Back on February 20th when Sony revealed the Playstation 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall was one of the games they chose to show off their next generation technology. The events of Shadow Fall take place 30 years after the events of Killzone 2. It continues the the battle between ISA and Helghast forces. You play as a Shadow Marshall given the task of keeping the peace between Vektans and the Helghast.
At E3 2013 I was able to get some hands-on with the game. The demo sets the new main character in a beautiful location patrolled by Helghan forces. There were three main objectives in the area, and I was given complete freedom to complete them in any order I pleased. Previously Killzone titles have followed a linear path, but this level of choice gave it an open feel. All three objectives had to be finished before the story could progress, meaning it wasn’t skip out on any of them. I could also choose whether to attack aggressively or take a more stealthy approach.
One feature that played a huge part in the games progress was the “Owl” drone which is a flying bot capable of a number of useful functions you can use to complement your play style. It can scan the area for enemies, stun them and even give you protection via a shield. The drone is controlled entirely with the touchpad, allowing you to swipe in different directions to select actions from a function wheel.
Combat in Killzone feels as good as ever, and with the advanced enemy A.I you’ll want to be more mindful of how you engage in combat. The weapon offered in the demo was inter-changeable, one push of a button allowed me to transform an assault rifle into a sniper rifle. Shadow Fall compliments the Dualshock 4 controller well. The Dual Shock 4’s grip and the groves in the analog stick make it feel perfect for shooters.
Visually the game looked very shiny. Guerrilla games have added new colors to the pallet making it the most vibrant Killzone game yet. If I’m honest, I don’t believe Shadow Fall is the best representation of realistic next-gen visuals, but it certainly is pleasing to the eye.
Clearly Killzone: Shadow Fall is trying something different, and I applaud Guerrilla for the direction. This is not your all-guns-blazing, set piece shooter. The main character isn’t at the center of the overall conflict, which gives you the freedom to approach situations in ways you never imagined before.
Sony has promised we’ll see a ton of new impressive content surrounding the game in weeks to come, so be on the lookout to learn more.