Once again, my review of the hot new shooter is going to sound strange to anyone who doesn’t play video games, because “Killzone 3” is a gorgeous, yet savage game about shooting people in the face.
“Killzone 3” is the story of humans battling a rival people on another planet, and it is a beautifully illustrated adventure, so much so that it makes me wonder once more if today’s game artists are tomorrow’s architects and gallery painters.
“Killzone 3’s” beauty is put to use in an eight- to 10-hour ground war, in which the purpose is for you to advance through the rubble of battlefields, shooting bad guys in the face with assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles, and that’s when you aren’t merely running up to foes in close quarters and stabbing them in the eyeballs with knives, and twisting the knives until blood splats out. Squeamish, anyone?
Plot: You’re a hero soldier of the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance, fighting against an army of the Helghast Empire on another planet.
Cinema scenes advance war-only storylines with dialogue that can roughly be boiled down to, “We will kill them!” And, “We will kill them back!” I’m paraphrasing.
This sequel is a first-person shooter. But unlike the last “Killzone 2,” this one spreads its visual wings and isn’t set primarily in a grungy urban battlefield.
This time, you journey over “Star Wars”-ian junkyards and across the snow-in-the-air banks of an arctic ocean, through jungles of giant exploding flowers, as well as the familiar interiors of blood-soaked, concrete industrial buildings.
This is a cover-shooter. You often find cover behind walls and barricades, for if you just sprint forward into open spaces, enemies will shoot your stupid head off.
In a few tight spots, you get a jetpack that lets you leap over obstacles and shoot downward onto bad guys.
Although, many thousands of gamers will likely buy this primarily to play the smoothly run, gritty-looking online multiplayer (more like “Battlefield: Bad Company” than “Call of Duty”), which comes with eight battlefield maps, and a handful of modes, such as the ever-necessary team deathmatch. (The only cooperative mode is split-screen, offline.)
If I have a complaint, it’s that “Killzone 3” will only let me play with its two most amazing guns on a few levels. There’s the Wasp gun, which is this awesome, awesome, awesome weapon that fires three heat-seeking missiles at once. Did I mention it’s awesome?
And the bolt gun fires exploding bolts. You hit a guy with just one bolt and, even if it’s in his leg, he’s a goner.
I feel I should add here I’m a super peaceful, nice sweetheart in real life. I haven’t punched anyone since my brother started a fight when I was 9 years old. I don’t know why I am compelled to mention this whenever I rave about these crazy bloody shooting games, but eh, what are ya gonna do?
(“Killzone 3” by Sony retails for $60 for PS 3 — Plays very fun, including online. Looks utterly fantastic. Rated “M” for blood, gore, intense violence and strong language. Four stars out of four.)
Contact Doug Elfman at delfman@ reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.