Portable Review

Killzone Liberation


When I first heard that Killzone was being brought to the PSP, I immediately thought, “Oh great – another FPS that shouldn’t be on a handheld!” As time went on, screenshots trickled in, proving that this would not be the case. Rather than the now traditional first-person view, Killzone would take a more old-school approach to the shooter genre through an overhead, top-down view. It’s refreshing to see a new take on an old style, but it also showcases some of the reasons why games have moved into a 3D perspective.

Let me get the bad out of the way first. The top-down perspective limits how far away you can see. The game doesn’t allow you to zoom out either so the sniper rifle is somewhat lacking in range, but it does make up for it in raw power. Even so, there are more powerful/better weapons to acquire, making the sniper rifle less efficient. It is one of the most accurate weapons though.

Another thing this game suffers from is the fairly slow pace it follows. While I understand that it’s more of a scaling thing, it would have been nice to have a hustle button ala Gears of War that allows you to keep down while running double speed. It would be nice for speed runs in the various challenge modes and for multi-player modes.

Having gone over what is not good in the game; allow me to start discussing what makes this game so good. For starters, Killzone Liberation features some of the best tactical action you can find on the PSP. From the beginning, you’ll find yourself ducking for cover and taking safe shots at the numerous Helghast that flood in on your position. A little deeper into the game, you’ll find that you need to heal your partners and give suppressive fire to get innocent civilians to safety. Along the way, you’ll find weapon upgrades and various types of grenades and mines to aid you in your endeavors.

When you first meet up with Rico, you’ll be given a tutorial teaching you to command your partner’s actions while you forge a path. Sometimes, he’ll have the right equipment for a specific job such as C4 to blow away a wall so you can continue your mission. Barking out orders is fairly simple and often more advantageous than simply having Rico follow you. This is especially true in the missions where you need to rescue allies. In these cases, you can order them to take cover while you handle the oncoming Helghast hordes.

While the game features a top-down view, it is far from two-dimensional. Everything is rendered in 3D and has a very realistic look to it. From the way your character moves to the way enemies fall down, everything is animated exceptionally well. I should also mention that the ambient sounds further add realism to the game’s war-torn battlefield aspect. You can hear machine guns being fired in the distance, people yelling, and a slew of other sounds that submerge the player into the feel of the game.

The controls for the game are rather fluid, but an auto-target would have been nice. As it stands, you can only auto-target objects in the background. This helps when you want to blow up a barrel the enemies are hiding behind, but it isn’t as useful as you might expect.

After you’ve gone through the game, you can do quite a bit of extra stuff. The first and most obvious is replaying missions in challenge mode where you’ll be given specific tasks to complete in a set amount of time. Completing them will warrant you medals and points that you unlock other extras like carrying a larger payload of grenades or even start a mission with a specific weapon. Furthermore, you can set out on co-op missions with a friend locally, or with the new download patch, you can play online. Now that I mention that patch, there is a 5th mission that comes with it, ensuring that you’ll continue to get your money’s worth out of this game.

On a final note, fans of the original Killzone may not have expected this to do away with the first-person aspect, but as far as a true Killzone experience, this delivers in droves. It’s just a different format. Just know what you’re getting into before jumping in head-first.

-Originally Posted by Bloodspoor


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