When I think of Killzone I almost immediately think of the word "hype". That is because with both the original Killzone for the Playstation 2 and the future Killzone 2 for the Playstation 3, all we had throughout the pre-release of these games was hype. The original Killzone for the Playstation 2 was thought about being the possible "Halo 2 Killer". And now we have heard so much about Sony’s upcoming Killzone 2 for the Playstation 3 which is billed to be Sony’s possible Halo 3 killer. Whatever the case may be, today we are checking out Killzone Liberation for the PSP, a first in the series on a handheld, and in my opinion the game with the least amount of pressure coming out onto the market. So does Killzone Liberation make use of the somewhat quiet debut, or will it go out just as quiet as it came in? Read our full review to find out!
So although the hype was not really all that high with Killzone Liberation it is a game that definitely has people wondering. The original Killzone was a pretty big letdown, and the hype and controversy regarding the second Killzone for the PS3 has made headlines in the past months. We are now here with our review of Killzone: Liberation, a game that has the potential to help improve the PSP’s appeal to the world. Does it do just that?
Killzone: Liberation actually takes place after the original Killzone, which is a benefit for anyone who did actually play through the original. The game pits two groups basically against each other, similarly to the original game, with you playing as the ISA (aka the good guys) who have just recently taken down the Helghast. Well now your enemies are coming back at you again and thus the need for this game to once again take them out - hopefully this time for good. For a handheld game the story is structured so that you get small bits and pieces at a time, but these bits are interesting and help progress the game. I think the job that the developers did in weighing time and interest really worked to this game’s advantage.
One of the big things for any action game on the PSP is the controls, which have some interesting tweaks on the PSP. First off, the aiming system is like a half guided, half free roaming system, that at first does seem to be a bit awkward but is actually very intuitive for the handheld. You basically have to point your character in the general vicinity and the game will help make the shot a good one. This system is interesting on so many levels, and in fact works so well.
One of the big things that can turn players away from this game is its level of difficulty, which really holds true the deeper you get into this game. When playing Liberation, I have to say that there were times where I would just continually die and not have an idea of how to beat it. This may be too much for some, but for me it actually made the game increasingly more interesting and more engaging. The game is one of the few on the PSP that really allows you to mold environments and use them to your advantage/disadvantage. The game really feels like a full on shooter on the PSP, and I think that is easily one of the game’s greatest accomplishments.
When it’s all said and done, the gameplay in this game really feels like a fully fleshed out experience that you would find on a console. However at the same time the game manages to make a more unique handheld experience that no other game in my opinion has managed to do. Killzone Liberation is extremely well paced, it has an interesting story, the controls are intuitive, and the game as a whole just works nicely. The only real downside comes in the way of the multiplayer end of things, which is only ad-hoc supported, which means no online play. This is really unfortunate to because the ad-hoc content is really quite good and has a ton of potential, but it’s like with System Link on the original Xbox that is more work than the average gamer will actually take advantage of.
Although we all have known the PSP has some great technology running under the hood, very few games have really been able to use the visuals to their advantage. However, Killzone Liberation was a game that really did manage to get a lot of use out of their environments, which felt deeper and lusher then we have seen before. The game also moves at a really nice frame rate, and only very rarely did I ever experience any slowdown. The entire game just feels like it has had some sincere effort and bugs tested out of it, as the game just flows really beautifully.
I have a feeling there is going to be a reader out there who is saying the fun value should have been much lower. And in some respects I do agree, because this is one challenging gaming experience. While many games frustrate the player due to poor level design or clunky controls, Killzone Liberation’s challenge level is kept high but you’re backed by a solid gameplay mechanics and super-intuitive controls. And that primary difference makes the overall experience for Killzone Liberation one to truly admire, and what really makes this really an entertaining game.
As much as people probably had mixed feelings coming into this game with the disappointment that was the original Killzone, I have to say that Liberation has given me great hope in the future of the franchise. This is really a very intuitive and very well made PSP game. Sony has needed a marquee game for a while now, and they absolutely got it with Killzone Liberation one of the best games this system has seen.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.