It's been nearly seven years since Killzone was first unleashed on the world, and while many of you are intimately familiar with the story of the Helghast Empire vs. the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance, many more of you have been scratching your heads and wondering, "Why should I care about Killzone 3?" We're here to set the record straight, get you up to speed, and tell you everything you need to know, even if you've never touched a Killzone game in your life.
On face value, Killzone is a first-person shooter, designed by Guerllia Games for the PlayStation 2. But there's a lot more to it, isn't there? What's the story behind the conflict?
In the distant future, space colonization becomes extremely popular after nuclear war has left the Earth blasted and nearly inhospitable. Luckily, mankind has the technology required to colonize space, and they begin spreading throughout the Solar System, and beyond. Corporations also join in this massive (and expensive) venture, including the Heglhan Corporation.
Early on, the Company discovers Alpha Centauri, which is orbited by two planets: an Earth-like planet with oceans and trees (which they name Vekta, after their president), and a desolate, dead planet which they name Helghan, after the company. They begin settlement on Vekta, while using Helghan as a staging ground and outpost.
However, other colonies and companies recognize the strategic value of the Alpha Centauri system, and it isn't long before heads clash. The United Colonial Nations impose an embargo on Helghan, which is meant to stop their dominance of the territory in the system. Helghan ignores this, and is then invaded by the United Colonial Army. The UCA overwhelms the Helghan forces, and boots the settlers from the company offworld to live on Helghan in the First Extrasolar War. In the meantime, the UCN has discovered that they need a broader force to exert military force, and they create the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance.
With the ISA now living on Vekta and enjoying its resources, and Helghan banished to the harsh and industrial planet Helghan, a new, charismatic leader begins taking charge of the Corporation: Scolar Visari. Born with the ability to breathe in both the harsh atmosphere of Helghan, and the normal atmosphere of Vekta, Visari begins rising to power and after staging an attempt on his own life, he conducts a coup and cleans out the Corporation administration, and declares a new Helghan Empire. He quickly builds up the Helghan military, and declares war on the ISA with an invasion of Vekta, sparking the Second Extrasolar War.
"Our forefathers embarked on the greatest exodus in the history of all mankind. An exodus for freedom, Helghan became that freedom. Our new world changed our bodies. At first, it weakened us, but in fact, we were growing ... stronger. In the time you have given me, I have rebuilt our nation, I have rebuilt our strength, and I have rebuilt our pride! Our enemies at home have been reeducated; we have given them new insights into our cause. On this day, we stand united once more. On this day, those driven to divide us will hear our voice! On this day, we shall act as one, and we shall be ignored NO MORE! Defenders of the Helghast dream, NOW IS OUR TIME!"
Thus begins the events of the first Killzone, where you play ISA Captain Jan Templar, desparately fighting to hold off the Helghan invasion after Vekta's orbital defense stations have failed, and overwhelming numbers of Helghan quickly overrun the unprepared ISA forces. Through the game, you discover that the orbital defense stations were deliberately taken offline to allow the Helghans to invade, and that there is a high-ranking traitor amongst your own. This same traitor plans on reactivating the platforms to take out the incoming Earth Defense Fleet, which results in the climactic battle of the game.
As things end, the Fleet has been saved, and Templar ponders what might come next for him and his fellow soldiers.
In 2006, Guerilla Games returned to the world of Killzone will the PlayStation Portable title, Killzone: Liberation. This third-person shooter has you controlling Jan Templar again, this time picking up two months after the events of Killzone. Several key hostages have been taken by the Helghast, and Templar and his team work to free them. In the fifth and final mission, available via DLC, it appears that Templar's friend and fellow solider Rico Velasquez has been serving as another traitor, but in the climactic fight you'll discover that he was framed, and you have to do battle with the real traitor.
Sony set E3 2005 on fire by showing a tech demo of Killzone 2, which was to be a title for their upcoming new console, the PlayStation 3. Jaws dropped and pulses raced, but it would be two more years until we saw actual gameplay footage, and another two more until the game actually came out. Talk about a wait.
In the story, players take control of a new soldier, Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko, a member of the Legion unit of Special Forces assigned to Alpha Team. Sev and his soldiers are sent on a mission to eliminate antiaircraft support, so that the incoming ISA invasion force can land on Helghan. However, the Helghast have harnessed the electrical power on the planet, building giant arc towers that can eliminate any threat and fry soldiers instantly.
Scientist Evelyn Batton discovers that the arc towers are powered by Petrusite, of which large amounts can be found in the Tharsis Refinery on the outskirts of Pyrrhus, the captial city of Helghan. Sev and company decide to investigate, but several members of his team are taken hostage by Colonel Radec. Radec interrogates them, hoping to learn the codes for stolen nuclear weapon "Red Dust" that he possesses, stolen from the ISA.
Sev and group eventually work their way free, and return to their ship the New Sun in the ISA fleet. However, the Helghast have invaded the fleet, and all the ships are boarded. Colonel Radec works his way to the bridge of the New Sun, and mortally wounds the fleet commander. Someone very familiar to Killzone players. He steals the nuclear codes, and then leaves. In a final act of defiance, the dying fleet commander crashes the New Sun into the Tharsis Refinery, destroying the Petrusite defense grid.
The ISA regroup and try to invade Visari's palace to stop him, but a nuclear bomb is set off in the city, destroying most of it, and cripping the ISA forces. Sev and Rico battle their way towards Visari, facing Colonel Radec in the process, and eventually capture the leader of Helghan. But his words tempt Rico past the point of no return, and he riddles Visari with bullets. As he dies, Sev looks to the skies and sees an enormous Helghast fleet, set to attack.
Killzone 3 opens immediately following the events of Killzone 2, with the Helghast devolving into chaos and civil war following the loss of their leader. Various political factions fight for control of Visari's throne, with two major players trying to win: Admiral Orlock and Jorhan Stahl. You'll once again take control of Sev as you try to to stop a Helghast regrouping and subsequent invasion of Earth. Of course, with new games come new abilities, and Sev can jump into jetpacks, or even remove some mounted weapons to carry with him.