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The new generation of consoles is upon us and Sony have entered the ring with the beast that is the Playstation 4. The PS4 is said to be 10 times as powerful as the PS3 and if Killzone: Shadow Fall is anything to go by, I can definitely believe those stats.

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Story

“…to say things are a little uneasy is an understatement.”

Killzone: Shadow Fall is the latest instalment in the Killzone franchise and is set some 2 to 3 decades after the events of Killzone 3. The Helghast have been forced to take up inhabitance on rival planet Vekta as their own planet has been destroyed by the Vektan ISA and to say things are a little uneasy is an understatement.

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You play as Lucas Kellen, a VSA Shadow Marshal whose job it is to keep the peace between the two feuding sides. You can almost take for granted that such is job is not going to be easy and with the unfolding events in the story, you’d be right.

Gameplay

” I must admit, I jumped a little when I heard the speaker being used first…”

As I say in many of my reviews when referring to new instalments in franchises, if you’ve played any of the previous instalments, you have a fair idea what to expect with Shadow Fall but seeing as it’s the first ‘next-gen’ (which is now actually current gen) title in the series, there are a few nice additions to the gameplay.

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The most notable one is the upgraded Dualshock 4 controller which has a trackpad, speaker and light built in. All 3 of these features are used to add to the gameplay.

The trackpad allows you to control your OWL, a flying little drone which helps you either attack enemies, stun enemies, hack terminals, use a zipline or create a shield. I found myself taking a bit of time to get used to using the trackpad to select these features but once I did, it became very intuitive.

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The next addition is the speaker which is only really used to play audio logs you find throughout the game but it really adds an engrossing effect when you hear these voices coming from you controller, some of which are quite scary. I must admit, I jumped a little when I heard the speaker being used first but I immediately loved it’s integration.

Lastly, the new light at the back of the controller is used to show your level of health with 3 different colours with green for full health, yellow for medium health and pulsing red for low health. It’s positioning at the back of the controller is quite strange as you can’t directly see the light but the brightness of it does let the colours bounce off your fingers and that in turn allows you to tell you state of health.

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Graphics

“…this game looks like an interactive Hollywood Sci-Fi blockbuster,”

As you may or may not know, I’m a serious sucker for good graphics and Killzone: Shadow Fall is like all my Christmases rolled into one. This game is simply stunning.

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The lighting effects alone will take your breath away but add this to the huge amount of detail on each level and incredible draw distances, this game looks like an interactive Hollywood Sci-Fi blockbuster, it’s just incredible.

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The guys at Guerilla blew me away with what they did on the Vita for Killzone: Mercenary but they’ve done it again for Shadow Fall. We must remember this is only a launch title for the console and the game looks this good already, I literally cannot wait to see what they can do in a few years. Killzone: Shadow Fall must really be seen to be believed.

Multiplayer

“…a really impressive addition to a very enjoyable single player.”

Players of Killzone 3’s mulitplayer may be sad to hear that there’s no jetpacks or exoskeletons in Shadow Fall’s multiplayer but it’s still a really impressive addition to a very enjoyable single player. There are now only 3 classes, Scout, Assault and Support but there is a nice variety of 10 maps with more to be added in the future for no extra cost.

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The multiplayer uses a system where you choose to play from different warzones, created by the developers or the community. While basic ones are available, anyone can create their own with custom rules, putting the warzone up for anyone to view and join. I had really good fun with the multiplayer and seeing as it was a brand new game with brand new maps, it was a nice level playing field for everyone involved.

Conclusion

So in the end, as a launch title and one that is meant to show off the ability of the new PS4 and it’s controller, Killzone: Shadow Fall ticks every single box. The gameplay is fun yet familiar, the addition of the new Dualshock 4 features also add a nice fresh spin on the gameplay mechanics. The story may not be as original as hoped but seeing as it’s an instalment in an already matured franchise, we’ll let them away with it.

Killzone: Shadow Fall is a must have for any self-respecting PS4 fan or owner.

John Reilly

About John Reilly

John is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheEffect.Net. His favourite gaming series is Uncharted and his favourite film is Interstellar. He is also known to quote 'Father Ted' and Keith Lemon more than is normal. John@theeffect.net

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