Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rated M for immature references

Killzone 3 continues to hit all the right notes, and it hits them as loudly and as often as it can, but it is a song I have heard so many times that it has lost all meaning. The plot might as well have come out of the same can as the string beans from a mom and pop diner: arrogant and insubordinate soldier (and his best friend) anger their supervisor by disobeying orders while fighting space Nazis who are bent on the destruction of Earth. People are capture, hyjinks ensue, almost everyone dies, and make sure there is no closure so the sequel is easy to right. With just a little variation this describes nine out of ten shooter, regardless of quality. All they have to distinguish themselves from one another are how they play, and Killzone 3 is still just like every other shooter ever. There are running levels, turret levels, a jet pack level, a forced stealth level. Sound familiar?

Shooters only need to do one things differently to stand out. Resistance had a ridiculous and wonderful weapon selection. The Call of Duty games, all cynicism aside, are excellently paced and very exciting to play. Doom 3 was dark, Serious Sam had a ton of dudes to kill and Duke Nukem has boobs (among other things). What does Killzone have? Well, there is the giant, four legged fortress that I just fought... no wait, that was from Halo 2. Oh, the chase across the snow in a giant, bladed snow mobile... no, every damn Bond game ever has one of those. Plucky female support character? Gears of War. Grotesque melee kills? Also Gears of War. Half assed first person cover system? One of the Rainbow 6 games, I think, I never got into those. The point is that there is nothing to this game past how it looks. I am not going to lie: it looks really, really good, and I am a whore for fancy graphics, so it is tempting to give it a pass based just on its looks.

But I can't. I honestly expect more from a game that is trying so hard to be good than I am getting here. Kilzone 3 is a Penthouse magazine cover that has been slipped over a Redbook: arousing on the outside, but just a big tease on the inside. Plus maybe some recipies or coupons for feminine products and a perfume sample. Who doesn't want to smell nice while gunning down Helgans?

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