*Authors Note* Killzone: Shadow Fall was recently announced at Sony’s February PS4 Press Conference.
The only exposure we’ve had of Shadow Fall stems from the Playstation conference in February where we were graced by an eight minute long gameplay trailer, and at E3 2013. Despite some admittedly limited exposure to the game, we’ve formed a list of things we would like to see from the game if the franchise still wishes to remain one of the premiere FPS franchises in the industry.
1/ Refresh the Colour Palette
Current generation shooters such as Killzone and Gears of War had a large tendency to go with a very grey and brown colour palette, but when we were first introduced to Shadow Fall we were greeted by a brighter and more diversified world. The change of generation affords Guerrilla Games the opportunity to revitalise the series, taking it to new places with a revitalised world. Let’s hope that Guerrilla make this new visual design consistent throughout the new game.
2/ More character Depth
Let’s be honest, the protagonists of the Killzone series thus far have been about as likable as the series antagonists. From the ludicrous overuse of profanities to their generally hateable demeanour, you’ve always found it hard to connect with the Killzone character narrative due to the characters being all together unlikeable. With the setting of Shadow Fall being 30 years following the events of Killzone 3, the opportunity has been created to introduce new characters that have a bit more personality and are not brainless, rude drones.
3/ Keep to the series strengths
The advent of Call of Duty has raised a lot of problems within the games industry, mostly leading to series identity crisis. As more and more FPS franchises take elements from CoD the concern for fans of the Killzone series is that their beloved franchise will become yet another CoD clone. What has made a series iconic (besides the visuals) is the slow, grinding movement, larger turning circles and more methodical play. We would hate for Guerrilla to divert from this approach with the goal of making the game more accessible to the CoD crowd, because it is the slower, more thought out and procedural elements of the Killzone franchise that make the game so appealing. Here’s hoping the game keeps true to the series’ roots.
4/ Tone down on the Gimmicks
Because of the series’ popularity, it seems clear that Guerrilla, perhaps with some encouragement from Sony have implemented a few little gimmicky elements to emphasize certain elements of the console hardware, such as the use of the sixaxis moment in the PS3 controller to physically turn handles, and in the upcoming Killzone: Mercenary for Vita the use of the touchpad to manually melee kill enemies. Most of these elements are largely unnecessary or are overused and actually detract from the core experience. What the demos of Shadow Fall have shown so far are scenes where you will be shooting whilst hanging from the outside of a helicopter. Whilst this is technically and mechanically impressive, our concern is that these scenes may be overused and may become mundane and dull. We can handle new elements such as these but please ensure they are not overused as other features have been in the past.
What the original unveiling revealed was a Helghast Soldier using cloaking to sneak up on the ISA guards and whilst these enemies always pose a challenge to the player, would it not be cool to be able to do this yourself? Flipping into some sort of camouflage gear or cloaking device, walking right up to a Helghast fighter and slitting their throat will be a thrill in anybody’s language, so perhaps it is a feature worth considering as the development of the game hits its highest point.
We have no doubt that Killzone: Shadow Fall will be a technical powerhouse, as past entries have been, but looks alone do not make you a killer must-play game, so hopefully a few of the elements previously outlined will make their way into the game ahead of its launch on the PS4’s release day (whenever that is).