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Review – Killzone: Shadow Fall

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If you are looking for a first person shooter game to pick up for your newly purchased PlayStation 4, I am going to go ahead and suggest Killzone: Shadow Fall. However, this comes not of large praise for the game, but rather out of the mediocre titles available.

Shadow Fall is the most stable and (arguably) fun shooter on the PS4’s early market. With cynicism coming from the mass majority concerning next-gen versions of Call of Duty: Ghosts along with Battlefield 4‘s vast amount of technical problems, Guerilla Game’s latest entry in the Killzone franchise serves not only as an overall good game, but possibly the only respectable shooter available on the PlayStation 4 in the market.

In Killzone: Shadow Fall, set thirty years after the events of Killzone 3 for the PlayStation 3, you play as Shadow Marshal Lucas Kellen in the middle of a Cold War between the Vektan and Helghan. At the end of Killzone 3, the Vektan and Helghan had established cities on the same planet with a wall dividing the two nations. Think of the Berlin Wall.

The story of Killzone: Shadow Fall is, unfortunately, forgettable and at times is even ridiculous. I found myself scratching my head, confused to what exactly was going on. Instead, I soon resulted to just sitting back and enjoying the gameplay versus frustrating myself into understanding what was going on. What Shadow Fall has going very well for it is its excellent gunplay.

Character movements are lighter and far more flexible than in previous entries and the weapons have a satisfying kick and power to them. There wasn’t a single weapon I didn’t enjoy using whether it was in the single player or diving into Shadow Fall‘s multiplayer.

In previous entries of the franchise, every setting had a similar, brown and gritty tone amidst an all-out war. In Shadow Fall, Guerrilla Games has decided to take a drastically different path. Instead, now you are fighting in office buildings, lush forests, and even in the streets of the poor who suffer from the never-ending war your character is stuck in the middle of. This adds a refreshing and new approach to the series, as many feared the series was falling into predictable expectations and repetitiveness.

Throughout the various missions in the campaign, you will escape captivity from the Helghan, assist one of your enemies in ending the cold war, infiltrate spaceships in orbit, save hostages in an office skyscraper, and climb a rope attached to the plane your enemies have stolen from you. The variety in comparison to previous Killzone games is a significant step-up.

Another new addition is your OWL companion: a small robot you can use for various tasks. Using the PlayStation 4 controller’s touchpad, you can direct your OWL to attack enemies, hack security cameras, and revive you when you’ve been brought down. This, too, adds a new element to the gameplay.

While playing through the campaign, you’re going to find yourself staring in awe at the game’s beauty. As a launch title for the PlayStation 4, Shadow Fall looks incredible and it’s almost unimaginable to think graphics for the PlayStation 4 will only get better.

Once you have finished the campaign, Killzone: Shadow Fall offers an addictive multiplayer. Ignoring the DLC available, the initial game has 10 diverse and well-made maps, similar to the diverseness found in the campaign.

I found myself smiling when exploring some of the maps as they feel like a step up from Killzone 3, which already had an excellent multiplayer. What surprises me the most about the multiplayer, however, is that most of the multiplayer’s weapons are available early on if not right when you begin.

Instead, Shadow Fall focuses on having your proficiency with weapons and leveling them up to get better instead of spending hours just to use the weapon you desire. I am a shotgun user in most multiplayer shooters, so I was happy I could immediately play with my preferred style versus having to spend hours unlocking a weapon only to then spend even longer trying to upgrade it.

Killzone: Shadow Fall gives you a lot for a launch title on the PlayStation 4. The game is absolutely gorgeous and offers new ways to play Killzone along with an addictive and fun multiplayer experience.

Despite the confusing and forgettable story of the campaign, along with the missions sometimes feeling too drawn out, Killzone: Shadow Fall is an absolute must-have for anyone looking for a good shooter early in the PlayStation 4’s lifecycle.

SCORE: 4/5