The PlayStation 4 is in full swing now and while it wasn’t a flawless landing, the sales numbers indicate that the console is off to a successful start for Sony. Although even with the sales on its side, the console has come under a little bit of fire due to a lackluster reception to its launch library.
Many felt that Killzone: Shadow Fall would be the pick of the launch, showing off the power and possibility available to the PlayStation 4. Add to that that this was the fourth game (not counting a pair of handheld spinoffs) in a long running series and expectations were always going to be high. With that in mind, it is worth noting that the Killzone franchise certainly has its fans but for one reason or another it has never quite captured a broader audience’s imagination quite like Halo, Gears of War or Call of Duty did, when it comes to sales anyway.
With the fourth game in the core series, has Guerrilla Games been able to introduce the next generation in style or is it another failed chance to make the Killzone name more prominent in the gaming world?
Here is a selection of reviews from around the gaming world to try and find out!
Game Rant (Rob Keyes)
“If it wasn’t for the game’s groundbreaking visuals,which look incredible in 1080p, there wouldn’t be much keeping players interested in battling through the oftentimes challenging and sometimes boring campaign. The stale and unrelatable characters are worsened by a frequently cliche story that’s seemingly designed around disparate set pieces, loosely strung together, even if it does take advantage of the series’ lore…but there are also a few gems sprinkled in between (and at the end) that offer breathtaking sequences and visuals not unlike the game’s cinematic moments and it is worth playing through.”
IGN (Colin Moriarty)
“Shadow Fall represents the Killzone series’ coming-out party — out from being a plodding, gray war shooter through hours of bland, linear corridors. Now, it’s something else entirely. Its single-player campaign suffers from some AI issues and dabbling in non-shooter gameplay it’s just not good at, but it’s still an enjoyable romp that challenges you to really think about how you’re approaching each fight. And then there’s multiplayer, as hardcore as ever but with a level of accessibility that will allow Killzone’s online community to grow and flourish for some time to come.”
Games Radar (Ryan Taljonic)
Killzone: Shadow Fall is an excellent way to kick off the eighth console generation. Sure, its characters may not be all that convincing, and its multiplayer is more a well-crafted distraction than a long-term destination, but the game as a whole contains plenty of unexpected surprises that make it worth your time. The open-ended missions, though not as plentiful as you might like, are made even better thanks to the awesome tools at your disposal, and its story has some powerful moments that are sure to catch you off guard. And even when it hits lulls, you’ll still have a great time shooting to your heart’s content.”
The Escapist (Jim Sterling)
“Killzone: Shadow Fall is a rock solid game, though it struggles to truly showcase the PlayStation 4 as a launch title. First of all, you’re going to have to already be a fan of the series to really get much out of it, and the straight continuation of an established first-person shooter franchise is always going to struggle to wow the player with anything unique.
Still, I do have an intimate knowledge of the series, and as such, am pretty much the exact person this game is for. If you’re a Killzone fan, you’re likely going to love Shadow Fall and get everything you expect from it. A more elegant narrative campaign and a richer multiplayer experience are offset by some odd artistic decisions and a number of strangely dull elements, but overall, this is a quality shooter that delivers what Killzone players have come to expect.”
Joystiq (Ludwig Kietzmann)
“Killzone: Shadow Fall loses its sheen at times, usually when pursuing moments that are cinematic but not sensible. As a shooter, it’s better at thriving on eye-catching environments and supportive combat abilities that don’t just come for free. It also can’t help but blow up its pristine cityscapes before you get to know them, but that just goes with the territory, here on the border between good and great.”
Giant Bomb (Jeff Gerstmann)
“Killzone: Shadow Fall is a real mix of highs and lows, so where you come out on it will depend on your interests. If you don’t care about campaigns in your first-person shooters, Killzone provides a solid alternative to the modern-military games that are all the rage these days. It’s highly configurable and the developers claim to have multiple free updates in mind for future expansion. But if you want a story and like to shoot your way through a great campaign, Shadow Fall has too much downtime and too many frustrating moments to recommend.”
Polygon (Arther Gies)
” The game constantly fails to find any sort of trajectory or direction, and it suffers as a result. In Guerrilla’s attempts to depict the horrors of a divided society, they often crush the life out of the game with extended “playable” cutscenes showing awful though pedestrian moments in day-to-day New Helghan… That absence of meaningful evolution might be Killzone: Shadow Fall’s biggest sin. For all the next-gen bluster of its visuals and the repeated blunt-force attempts to ram a message home, Guerrilla’s first shot on the PS4 retreads shooter cliches, and poorly. In a launch lineup crowded with shooters, Killzone: Shadow Fall sits at the bottom.”
Destructoid (Dale North)
“I like Killzone: Shadow Fall for its change of direction from previous series games, as well as its change of pace over other first-person shooters. Guerrilla has tried a few new things this time around, and should be commended as such. I welcome the almost sandbox-ish level approach, and the stealth segments did a nice job of breaking up the standard shooting action. It’s really nice when gameplay concepts win out over big set pieces and cinematic events.
Oh, and it’s beautiful. A stunner. Killzone: Shadow Fall is the game that will make you happy to own a PS4. This needs to be on your PS4 launch game list.”
Gamespot (Kevin VanOrd)
“As much as I enjoyed my online time with Killzone: Shadow Fall–and as much as I will enjoy lots more time with it, unlocking perks that allow me to personalize my weapons–I missed Killzone 3’s jump pack, which brought a nifty nimbleness to the battlegrounds. I missed it in Shadow Fall’s disappointing single-player campaign, too, which sorely needed a shot of adrenaline. Where I look back fondly on Killzone 2’s finest single-player moments, the moments I recall here are those in which I wandered through corridors and rocky meadows wondering where the bad guys were. Luckily, Guerrilla Games remembered what drew me and many others to the front lines of online war, and it’s here that Shadow Fall emerges from the rubble and flies into the electric skies.”
Eurogamer (Oli Welsh)
“Nine years ago, the first Killzone game offered us an unforgettable, iconic image: a gas-masked space Nazi, eyes glowing a malevolent ochre, standing under a cherry blossom tree. A strong start – and yet since then, the series has been groping for an identity that could live up to that look and set it apart from its FPS peers. It’s never quite found it.
It’s all the more frustrating that Shadow Fall fails to establish that identity, because it gets so close in its early design and themes. It sets up an open-ended tactical shooter in a cynical world of sci-fi realpolitik – and then bottles it, taking the easy escape route of another suicide mission into empty spectacle. There’s a lack of confidence here that contrasts starkly with Guerrilla’s dazzling, sure-footed command of the new hardware. It’s a game that any new PlayStation 4 owner will be proud to show off – but it won’t be one they remember by the time PS5 rolls around.”
What do you think of Killzone: Shadow Fall? Do you enjoy the graphical and artistic overhaul? Are the pretty graphics enough to recommend over some disappointing gameplay? Do you agree with any of these reviews? Lets us know below!
Killzone: Shadow Fall is is currently available exclusively on the PS4.