Sony Corp.’s Killzone: Shadow Fall for the Playstation 4 is a standard first-person-shooter that deploys new elements to the franchise but subsequently misfires in both campaign and multiplayer components.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is set thirty years after the events of the Killzone trilogy.
The two rival factions of the Helghast and the Vektans live side by side in a futuristic city divided by a vast wall. Users take control of a Shadow Marshall who must maintain the balance between the two former enemies.
New to Killzone: Shadow Fall is the use of the OWL, a combat drone that can be used to deploy an attack, zip line, shield, or stun enemies. The Dualshock 4 touch screen is well-utilized to allow users to swipe in one of four directions to execute an action. While range attacks are useful, the zip line function is limited, even in the forest level in which a wide-open, multi-tiered terrain is present.
Additional features include the Tactical Echo to x-ray nearby enemies behind walls, and Adrenaline to be revived post death and take down multiple enemies in slow motion.
The single-player campaign deviates from the Killzone franchise with levels that include platform, puzzle, stealth, and exploration requirements in large, empty structures. Poor level structure results in a lot of dead space and awkward platform design, with only an occasional deployment of Helghast soldiers in most battles.
Aim is precise and movement is lighter than prior titles. The Shadow Marshall can climb and grip ledges in close jumps to add dexterity to traditional movement. Weapon variety is solid with an arsenal of assault rifles, cannons, machine guns, and rocket launchers to dispose of enemies.
The AI isn’t as competent as prior entries and are easily outflanked by the OWL drone. Later levels introduce warp snipers, but unique enemies are scarce in the Helghan army.
The multiplayer component is decent with a traditional palette of modes including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, and Supply Drop (Capture the Flag). Multiplayer movement is in opposition to the campaign, slower and bulkier like prior Killzone controls. But the multiplayer component yields a higher frame rate at 60 frames-per-second to provide added aim precision. Matchmaking was quick and network functionality was stable.
The graphics engine is solid in Killzone: Shadow Fall. The campaign at 30 frames-per-second expose light, nature, and NPCs to a modern universe. The multiplayer component at 60 frames-per-second is stable yet less detailed then the campaign engine. The sound engine and voice work are standard.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is a missed shot in the first-person shooter franchise. New platform and exploration elements in empty levels, in addition to a conservative multiplayer component cause the title to lose tension and subsequently the interest of a next-generation soldier.