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Your Opinion Is Wrong: Killzone: Shadow Fall

If there’s ever been a series with substantially polarizing opinions, I’d argue Killzone is one of the most contested. Exclusive to the PlayStation brand, Killzone’s motif generally lies with its otherworldly visuals. If you aren’t gasping for breath after witnessing a fly-by of the environment or at the aftermath of a firefight then either the game wasn’t doing its job or you’re aesthetically hopeless; probably the latter. Besides its visual punch, over the course of three games Killzone has failed to innovate the First-person Shooter genre and generally delivers a forgettable narrative, yet the buzz surrounding Killzone: Shadow Fall is higher than ever. Let’s break this thing wide open.

Your Opinion Is Wrong is a new feature on Leviathyn that focuses on a very specific item with a widely accepted belief, such as the first Mass Effect being the best of the series. One of our writers dissects the information surrounding the subject and explains why the popular opinion, to the individual, is wrong. Expect controversial, flame-worthy topics many will not agree on. Just remember: the purpose of this feature is to expand the limited horizon and present a different view on a clash-worthy topic. Oh, and expect spoilers within as well!

Your Opinion: Killzone is awesome! Shadow Fall looks incredible and should be the best in the series!

I wasn’t particularly blown away with Killzone, which made it’s debut back in 2004 on the PlayStation 2. However, I was intrigued by its campaign, with it being laughably labeled the ‘Halo Killer’ and all. After getting my hands on the game, like the rest of the world I was sorely disappointed with the material. Though the visuals were good, shell-shocked A.I., glitchy gameplay and sub-par controls ruined the experience. Humorously, to this day the animations remain the most vivid thing I remember about the game. I never thought throwing a grenade could become such a chore, but the overly animated process of doing so proved me wrong. Twice.

The glory days of Killzone 2! Remember when we didn't think games could look better than this?

The glory days of Killzone 2! Remember when we didn’t think games could look better than this?

Maybe that was just it, Killzone felt like Guerrilla Games focused too much on visually impressing players than providing the true substance that fully immerses and addicts fans of the genre. Fast-forward a year later and the focus of the sequel would be on, you guessed it, visuals once again. Showcasing the new technology of the PlayStation 3, the E3 2005 Killzone 2 trailer became a somewhat infamous event. Incredible as it looked, the truth was that the entire video contained pre-rendered footage which didn’t represent actual gameplay, unlike what Jack Tretton stated.

Enter 2009, four years after the unforgettable trailer event and people were actually playing Killzone 2. Ironically, though the game looked shockingly gorgeous, the gameplay better represented what we expected four years ago. Killzone 2 had issues and literally brought nothing new to the shooter formula. While it’s easy to argue that you don’t always need innovation, Killzone 2 played it so safe it made the game easily forgettable; something no developer ever wants to hear. Sure, it brought in first-person cover (via Gears of War’s success) but that proved to be a whole lot worse than it actually sounded. Take note: shooting big red barrels to advance the game as much as Killzone 2 did is never a good idea.

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Killzone 2 did have some interesting multiplayer scenarios, but the issue with that was there were more games out there that did it better, much better. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Gears of War, there were plenty of other games to choose from that had multiplayer components that felt better than what Killzone 2 provided. Unfortunately you couldn’t fall back on the campaign either, as it rolled out a narrative absolutely no one cared about. Again.

Almost two years later, we had Killzone 3 on our hands and… it was better. However, once again we received a sub-par campaign, but at least the multiplayer allowed for a break from the tired Call of Duty trends plaguing the current online scene. With all that said, Killzone is unfortunately caught in its own derivative web of mediocrity. Obsessive as most can be with graphics and how beautiful something can look, all of it takes a back seat to the gameplay. Without responsive controls, intuitive design and some semblance of uniqueness, franchises like Killzone have no business dealing out the amount of hype they typically do.

Condescending as my last statement may have sounded, understand that I play everything with a completely open mind. I remember my past experiences and talk about a sequel as how it should be, the next part of the franchise in question. Killzone has moved from game to game drawing from the modern evolution of the shooter, but has failed to inject its own flavor into the mix. With such a shoddy attempt at storytelling, why doesn’t Killzone take the path of Titanfall and nix the campaign altogether? The multiplayer is what keeps the people coming back, not an inadequate campaign full of unsurprising moments. I can’t honestly tell you what’s been happening over the course of the three games nor who actually matters in the Killzone universe; I’d be impressed if somebody could.

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Now there’s Killzone: Shadow Fall, the premiere exclusive launch title for the PlayStation 4. Why are people hyped about it? Sony is still currently playing the ‘good guy’ role in their standoff with Microsoft and the people need something to point at to shout in joy. Expecting a much better experience with less development time and with being first in line to represent the new generation is a tall order indeed, but Shadow Fall should still make for a great launch title. It’s something the industry is familiar with which will temper expectations all the while bedazzling onlookers at the site of its glorious vistas. Marketing at it’s finest.

I haven’t been blown away by anything in the last three games and from what we’ve seen of Shadow Fall already, I have no reason to think it’ll change now. Shadow Fall’s idea of innovation comes with a new Cold War-esque story and guns that serve a multi-functional purpose – taken from the better Resistance series. Shadow Fall’s hype exists purely on the fact that it’s tied directly to the launch of the PS4. Excited as you may be for the new generation, if you’re expecting the best FPS of the year to come out of Shadow Fall, you’ll be sorely disappointed.



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