I'm finally through Killzone 2's campaign, 14 hard-fought hours, 27 grueling minutes, and 22 stressful seconds after starting. I know the game's been taking some bruising for its single-player brevity, but played at the higher difficulty settings, it gives as good as it gets, and feels about average compared to its peers.
Killzone 2 – a PS3-exclusive shooter and one of Sony's most important titles for 2009 – apportions its campaign into 10 levels subdivided into tactical vignettes. I averaged about an hour per level, the exception being the final, where – and this is either indicative of its difficulty or my own ineptness – I expended nearly five.
The game includes collectibles in the form of intel docs (like Resistance 2's, only you can't read these) and "symbols" you have to sleuth for and shoot. I didn't snoop obsessively, and so came away with about half of everything, yielding "70 percent" completion.
My "total enemy body count" was 719, which is actually saying something, since virtually every one of those took time and finesse to achieve. Without spoiling tonight's review, let's just say the bad guys in Killzone 2 are quicker, tougher, and smarter than the average bear…or F.E.A.R. soldier.
Time to eat some humble pie. My "total number of deaths" tallies a humiliating 336, the bulk of which, I exaggerate not, occurred during the final level.
Critical consensus on developer Guerilla Games' original Killzone for PS2 was resoundingly "Meh."
I can say Killzone 2 for the PS3 is definitely not meh, and if you'd like to know why and to what extent, check back here at 12PM EST, when our review goes live.
Matt Peckham's preferred weapon in Killzone 2 is the STA3 Light Machine Gun, narrowly beating the VC5 Electricity Gun (so unfairly snatched away from him). You can follow his twitchy dispatches at twitter.com/game_on.