Sony's shooter returns with a fresh perspective on a new platform, but is it any good?
For all the attention that Guerilla is getting for Killzone on the PlayStation 3, it's worth noting that the first game wasn't the Halo-killer some had painted it to be. The good news for Killzone: Liberation is that what looks like a throwaway PSP game is actually a fun jaunt through the Killzone universe, and it may just help get you excited about the PSP again.
Imagine viewing the action in Killzone from a gunship hovering overhead and that's pretty much what Killzone: Liberation feels like. The new perspective works surprisingly well on the PSP, giving you a good view of the battlefield - thanks to the width of the PSP screen and dynamic scaling. Buildings become transparent as you enter them and enemies are placed so that you'll rarely be caught firing into nothingness. No real problems there, then.
"The combination of intelligent aiming assistance and context sensitive controls makes for a smooth experience."
After that the controls are a non-issue. There are also tactical elements that allow you to control a second character who fights alongside you in some missions. This is again intelligently mapped, allowing you to concentrate more on what you want to do rather than how you have to do it.
One issue that isn't brushed aside easily is the relative dearth of content in the singleplayer mode. The story again involves the red-eyed Helghast and follows another battle in the greater war. This one takes place in Helghast territory, with the ISA brimming with confidence after driving the Nazi-esque baddies back in the first game. Again, though, the setting and atmosphere are wasted on a story that's too short and does too little. If the game weren't as challenging as it is, you would breeze through it in a couple hours.
"More attention is given to general game and level design, which is good, because you'll be dying a lot."
Getting half a dozen PSPs into one room isn't the easiest of tasks, so we were unable to fully test out the multiplayer portion of the game, but what we've seen looks solid. There is also a co-op mode that lets you play through the singleplayer portions of the game with a friend. Don't worry if you can't find people to play with. Guerilla is planning online multiplayer modes, too, though there's no firm date for when they will be available for download. No matter. That's just gravy. What Sony has here is already a compelling experience, one that PSP owners should definitely check out.
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Direct feed gameplay (PSP - SCE)
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