Killzone 2’s story was a little light on plot with somewhat two-dimensional characters. Guerrilla Games hopes to change that with Killzone 3, bringing in a little bit more professional talent.
The team has learnt a lot from the storytelling of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 2 — a lighthearted approach that builds contrast for the seriousness in key plot points. The game’s senior producer Steven Ter Heide tells Bitmob:
“I think what they did really well is take sort of a more lighthearted approach and not take themselves too seriously. And that’s something that people commented on Killzone 2 as well, that the game’s very serious, very dark. It’s not supposed to be a lighthearted war, but to be so dark and grim about it, it’s not going to help either. So we’re going to take a more lighthearted approach, and steer away from kind of the grim overtones that are so present in Killzone 2.
“It’s those kind of things that we take — and of course we’re looking at the cut-scenes, and how they did the facial animation, and what kind of things really worked for them — and try and translate that into what does that mean for a first-person game? Obviously we have a lot of different rules to work with, but at the same time that gives us our own twist on their ideas as well.”
The studio has also changed its team, bringing in new talent on the writing side:
“In terms of storytelling we’ve gotten in a writer specifically to write the story rather than have some of the guys on the team do it,” Ter Heide explains. “Let’s get somebody fresh in, take a look at the previous games, see what can be fixed, and see where we want to take the story.”
However, it’s not just new writing talent that’s coming on board, it’s new actors too. Guerrilla has decided to hire Hollywood actors in order to create a more believable cast. Though we don’t think you could beat the incredible Brian Cox as Visari.
“And at the same time we know that a lot of the strength of the story lies in your delivery, that’s something that obviously came from Uncharted as well,” Ter Heide adds. “If you’ve got some proper actors in there and the chemistry between the actors is good, they’ll start to kind of improvise on the lines and make the story a lot better, because it feels more natural that way. So we’re also looking to bring in a lot of Hollywood talent this time around to make sure that the chemistry is there, and the level of acting elevates the storytelling as well.”
Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewert, Christopher Lee. Those are some names I just thought of. By the way, you can find Killzone 3 screenshots here, and in the following video from the PlayStation Blog below, you can see the first gameplay footage of Killzone 3.