 TGS swag
LocoRoco: Cocorecho
Ratchet & Clank: Concept Art
Ratchet & Clank: Renders
Heavenly Sword: Motion Capture
Heavenly Sword: Weapons & Environments


Most Commented On (14 days)

Recent Comments

Weblogs, Inc. Network

  • Autos
    • Autoblog
    • AutoblogGreen
    • Autoblog Spanish
    • Autoblog Chinese
    • Autoblog Simplified Chinese
  • Technology
    • Download Squad
    • Engadget
    • Engadget HD
    • Engadget Mobile
    • Engadget Chinese
    • Engadget Simplified Chinese
    • Engadget Japanese
    • Engadget Spanish
    • TUAW (Apple)
  • Lifestyle
    • AisleDash
    • DIY Life
    • Gadling
    • Green Daily
    • Luxist
    • ParentDish
    • Slashfood
    • Styledash
    • That's Fit
  • Gaming
    • Joystiq
    • DS Fanboy
    • Nintendo Wii Fanboy
    • PS3 Fanboy
    • PSP Fanboy
    • Second Life Insider
    • WoW Insider
    • Xbox 360 Fanboy
  • Entertainment
    • Cinematical
    • TV Squad
  • Finance
    • BloggingBuyouts
    • BloggingStocks
  • Retired
    • AdJab
    • BBHub (BlackBerry)
    • Blogging DEMO
    • Blogging E3
    • Blogging ETech
    • Blogging Gnomedex
    • Blogging Milken
    • Blogging Ohio
    • Blogging Web 2.0
    • Future of Music
    • Bluetooth
    • Card Squad
    • CSS Insider
    • Design
    • Digital Music
    • Digital Photography
    • Divester (scuba)
    • Droxy (Digital Radio)
    • DV Guru (Digital Video)
    • Enron Blog
    • Flash Insider
    • Google (Unofficial)
    • JavaScript
    • Live 8 Insider
    • Magazine Design
    • Medical Informatics Insider
    • Microsoft (Unofficial)
    • Mortgages
    • Nanopublishing
    • Office
    • Open Source
    • Peer-to-Peer
    • Photoshop (Unofficial)
    • PVR Wire
    • RFID
    • RSS
    • SAS (Unofficial)
    • SCM Wire (supply chain)
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Social Software
    • Spam
    • Tablet PCs
    • Telemedicine Insider
    • Unofficial Playstation 3
    • Unofficial Xbox2
    • Video Games
    • VoIP
    • WiFi
    • The WiMAX Weblog
    • Wireless Dev
    • The Wireless Report
    • Yahoo (Unofficial)
  • Also on AOL
    • African-American Culture
    • Autos
    • Coaches
    • Diet and Fitness
    • Food
    • Games
    • Health
    • Horoscopes
    • Jobs
    • Maps
    • Mobile
    • Money
    • Movies
    • Music
    • MyAOL
    • News
    • Online Radio
    • Real Estate
    • Shopping
    • Slideshows
    • Sports
    • Storage
    • Switched
    • Television
    • TMZ
    • Travel
    • Truveo
    • Video
    • Weather
    • Winamp

Other Weblogs Inc. Network blogs you might be interested in:

DS Fanboy
  • The DS Life: Our Digital Yard
  • Baby brain training on its way to the U.S.
  • Card Hero: Intelligent Systems' other strategy game
  • Shining Force developers working on DS RPG
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
Second Life Insider
  • Bug, exploit, feature
  • Linden Lab and IBM Collaboration on Virtual Standards
  • Bleeding Edge Nicholaz edition-s released for all platforms
  • Depo to run fashion show with no size 0 models
  • ESC launch sanctioned new viewer to tie in with CSI:NY in SL
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
Nintendo Wii Fanboy
  • Anyone can be Mozart in Wii Music
  • The VC Advantage: Art of Unlocking
  • Brawl character selection screen revealed
  • Nintendo mysteriously updates Everybody Votes, Opera throws the browser a keyboard bone
  • The Play 'n Learn bundle issue cleared up, sort of
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
Xbox 360 Fanboy
  • Fanswag Weekly: win Project Gotham Racing 4
  • Party Animals achievements hide gamer in-jokes
  • Rock Band venues revealed, video preview
  • The sequel to teh most awesome plasma stick
  • Molyneux on games as art: "Of course they are."
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • Gears of War art director directing Thundercats movie
  • Wii Fanboy Weekly October 3, 2007 - October 10, 2007
  • Rumor: Hitman movie watered down for PG-13
  • Video Games Live shows scheduled for 25 cities
  • Metareview: The Orange Box (PC, Xbox 360)
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • Victoria's Secret 2007 Fantasy Bra
  • The Gold iPhone
  • Dior Cannage Drawstring with Flap, Handbag of the Day
  • The Wonder Room at Selfridges
  • Saro-Gem BuonGusto 43 Watch
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • HyOn's Xent X3 PMP handles GPS, T-DMB
  • Smokescreen biometric reader keeps track of the nicotine crowd
  • Parrot launches the SK 4000 Bluetooth motorcycle headset
  • RIM, Eatoni team up on new text keyboard technology
  • Sony doles out more details on PlayStation Eye
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
Engadget Mobile
  • RIM, Eatoni team up on new text keyboard technology
  • Apple, AT&T served with class action suit over iPhone locking practices
  • Pantech Duo dummies showing up in AT&T stores
  • LG shows off Rolex cellphone concept
  • Sprint announces BlackBerry Pearl 8130 for November release
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
Download Squad
  • Make money with embeddable video care of Blinkx
  • Linspire 6.0 release: Linux for the Windows set
  • An open source internet stupidity filter
  • Read Office 2007 documents without installing Office 2007
  • Skype 3.6 beta includes high quality video support
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
  • Sydney 2007: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X - LIVE PICS
  • Sydney 2007: FPV GT Cobra strikes!
  • Sydney 2007: Volkswagen Touareg R50 in the flesh
  • Sydney 2007: FPV crosses over, unveils F6 X
  • Sydney 2007: Holden debuts VE Commodore Sportwagon
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines
The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
  • GarageBuy 1.1 adds performance improvements, new image views
  • iPod being used by Army as Arabic translator in Iraq
  • Sitting on the Dock every day
  • Survey: 1 in 6 Americans wants an Apple product for Christmas
  • iPhone Dev Team announces public iPhone 1.1.1 Jailbreak
Subscribe with My AOL, MyYahoo or Bloglines