We recently had the opportunity to beat Killzone: Shadow Fall’s campaign; read the free walkthrough. After seeing some of the online review scores, we braced for disappointment and were pleasantly surprised. From top to bottom, Shadow Fall delivers on every level. Although this is not a formal review, we wanted to present our top five reasons why you should play this underrated game.
5.) A True Next Generation Game
Having played both Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, we experienced the differences between current and next generation versions of a single game. Guerilla Games, however, did not have to focus on multiple platforms. Exclusive to the PlayStation 4, the look and feel of Shadow Fall screams next generation.
Let’s compare it to Battlefield 4, a great title in its own right. Having played the PS3 version of Battlefield 4, the differences are striking between current and next generations. Aside from the notable differences in frames per second, the PS3 version only supports 24 players and does not include the Conquest Large game mode. Quite simply, they are two different games. Guerilla Games only had to focus on completing one game, on one platform for one generation.
Perhaps it’s that last point that makes it such an important title for PS4 owners to play. Not unlike Resistancefor the PS3, Shadow Fall is the benchmark for which future PS4 titles will be judged. It is our first real taste of a PS4 game that was imagined and realized with only the next generation in mind.
4) Stunning HD Visuals
If graphics are you thing, pick up Shadow Fall right now. Running at a native resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080) and 60 frames per second, the game is gorgeous on the PS4. On a personal note, we recently chose Shadow Fall as the go-to game to show a friend what the PS4 is capable of. Of course, we had told him how good it looked, and he responded with the skepticism you might expect. His points were valid, the PS3 was capable of running games at 1080p and 60 frames per second, but within five minutes of viewing — not playing — our friend was asking what stores still had the PS4 in stock. That’s how good Shadow Fall looks.
3.) The Touchpad Shines
When we first got our hands on the DualShock 4 touchpad, we weren’t really sure what to make of it. It seemed like it had a lot of potential. It wasn’t until we started to play Killzone that we had our “aha” moment. Not only is the touchpad used, it’s a major part of almost every situation in every single chapter. Throughout most of the game, players are given a drone called an OWL. It features four modes that you can seamlessly switch between with nothing more than a swipe of the touchpad. No more having to cycle through clunky menu options. One swipe of the touchpad and your drone goes from a shield to a zip line. It’s features like this that help keep players immersed in a game. If you really want to get a feel for what the DualShock 4 can do, Killzone is a good place to start.
2.) Endless, Satisfying Combat
We all know the typical combat formula for most games. Shoot, throw grenade, stab, run and then do it again for about six hours. Partly due to our third point about the touchpad, Killzone does not have this problem. There are plenty of opportunities for players to get stuck in a rut, but there are also endless opportunities for variety. You can opt to go loudand shoot your way through the entire campaign, or you can make use of your Tactical Echo — a type of radar that will show enemy locations within a short range — and take the stealth approach. Of course, when things do get out of control, you can use your OWL companion drone to attack enemies, shield you from danger, hack electronics and even provide you with a mobile zip line. No matter how you want to approach a situation, Shadow Fall gives you the tools you need to get the job done.
1.) A Story About Human Nature
In the first few chapters of Shadow Fall, there was nothing that really caught our attention. Looking back, that’s because we were focused on the personal triumphs and tragedies of the protagonist. There’s nothing wrong with that, but with Killzone, the beauty of the story lies with the big picture, rather than individual characters. Even though there are twists and turns, they’re almost predictable to the player. Still, this doesn’t take away from the experience. The true heartbreak is watching helplessly as events unfold and the characters struggle to maintain control. It doesn’t stop there. The game draws on historical events, both past and present, which help bridge the gap between our world and theirs.
In a time when storytellers are constantly challenged to trick their audience, maybe it’s the simplicity of Shadow Fall that really drew us in.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is available exclusively for PlayStation 4.