Killzone 2 look-back: sorry, still needs co-op

As Guerrilla’s sometime Halo-killer reaches the grand old age of half a decade, we kick a little post-coital dirt at the sequel.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, November 26, 2009


The Killzone franchise is five years old today, and Eric Boltjes, Mathijs de Jonge and the rest of Guerrilla Games are accordingly sinking into mattresses of purest purple cotton-candy nostalgia over at the official site. The grimy shooter series has returned to headlines for other reasons of late, with the second iteration swiping a Golden Joystick and no less than three nominations for Spike’s Video Game Awards 2009. An appropriate time then to slip off those rose-tinted goggles, strap on some glowing Helghast varieties and do a little retrospective whinging.

I loved, and still love Killzone 2. Rather fortunate, that, as I spent close to 100 hours with it in the hysterical two or three months before its release. But the game had, and still has some definite shortcomings, and recent tidal shifts in the waters of first and third-person shooting have made one of these shortcomings especially evident.

Do you feel lonesome tonight, Sev?

Do you feel lonesome tonight, Sev?

If you’ve been keeping up with our reviews, you’ll know it’s a great season for cooperative gaming. (So great, in fact, that we’re going to publish an editorial on the subject in the next couple of weeks – but I digress.) Following in the footsteps of Insomniac’s Resistance sequel, Modern Warfare 2 and Uncharted 2 have boosted their respective co-op components from humble campaign add-on status to that of a full-blown separate mode. Left 4 Dead 2 is busily reaffirming the marvellousness of the original game’s signature four-players-against-the-world dynamic. I am utterly gutted that I didn’t get to grade New Super Mario Bros Wii, that peerless provoker of beery retrohead camaraderie. And all this occurs against a backdrop of mighty advances in multiplayer gaming generally, with the MAG beta asking unheard-of feats in team (or rather, army) management, and Demon Souls carving a wild, uneasy line between roguelike and MMO.

In that context, Killzone 2′s strictly solo ten levels feel a little bloodless, despite its artery-ripping graphical excess. This game needed co-op – needed it like a daffodil needs sunlight, Jade Raymond her hair straighteners or David Jaffe his sedatives. Its war-ravaged, multi-storey maps and the find-fix-and-flank nature of its action would have suited team play right down to the bullet-scoured earth.

3 Responses to “Killzone 2 look-back: sorry, still needs co-op”

  1. LarryL says:

    Yes, Killzone 2 should have had online co-op through the campaign. It would have been the perfect fit. I’m surprised it was never added, if not for free, then at least as some kind of DLC. I would have bought it.

    But aside from the lack of co-op, it’s easily my favorite console FPS of all time. The graphics are head and shoulders above anything else on console. Uncharted 2 may look a bit “prettier” as a whole package, but Killzone 2 is much more of a graphical showcase than UC2 is. KZ2 is doing amazing things in lighting and particles, and takes no hit to the amazing graphics when you go online, which is incredible.

    And I absolutely LOVE the realistic handling and feel of the weapons and movement. No game, even on PC take the feel of realism to that level, which imo is the most amazing thing the game does. It’s unfortunate that SO many gamers prefer the unrealistic feel of games like CoD, then bash Killzone 2 because of it. They prefer these noob-friendly games that anyone can just pick up and play without having to get used to the feel. For me, the realistic, weighty feel of Killzone 2 is far superior to anything else on the market. It’s one of only 2 FPS games I’ve ever bought that I’ll NEVR even consider trading in, along with UT3 on PS3 because it’s the only console FPS to have true mod support.

    All these gamers can go ahead and, imo, waste their money on the vastly inferior MW2 if they like. I’m sticking with Killzone 2 for my FPS fix until something comes out that tops it…..which so far, I don’t even see anything coming out in the next year that even comes close. Though BFBC2 is at least improving itself over the last game, unlike CoDMW2 which does nothing but make the game even more unrealistic and unbalanced, so Kudos to DICE on that.

  2. jimbo says:

    Totally agree. If KZ3 doesn’t have co-op I’m delaying my purchase until it drops in price. If it has co-op in campaign mode like Resistance 1 it’s a full price purchase first day.

  3. jfrmetal says:

    bem so tive o privilegio de jogar o killone 1 nao conheço esse ainda.


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