PlayStation 4 Launch Titles: Review Round Up - Killzone: Shadow Fall

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Nov 15, 2013 01:40 PM EST
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With the PlayStation 4 now available in the U.S., it's time to examine some of the new console's launch titles, and what better games could there be then some of the platform's exclusive? For you shooter fans looking to go next-gen, read below to see what the assessments are for Killzone: Shadow Fall...

Kotaku, No - "It's no surprise that Shadow Fall is beautiful. The Killzone games that showed up on the PS2 and PS3 offered up some of the best graphics ever seen on those consoles... Yet, for all their tech prowess, Guerilla Games haven't ever really made a title where the storytelling matched the engineering. They try to do that here-with a story that echoes the Cold War-but don't quite get there...Shadow Fall tries very hard to be a cautionary tale about warmongering, the politics of crisis and What's Going On in the World Today... But this game's being aimed squarely at would-be PS4 owners, adults who have lived and played through that kind of revelation in other, better games and entertainments. They're also people who have different FPS games to choose from, even on a system as brand-spanking-new as the PS4. Killzone Shadow Fall succeeds as an example of how amazing a PS4 game can look but feels mysteriously devoid of the secret ingredient that takes games from great-looking to great-feeling."

Polygon, 5/10 - "...with the launch of the PS4, Killzone: Shadow Fall presents the best opportunity for a new beginning for the series. But that opportunity slips from Guerrilla's grasp once again, this time under the weight of a poor campaign without a team to root for...There's some grasping in Killzone: Shadow Fall's premise toward higher social commentary and exploration of real world political drama...Somewhere in all of this, there must have been a story worth telling, and like shafts of light in a ruined building, these bits occasionally shine through. But more often than not, they're buried in muddy shades of grey. Killzone has always flirted and later actively courted an early-20th century sort of nihilism with regards to humanity's predilections to endless, aimless war. Shadow Fall completes that cycle. Despite the beauty of Vekta and the extraordinary technical wizardry on display, the game does its absolute best to paint almost every character as an awful, irredeemable person engaging in an awful, hopeless cycle."

Gamespot, 7/10 - "This is a beautiful setting for a first-person shooter, and a fine showcase for the visual possibilities new consoles introduce. At first you might think that Shadow Fall doesn't represent a giant graphical leap forward, but it isn't displaying the typical shooter's limited spaces...It's too bad that where Killzone 3 packed its maps with exciting action sequences, Shadow Fall's campaign forgot to bring the thrills...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." 

 IGN, 8/10 - "If 2011 was the year Killzone found itself on the ropes, then 2013 is the year the franchise regains its footing. Killzone 3, released a couple of years ago on PlayStation 3, was considered by many to be a low point for the series, but earlier this year, Killzone: Mercenary on PS Vita set it back on the right course, and the PlayStation 4 launch game, Killzone: Shadow Fall, shows us an entirely new side of the franchise...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. There’s never been a better time for everyone to be paying attention to the Killzone franchise, because Shadow Fall is a step in an all-new, very welcome direction."

Destructoid, 9/10 - "For franchise sequels that accompany system launches, it's not uncommon to see the reuse of assets or game engines. We've come to expect a simple turning up of the graphics, if you will. The good stuff? The brand new stuff? That usually comes later. Killzone: Shadow Fall does not follow that pattern. Guerrilla Games went back to the beginning, starting fresh with its first PS4 game. Sometimes a fresh start is the best thing...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."

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