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

You're never far from a friendly face.

You're never far from a friendly face.

Other aspects of Killzone 2 design beg the question. Guerrilla puts a lot of weight on the spectacle of opposing armies meeting, and that means you rarely enter the fray unassisted: even outside the main theatre of war, trudging across Helghan’s windy deserts or through her rancid sewers, Sev has one or more of his wingmen Garza, Natko and Rico to fall back on. Swapping out an AI for another player would thus seem to present few logistical difficulties, and the fact that comrades are not part of the visual furniture, that they can be incapacitated and require healing (rather than being handily bulletproof, as in Modern Warfare) further suggests that the developer was toying with the idea of squad play right up to the word gold.

Of course, you can’t talk your way around technical thresholds. Mathijs de Jonge (game director) axed rumours of a post-release co-op patch in January, telling PSU that “technically it would be quite difficult to implement it for the story mode as for example the mission sections are loaded in seamlessly – no loading screens , and that would cause issues with teleporting players.” This perhaps doesn’t rule out the possibility of the developer’s releasing a tailor-made co-op campaign, with all the code optimised to suit, but I’m pretty sure those in charge of the purse strings would view the idea coldly at this late stage. Given Valve’s experiences in the area, it’s intriguing to speculate on what the modding community might have cooked up if the game had been released on PC.

While we're demanding new features, how about actual playable Predator-top battles?

While we're demanding new features, how about actual playable Predator-top battles?

More cost-effective results could be achieved outside story mode, however, by taking a leaf from Epic’s book (assuming there are any left after years of slavish imitation), and again the game makes noises in this direction at intervals. During the ‘Union Storage Yard’ sequence of Killzone 2′s ‘Visari Square’ chapter, Sev, Natko and Rico must defend a scruffy sandbag emplacement nestled under the eaves of a bombed-out building against wave upon wave of Helghast infantry, armed with shotguns, SMGs and heavy machine guns. Besides dispatching the foe at ground level, you can scale a ladder and pick ‘em off as they spill from adjoining buildings, or lurk in a gutted closet to the right of the main spawn point. It’s an intensely dynamic, white-knuckle flashpoint, and one which tips many a nod to the “survival arena” match types which are now apparently standard issue among online shooters.

The germ of a Killzone 2 survival mode already exists in the ability to play unranked online matches against teams composed mostly of bots, given a deficit of human players, and I can’t imagine it being a very difficult (or expensive) feature to implement. Just thumb-tack some additional spawn points to the existing maps, build in an escalating difficulty factor and hey presto. Make it so, Mathijs. Make it so.

Happy Birthday, Killzone. The card’s in the post.

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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