E3 2010: Hands On With Killzone 3, Jetpacks

Killzone 3 header

Killzone 3 will be the first game in the series to use motion control and be available in 3D. At the Sony E3 Press Conference we covered, Killzone 3 was finally shown in 3D form: intense action, jetpacks, Helghast dropping left and right - it was an intense experience. Later, the chance to play through the same level shown at their conference, and it panned out a little differently.

First off, the thing every Killzone fan is talking about: the jetpack. My first obstacle was jumping from one glacier to another over a storming sea. Having played the previous Killzone games, the controls were easy to jump back into. With the tap of a button, the jetpack burst forward (for about 4 seconds) and I fell back down to the next glacier. They fly in bursts, and you can use a speed boost of blue flame to make last moment adjustments to your trajectory.

I'm sorry to say that jetpacking wasn't too impressive. The visuals were phenomenal: the waves pounding below me, the harsh wind buffeting snow, the metal grid of a Helghan Base ahead of me - it was sinister, but beautiful. The jetpacking aspect just felt - well, not too fun. It was neat to be able to do it, but it wasn't the smooth, awesome experience I was expecting. It's still a work in progress - changes to the dynamic may be made, but until then, that's just my verdict.

As I approached the metallic deck of the enemy base, my only glitch of the playthrough occurred: just as I was getting close to the base, in infamous "Game Loading Enemies; Freeze For 5 Seconds" happened. But after the one moment of loading lag, the rest of the demo was awesome. Flying in, I gunned down two Helghast soldiers that were in the same spot as they were in the demo. I proceeded to rip my way through the base, feeling like a badass with the jetpack weaponry. It was easy - even for a demo - but it was fun.

The storyline for Killzone 3 - though it wasn't touched on in my demo level which ended once I blew up part of the base - is supposed to be much better than the lackluster effort of story in Killzone 2. You can expect more twists and attachment to characters, supposedly. If true, the fun Killzone combat remains very much alive (unlike some poor Helghans), and it's definitely still an exciting game. Just don't count on the jetpacks to fly you into a whole new gaming experience.

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