Wednesday, August 09, 2000

Kingdom Hearts 2 | 10

I play a lot of Resistance 2 and COD4 & COD:WAW. Resistance for its massive battles & COD for the great graphics and super tight play. Killzone 2 is a great blend of each.

There are a lot of complaints about the controls, but none from me. The guns are weighted and recoil as you would expect. The characters move like heavily armored soldiers carrying heavy artillary might. I could see it as an issue if it wasn't equal, but everyone is playing at the same speed and after a very short amount of time, I can say without fail that I am pretty quick with the M82 and plenty of online players that are far superior to me will light you up as quick as any game of Halo or COD.

As far as the graphics, online there is no dropoff compared to the single player. This is the best looking game I can remember playing. I had a difficult time going back to Resistance because it looked terrible after KZ2.

The single player game is ...about like every other signle player FPS that I can remember. Follow a line shoot guys, etc. I only played for a couple of hours to get familiar with the controls before playing online so I can't really speak as an authority on the single player.

The online game has all of the usual suspects as far as game modes go. The new exception is being able to string any of the five together that plays as single game. If you have a squad that you enjoy playing with, this is great. If you jump into a 25 minute game and get stuck with a team of half-tards, prepare to be frustrated that you have to wait 25 minutes to get credited with your experience. It's also worth noting that KZ2 has a similiar level up / xp system that unlocks various items like COD 4. It's about what you'd expect.The battles are awesome and where KZ2 really takes the cake for me is the whole package with 30 people at a time. My biggest complaint with COD4 is 12 player battles on medium sized maps. It is too easy for people to camp and the middle of the screen remain empty for extended periods - especially in hardcore modes where you are playing 1 shot kills.

Killzone 2 doesn't reinvent the wheel and doesn't really offer anything new in terms of gameplay. A similiar thing has happened with the fighter genre. You can only "play guns" in so many different ways, so the next logical step is perfecting the genre, and right now, Killzone 2 is at the top of the heap.

I purchased the downloadable map packs, Titanium & Steel. One takes place on a moving train, the other in the cruiser shown at the opening of the game. The train is a sight to behold and a snipers dream come true as the action funnels to visible choke points and the map is very narrow. The Vekta cruiser is multi-leveled and circular in shape. It's a stark contrast to the rest of Killzone with bright lighting and vibrant colors. The pack cost $6.00 and both are fun to play. The only problem is not many people appear to have purchased. It is common to find lobbies with the new map pack OR the originals. They're great to see in motion, espcially the train, but not a mandatory purchase at all.

I have such a problem with connection, that I've found myself going back to COD4 & WAW despite preferring Killzone 2's gameplay. Not only am I frequently disconnected, but it logs the PS3 offline and occassionaly locks up the system and requires a hard restart. I've even found myself having to restart my router becuase it locks everything up and I have to reboot my connection. It is exceptionally frustrating to play partial matches and get kicked (especially the longer games) and pop in COD or Resistance and have no issues.

Finally - Clan battles. Ugh. Oddly enough, COD felt like you had to be in a clan to enjoy the game. In fact, it's almost mandatory (log into a match with just a bunch of guys versus a party and get ready to die...a lot, no level balancing). KZ seems to be the opposite. Clan battles have rampant cheating and cheapness you just don't see in the big open matches. I played in a couple clan matches and virtually every negative I'd heard about them was evident(not respawning in deathmatch, hiding the the radio in your base, etc.). I've had a much better time just going from game to game until I find a group that is competitive on both sides. The good rooms are typically set to automatically balance, so a room with a few good players on both sides can be as much fun as any clan battle.


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