Review: Killzone 2 may not be Sony's Halo-killer, but it sure is pretty

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

The PlayStation 3 receives accolades for its Blu-ray player and works great as a media hub in the family room, but has been sorely in need of solid exclusives. Sony started changing that last year with games like Metal Gear Solid 4 and LittleBigPlanet, and now we finally have the much-anticipated first-person shooter: Killzone 2.

Well, Killzone 2 is not the end-all be-all. It's not the second coming of Halo (or Goldeneye, if that's your standard). It is, however, a capable sci-fi shooter that certainly shows off the PS3's prowess. This is definitely the prettiest-looking game ever played on a console. The level of detail and the cutscenes they've pulled off with the in-game engine are just gorgeous, wowing you at every turn.

The biggest problem here is the pacing. The game starts off slow and gets ridiculously hard in the middle, and then the last three missions are way too simple. There are some great, novel gameplay moments, with wicked weapons like the Bolt Gun (fire an explosive bolt through enemies, then watch it kill an extra couple when it goes boom) and the Electricity Gun (it fires lightning) and even an entire level where you drive a Mech.

The downside is, each of these is only available for one level, leaving you desperately wanting to go back to the awesome. You can of course replay missions after beating them, but it would be fun to make a run through the game using only the Bolt Gun, and you just can't do that here. Couple that with a boss battle that's easier than the fight leading up to it and a final cutscene that resolves almost nothing but screams "SEQUEL!!!" and you have a good game, but not a great one.

Those looking for a good few hours of FPS will definitely find that here. The campaign is short, taking only 6 hours on the first play, but multiplayer extends the fun. The controls are tight, the story is silly, and FPS fans should give this a look for the graphics if nothing else. It may not be Sony's Halo-killer, but killing Helghast is pretty fun, too.