Killzone 3 has gone and made the same mistake as Modern Warfare 2. Both games arrived from developers with stellar track records. Both games represented a new jump in a franchise that had been kicking ass for years. And both games are sloppily directed when it comes to singleplayer.
Modern Warfare 2‘s big fault was in pacing. The story lacked proper timing, rhythm and confluence. It was just jumbled up so much that players felt crammed and rushed through the experience. Intensity was its highest regard.
Killzone 3 goofs up with characters and story.
Don’t get me wrong here, the gameplay is positively stellar. While Erik dinged the gameplay (in our review) for being a bit repetitive and draining, I found it to be the one rock solid piece of goodness in the singleplayer experience. Controls were much, much tighter this time around… huge bonus. But the gunplay, the action, the vehicular diversions and the variety of combat types were great.
So why the heck am I railing on this game? Like I said, characters and story.
As much as I love the gunplay, I found this game really, really hard to get immersed in. Nowadays, if I game doesn’t deliver a set of at least remotely interesting characters and a halfway decent plot, I’m find it tough to love. With so many gaming options out there for the singleplayer experience, I want to be completely wowed by the top tier titles.
The main characters here are a total waste. Really, the lowest point of the game. They’re complete shells and an absolute missed opportunity. Perhaps Guerrilla Games didn’t want to go the route of Epic with Dom in Gears (too much drama), but they wound up delivering a set of characters that just felt flat.
The same goes for the Helghan side of the equation. In Killzone 2, we had a single, evil entity to hate. Visari was downright despicable, and I loved feeling that sense of unhinged hate when we finally descended on his palace and killed him.
Here? There’s a council. And within the council is a struggle for control of the planet after Visari’s fall. That’s all well and good, but give me a singular face and flesh it out. The best performances in the game absolutely come from this villainous side, but they’re delivered on subjects that I found myself disinterested in. And these sequences are done far, far too often.
So here we have a game that focuses on a governments plights while ignoring the path of the heroes. You’re with the villains, at least it seems this way, in more ways than you’re with the protagonists.
What we do see of the ISA… is flat. They’re personalities don’t develop and there’s no real lovable qualities within the pack. Except for maybe faux-hawks.
Redemption rests in the multiplayer. If class-based combat is your cup of tea, then get in here right away. Killzone 3‘s multiplayer is the saving grace for the title. And everyone that reads this should recognize that single fact. Gameplay, multiplayer and visual appeal keep this one alive. But I really, really didn’t like the story… and, quite simply, that’s where I invest my time these days.