As the Helghast returns again, it's time for Guerrilla Games to once again build upon the stable foundation that was multiplayer in Killzone 2. With Killzone 3, the devs are trying to make multiplayer feel more like a story, with the players that have done well rewarded with their names and faces on the characters taking part in cutscenes - especially in the gamemode known as Operations, where the ISA tries to complete certain objectives while the Helghast tries to put a stop to it.
For example, when playing Operations on the map Frozen Dam, the ISA-players have to make their way to three different positions on the dam and place explosives. If they pull it off, a cutscene will play with the Helghast fleeing the scene. If they fail, they will instead see themselves executed. And as the fighting goes on, other smaller cutscenes will play. It's a clever way to make the multiplayer feel like an actual part of the fighting from the singleplayer campaign and not simply a completely separate part.
In Killzone 2, you could form squads of four with yourself and your friends - this time around that number has been increased to eight. Similar to the last game, you'll have five different classes to choose from; Engineer, Marksman, Tactitian, Infiltrator and Field Medic all make their return. As any Team Fortress 2-player worth their money will be able to tell you, your team needs a good mix of the five to easier secure victory.
That's pretty standard for an online action game, of course, but compared to other games in the genre Killzone 3 doesn't restrict the things you unlock (using "unlock points") to a certain class. Many of the things you can upgrade yourself with works for all the classes, like better armor or the ability to carry more primary weapons. And learn to love that primary weapon, because originally you can't carry a secondary one - you'll have to unlock that privilege as you go. The weapons are mostly the same as we saw in Killzone 2, but with the addition of the M66 (a machine gun with a silencer) and the WASP grenade launcher.
Guerrilla have also looked at the criticism that Killzone 2 could feel slow at times, and you're now lighter on the feet than last time around. There are also new ways to move around the maps, like the jetpack available in some of them (which most of you probably have seen in screenshots by now). In one of the levels players can crank up a reactor that sends out a strong EMP charge though, and you don't want to have a jetpack strapped to your back when it does...
Overall, Killzone 2 was great fun in multiplayer. It's hard to see Killzone 3 fail in that regard. The new maps - like Corinth Highway, where we fight amongst ruined buildings, or Turbine Concourse SE-6, which takes place in one of the Helghast's industrial complexes - so far look very promising. With the changes made to melee, where a longer press of the button unleashes a much more brutal move, it will be fun to see what degrees of animosity we will feel towards each other here at Gamereactor during the weeks after the game is released at the end of February.
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