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Killzone: Shadow Fall First Look (PlayStation 4)

Sony's ready to kick off the next generation of first-person shooters in a big way.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

When Sony held its PlayStation 4 reveal event last month, we had no idea it was going to show off as much as it did, especially prior to bigger events like Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo.  But it answered the next-generation call with gusto, revealing a number of big name projects in the works, through both first party and third party channels.

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Amongst the games revealed at the event was Killzone: Shadow Fall, the latest entry in the franchise from long-time developer Guerrilla Games.  With this release, the developer is looking to excel the world that it created two years ago with Killzone 3, pushing the graphics even further and expanding what your super-soldier is capable of this time around.

Though not all the details have been revealed about the sequel yet, here’s what we do know.  The game takes place approximately 30 years after the conclusion of events in part three, with the ISA and Helghast, two warring sides that have been at each other’s throats for some time, eventually settling into a co-existence on the planet Vekta.

Following Jorhan Stahl’s attempt to wipe out humanity on the planet with petrusite missiles (which, by the way, you stop at the end of the third game), the Vektan ISA hastily welcomes Helghast survivors into its fold, as a way of mending the bridge, of sorts, and trying to get back to a normal life.  However, tensions over Stahl’s actions aren’t forgotten, and the Helghan, intent on rescuing their hazardly irradiated brothers, are itching to get over the walls that keep their communities separated and put the Vektan citizens in their place.

As you could see from the highly explosive gameplay footage that was revealed last month (which you can see here), the Helghast are simply not interested in peace.  So, as one of the ISA’s best gun runners, you fight back with the help of your team, following a devastating explosion that levels a building.

Though we’ve only seen bits and pieces of the gameplay thus far, Shadow Fall looks like it’ll be staying true to what previous Killzone games have done.  You’ll be able to switch between first and third person view with the click of an analog stick (though you’ll probably have an option to change that if you prefer left trigger sight aiming), and you’ll run into an assortment of weapons.  Two of the main ones that the hero in the game manages to use include a pistol (ideal for quick shots) and a laser-powered assault rifle.

Obviously, the assault rifle is your best bet.  Not only can you use it for close quarters combat, but you’re likely to find ammunition for it much easier than you would, say, with a foreign weapon.  In addition, with what we saw in the gameplay, you’ll also be able to modify your rifle for charged sniper shots, excellent for picking off those from a distance.  That way, you stay out of their firing range and can still effectively remove them from the picture – without doing harm to yourself.

In Shadow Fall, it appears that you’re equipped with a temporal shield, which can only take so much damage before you eventually succumb from bullets.  However, there seems to be a neat trick involved, where, if you take enough damage, you can slow down enough that you can take better precision shots – which is rather useful when you’re surrounded, or have a group of Helghan soldiers barreling down on you.  We’re likely to get more gameplay details about this – as well as more info on weapons that are at your disposal – closer to E3, where PlayStation 4 will likely take center stage at Sony’s booth.

One other segment we should talk about, however, is the aerial chase that concludes the demo footage.  Here, you’ll take a flying leap off a building and grab onto a rope dangling from a Helghan vessel, where your fight continues with the help of that pistol.  As you fly over the city (which, by the way, is a dazzling sight thanks to the powerful PS4 hardware), you’re able to shoot at enemies that come popping out of the flying ship, eventually sending them flying off to their demise.  From there, you’ll wind yourself in on the cable, getting close enough to lay down some C4 and then watch it explode while you land safely on a nearby building.  We’re not sure how much of this is playable (outside of the aiming and shooting, of course), but it looks like a riveting experience, with even bigger ones yet to come in the final game.

Killzone: Shadow Fall should also have some sort of multiplayer component included, something that ups the ante on what Killzone 3 had before.  That means you should be able to take on “bots” in offline play, or challenge any of your networked PS4 friends in combat.  But, again, we’re awaiting official details in just a few months’ time.

Considering Killzone 3 left quite a footprint in the PlayStation 3 game library, Shadow Fall should have no problem following suit for the next generation.  We’ll return with additional coverage, including hands-on, weapon breakdowns and strategies.

Killzone: Shadow Fall hits stores this holiday season for PlayStation 4.

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