On Thursday morning PS3 owners received access to the Killzone 3 Mulitplayer Beta. Luckily I was at home sick and for hours dived right into what Guerrilla games has to offer for its next installment to its PS3 exclusive. I'm a pretty big fan of the series and really enjoy the Killzone world, design and single player campaign. I still however have had mixed feeling about Killzone 2's multiplayer.
So lets see if things have changed a bit shall we?
What your going to play in the Open Beta
The Beta give you access to one multiplayer level in the game called the Frozen Dam, with access to all the online games modes Killzone 3 is going to offer. The games modes include Warzone, Operations, and Guerrilla Warfare. It's also includes access to the games Botz mode where you can challenge the games AI to test your skills by yourself or with friends online.
Warzone is the standard Killzone multiplayer mode where both factions battle against each other in one long match with a series of challenges. One minute you'll be trying to set denotation charges in one corner of the map. The next minute you'll be tasked to assassinate one player from the opposing team. Nothing much new is added to the mix from what I saw in the Beta. So if your familiar with Killzone 2 you'll be right at home.
Operations is a new mode where there is a bit of story mixed in with the multiplayer experience. It's a bit like rush mode in Battlefield Bad Company 2 where one team is trying to advance through the map and take an objective while the other team defends. In the Beta your the ISA trying to infiltrate the Frozen Dam while the Helghast try to defend it. The kicker here is that as the ISA takes objectives the game will show a cut scene showing the best players in the match in the cutscene. It's cool see see your name appear in the cutscene and get a little more info about why your apart of the chaos instead of the usual just go blow shit up mantra. I must admit though that after a few times of seeing the same cutscene, it starts to get a little old.
Guerrilla Warfare is basically just a fancy name for team deathmatch. Get it, Guerrilla? Oh I see what you guys did there. There isn't much to say about this mode other than its your typical murderfest everyone is used to.
The Good, The Bad, and The Not So Ugly
So what did I think of the Beta? Let's start with the not so ugly first.
The Not So UglyThe game is boners for graphics hands down. Killzone is the best looking console mutiplayer game out there. It could be the game is just hiding behind its dark and gritty look. But with all the lighting, weather and amazing animation, it's very impressive to not only play but also to watch. Heck just download the Beta to see some visual eye candy and be glad you own a PS3.
|It's "Boners for Graphics"|
The GoodI think the biggest changed is the inclusion of some additional multiplayer modes and the unlock system for the games weapons and classes. Throughout the time your playing the game you gain points and in turn gain unlock points. You can either save them up or go ahead and spend them unlocking weapons and abilities for each class. Want to only upgrade your medic to the max and ignore the other classes? Go for it. In Killzone 2 you were required to play each class to unlock their abilities. Here you can upgrade whatever you want without even having to play one class for hours and hours.
Another good thing that was a point of contention was the controls. Many people complained of the sluggish aiming abilities from Killzone 2. Here the default set up feels more smoother and if you wish can switch the game setup to an alternate mode that gives you a button layout control similar to Call of Duty. Now with saying that, Killzone 3 is no picnic in the park when it comes to actually playing the game. When you move and run in the game it feels like your character has weight and your movements aren't lighting speed as if your a camera floating through space on a vaseline covered floor. Aiming as well takes some finesse and weapon recoil can really mess up your accuracy. So take your time and remember to shoot in short bursts.
The BadThere are few things that consistently got under my skin during while playing the Beta. However petty they may be, I must air out my grievances. The first thing is the new Melee kills. If you weren't a fan of getting constantly knifed in COD Modern Warfare then you may not like this aspect of the game. Melees are easy to execute and result in instant death. You will get an awesome fantastic bloody show of you stabbing someone in the eye up close and personal, but so far what I've been experiencing online there is a lot of rush stabbing happening. Nothing pisses me off more that shooting someone in the face as they approach you, only for them to miraculously somehow manage to initiate the melee kill. I guess bullets feel more like mosquito bites than metal piercing tubes of pain on planet Helghan.
That brings me to my next issue with the game. It seem to take a lot of bullets to actually kill someone in the Beta. It could be lag or it could be that once you get the armor skill it works wonders once for your ability to be a bullet eating machine. Often you can unload almost a full clip into someone with the Medics LS-57 SMG (your default weapon) and somehow people keep skipping along merrily as they shoot you into Swiss cheese. The Botz mode seemed to be not effected by this so who knows for sure yet. It definitely seems that you need to get your classes upgraded fast in multiplayer or expect to die a lot and be frustrated right away. Shoot for the head, then pray and even then that doesn't seem to work. From what I experienced so far online the gameplay seems to have produced a lot of people with shotguns (they don't seem as powerful as in the past thank Jebus) and people just rushing you as you both play ring around the rosy until someone falls down. Lame. I can't count the amount of times I swore at my TV.
My last issue with the Beta is basically the classes themselves don't really seem to be relevant in terms of team gameplay. All the classes have unique features meant to work together, but I rarely see much of many instances to work as a team. You still feel like you a loan wolf running around the madness and when its so easy to just run up to someone and kill them (especially in close quarters) some of the strategy seems to go to the wayside. To rectify this I'll have to gather some of you readers to join me and see if I may be wrong on this point.
Whats missing and conclusion
Well the biggest things that seem to be missing from the Beta is Jet Packs and Mechs. I really want to see how those things would affect the experience, since those were the two things I was really looking forward to seeing in action. I still feel like Killzone 3 multiplayer is an acquired taste for some. There are things in there that are great, lot of fun and fast paced. But for me if still feels like the experience is a little unbalanced and can be downright annoying. By no means is the game broken but you might want to try this cup of tea before diving all the way in.
GIve it a shot and let me know what you thought of the Beta.
If you want to play some matches online send me a friend request. My PSN name is IanAugust.