Sony has always wanted Killzone to be a mainstream franchise, unfortunately it has never caught on the same way that Battlefield, Call of Duty or even Halo have. Now, with Shadow Fall, Guerrilla and Sony may finally have a game that can compete with the competition. You can tell by playing Shadow Fall that Guerrilla Games has tried to make Killzone more approachable to new players. Long gone are Killzone 1,2 and 3’s heavy controls, ugly colors and underwhelming stories. Instead, the controls have lightened up, leaving you with something that feels much more like other games, the color pallette has greatly expanded, resulting in one of the most beautiful games to date and a large scale story, that makes you the hero, rather then just an unimportant soldier. Even Killzone Shadow Fall’s multiplayer is a step-up. The new customizable War-Zones are fun to play and the maps are all good. Although Killzone is a great game, it definitely isn’t perfect. The plot in the main campaign does get confusing and some non-shooter parts are a little odd. Killzone Shadow Fall shows a new side to the franchise that is a welcome change.
If Killzone 3 was where the Killzone franchise hit it’s low point, then Killzone Shadow Fall is where the franchise comes back to life. Killzone Shadow Fall takes ideas from franchises such as Halo, Call of Duty and Crysis and makes it it’s own. First, Killzone Shadow Fall changes it’s setting to improve how it looks. Although Killzone has always excelled in graphics, the drab and unpleasant planet of Helghan has always been holding it back. Instead Killzone changes it’s setting to a beautiful paradise world where they can take advantage of the graphics. Say good bye to the browns and the greys, because Killzone Shadow Fall looks stunning.
Secondly, Killzone Shadow Fall has revised it’s controls. Killzone, used to be, known for it’s clunky controls but not anymore. Killzone Shadow Fall feels much more like other FPS games, but that’s not a bad thing. Moving around, taking cover and even shooting has never felt better in a Killzone game and new comers to the series will feel at home. Killzone Shadow Fall is a joy to play and the controls could be the largest leap forward that came made from other Killzone entries.
Finally, the main campaign has been greatly improved. Instead of being right in the middle of a war, Killzone Shadow Fall puts you into a position where you are trying to stop one. If you aren’t familiar with the story in Killzone Shadow Fall, I’ll fill you in. If you don’t want any spoilers, then I would avoid the next few sentences. Basically, after the events of Killzone 3 the Helghast are left with no where to live, so the planet Vekta gets split in half. Helghast on one side and Vektans on the other. This causes some problems. Both sides do not like the position they have been put in, and you are tasked with trying to stop the war. Instead of a 10 hour campaign that involves you endlessly shooting Helghast soldiers, Shadow Fall widens it’s spectrum. Killzone Shadow Fall gives a much more open approach to it’s missions. On a few occasions, you may have many objectives to complete and you may do them in any order you wish. I loved this feeling of freedom that was a great addition to the campaign.
Although Killzone Shadow Fall does so many things right, it does a few things not-so-right. Some things such as stealth missions are more frustrating then fun, anti-gravity parts are odd and free-falling sections may look beautiful, but play terribly. Even the story falls apart some times and sometimes I’m forced to ask myself questions such as “wait, what am I even doing here?” or “why do we care about this person?” Overall if Killzone Shadow Fall had just focused more on what it does right, rather then trying to be different, then it would have ended up a better game.
This free fall section may look beautiful, but it was way too difficult to control.
Finally, Killzone Shadow Fall delivers a great multi-player mode. The multiplayer mode features 10 maps, with more on the way for free, three classes, scout, assault and support and a wide array of game modes to play with. All of the maps were taken directly from the single player campaign and are all different. Each one looks beautiful, and differ in size, design and look. My personal favourite map, The Forest, is a large map with plenty of sniper camps and few places to hide. The multiplayer also features three individual classes that come with their own weapons and abilities. The three classes include scout, assault and support. Each one is unique and fun to play with. For example the scout class features sniper rifles and abilities such as random teleport, but the assault class features assault rifles and abilities such as an attack drone. My favorite class, support, allows you to heal down enemies from far away and set spawn beacons, which are basically tactical insertions that the entire team can use (if they want) multiple times. Finally, the multiplayer features many game modes. the most popular game mode, classic warzone, features many objectives within one game. There is also the unique feature that lets players create their own war zone’s and share them with the community. You can, surprisingly, do alot of things to fully customize how you want to play. Killzone Shadow Fall’s multiplayer is a fun game mode that I will definitely be spending alot of time with.
Overall Killzone Shadow Fall is a worthy game to be my first PS4 purchase. It features stunning graphics, a great campaign mode and a great multiplayer mode. It has evolved from past Killzone games into a game that can be considered a top shooter. Even though it stumbles with some confusing plot points, stealth missions and free fall sections, it still manages to be a great game. Overall I give Killzone Shadow a 9
+Has greatly improved from past Killzone games
+Features a fun single player campaign
+Fun multiplayer mode
-Free fall sections