Impressions / Killzone 3’s multiplayer

This is a continuation of our Killzone 3 single-player review. Multiplayer play wasn’t available at that time.

Despite Killzone 3‘s single-player leaving me a little dissappointed I still kept high hopes for the online portion of the game, based on Killzone 2‘s fantastic team-based multiplayer. Surely this will make up for the campaign’s shortcomings?

Killzone 3 boasts three modes for its online component. There’s a standard Deathmatch, a return to the objective-based Warzone from the last game, and an attack and defend type named Operations. This newest mode adds in cut-scenes that show off the round’s best players, which is a nice addition, but Warzone is still easily the strongest of the three. You might think there’s a lack of modes on offer, but in Warzone you get Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, Assassination, Capture The Flag, and other game types all rolled into one.

On a total of eight maps (though there are already more available through PSN) you’ll take the role of either the Helghast or the ISA and fling bullets into the opposing team. The key to Killzone 3, as with any multiplayer game these days, is character progression. Guerrilla have come up with a great new system here where you unlock points to spend across all the different classes included. This gives you more control over your character than most other games out there; you could focus on building your sniper’s cloaking tech, or maybe you want the biggest and best guns for the engineer, you have complete control.

Out on the battlefield, the control scheme reflects the fast-paced action of the single-player, as in aiming is tighter than last time around, and enemies won’t take quite as many hits. This has made the game prone to a few of the problems seen in Call of Duty multiplayer offerings, namely a heck of a lot of camping. The shotgun is also woefully overpowered, which combined with the ‘look like your enemy’ infiltrator class means there are classes that are clearly better than others right from the start. It also means you’re encouraged much more to go off on your own and rack up a kill-streak rather than keep things tight in a team.

It’s a tad unbalanced, then, but still packed full of variety. Each class brings something unique to the table, and Guerrilla really have thought outside the box to offer more than your standard medic, soldier, and engineer classes. It gives you a great range of options to play around with and adapt to depending on a mission. If a Deathmatch is going the wrong way, you might want to pick up the medic class to heal friends and even the odds. Defending a position? Break out the sniper and keep your enemies at bay.

The single-player’s mech suit also makes it into one map, along with the jetpacks in another. With one mech per side, the dynamic of simple objectives on this map quickly change. A mech can stack a bunch of kills up quicker than you can aim down your sights, but at the same time can be killed easily itself. The jetpack level is also a frantic experience, forcing you to constantly be checking over head for death from above. These two inclusions give a great twist to the multiplayer, and keeping them limited to one map each means they don’t outstay there welcome or add to any balance issues.

Maps in general are bigger. Big open spaces lead to more hectic battles, and ones that you feel like you have less control over. There’s definitely more of an element of running into battle, dying, running into battle, dying and so on than in the previous game.

But that’s the beauty of Killzone 3; choice. If you don’t want these big maps, you can stick to smaller ones. If you don’t want to be the infiltrator class, you can level up another to overpower them. It’s not a brainless, pick up and play multiplayer experience, it’s one that you can completely change to your liking. It may not have the slow, tactical combat its predecessor offered, but in its place is a hugely customisable game that will be a complete blast for anyone who commits themselves to it.