Killzone Trilogy review for PS3

Platform: PlayStation 3
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Medium: Blu-ray Disc/Digital
Players: 1-16
Online: Killzone 2, 3 only

Killzone began it’s life on the PlayStation 2 in 2004. It was a unique take on classic military conflicts of the 20th century where players took control of different soldiers in a battle with a ruthless separatist faction called the Helghast. Since its original release, it was regarded as one of the best FPS games on a home console, preferred by some over the likes of Halo and Half Life. Since then, 2 sequels have been released on the PlayStation 3, with each new game surpassing the predecessor in depth and overall gameplay. Now these 3 games have come together in one collection with the original getting the High Definition treatment.

The basic premise of Killzone is this, Follow orders and get to cover, fight the enemy, move and do it again. A few times, there are exceptions with some areas but mostly the gameplay here is pretty straightforward. With each game, the challenge starts out rather easy, with the difficulty increasing the farther you go. Killzone 1 and 2 seem to follow this flow with Killzone 3 mixing it up in the storytelling department. But even with more variety it still leaves something to be desired. I found myself not really caring why these soldiers were fighting for their lives but just trying to find the next checkpoint so I could try out all the weapons. Storytelling is not a huge strong point here, but the non-stop action and variety of weapons can keep players glued to the controller for a long while.

Control is very nice with the standard PS3 controller. The standard mapping is fine for pros and new players alike. I had no trouble blasting Helghast from the start as everything feels perfect. Killzone 3 retains it’s Move support from the initial release and feels just as perfect as it did originally. The Navigation Controller (or a single handed DualShock 3) is required to use the Move controls so if you don’t have one of those, Move will not be a option. It’s not a huge deal, since part 3 is the only game in the collection that supports it, but may be a burden for those who never bothered to pick one up.

If you already own Killzone 2 and/or Killzone 3 for the PS3, than the only reason you would pick up this collection is for the remastered Killzone 1. However, unlike other HD remasters of late, like Jak and Daxter and Sly Cooper, it seems less work went into this one. The textures and backgrounds look dated and muddy, and there are very visible flaws with some of the animation. That doesn’t mean it looks completely terrible, but it seems more could of been done here especially with how great other PS2 HD remakes turned out. Trophy support is added, giving some incentive to play through the entire campaign but, it’s still a rather disappointing outcome considering that this game is the biggest reason to buy the collection. Killzone 2 and 3 are the same as they are on their respective discs, so again if you own these already, there’s nothing new to discuss here. You do however, get a voucher for all of the multiplayer map packs for both games, which is a nice plus for those who don’t have them yet.

With each release, the Killzone franchise outdid itself in graphics and sound. Part 2 blows the HD remaster out of the water, and part 3 crushes both games combined. Killzone 3 is an experience that can’t be matched with superb framerate and animations. This collection really shows off an evolution of graphic power in the best way possible. Sound wise, all three games are great and is one area where the HD remaster of Killzone 1 shines. Every gun shot and explosion sounds fantastic for all three games.

Killzone Trilogy is a collection of 3 great games, but with only one title being the reason to buy, I can only recommend it if you do not own Killzone 2 and 3. If you do own them, but you still want to play the original, you can save money and download it by itself on the PlayStation Store. With nothing added to the other games and a rather lackluster upscale treatment to the other, this collection seems only for those who have never experienced the series.

Grade: C+