Even though the unofficial release of the game has been leaked on the Internet I took the law-abiding route and played the Open Beta available to everyone for free, legally. I took a couple hours out of my normal gaming session to see what we will be expecting in the multiplayer aspect of Killzone 3 when it releases later this month.
The first thing I noticed and enjoyed about the beta is that it not only has online multiplayer but offline bot play as well, so you can become accustomed to teh game without being destroyed by the competition online. I find this to be an increasing requirement for many online shooters that do not rely solely on a ranking system.
So I went head to head with some bots in an odd mode that has you securing certain points on the map, similar to a king of the hill type game but if the hills were securing radio transmissions and downed men. It wasn’t immediately evident what I had to do, but after following the on screen radar I was able to complete the goals and score points for my team.
Before jumping into all the action though, you are given a weapons loadout screen, so you can choose your primary and secondary weapon of choice as well as your specialty. I picked the machine gun and pistol option as it is most akin to Halo in my eyes and that is what I feel most comfortable with. Other options are a shotgun and sniper rifle.
The environment is the usual bleak, desolate and snowy arena that you may have seen from many of the videos. It is easy to make out enemies though against that sort of background unless they are using the ability that allows them to be camouflaged as one of your allies.
A lot of the gameplay elements and upgrades felt very similar to the Crysis 2 enhancements, without the ‘perk’ such as missile dropping and radar locking. These things depend on your class of course and one of them also includes the ability to use the jetpack, which is new to the Killzone series.
Destroying Helghast and completing objectives is the name of the game and that really puts it next to any shooter on the market today, very little sets it on it’s own. The story and campaign is what resonated with most people in the first two games. Though the multiplayer is very competent and fun it is not enough to give it any praise above those of it’s competitors, in fact I enjoyed what Crysis 2 is doing much more and that is also a much prettier game as well.
This may be an exciting game to those faithful to the series, but with many more options for competitive multiplayer online this year it seems Killzone 3 won’t be my game of choice.