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The time has finally come for the third console game in the Killzone series to grace the screens of Playstation 3 owners worldwide.

Boasting Move support, 3D support, smoother controls, mind-blowing visuals, a better campaign, better multiplayer and, well… better everything else, Guerrilla Games really seems to think that their new shooter is all that and a bag of chips.

Well, that’s what they say. The question is, what do we think? We put Killzone 3 through its paces to find out if the Playstation 3’s Call of Duty killer has finally arrived.

ISA ol’ chap

The war on Helghan between the ISA and the Helghast is not yet over and Killzone 3 continues literally seconds after the ending sequence of Killzone 2. Well, that’s not entirely true as Killzone 3 does a little bit of timeline hopping between the time directly after Killzone 2 and then events that take place 6 months later.

The campaign mode can be played alone or co-operatively with a friend, but strangely enough it’s only available as a split-screen offline experience. It seems like a very strange omission considering that the game comes packaged with a full multiplayer system already built in.

The entire campaign mode in Killzone 3 will last you in the region of around 6-7 hours on a normal difficulty, but some excellent pacing, variety with environments and good story progression serves its purpose well as the entire experience is exciting and fun from start to finish.

You will also be treated to entire levels that are based around being in tanks, piloting mechs, manning huge guns or one of the sure-fire favorites, getting around using a supremely cool looking jetpack.

While the story isn’t Academy Award winning material, it does well enough to keep things moving at a good pace and the constant change of locations gives the game a much more epic and adventurous vibe and feels like a big improvement over the last title’s drab locations.

Killzone 3 also keeps track of your best times on missions as well as what difficulty levels you have completed them on so that you can return and try and better your previous attempts. This gives the campaign a bigger dose of replay value, but for convenience you also have the option of jumping directly to specific levels and missions in the campaign.

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Who needs the Playstation 4?

Killzone 3 is hands-down the best looking console game that I have ever seen. When it comes to console wars and marketing strategies, a lot of focus is placed on graphics with games like Killzone 3 and in this case, it’s about as good as it gets and you will truly be hard-pressed to find anything that looks as good.

I felt really impressed by the way that Guerrilla Games handled this entire aspect of Killzone 3. It’s one thing to have a good looking game – and we all know that graphics aren’t everything, but this is one of the rare cases where I found that the incredibly high quality visuals actually added to the overall immersion of the game thanks to great use of motion-blurs, particle effects and lighting.

It’s not only the graphics engine itself, but the design and art overall. Killzone 3 offers a much larger colour palette than its predecessor and also treats gamers to some fantastic environmental design, backdrops and interface designs. This is just one heck of a magnificent looking game from top to bottom and the framerate somehow manages to stay stable throughout the entire show too.

The sound is also top-notch, with an appropriate soundtrack adding atmosphere over the crazy sounds of heavy rolling tanks, chunky weapons, roaring jet-engines and more. Voice acting is also very solid and compliments the overhauled and improved character models and animations.

Killzone 3 also loads surprisingly quick for a game that doesn’t have an installation and any pauses between sections or cutscenes are minimal at best. I have a feeling that a lot of the loading is cleverly hidden behind cutscenes and areas where you character is purposefully held up to ensure that the experience isn’t broken up by boring loading screens.

Killzone 3 has set the bar for technical excellence in a game and it will only be other high-budget Triple-A titles that will have a shot at snatching the crown back.

Last Updated: February 21, 2011

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Killzone 3
Summary
9.5

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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