I actually set up a fake European PSN account weeks ago just to download this demo, but, go figure, by the time I got around to playing it, it was already freely available on the U.S. store.
Is it the best-looking console game ever? To be honest, I'm the wrong guy to ask. It is quite impressive and probably a couple notches beyond the Resident Evil 5 demo. To a casual observer, however, this demo would probably look indistinguishable from Gears of War, which, in 2006, seemed far more relevant as the graphical showcase for the Xbox 360. So, really, what's it all been for?
The one moment that amazed me was when I was prompted to climb up to a higher platform with an AI partner's help. Pressing the Circle button triggered a scripted sequence, where my character got a boost up, then turned around to reach out to my buddy and pull him up. The whole affair was handled seamlessly in first-person and in-engine. The Resident Evil 5 demo contains similar sequences, yet they seem strictly utilitarian, whereas this bit in Killzone 2 immersed me in my role better than any of the shooting.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, I've never really been an FPS guy, so I can't fairly judge where this falls, but the demo offered nothing to surprise me. Movement was much slower than older games I've played, and I appreciated that bit of realism, as I've always found it silly when characters can move sideways and backwards with the same speed that they run forward. The analog sticks on the DualShock 3 didn't seem sufficiently sensitive, however, as I found it impossible to make subtle adjustments with the right stick. Drawing a bead on targets was hard enough, but then the guns also shook like crazy as they fired. At one point, I found it easier just to charge an enemy and tear him down with melee blows. (I did, by the way, really like that I could continue to pummel his dead body and receive audio feedback from the impacts. Not all games give you that.)
With co-op inexplicably absent from the experience, it just feels like another FPS to me, and I can't see myself spending time on this game over other genres I prefer.
I'm a casual observer.
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