When the PlayStation 4 was announced, Killzone: Shadow Fall was one of the games Sony hyped for the system, showing off its amazing graphics and vast improvements over its predecessors on the PS3. Competing with top shooters that also came out with the launch of the PS4, like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4, Sony hopes that shooter-fans will forget about those two games and focus on their title instead. Does Killzone: Shadow Fall have what it takes to lure shooter fans outside of their comfort zone?
Killzone: Shadow Fall is a big improvement over Killzone 3 on the PS3. Those who have played Halo, Crysis or even Call of Duty, will find similarities to the new gameplay Guerilla added to the game. For fans of the series, they might consider this as a big improvement, but for someone who has been playing a lot of shooters, what Shadow Fall offers has been done before and doesn’t deliver anything new or innovative of its own.
Compared to the storyline of Killzone 3, Shadow Fall improves in that aspect. The characters are more likeable and the plot gets interesting along the way. The story of Shadow Fall takes place three decades after the events of the third game. With the planet of Helghast destroyed, they are now forced to live and move to the planet where the Vektan reside. Now that both opposing factions are living on one planet, all hell breaks lose as a cold civil war breaks out with the Helghast trying to take revenge and take the planet away from the Vektans. The future of the Vektan now relies on one man, Lucas Kellan, a Shadow Marshall who will do anything to stop the war and attain the peace for his people once and for all.
In the eight to ten hour playthrough that Shadow Fall offers, the story gets better as the tension rises up midway through the game. There are lots of unexpected plot twists that will drive you to play the campaign until the end. Those who were disappointed by the storytelling portrayed in past three Killzone games, Shadow Fall will please you with its enthralling narrative and unexpected intense moments during its conclusion.
Gameplay-wise, Shadow Fall gave me a mixed feeling as I was playing it. The main focus for players in this game is to shoot your way through the levels, but the big difference this time is that you are somewhat given a choice like in Deus-Ex and Crysis. For every chapter that you do, you will be given a set of objectives in an expansive map. Some objectives are optional but you will see no reason into completing it as it doesn’t really do anything to the story that effects the outcome. When doing your objectives, you can choose whether to go the stealthy way or all-in like Rambo. Of course, there’s a consequence if you go brainlessly and just shoot anyone you see as an alarm will be triggered, causing more Helghasts to arrive to flank you. For those who would rather be calm about their objectives, they can go do the stealth way and melee enemies – it sounds easy, but it’s almost impossible to stealth your way through the game and that’s the bad thing about it. The pacing is excellent, but determining which style to do is hard when one doesn’t work as well as you’d hope.
To make the campaign experience more fun, there’s one new addition that will be accompanying you throughout your mission for peace. You will receive a hovering robot called OWL that will help you in your mission. Thanks to the awesome DUALSHOCK 4 controller, you can give commands to your OWL by swiping the touch pad in the middle. If you want the OWL to create a diversion, just swipe the touch pad up and the OWL will attack the enemies. Another useful feature of the OWL is that you can use it to rappel down from high areas or use it as a shield. Of course, all you need to do is to swipe and press L1 to launch the action. Sadly, OWL is mostly usable in the campaign mode, though there are certain classes in multiplayer that can use it as well.
In addition to using the touch pad, the DUALSHOCK 4 controller is used well in this game. The color changing light of the controller will change based on your health. If you are in full health, the color will turn green but if you’re almost dying, flashing red light will come out. As for the speakers in the controller, whenever you get an audio log, you will hear them through the speaker of your DUALSHOCK 4 controller. The features are well utilized and I can’t wait to see other games make use of the controller’s features.Killzone: Shadow Fall Review,