Gamescom 2010: Killzone 3 Multiplayer Hands-On PreviewBy Jake Gaskill - Posted Aug 18, 2010
What We Know: In terms of multiplayer, not very much (until now that is), however we do know that Guerilla Games have up the gorgeously rendered ante in almost every way for the much anticipated follow up to their acclaimed sequel Killzone 2. And one of the areas that received the most attention and improvements is the multiplayer, and Guerilla finally pulled back the curtain on what they’ve been up to with Killzone 3 multiplayer during Gamescom 2010.
What We’re Seeing Now: Multiplayer, and lots of it. The one word that consistently came up during our time with Guerilla was “new.” New modes, new vehicles, new melee attacks, new class system, new matchmaking, new squad features, new online tournaments, and so on. And while Guerilla definitely had some clear ideas about what improvements to bring to Killzone 3, they also took a ton of ideas and suggestions from the fans on their forums. So if you were one of the ones who cried for vehicles or matchmaking, give yourselves a pat on the back.
One of Guerilla’s main priorities was creating a more accessible multiplayer experience for Killzone 3. As the game’s lead multiplayer designer Martin Connor explained, it’s about making the game enjoyable for players of all skill and experience levels. The matchmaking system, which was built from scratch, is just one of the ways Guerilla has made Killzone 3 multiplayer more streamlined, as players no longer have to scroll through server lists to find a game to join.
There are also new incentives to playing as a squad. Not only does being part of a squad enable you to stick with your friends across games, but any perks earned in single-player can be shared with your squad mates in multiplayer, you can see the loadouts of your friends to help you to decide which loadout you want to choose, and your squad’s voice channels take precedent over other members of your team, which makes for easier communication.
Another big addition that came out our player feedback from Killzone 2 is the new career system. There are five class, six weapons and six abilities per class, and now, players can choose how they want to upgrade their weapons and abilities with the skill points their earn during multiplayer. It’s yet another way that the developers have made multiplayer more personal and robust.
Adding to the multiplayer variety are the new vehicles. The jetpack is perfect for raining down aerial death on opponents in uber-nerdy style, while the giant exoskeletons turn you into a tank on legs and add yet another layer of epicness to the already maddeningly intense battles. Guerilla didn't mention any details about other vehicles that might show up in the game, but we'll keep our ears to the ground.
Guerilla also showed off two of the new game modes entering the fray in Killzone 3. Operations is a more narrative mode that includes side-specific cutscenes, in which players will see their names appear above the characters’ heads, and a more narrative driven multiplayer experience. Guerilla Warfare is the much requested Killzone 3 version of team deathmatch.
I spent some hands-on time with both modes, and they both played out exactly as you’d expect (except I wasn’t expecting to come out as the top player of my group, but so it goes). The team deathmatch was intense, gorgeous and the controls felt especially tight and smooth. The familiar “chirp” returns, and once again adds a brilliant little touch to each kill.
Operations was the standout though. The match we played was broken down into three section, each with a different objective that needed to be completed in the allotted time. Increasing the cinematic and story-based design of Operations are large-scale world events that may or may not be controlled by players.
For our scenario, securing the first objective released massive clouds of toxic gas onto the battlefield, cutting off access from one particular direction. From there, the objectives became more and more difficult, culminating in a final scramble to plant explosives and hightail it to the extraction point before the whole plant exploded.
Guerilla spent quite a bit of time on designing maps that were not only especially suited for each game mode, but that were also visually and aesthetically spectacular in order to create, as Guerilla put it, a “colossal, immersive experience.” Two of the extra ways Guerilla is doing this is through the use of 3D and PlayStation Move support. Neither feature was available to try out, and Guerilla is still working out some Move stuff (like whether Move players will be able to play against controller players), but hopefully we’ll get a chance to try out both soon enough.