I won’t even bother calling this a legitimate review. If you want a yea or nay verdict on Killzone 2, I’m sure you’ve already made one or read all the other reviews out there from other media sources. I just want to toss around some thoughts I had while making my way through the single-player campaign.

I might as well get it off my chest, Killzone 2 blew me away and was probably the first game in years that literally had my jaw dropping the first few nights I had my hands (and eyes) on it.The graphics are hands-down the best on this generation of console hardware and I can’t see any game dethroning it of that ribbon anytime soon.Guerilla Games not only lived up to their infamous E3 2005 pre-rendered target trailer, but in my honest opinion, surpassed it in every aspect. The animation is top notch, the lightning sets the mood perfectly, and the entire presentation makes the game feel more like a simulation-shooter rather than a standard first-person shooter.

The campaign was excellent and a great deal of fun. It wasn’t so long that it wore out it’s welcome and became repetitive, but it also wasn’t so short that I felt ripped off. Recently playing through Resistance: Fall of Man had made me realize how much I take for granted a solid and functional checkpoint system and regenerating health, two thingsKillzone 2 executes and takes from other successful games in the genre perfectly. There is never a moment where you have to repeat the last 20 minutes of kill-rooms just because you died and the developers didn’t know how to space checkpoints generously.

As for the storytelling and plot, it is nothing groundbreaking. You never really feel attached to any of the characters and I felt like the shifting out of first-person during any cut scene is disorienting and totally takes you out of the immersion. I honestly didn’t even know which cliche tough-guy marine was my character for the first hour or so. Don’t get me wrong, the story isn’t bad in any means and is definitely a notch above your averageshooter’s plot and storytelling, but it just wasn’t the main reason I loved the game. Who is going into Killzone 2 expecting Mass Effect though?

My main gripe with the game is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but it was something I noticed and irritated me every time I sat down to play the game. Either your perspective is totally off or you’re playing a hobbit space marine! Seriously, why do doorways tower over me when I’m passing through them and why are control consoles leveled with my face. Even when standing next to another NPC, you’re looking up to their shoulders. I just told myself that Sev was in a crouching/hunched-over position the entire game, as most soldiers are in the midst of battle anyways, so I could stomach the awkward perspective and not let it irritate me more than it already was. Maybe I’m just nit-picking though.

So there it is. Killzone 2 has been out for something like three months now and I have just now jumped on the bandwagon and beaten it. I could go on for pages about how I think it was under-rated and received unfair review scores in comparison to other games of the same genre, but it would be a waste of breath and a disservice to the game.Killzone 2 is a giant accomplishment for the genre and for Sony, who finally have their killer app.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go blast some HAGS in Killzone 2’s amazing Warzone multiplayer, something I left completely untouched for once I had already beaten the single-player campaign. I will try to get some actual literate thoughts on the multiplayer up once I’ve achieved a few rank-ups.

Originally posted at JamesAndHisGames.