Killzone HD Review

“ISA scum!” screamed the Helghast soldier as he is mercilessly mowed down by a bunch of ISA soldiers devoid of any personality whatsoever. OK not really, they go down pretty tamely.

A franchise that was supposed to have a rich lore with mountains of back story related to both the ISA and Helghast, and considering the fact that the latter are quite intriguing, Guerrilla’s insistence on making ISA the good guys is a bewildering decision.

The franchise should have been all about the Helghasts, this is purely cannot be argued in any way. The game was released at a time on the PS2 where the system was not really known for fostering FPS games, this one was quite good due to its solid gameplay mechanics.

When the lore itself is mismanaged by the developers, one has to say that the game starts from the backfoot immediately from the start. In spite of the weighty gun movements, shooting that packs a punch, and the feedback sent by the Helghast , Guerrilla concentrated only on getting the basic gameplay mechanics right. But since a game is made up of many parts, there needs to be a solid motivation for player to go through it in the first place; Killzone falters spectacularly in that area.

Most people have never heard of the first game, or may have never even played it too, but its sequel was the one that received the most attention on the PS3. We got a chance to revisit the first game in the way of a HD remaster, which was something that I, personally, was very excited to try out. The game hasn’t aged well at all–it’s something, I believe, deserves a remake rather than just a plain HD remaster.

Shoddy textures, bland levels, and terrible details are clearly something that will remind you of the PS2 version if you’ve played that one. There are some changes, however, but they’re so minuscule that the effort Guerrilla Games–a studio known for its technical proficiency–put behind this remaster is highly disappointing.

If visuals are something still important to you, or if you demand a basic level of quality–then this is not the game that will give it to you. The only thing you will find here is the trademark Killzone gameplay that sometimes exhilarates. Control lag is present too, but not surprising since the original game was designed with the PS2 in mind, but that could have been rectified considering Guerrilla themselves were doing this remaster.

Killzone HD puts you in the boots of characters you never got to play in Killzone 2. They still don’t have a solid personality but they aren’t as awful as Rico and gang, or what’s his name? Ah, Shevchenko. It’s classic Killzone; it’s classic amateur game design, where upon spotting a tank you sort of know that there will be a rocket launcher nearby. However, it’s also kind of interesting how vastly Guerrilla have improved since shipping this game, considering Killzone 2– and its online mode in particular–was a game that did many things right.

This? Not so much. In fact, apart from the similar Killzone gameplay, there’s nothing here that will really encourage you to finish the campaign, especially so if your standards have drastically changed–which it very well might have. One encouraging thing is that we’ve really come far when it comes to technical advancements, and in a way I really appreciate some of the games that have pushed the bar this gen in the visual department, even though they were creatively bankrupt.

In this game, you will shoot the Helghast with different weapons; bear with horrific writing; look at all the poorly designed levels and awful textures. But hey! The reload animations are fantastic. I’ll give it that.

[5/10]

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