The Average Gamer

Killzone HD Review (PS3)

What is it?
A remake of the original Killzone, released in 2004, with only barely upgraded graphics.

Is it fun?
If you took away the destruction physics from the original Red Faction, would it be fun? (Hint: No!)

Is it worth the money? £11.99
Not at all. Unless you’re getting this as part of the Killzone Trilogy it’s not worth the time.

Oh, so many reasons. While I do confess to playing Killzone back in 2004 and being mildly impressed with a few aspects – the story concept and weapon variety being the big two at the time – in 2012 it really shouldn’t have a place on the market. As part of a trilogy? I understand. You can’t have a trilogy with only 2 games, so by all means throw it in there. Killzone HD does not have the legs to stand on its own two feet and charge £12 for the privilege of playing it now though.

To kick things off, the graphics really don’t look much better. Better, yes, but HD-level better? Not really. The cutscenes appear to have taken the approach of making everything look like someone eating a bucket of KFC chicken tried to clean the lens with their fingers. Everything has a bright, blurring haze effect, most likely used to hide the fact that cutscenes appear to have been ripped straight from the original and had a few Sony Vegas filters thrown on to label them as HD. Actual gameplay looks slightly better – mostly improved textures and rendered edges – but in a year that has seen far better graphical upgrades with older products it’s still pretty ugly.

That is one ugly ass mall.

The default controls are a tad clunky and rather outdated, but Killzone HD does get credit where credit is due because you are able to map every action to any button. Want Square to shoot and R2 to crouch? Done. This was probably one of the best ideas they had because mapping the controller and sensitivity the way I wanted it improved my opinion of this game by at least 2%.

The gameplay is… functional. You walk straight from point A to point B at a reasonably quick pace, shooting inaccurately at the same waves of predictable enemies along the way. When I say quick though, I mean quick. The average chapter of a level will take anywhere between 3 and 10 minutes, with there being around 5 chapters per level and the whole game taking around 6-7 hours to complete.

The selection of weapons is decent enough, and what plot is there in between level cutscenes is still pretty intriguing, but the voice acting hurts. It hurts so bad. If I’m told one more time by the same sound byte that my AI buddies are going to “stay behind and secure the area”, which I’ve spent the last 5 minutes clearing and is now so desolate that it could be in Fallout 3, then I think I’m going to snap.

I’m pretty sure any hardcore fans of Killzone, who already own 2 and 3, will be picking this up but anybody who wants to get into the Killzone universe should just go ahead and jump on straight from Killzone 2. It has a backstory at the beginning, the game is far better, and you can get it for £4 cheaper than this at most online retailers now. Even Killzone 3 is around the same price point as Killzone HD so in it’s current state there’s very little reason to own it.

That being said, if it is on sale through the PSN Store for… I’m going to say £4-5? Then it might be worth considering if you’ve always wanted to know the way shooters were a mere 8 years ago and why we should never complain about the way they are today. I’d recommend gamers steer clear of this unless it’s on sale or you have some masochistic urge to see Killzone’s now lacklustre origin.

Killzone HD is available now on PSN for £11.99, or as part of the Killzone Trilogy on PlayStation 3.

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