Killzone 3 Multiplayer Impressions – PAX 2010 (Video included)

Impressions of Killzone 3 – Multiplayer

One of the nicest surprises at PAX this year was that Sony had a full 16-player multiplayer demo for Killzone 3 set up. 3 maps were available, all new and all based on missions in the single-player portion of the game. I almost squeaked like a high school girl when I found out that a Jetpack and a Mech map were included in the rotation. This was my first hands-on with the mech since Killzone 2’s story, and my second time with the Jetpack, the first being when I played the story mission at E3.

The mech is pretty sweet to use, but a smart opposing team will load-up on heavy classes with rocket launchers rather quickly to take it out. The jetpacks, which honestly were a huge worry of mine, are great! They’ve taken a lot of time to make sure that the balance is right while using the jetpacks, and if used properly, can help your team deal a devastating blow to the other team.

First, while equipped, you can only use the gun that’s built-in to the jetpack. You can not go down to the sights, and there is no melee. Also, when you throw a grenade, you first have to put your gun away to throw it, and grenades can not be used while in-flight. The gun is pretty easy to aim in the classic “from-the-hip” tradition, but the gun is definitely weaker than your typical machine gun. I will say from experience though, that the combination of sighting enemies from above and gliding down to unsuspecting foes can be incredibly effective. What you’ll learn very quickly though, is that you can un-equip the jetpack at any time that you’re on the ground. When you do, you can use all of your class’ regular functions like setting a gun turret or repairing a weapons box. The jetpack can then be re-equipped by simply holding down on the d-pad again. Also, an occasional EMP would go off, which would render not only your radar and HUD useless, but also shuts-off the jetpack from being used. It’s all very interesting, and quite impressive to see the tools that Guerrilla have used to assure a good balance.

Also changed are the number of classes and what each brings to the table. The number has been knocked-down from 6 to 5, but each is a bit more varied, with more weapon options than in Killzone 2. Not a lot has been revealed about the classes and what changes have been made for each, but we will definitely have an interview on the podcast soon to get all of the info laid-out for our listeners. An example of some of the changes is what they’ve done (so far) with the Engineer class, which no longer has a shotgun as an available main weapon. So far, only the LMG and SMG (which was a bit overpowered in this build, but will be adjusted by release) are available for the engineer, but the turrets remain, as well as the repair function. Also, to repair, you don’t have to select the tool any more, and instead you can just hold Left on the d-pad to repair any boxes or gun turrets etc. Similar changes have been made across the board, and even though it took me a couple of sessions to find my rhythm, the changes overall are pretty nice. Other abilities such as Spot-and-Tag were present as well, but I’m not sure if that’s limited to certain classes, or only at certain times. Also, the medic class can now get back up after being killed (once), and can also throw down drones while recovering. This makes the Medic class a LOT more effective.

Other changes that I noticed, arming and defusing the charge in Search and Destroy definitely takes a longer period of time. That little change made us change our strategy quite a bit though, and definitely makes for an incredibly tense situation. No new modes were revealed, so Warzone definitely felt like that comfortable old shoe, with all of the modes from Killzone 2 showing up as expected. The progression system has also been overhauled, and is not linear as it is in Killzone 2. It now resembles MAG’s progression system somewhat, by allowing the player to spend points that are earned via promotions etc. In the PAX demo, all weapons and items were unlocked, so there was definitely a lot to see. 3 secondary weapons are now available, and the list of primary weapons has been expanded as well. Along with that, there is a simplified version of the “perks” system from Modern Warfare 2, but more simplified than you think. From memory, the only options I saw were:
Better Armor
More Ammo
Better Stamina (running) and a couple of others. In other words, they’re very basic abilities, and can not be stacked etc in any way.

In the controls department, a lot of uninformed “journalists” have said that the game is a lot more like CoD/Modern Warfare, this is SO untrue. The biggest change is Melees. I’ll admit, I have always hated the melee system in KZ2, so in 3, they’ve changed the melee system quite a bit, and personally, I think for the better. There are 2 types, Standard and Brutal, and both are carried-over from the Single Player. So now instead of hitting someone with the butt of your rifle or pistol, you can stab a dude in the throat, or catch him from behind and break his neck. Both give you big points, with the Brutal giving more points than standard. The other change that is being misconstrued is really based on 2 separate items. One, the framerate is noticeably “smoother” now. It’s not a huge leap, but if you’ve played Killzone 2 a lot, you’ll definitely notice the difference. Two, you still get that sense of “weight,” which is what those whiny CoD players always complain about, but it’s basically one-notch less weighty. I noticed it right away, and even though it’s subtle, it feels great. These 3 changes definitely give the game a snappier feel, but it definitely feels like Killzone, and you will not be disappointed. Everything that you love about Killzone is there, and on top of all of that, the visuals as a whole have definitely been given a bump. You’ll notice more going-on in the background, you’ll notice even more dust and particles floating in the air, and you’ll see wind and other weather effects realistically interact with your surroundings.

Seriously, this is an incredible evolution of Killzone so far, and they have a lot of time to refine everything even more. There’s more that I know, but I’m not allowed to reveal yet. They’ve got some really cool stuff in store for us, and I can’t wait to be able to talk about it. There is a lot of news to come, and trust me when I say, if you’re a Killzone fan, and you listen to the show or are in our community in any way, you’re going to want to keep your eyes and ears open, as Sony has some major plans for us.

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  • this is zola100 on psn . nice article , cant wait for kz3 , but damit all i played in kz2 was a the engineer class, now i cant use the shotgun as my main gun , thats put a big downer on it for me 🙁

  • ZOMG… Killzone 3. Is it wrong that I almost want to cry because I want this game so bad? Maybe it is… but I don’t care.

    Anyways, great article! Also thanks for recording that video! I have a few quick questions though (maybe address in the podcast?)

    1. How is the spawn system working in Warzone now?
    2. Based on what you’ve played so far what do you feel really sticks out as a thorn in KZ3’s side? Something that GG perhaps hasn’t made the best decision on?
    3. Map design, of the maps about how big were they compared to KZ2’s? Did they feel like they flowed well with the lower player count? Seems like there would be a lot less problems with grenade rape.

  • Awesome, I cant wait!!

    Torgo, I made a mistake with the post below. Can you delete it?

    • Fixed (deleted)

  • Awesome! Looks like they’ve balanced it out well already, looks solid.