Why Killzone 2 is better than Metal Gear Solid 4

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Ok, so just to make things clear, I mean this from a technical standpoint so please don’t shout at me about stories and deeper meanings.

So this last year saw some amazing games land in our hands and we have been spoilt for choice in this era of next generation gaming. A topic that will never die down as long as videogames are around is that of graphic superiority.

When I first saw MGS4 running in front of me, I was astounded at just how damn good the graphics looked, specifically in the cutscenes. While I was super impressed with MGS4’s visuals and never let down by the high standard of graphics in the Gears of War series, I really can’t say that I have ever seen anything that looks quite as good as Killzone 2.

What has always interested me is how developers hype up fans by talking about all of the technical mumbo jumbo that powers the game, even though most of us really couldn’t care.

Well, developers have been talking and if what they say is true, Killzone 2 has a mighty trick up it’s sleeve that Metal Gear does not.

Question is, who do we believe?

If you remember, a little while ago Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid games made a statement that caused quite a stir. What he said was that the PS3 has limitations that stopped them from achieving their original goals.

I’m not interested in any of that, what I am interested is that he states that for MGS4, they pushed the PS3 to it’s limits, saying:

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“I remember saying three years ago that we wanted to create something revolutionary, but in reality we couldn’t really do that because of the CPU. We’re using the Cell engine to its limit, actually.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing the PS3 machine, it’s just that we weren’t really aware of what the full-spec PS3 offered – we were creating something we couldn’t entirely see.”

So then, Kojima reckons that they pushed the PS3 to it’s limits?

images.jpgI find that pretty interesting, mostly because in an interview with Guerrilla games, they said that their title (which in my opinion is the superior looking one) has not yet pushed any of the PS3’s limits and that their next title will look even better and use even more of the PS3’s power.

The interview is from a dutch site called GameKings.tv so we don’t have any direct quotes, although the translation supplied by ps3hype.nl states the following:

CPU, SPU belasting (ze gebruiken de PS3 niet voor 100%)

– (They don’t use 100% of the PlayStation 3 his power)

Guerrilla zegt: ‘We kunnen nog veel meer uit de engine (en uit de PlayStation 3) halen dan we nu al hebben gedaan. En dit zal ook zeker in toekomstige projecten gebeuren’.

– (Guerrilla say’s: ‘We can get more out of the PlayStation 3 then we did with Killzone 2. And this will happend in future Guerilla projects’).

Obviously, translating isn’t really one of their strong points.

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The things is, who do we believe here? Was Kojima talking trash just to up the hype on MGS4, just like so many developers do, with their claims of “pushing the limits” or is it Guerrilla Games who are just trying to make themselves look impressive.

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One thing I can say is that we all know that Guerrilla Games once showed us all a pre-rendered clip of what Killzone 2 was going to look like and from the looks of things they are going to deliver, so a couple of brownie points go to them. Hell, to be honest, I don’t think that Killzone 2 would have looked so good if they didn’t have the pressure on them to live up to the pre-rendered scene that caused such a riot, so maybe we should have all game developers release a pre-rendered scene of what their game is going to look like and then force them to live up to it.

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Is this proof that Kojima is slipping? If there is any company that I expect to know the potential of the Playstation 3, it’s the one that Hideo Kojima is in charge of ( Polyphony and Square should know a thing or two as well). So how could Kojima say that they had pushed the limits with MGS4, when Guerrilla is saying that their amazing visuals can still improve?

We are not that far into this generation and I can see a lot more being pulled out of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles, so is there any truth in what all of the developers are saying or is it nothing more than some big talk to make their games look more impressive?

Last Updated: January 12, 2009

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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