Oh the joy; a Killzone launch title on a formidable console. Yes you might all know by now that I am an avid Killzone fan, and this franchise might be the only FPS series I still play, seeing how I boycotted the COD and Battlefield series two years ago. After the first glimpse of Killzone back when the Playstation 4 was revealed, you could say that I was looking forward to this title, but then again the more I saw of the game the more it looked like nothing to do with the original series. Yes I was worried, and in my head I was already imagining it being an epic failure resulting in the destruction of a Dualshock 4 and the injury of an innocent passerby. Adding insult to injury reviewers in the States didn’t seem too fond of the game which continued to confirm my suspicions.
Audio and Video: Let’s start off with the basics; visually this game is utterly stunning, and any people following me on facebook know how much I liked the visuals, cause I have been posting screenshots nonstop. The textures are flawless, the movement is accurate, and the lighting is spot on. The environments are vast and incredibly gorgeous in their artistic aspects. It takes such creativity to come up with the environments and surroundings featured in this game and I can’t help but feel jealous of these people. The UI has been remade from scratch and it simply works better. Like with all the great Sony exclusives, the sound is as amazing as the visuals. The voice acting is great, and the soundtrack is fantastic, adding an emotional aspect to the narration of the game. The surround is rendered awesomely in 7.1 and when in combat it simply feels like you actually are in the middle of a battlefield.
Gameplay: Gameplay is pretty much the same, although gun play has been revamped and actually feels better than Battlefield or COD. The game introduces a new companion to the battlefield, the OWL; which is a drone that can help you grapple across falls, stun enemies, create energy shields, revive you, and even attack enemies. The OWL is controlled with the touch pad on the controller, and even though I was reluctant of this feature, I believe it added a new element of strategy to the combat which I believe was missing. The stealth elements in Shadowfall are still bad when compared to other games in the market. Improving the abilities and gameplay mechanics in stealth mode would have improved the game a lot. I was really fond of the zero gravity and space segments in the game, which reminded me of the Dead Space series. The pacing of the game is great, until you reach the final chapter. In previous titles, as you approach the final boss, you feel a sense of tension, with battles becoming more intricate and hard, giving you an amazing sense of achievement once you reach your goal. In this title though I felt like the final chapter was abrupt, and although being devoid of any continuation, it simply ruined the pacing to a point when you feel utterly disappointed. Enemy respawing is borderline annoying, and most of the time you battle endless waves of enemies which is frustrating and uselessly hard. The chapter before the last one for example took me a whopping three hours, and I must have threatened the console with her life at least a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a game that is easy or soft, I like a good challenge, but I would rather have a game challenge my wits than my patience.
Personal Experience: If I had to review this game up until the last chapter, I would have given it a solid 9/10. The story and narration are superb, and in this title in the series you get to see the Battle between Vekta and Helghan from a new perspective. Yes I must admit that this is not at all a Killzone title, but rather a new breed of Killzone which will appeal to a wider spectrum of people. Regardless losing its core characteristics, I enjoyed this title, up to the last chapter that is. And just because this title has such an utterly frustrating and annoying ending, I have this to say;
Any title focusing on a great narration needs to leave you longing for more; it needs to be able to emphasize the grandeur of its experience with a fitting ending. If this fails, all the effort put in the game and story up until that point, was for nothing. Imaging eating an amazing Rib Eye Steak covered in a delicate mushroom cream sauce and accompanied by the crunchiest of potato chips; Now imagine having an icing covered steamy turd for desert. That ladies and gentlemen is the Shadowfall effect.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Written By Matthew C.