I’ve owned Killzone 2 for something like 12 months now, and I feel that a review from a long-term perspective is in order. Playing through every aspect of a game really changes how you view the entire thing.
The single-player campaign has a moderate amount of replay value, with enjoyable sequences such as the AA section of the New Sun boarding level interspersed with slow-paced and confusing sequences such as the battles between the antennas in the Tharsis Refinery level.
Gameplay begins to become rote as you replay, with certain weapons being near-useless and others becoming staples. I found myself using the Helgan SMG and the shotgun the most, simply because the SMG was so accurate and the shotgun’s flashlight helped to illuminate the game’s predominantly dark environment.
Taking cover becomes very useful for all but the most complex of environments, as many of the levels have a linear and progressive structure that prevents flanking of your cover. Only on levels like the New Sun can enemies move around you and shoot you from behind.
Online gameplay is slow, with a lengthy connection and game setup sequence for even the system-local bot matches. The online interface is confusing, making evaluating matches for ping and rules difficult. However, once a suitable match is finally found the gameplay is fun and fast-paced, with the starting weapon the most effective for most situations.
This avoids a problem at the core of Modern Warfare 2’s online gameplay in that newer players who didn’t play from launch are quickly beaten down by other players with significantly better weapons. MW1 and Killzone 2 solve this problem and make it easy for newer players to jump in by having reasonably good weapons available at the start, and make wins depend more on skill and less on quick XP farming and spamming.
Killzone 2 is a great game, with flaws and strengths that become apparent over time. I will continue to play this title with gusto, and await a third installment in the Killzone franchise.