When Killzone 2 released last year, it kicked off 2009 with early Game of the Year buzz and provided PS3 enthusiasts with a tremendous first-person experience that they could call their own. So it was just a little bit shocking when SCEA CEO Jack Tretton promised that Killzone 3 was on the way in rather unceremonious fashion. Killzone 2’s cliffhanger ending didn’t have us thinking any other way, but still.
Whether the third game is barely entering planning stages or development is well underway at Guerilla Games is anyone’s guess. The leap in quality between the original game and KZ2 was staggering, not to mention that several great shooters have come out since to really raise the bar. Make no mistake — Killzone 3 won’t be able to coast on the success of its predecessor. Here are just a few features that could really take the franchise to the next level.
This is a feature that gamers were clamoring for when Killzone 2 released, and who can blame them? Playing through it, the campaign practically begged for co-op as you almost always had a member of Alpha team by your side as you fought through one epic battle after another. Quite frankly, I’m baffled that more games don’t feature this; who doesn’t enjoy blasting through a great military FPS with their buddies? I understand leaving it out of a game like BioShock where it would ruin the player’s immersion, but a war game where you’re constantly followed by at least one squadmate? Make it happen, GG.
This is along the lines of co-op, in that it’s another reason to play with your friends. However, the foundation for this already exists in Killzone 2- it’s right there in Skirmish mode, which is essentially a friend-less way to play the multiplayer maps. You can fill the battlefield with bots a la Perfect Dark, but without the ability to play with friends on your couch it becomes pointless. Unfortunately, with the way that developers move further and further away from split-screen in almost any game, this one seems less and less likely.
I had a fantastic time playing through Killzone 2 and thought it was adequately challenging… up until you died a few times. No, I’m not saying that it got too hard at points; it would get too easy. Eventually it would merely become a matter of memorization, because the enemy would always do the exact same thing every time you restarted. If you were blown away by a rocket, you’d simply account for that your next time up and chip away until you got to your next checkpoint.
There was also this, where some people were able to beat certain parts by simply slashing their way through. Probably shouldn’t be that way.
More Varied Environments
Guerilla has come up with a pretty unique aesthetic for the Killzone series, and the Helghast homeworld was appropriately imposing. Now that the fight on Helghan seems to be over, it wouldn’t hurt for Killzone 3 to have fewer shades of gray and brown while throwing in some color. With Battlefield: Bad Company 2 making destruction all the rage it would almost seem backwards if the locales weren’t a bit more… interactive. Of course, it would be inappropriate for the series to suddenly take place on a Rainbow Road minefield, but who knows what the next chapter could bring? Speaking of which…
This is probably the most divisive thing on this list, but just hear me out. As much fun as the series has been, games can definitely overstay their welcome. Franchises like Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, and all of Nintendo can do it because entries in those series are usually separate from one another (and are outstanding, to boot). With Killzone, however, the story seems to be reaching the end anyway- the Helghast invaded Vekta, the ISA returned the favor… what else would make sense besides an epic final confrontation? As God of War III just recently taught us, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going out on top.
Of course, Sony will keep any and all details about Killzone 3 under its cap until E3, so there’s plenty of time to be proven right or wrong. In the meantime, what do you think? As always, let us know in the comments below.