Killzone  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Killzone  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Guerilla Games shows off their skies in Horizon: Zero Dawn Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:22:47 -0400 Charly Mottet

Games nowadays are becoming more and more realistic, especially open world games. And stunning, beautiful realistic landscapes is what developer Guerrilla Games is aiming for with their new PlayStation 4 exclusive, Horizon: Zero Dawn

During their Siggraph 2015 presentation, the developer released an amazing time lapse video showing off the real-time volumetric cloudscape going on in Horizon: Zero Dawn's sky. They were aiming for a sky with "evolving and realistic results", not only concentrating on the clouds, but on the lighting depending on the time of day as well. Their methods are explained in detail by FX artist Andrew Schneider

Horizon: Zero Dawn is a step up from what Guerilla is used to working with. The Killzone series are what the developer is known for, and FPS games are usually very limited when it comes to maps, restricting gamers to a "predefined track". In this new game, their goal is to allow gamers to "traverse large distances", says Schneider. 

But wait... there's more!

The FX artist took the time to list off key points Guerilla had in mind for their new creation, and everything points to a promising open world game. They promise the ability to travel wherever you want. If you see the tip top of the mountain and decide that's where you want to go, then so be it! That is where you will go. 

"They are used to tell us where we are, when we are, and they can also be used as thematic devices in storytelling."

There will be a "time of day cycle", just like in the real world. The weather will change and evolve, the scenery (mountains, forests, plains, lakes) is described as "epic". But the most important part are the skies, not only filling up half of the screen, but also taking part in the storytelling. 

Guerilla Games is aiming for a 2016 release for Horizon: Zero Dawn, and as a reminder, the game will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive

Nine Things Next-Gen Multiplayer Needs to Succeed Sat, 18 Jul 2015 15:07:14 -0400 Elijah Beahm


Multiplayer has been a part of this industry from the start, and its impact can be felt across the spectrum of platforms we play on. Whether you like online gaming or not, we've come a long way, and have a even further journey ahead to travel. Here's hoping developers choose the right path for online gamers.


Encourage and Grow Your Communities


This last part is something only a few publishers and developers have done really well. For example, 2K Games managed what seemed almost impossible at the time, and bred a longstanding Bioshock 2 multiplayer community. Between offering assets for wikis, and porting the game out of pocket to Steamworks as Games for Windows Live began shutting down, 2K Games did good by their community.


They also repeatedly tried to do right by them in terms of DLC. When it seemed like Minerva's Den might not release, they gave out the Protector Trials for free on PC. When they found out they could port it over still, they did, and they kept the Trials DLC completely free regardless. They also gave Minerva's Den for free to anyone who had bought the original, Games for Windows Live version of the game. On top of that, they made all multiplayer DLC free for everyone, and decreased the grind in the progression system so members of the community could regain their ranks quickly in the new Steamworks version.


This is how you reward a loyal community. You don't treat them like EA did with Dead Space 2, where they never ported any of the DLC, and when it was found some was already on-disc, EA just quietly made a few items and armor sets unlocked for PC users. They never got the Severed DLC campaign (which reportedly never got past pre-Alpha on PC before being cancelled on that platform), nor did they get any of the multiplayer patches.


Publishers and developers both need to learn from these and other examples, and understand that you don't survive through game sales alone. You need that community who will stick it out years from now. Bioshock 2 is thriving and active on PC after five years. By contrast, no one is playing Dead Space 2 on PC anymore. Consider that fact.


Scoreboards Don't Count as Multiplayer


I would think this would go without saying, but judging by the number of games that have tried to use this as a placeholder for real multiplayer, it apparently does not. A scoreboard is fine on its own, but it does not make for great multiplayer. Most people don't care, and often times those who do are more interested in kill/death ratios in Call of Duty than how many Animus Fragments they've found in Assassin's Creed. Let's stop using this as a crutch.


We Need More User Generated Content


For a long time, it seemed like modifications were on the way out. Very few games supported mods during the last generation, save for a handful of shooters, and a number of strategy and RPG titles. That is changing though, thanks to a rebound in the focus on user generated content. Even if a game is a completely solo experience, you can play levels or experience new content made by other gamers.


User generated content is the lifeblood of many older games. Tron 2.0 and Skyrim both got fan expansion packs in the past three years, well after their publishers had moved on. Mods are free DLC that developers don't have to spend a dime on. Whether or not you think mods should be commercially released is another debate, but you can't deny the popularity of modding. Some developers even use mods as ways of finding the best new talent to hire for their next project.


As development tools become more user-friendly, and in-game toolsets get more powerful, it stands to reason that user generated content needs to be taken more seriously as a means of online content.




Let Cooperative and Competitive Multiplayer Blur


The fact cooperative and competitive multiplayer are beginning to blur is a great sign, but there are only a few games that have toyed with this. Dark Souls, DayZ and Watch_Dogs remain the only notable examples, and even this early on, they show promise. Dark Souls in particular has caused many anti-multiplayer gamers to reconsider their stance on the issue, because it put it in a new context.


Taking competitive play out of instanced matches and making it more like a boss fight puts it in clearer context for those who don't regularly go out and play Domination or Capture the Flag. With the addition of cooperative players helping each side during conflicts, Dark Souls lets the players define the battlefield.


Watch_Dogs took this a different direction by empowering players with a variety of play styles. Maybe you go and spy on someone or hack their phone in a one on one battle. If you prefer racing, you could take on mobile device users or enter street races. If you like team battles, those are available too. They aren't carted off in some alternate landscape, but instead are present in your game, and have tangible rewards for both offline and online play.


As we step forward, these types of integrated multiplayer could even tie into grander mechanics. Imagine a world where the Dark Souls invasion system and the Shadow of Mordor nemesis system are combined. The potential is tantalizing, to say the least.


Think Outside the Box For What Genres Can Have Multiplayer


A year doesn't go by when I don't hear someone say "[game] doesn't need multiplayer!" Except, did you ever ask yourself what kind of multiplayer that would be like? The XCOM: Enemy Unknown team asked themselves that, and what resulted is a surprisingly popular turn-based RPG style multiplayer that even got a wealth of new maps in the expansion pack Enemy Within.


The same happened with Mass Effect 3, and later Dragon Age: Inquisition. Perhaps its time we stop saying something shouldn't be done, and start more regularly asking "can this be done, and will it be fun?" Not only does this open the door to new multiplayer games, but it lets mechanics be handled in new ways. Assassin's Creed: Rogue's detection system wouldn't exist without Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood's multiplayer, and similar examples exist across many franchises.


So let's really push the envelope and see what works. If it fails, then go back to the drawing board; but if it succeeds, then help it grow.


Truly Dynamic Levels


Letting us level one building in Battlefield 4 was impressive back on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Now though, with the hardware available to developers, we should be seeing a lot more dynamic elements in levels, and not just in shooters. If anything, more games need to look to some of Sony's more recent games for inspiration.


Take the airstrip level in Uncharted 3. When the level opens, one team is a plane that is preparing to take off. Meanwhile, the other team is on a set of moving trucks, chasing after it, guns blazing. This leads to some hilarious and awesome moments that only happen because of the players and the level both being equal participants.


Similarly, PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royal built itself around levels that would blend between two games. One minute you're in Pappa Rappa, but within minutes, Killzone invades with giant mechs firing on players. Every level did this, and would significantly impact the approach players would take to battles. That isn't even counting smaller dynamic elements players could use to their advantage, like setting off traps or knocking opponents into hazards.


We need more levels like this. While making a level flood or have half of the map become full of poison gas might seem impressive to some players, we could do so much more. Destiny's raids have randomized, dynamic elements as much as they do scripted ones. Syndicate had different enemy spawns and behavior based on difficulty levels. These are the sorts of things we should aspire to in future multiplayer titles.


Understand What We Want From Online Co-op


When I reviewed Sunset Overdrive, the game had an excellent open world that was begging for two player campaign co-op. Instead, it had one of the blandest eight player horde modes ever created. Too many games just tack on online cooperative multiplayer without any consideration of what the mode needs. This weird misunderstanding of what we want in co-op is increasing in frequency, as more and more cooperative games are made.


First off, we want to play together with like-minded players. This really is what developers should consider first when going forward. Halo: Reach had one of the best matchmaking filters by asking you several general but important questions about how you liked to play Halo This helped like minded gamers to team up easily.


This should be a default feature in co-op, especially when the co-op is in the main story campaign. If someone is just there for the action, then pair them up with other people there for action. If someone cares about the story, get equally considerate players on board with them.


We also need goals worth playing for. The point of cooperative multiplayer is that you are working together, towards some end. This is why co-op in campaigns works so well, and why standalone co-op modes that are barely connected with the main game fall apart. Some games like Halo 5: Guardians have been making strides to close the gap and integrate co-op into their stories, but we still have a lot further to go.


Still, making players work for a narrative goal might get them through once or twice, but we need consistent, enjoyable reasons to bring friends along. We need new tactical options to open up in cooperative shooters. We need new dialogue choices in cooperative RPGs. We need incentive to play in co-op that offers a different experience, without cutting players out of every option. The benefits should be realistic to the player count.


Online co-op has been evolving at a fast rate, ever since Halo 3 and Borderlands popularized it. Hopefully that means these growing pains can be passed through just as quickly.










More Content, Not Bigger Battles


This is another thing that has continually been happening, and is a big issue for multiplayer. Sony was able to get over two hundred players playing together in its game MAG. It was also so dry and visually bland a game that it could have been a PlayStation 2 title in pre-Alpha.


Some developers have caught on to the idea that more content is better than grander scale, but still are struggling with it. Titanfall offered over twenty maps at launch, and released a bunch of free content updates, but also tried to charge ten dollars for three packs of three new maps. This was a terrible idea, and the game benefitted greatly by just letting everyone have the new maps for free.


This shouldn't even be news to developers. For years older games like No One Lives Forever and Unreal Tournament offered free map packs and new game modes as updates, not something you had to pay the right to use. Splintering communities with pay walls is one of the worst things you could do in multiplayer.


If developers want to charge for something, then they should actually take a note from Batman: Arkham Origins and charge for new gear, or better yet, Battlefield 4's shortcuts. I know what you're thinking "but that stuff is the worst!" except, it really isn't. Think about it.


Consider a world where all content updates are free, so you continually have more and more game to play. Except, since publishers will still want to make something off of the game, they offer new players the ability to catch up in the progression system. They'll still be new to the game and unsure of what gear to use, meaning balance is maintained. All the meanwhile, you've got a consistent stream of new modes and maps to play on.


As compromises go, this one pays off way more for the core player base than the current model. It'd be awesome if we could just get the content for free, but not all publishers and developers will go for that approach. Still, anything that takes us out of the age of Sanctum and Call of Duty-style paid for DLC is a welcome move towards benefiting the player base.




Local Co-op


Yes, this is still a thing, contrary to so many games dropping support for it. Whether it's a desperate bid to optimize (like Halo 5: Guardians) or just cut due to rushed schedule (like Killzone: Shadow Fall), local co-op has been getting the short end of the stick between now and the end years of last-gen. That needs to stop.


We need local co-op games, and not just 2D games and indie titles. Halo was born on local multiplayer matches, and Star Wars: Battlefront let console gamers play together online without a hitch. Friends could play games together both online and offline, but more and more that feature is excluded, and it hurts consoles in general.


The more games you can play alongside a friend and enjoy, the more you'd want to have them on your own. It's just not the same experience, swapping the controller back and forth. Yes, you might have over a hundred players on a massive battlefield with AI opponents and amazing scripted moments, but you're failing the oldest mode of multiplayer in existence. Give us a reason to buy a second Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller.


Multiplayer has gone from the only means of play, to a standby feature, and somehow made a huge jump back into "novelty" territory before finally getting its footing again. In the modern gaming era, multiplayer is a huge money maker across consoles, mobile, and PC. Yet, despite years of innovations and experience, the industry seems to have forgotten or failed to realize several things multiplayer gaming needs to really do well.

5 All-New IPs from E3 2015 Everyone Should Know About Fri, 19 Jun 2015 09:29:12 -0400 Bryan C. Tan


Arguably the biggest surprise at EA's E3 press conference, Unravel is a physics-based puzzle platformer from Swedish developer Coldwood. The small team of 14 people has created a story not told through words, but through its tiny main character, Yarny.


Yarny is made from a single thread of yarn that slowly unravels as he moves through levels based on lush, natural environments from Northern Scandinavia. The thread can be used to swing across a tree gap, attach to a flying kite, and even row a boat.


Vastly unique from any other EA game, Unravel is about reconnecting the memories of a long lost family, and soon on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, we'll able to tie everything together as the lovable Yarny.

For Honor

After some development material was leaked last month, Ubisoft's newest IP was finally revealed at their E3 press conference as For Honor, an action game apparently in a genre of its own.


Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, For Honor pits The Legions (Knights), The Warborn (Vikings), and The Chosen (Samurai) against each other in all-out medieval warfare. Skill, strategy, and team play are mixed together with visceral melee combat for a fast-paced competitive experience.


Players play as customizable warriors with distinct skills and weapons to capture control points and slaughter enemies using For Honor's innovative control system, the Art of Battle, which allows players to adapt to any fighter with a fast action-reaction technique.


Ubisoft's undertaking of an all-new genre is certainly refreshing, but only time will tell if their innovation is a success when it releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in the near future.


Not to be outdone, Microsoft's E3 press conference had its own robot game up its sleeve: ReCore, an action-adventure game where robotic foes control the planet and robot companions are mankind's only hope at survival. 


Developed by creator Keiji Inafune of Mega-Man and Dead Rising fame alongside the makers of Metroid Prime at Armature Studio, ReCore puts players in the shoes of one of the last remaining humans on the planet, where players progress by forging friendships with and utilizing the unique abilities and powers of a group of charming robot companions. 


In ReCore, robots are on both sides of good and evil, and us humans can use that to our advantage in the Xbox One exclusive as early as Spring 2016.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

First announced at Sony's E3 press conference, Horizon: Zero Dawn is a brand-new third-person action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic open world. Robot dinosaurs are back to rule the roost on Earth, while mankind has gone back to its tribal roots.


As female protagonist Aloy, players can use stealth, melee, or ranged combat to take down the machines. Players may also craft weapons, ammunition, traps, and tools using natural materials and machine parts.


Beautiful environments present a breathtaking new take on a world where civilization is in ruins. Developer Guerilla Games, creators of Killzone, is on its way to striking gold with its first-ever RPG.


PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is scheduled for a 2016 release.


Although it was first seen at E3 2014Cuphead had another go at the spotlight at Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference, and it is safe to say it took a lot of it. The popularity of Cuphead has skyrocketed despite its very short appearance in Microsoft's Xbox montage, and understandably so.


Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game with a focus on boss battles. Players can acquire new weapons, gain powers, and discover hidden secrets as they traverse the world in single-player or co-op mode. Fast action shoot 'em up stages with blazing fighter planes are also included.


The two main characters, brothers Cuphead and Mugman, as well as everything else in Cuphead, are hand-drawn and hand-inked using traditional cel animation and watercolor backgrounds by developer Studio MDHR. Add in the original jazz recordings, and we quite literally have a masterpiece on our hands.


Apart from being a complete nostalgic throwback to fond childhood memories, Cuphead is also an intense and challenging action game that will definitely kick ass when it hits Xbox One and Steam in 2016.


It's the end of the week, and another E3 is finally in the books.


Big games such as Dishonored 2Gears of War 4, and Final Fantasy VII Remake were announced at E3 2015, making millions of people drool with all the excitement.


But while these well-established franchises are getting long-anticipated updates, there are those that want something new, fresh, and never-before-seen.


These five all-new IPs managed to fulfill that desire, as they surprised us all at E3, and may be making us more excited than any sequel, prequel, or spin-off.

Let's Reboot: Killzone Tue, 17 Mar 2015 09:33:10 -0400 Elijah Beahm

We live in an age of reboots and re-imaginings. From total reboots like 2013's Tomb Raider to soft reboots like Assassin's Creed: Unity, we see a lot of new trends in old ideas. 

While some games seem fine as they were, a few could benefit from a tune-up. We're going to try and dream up the best, most ideal reboots possible. Today, let's reboot a series that soft-reboots itself every entry: Killzone.

Killzone (Soft Reboot)

Killzone is a franchise fraught with a confusing history, so we should bear that in mind while reimagining it. The game started out as a middling, buggy new IP on the PlayStation 2 when online multiplayer was rising in popularity. Supposedly a "Halo Killer," the series instead nearly killed itself between the first entry in the series and a lackluster PSP spin-off.

Killzone 2 released, but was more a tech demo than anything else and dropped several key mechanics. Killzone 3 finally got the series on a great standing, but then Killzone: Mercenary and Killzone: Shadow Fall proved middling for the PS Vita and PS4 respectively, despite both trying to innovate on the core formula. So where do we go from here? (Spoilers ahead for Killzone: Shadow Fall)

Metal... Gear?

So, during Killzone: Shadow Fall, we finally see the lines of good and evil addressed. Despite the series always starring a Vektan (see: human) protagonist, the gruffer Helghast are actually the faction that has been repeatedly wronged.

They wanted to be independent; the Vektans shut them down and sent them decades back technologically. The Helghast rebel and try to repay the pain thrown upon them; they get put down. It wasn't until they invaded Vekta in a lightning strike that they ever even took an antagonistic approach to things, and it still was a response to how the Vektans treated them.

..Especially this fellow, but we'll talk about him another day.

Now, bearing all that was said in mind, there's another wrinkle that needs to be noted. Almost every entry in the Killzone franchise has, in one way or another, toyed with the idea of including stealth mechanics in both online and offline modes. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, but it has clearly been something Guerrilla Games wanted to tackle in full. This is where the opportunity to redefine Killzone arises.

You see, at the end of Killzone: Shadow Fall, the main character Lucas Kellan is betrayed and killed. Control swaps to one of the Helghast who was assisting him, a sniper named Echo. Together they had discovered that the ISA has gotten to the point of considering bio-weapon induced genocide to eradicate her people. She sets her sights on killing the man who betrayed Lucas and aims to still use this bio-weapon the ISA was cooking up.

This leads to an epilogue mission where we see what could easily be the next step in Killzone's evolution. In only one mission, we see the series transform from a first person cover-based shooter, to a stealth game in the vein of Dishonored and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Everything about Killzone's mechanics supports a transition to a stealth game.

The first person cover system is perfect for a "lean and peak" system like in Dishonored. There are tons of sci-fi gadgets to whip out and use. The setting offered by the end of Shadow Fall is great for a political conspiracy and Metal Gear-esque weapons of destruction. Echo could work great as a new protagonist, and the overheard Helghast advisors could offer some greater characterization of her people and their culture.

The movement system in Shadow Fall allows for a relatively free range of motion. The level design of Mercenary proved that Guerrilla Games can do a lot of branching paths in a small space, meaning we could see a variety of approaches to every mission. Objectives could be just as varied, from covert infiltration and escorting from afar, to recon and retrieval missions. Some missions could even have side-objectives to complete for extra rewards.

The gameplay loop would be a mixture of exploration, brief (and rapid pace) shootouts when discovered, and using Echo's sniper rifle for long-distance targets. We can use a hybrid of Crysis 3, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Killzone 2 for how you carry weapons and gear:

You should be able to carry your sniper rifle and pistol with you at all times, but only one additional weapon can be carried. To compensate for this, your pistol can have alternate 'loud' firing modes to serve as a mini-shotgun, SMG, semi-auto or revolver (all pistols the series has used in the past).

Your gear would vary from invisibility to robot drones to holographic decoys. The key thing is that certain abilities will go into each slot. For example, decoys and invisibility would go in the same single slot, preventing you from using both at the same time.

This system has already worked for Killzone in the past with its multiplayer.

The swipe-command system from Shadow Fall gives us four abilities/gear pieces to bring along. So we could have a drone slot, a core ability slot, a grenade/mine/throwable slot, and a wildcard slot for rarely used game changer abilities. This goes on top of bringing back the grappling hook and other traversal abilities from Shadow Fall.

Above all else, a stealth focused Killzone needs its levels to be tight yet expansive. Part of what makes the Killzone gameplay great is its claustrophobia and isolating environments.

While a few environments may allow for more open-ended levels (such as a winter or forest setting), the majority will instead rely on branching paths depending on your gadgets and abilities. Slipping through grates, creeping through side rooms, and disabling security systems will be key to staying alive.

If we really want to stretch it, some random generation akin to Warframe's levels could sell the replay value, but that would be a significant programming feat.

Between missions, you can have a home base where you can relax and upgrade your gear, play tutorials, and practice with your firearms. Taking note again from Splinter Cell: Blacklist; from this base, you can choose your next mission and interact with other modes of play. For instance, VR Challenge missions on top of regular tutorial missions.

On the online front there could be regular multiplayer action and stealth focused modes, and maybe some hybrids akin to Spies Vs. Mercenaries. With the customizable Warzone multiplayer in Shadow Fall already sporting similar modes, it's just another aspect that easily makes the transition.

Much like Dark Void, Killzone isn't a franchise that needs to totally forget what it was to become the best it could be. However, the shift in genre is something I feel would benefit the franchise greatly. With so many aspects already proven to work in various entries in the series, all Guerrilla Games and Sony need to do is combine them into a cohesive whole. Then, finally, Helghan can see justice.

Do you like the idea of a Killzone stealth game? Do you feel the franchise should go in a different direction? Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments, and let me know what games you'd like to see get a reboot in the future!

5 Cocktails for the Drinking Gamer Sun, 01 Feb 2015 17:40:19 -0500 Akeem Favor


Inspiration: Destiny 


Cristina Viseu creates some great gaming and geek-inspired creations and this cocktail is one of them. 

A simple combination of tonic water, blackberry syrup, curacao, and gin, this beauty glows under black lights. 


Inspiration: Killzone 2


The drink, entitled Tears of the Helghast, was created by Games Radar as part of a special article and tested by Veronica Belmont. Yes, the same Belmont that was the former host of Qore.

So what's in this blood-red drink? Coffee liqueur, Creme de Noyaux, cream, and a lot of cherries. 


Inspiration: Mega Man X Series


The Z-Saber is the iconic energy sword of Zero, one of the main characters of the Mega Man X series. 


The drink, created by Mitch Hutts of The Drunken Moogle, combines vodka, gin, white tequila, triple sec, melon liqueur, and lemon-lime soda into a creation as dangerous as its namesake. 


Inspiration: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 


Chateau Romani, created by EXP Bar Online, is made from amaretto, Frangelico, Wild Turkey American Honey, and milk. 


Guaranteed to give you three days of magic or double your rupees back.  


Inspiration: Portal 2 


This unique pairing of drinks, called Portal Two, was created by Loading, a video game bar based in the UK. The first cocktail consists of rum, Orangina, and Cointreau. The second is a mix of blue curacao, lemonade, and vodka.

Why Do People Think Guerrilla Can Make a Great RPG? Fri, 09 May 2014 10:14:02 -0400 Fathoms_4209

For the record, I'm a fan of both shooters and role-playing games.

I love the Killzone franchise, even if I think Shadow Fall fell a little shy. I also love my RPGs. Obviously, I play both genres for very different reasons, as you might expect.

Furthermore, I have great faith in the talent of Guerrilla Games and I'm all for studios branching out and trying new things. I'm saying all this because I don't want people to get the wrong idea: I'm not against the idea of developers embracing variety, nor do I heavily dislike either shooters or RPGs.

And yet, I'm wondering why everyone I come across seems to believe Guerrilla can create an amazing RPG. I hope they can but what evidence do we have that they will?

Me, I like a good story in my RPGs.

And because of that, I'm worried that we won't get a top-tier role-playing experience from Guerrilla. Thing is, while the campaigns were always great, the stories were hardly RPG-quality in my eyes. The dialogue and writing in Shadow Fall was especially unimpressive, and you really can't get away with that in an RPG. Even with the open-world RPGs like The Elder Scrolls, where the narrative doesn't take center-stage, there's still a ton of written lore, and the dialogue sequences are often quite intricate.

This is really not Guerrilla's strong suit. Perhaps they went out and hired different people specifically for this new project (and I hope they did) but based on what we've seen, there's no reason to think they can produce a quality role-playing script. That's one problem.

It's great to have talent but some talent is specified and as such... limited.

I'm not saying Guerrilla can't do it; I'm just saying there's nothing that says they can. There's the old adage, "everyone is good at something, but nobody is good at everything." That applies here. Just because you can create a great FPS doesn't automatically mean you have the requisite skill to produce a top-notch RPG. There aren't many similarities between the two, unless you're going for a Bioshock-like experience, which is a FPS/RPG blend. The argument as to what Bioshock actually is continues to rage; I won't get in the middle of that.

The point is this: you can't just say "talent is talent." In the artistic world, the artists tend to have a speciality, or a forte. Just because you can write a great sci-fi novel doesn't mean you can write a great literary novel. Just because you can direct an awesome action movie doesn't mean you can direct an award-winning drama. If you take this into consideration, and you examine Guerrilla's limited body of work, I think it makes sense to have reservations.

Oh, but I still want a fantastic PS4 exclusive RPG

Despite all this, I have to admit that I'd love to see a PS4 exclusive RPG created by one of Sony's internal studios. I can't think of one since Legend of Dragoon on the PS1, can you? I'm probably missing something in there, but I still like the idea of an exclusive, Western-developed RPG for Sony's new console. Sure, we'll still get those niche JRPGs that will likely be exclusive to the PS4, but the western stuff is always multiplatform.

All in all, I do want it to happen. I just think we shouldn't jump the gun.

Stepping Inside Shadow Fall: A Review To Kill For Sun, 02 Mar 2014 00:17:01 -0500 Delta Squad Reaper

Killzone Shadow Fall is the 6th installment into the PlayStation exclusive franchise, Killzone, but is the fourth title for home consoles.  Killzone Shadow Fall takes place 30 years after the events taking place in Killzone 3. 

You take the role of Lucas Kellen, a Shadow Marshal sworn to protect his people from the Helghast who now co-inhabit their precious Vekta. I was a huge Killzone fan since the PlayStation 2 release of the first title, and I was not expecting to be disappointed by Shadow Fall--and I was not.

This is by far the most beautiful game I have played so far on Next Gen. Being able to sense nearby enemies is one of the most helpful tools you can use when playing the game.

Also, having the OWL (a high-tech hovering attack droid) by my side was more than useful and let's be honest, pretty kick ass. When on a high ledge you can use the OWL to create a rope to rappel down safely which I had so much fun with. Many mainstay weapons from past Killzone entries have made their return including:

  1. M82 Assault Rifle (Pictured below)
  2. stA-52 Assault Rifle (pictured below)
  3. stA-18 pistol (pictured below) 

One of the new weapons featured in the game that I used more than others is the M55 Rumbler Assault Rifle (4th gen upgrade from the M82 used by the ISA; pictured below):

My experience with Shadow Fall was beyond excellent; its story is exciting. Although, what I do not like is the shying away from giving infinite ammo to your secondary weapon. That being a not-so-big-deal situation, it did not take away from my delight with the game. With PlayStation Plus being the only viable option to play the multiplayer component, the game does have the bot zone returning from Killzone 3 for anyone wanting to just hang back and kill bots all day. 

When using the OWL in the game, I often used it less than I should have. When I did, I used it for defense instead of adding firepower as I didn't want to risk losing the droid when I needed it most. The OWL can also revive you when downed, as long as you have health packs. If you stray too far from the OWL (pictured below) when downed, or are cornered too much, the OWL will not be able to do such a thing. 

Shadow Fall also put the Dual Shock 4 controller's touch pad to good use when issuing commands to the droid. The game takes a few twists and turns and is never truly a constant. This game itself has inspired me to create both a Helghan soldier and Shadow Marshal cosplay. Lucas Kellen makes you feel like a stealthy ninja and when you want to go all guns blazing, and he makes you feel like a badass that even Rambo would fear.

This game, if adding the Oculus to it, would make for a pretty interesting experience; an experience I would love to take part in. If you asked me to recommend this game, I would smile and give you an answer of, "Hell yeah!" This game is a contender for my "Top 20 best of 2013" list. If you haven't played this installment, I highly recommend that you pick this game up and enjoy the great gameplay and beautiful graphics sure do add onto the experience. 


  • Beautiful graphics
  • Great gameplay
  • Compelling story
  • Bot mode
  • Stable weapons
  • Useful touchpad 
  • Easy-to-use controller mechanics
  • Great AI


  • Graphics seemed distracting at times (Very few times)
  • Secondary ammo is no longer infinite unlike previous Killzone entries
  • You cannot carry more than two health packs at a time

In closing, this game is beautiful as it is enriching with a great story, even if it has the few cons I felt it had, it is still a must buy. Therefore, it receives a 9 out of 10.

Killzone Offline Botzone Setup Guide Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:28:30 -0500 Amanda Wallace

There are three main game types for the PS4 Exclusive Killzone: Shadow Fall; campaign, Botzone and multiplayer. There are walk-through and guides for the campaign here, but this page is all about the Botzone mode. 

Botzone mode allows you to play on a variety of different maps, with different modes, against and with several AI characters. Set up is a few simple steps, starting in the main menu of the game. 

Select Your Bots and Maps

First you're going to select Offline Botzone (the blue highlighted tab on the far left side of the screen). Botzone is not online multiplayer, and you play it with other bots, not your friends. 

This will take you to the next screen, which as the prompt "bot count." This will allow you to select the amount of bots that you would like to play with, as well as their difficulty. The AI is pretty wily, and people at PAX that played a version of Botzone did not realize they were playing bots until they were told, so keep that in mind when you are selecting their difficulty. 

You can choose up to 11 bots to play with and the difficulty ranging from easy to hard. 

This is the section where you select the amount of maps that you want to add to your Warzone. You can select one, or you can have the map cycle through several, like the Factory and the Park. There are 10 included maps. 

Mission Selection

This is where you can add missions to the Warzone. There are several different mission types, from classic Team Deathmatch to a Killzone: Shadow Fall exclusive Capture and Connect. 

 The mission types for Killzone: Shadow Fall Warzones are: 

  • Team Deathmatch
  • Beacon Retrieval
  • Beacon Theft
  • Beacon Safeguard
  • Capture and Hold
  • Capture and Connect
  • Capture and Move
  • Search and Destroy

A lot of these are pretty basic modes standard to any online FPS multiplayer but there are a few that are specific to the Killzone franchise and Shadow Fall in particular. I'll be going into more detail on the mission types in later guides. 


There are three classes in Offline Botzone. In this screen you can enable, disable and set a specific faction to a certain class. If you wanted all Helgan's to be Support class, or felt that Scout was way too overpowered, you could try the game like that. 

The three classes are: 

  • Scout
  • Assault
  • Support

Like any online multiplayer game (this is an offline component, but still) you probably want a little of each class so that you can have a balanced game. 

Weapons, Abilities and Settings

This section will probably need a whole other post to go over all the intricacies of weapons, specializations and abilities. 

The weapons sections allows you to look over the different types of weapons each class can carry, and will go into the specifics on each weapon. The Abilities screen will do much the same, but with the specific abilities you can enable for each class. 

Above are the abilities for the Scout, including Tactical Echo, Cloak, Emergency Teleport, and Stun Drone. You can toggle these abilities on or off depending on your preferences. 

The Settings section is just your standard settings for a multiplayer arena. You can control with faction you spawn on, whether to have friendly fire or not, and more. Want a harder game? Turn off health regeneration. Does your heart lie with Helghast? Make it so you always spawn against the Vektan. 

Once you've made all of your selections, simply hit triangle to start the Botzone. 

Any questions about Botzone? Feel free to ask in the comments below. 

You can find all of my Killzone: Shadow Fall Guides and Walkthroughs here

Killzone: Shadow Fall is Beautiful, But Empty Tue, 26 Nov 2013 16:39:20 -0500 Amanda Wallace

Last week, I gave my first impressions of Killzone: Shadow Fall, and many of those iniital feelings still hold. If you're looking for a game to really explore all that the PS4 has to offer, then this is definitely the game for you. 

However, while the game has all the bells and whistles of a technical demo, it also has the soul of one. It's more than obvious how shallow the game is, in part because of its attempts to reach towards serious subject matter and because of how far it excels technically. 


Killzone: Shadow Fall is the beauty queen the trailers make it out as. Whether you're looking out over luxurious forests or a futuristic city, neon sci-fi slums or a decaying metropolis, the game delivers on its visual promise. 

Every second is so carefully and beautifully rendered that it's hard not to get lost in the game. The Vektan and Helghast worlds are so cleverly created that you can tell they were designed by completely different species, with completely different aesthetics, and yet they still belong in the same universe. 

At first I had serious issues with levels in the dark, especially in Chapter 3. When I turned off the lights in my house, I gained a new appreciation for the subtlety in the design of the level and the overall appearance. 

Character models are where this technical prowess falls apart, as the differences between your allies and your enemies is incredibly slight. During multi-player matches and fights where you have allies, this is frustrating. It might have  been an intentional decision on the part of the developers to point out that the Helghast and the Vektan aren't really all that different from each other, but when it comes to practical play, a little more variation would have been helpful. 

Level Design

Level design was easily the most frustrating aspect of playing Killzone: Shadow Fall. The attractiveness of the levels was clearly placed over their playability. Getting lost was about as common as something breaking under your feet in Uncharted 3, and became a frustrating companion for the entirety of the game. 

There was also a late game segment involving falling from the atmosphere through an array of collapsing buildings that would easily rank in the Top 10 Worst Video Game Experiences of all time. My boyfriend and I would switch off between attempting to navigate the falling debris, and it took far longer than a dramatic sequence should ever take. Controlling your falling body was complicated and the controls were slow, but what really  made the scene unbearable was that there was no clear sign of where you were supposed to go. It did look fantastic, but it was virtually unplayable. 

Combat Gameplay 

As someone who is relatively new to first person shooters, I found the combat intuitive and easy to play. There is a sequence where, if you play your cards right, you can zipline across a river and then shank someone in the back of the throat. It's viscerally exciting and appeals to the part of your brain that really wants to be an action star. 

 A semi-complaint would be that the melee attack is incredibly over-powered. Once you figure that out, you can breeze through most of the combat sequences without much of a care. Even shielded enemies are no match a knife in their throat. When you rely solely on the melee attack, however, it can become a bit rote since there are only so many animations Guerilla Games put in for the melee. 

The OWL I would consider to be an incredibly deft addition to gameplay. By the final sequences, I used that little robot buddy probably more than my pistol, and though some of his functions (shield) I never bothered with, others were extremely helpful as I stunned and shot my way through level after level. 

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Another complaint I had was that the difficulty ramped up suddenly in a few of the final sections with a boss fight. The inclusion of suddenly invincible opponents was unexpected and hair-pulling, especially since they were often paired with the ankle-biter of the Killzone universe: the spider mine. There is probably nothing in Killzone I hate as much as the spider mine. 

Non-Combat Gameplay

Non-combat was the weakest segment of Killzone. "Puzzle" sections that were banal and simply involved crossing the map while holding an object were bizarre and poorly designed. 

I am supposedly a badass space soldier with an awesome robot companion, but in order to open this glass door I need to find this coil thing and put it in the hole? And I'll have to cross the whole level to do it? I'd really rather not. 

Falling, as mentioned in the level design section, was an occasional mechanic and was difficult and unintuitive. Sections involving gravity were a good way for me to figure out how durable the PS4 controller would be when encountering drywall. 

The first Zero-G experience was probably the best, and it honestly felt very spacey and appropriate. 


If you're coming to a Killzone game expecting a top-notch story, then you're barking up the wrong tree. Shadow Fall seems to exist in a world solely of science fiction tropes and Cold War allusions. 

Your character is pretty much a blank slate. Sure Lucas Kellan talks, but if he was a silent protagonist, I would not have noticed. He's a bland meat head who was given an attempt at a deep back story that was never touched on again. Other characters motivations are slim or confusing. 

Because it's so hard to get attached to wooden characters, the drama comes across as rather silly. Two worlds are supposedly at war and the extinction of the species is imminent and the emotional connection is nonexistent. 


At around 10 hours, Killzone: Shadow Fall certainly didn't over stay its welcome. With polished combat and stunning visuals, it sets itself apart in a sea of grey-brown shooters. It is the epitome of next generation technology. Unfortunately it is bogged down by an expected story, poor level design and frustrating non-combat sequences. 

With all of that, if you have a PS4, I would strongly recommend purchasing Killzone: Shadow Fall. It's a great way to experience everything your Playstation has to offer. 

Killzone Guides Wed, 20 Nov 2013 04:09:51 -0500 Amanda Wallace

This is a complete list of guides I have written for the PS4 exclusive release Killzone: Shadow Fall. If you have any ideas or requests for future guides, please leave a note in the comments below. 

This is an ongoing list and will be added to as more content is written. 

Walk Throughs
Offline Botzone

Again, this list is ongoing. Feel free to suggest future Killzone: Shadow Fall Guides in the comments below. 

Call of Duty: Ghosts Leading the Pack In PS4 Launch Sales Mon, 18 Nov 2013 23:11:11 -0500 Raven Hathcock

As the PlayStation 4 hit the stores on Friday in North America, the console broke records selling 984,212 units in the US week one, according to VGChartz. Game sales were equally impressive during week one. 2,417,516 games were sold in the first two days in the US.

That means for everyone PS4 sold, buyers also picked up 2.46 games. One of those games was probably Call of Duty: Ghosts. The title, developed by Infinity Ward, sold 703,638 copies during week one. According to VGChartz, that would add up to a 71 percent attach rate.

Battlefield 4 comes in second with only 396,187 sales, which puts them at a 40 percent attach rate. The PS4 exclusive, Killzone: Shadow Fall had 355,148 units sold. This made Killzone the top-selling exclusive in week one. The other PS4 launch exclusive, Knack, sold 102,749 units.

For a better perspective on total sales, here is the 15 top-selling PS4 launch titles;

1. Call of Duty: Ghosts - 703,638
2. Battlefield 4 - 396,187
3. Killzone: Shadow Fall - 355,148
4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - 345,176
5. Madden NFL 25 - 133,176
6. NBA 2K14 - 111,674
7. Knack - 102,749
8. Need for Speed Rivals - 94,157
9. FIFA Soccer 14 - 77,914
10. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes - 32,188
11. NBA Live 14 - 21,652
12. Skylanders SWAP Force - 18,681
13. Just Dance 2014 - 17,569
14. Injustice: Gods Among Us - 5,143
15. Angry Birds Star Wars - 2,274

Do any of these sales really surprise you? Do you think the Xbox One is going to see similar results?

First Impressions of Killzone: Shadow Fall Sun, 17 Nov 2013 04:40:48 -0500 Amanda Wallace

I'm a little over halfway through Killzone: Shadow Fall's (so about 7-8 hours) single-player campaign and it is already looking like a must buy for the fledgling console. These are my first impressions of Killzone: Shadow Fall. 

It's the prettiest game I've ever seen

While it's not pretty in the My Little Pony sense, one of the primary things that stands out with Killzone: Shadow Fall is how frankly breathtaking it is. From temperate forests to Blade Runner-esque slums, Killzone makes the most of the next-gen consoles power. Simply put, the game is beautiful. 

A standard in the first person shooter genre seems to be a grey-brown aesthetic. Blue/green if you get into a game like HaloKillzone eschews this tradition for cyber-punk fluorescents, living and green forests, and vibrant blue cities. A friend came in and watched me play Killzone and said, "That looks like a lovely forest to have a picnic in." And it is. It makes it all the more believable that this would be land worth fighting for. 

I've played Killzone on three different televisions today, and  it popped on all of them. The PS4 tech is at its highest showmanship with Killzone

It really utilizes all of the hardware

While I'm sure Killzone takes into account all of the specs of the new console, I'm talking less about the processing power, etc and more about the way the game has made me use all of the features the PS4 has to offer. It feels like Killzone: Shadow Fall was designed to display the Playstation to it's fullest. Want to remote play? It does that. Did you know that the PS4 controller has speakers in it? You will when you find audio logs that burst to life, crackling in your hands. The colors on the back of your controller change depending on the amount of life you have, and your robot companion (the OWL), is controlled through the touchpad. 

Through Killzone, I've had the chance to experience every new features the PS4 has to offer, including one that Guerilla Games talked about last month: the "PlayGo" system that allows you to play the game as you download. Much like advertised, I was able to play Shadow Fall within minutes of plugging in the PS4, and only had to sit through one relatively short download. 

Are you a fan of shooting people in the face? Good news. 

The controls for Killzone are intuitive and smart. They  make sense. You shoot with right trigger, aim with left, control with the thumbsticks -- if you've played a first person shooter, you know the drill. 

And the enemy types are as diverse as the terrain. Shielded riot cops and standard foot soldiers, as well as giant mech creatures that are a pain to beat, but totally satisfying when you die. If you're a huge fan of shooting things, this is definitely going to hit that sweet spot. 

That isn't to say there aren't problems

The shooting parts are pretty good. Unfortunately, most of the rest is not. The "puzzle" sections are little more than glorified seek and find, and do little else than simply make you backtrack across the map. If they had not been there, it wouldn't have been a loss. It's like the developers had never done something non-face shooty before. 

Also, this is a launch game (and a relatively big game) so there are still some glitches in it. Some of them hilarious. 

There are several places in the game where you press O, and most of them are incredibly jarring. You use the O command to open doors and to climb ladders, and no matter which way you're facing, the game reorients you so that you have the same view of these activities at all times. It breaks immersion and just takes you out of the game.

The story is also incredibly lacking. The initial premise is so strained and bizarre it barely holds my attention, and characters telegraph their intentions across the whole story. But if you're coming to a game called Killzone expecting anything else, then you're barking at the wrong tree. 

I also feel that the developers really missed an opportunity by not including couch co-op. There were several moments where I really would've enjoyed playing with someone else, and wasn't able to because I don't have that many friends with PS4's, and therefore can't find anyone online to play with. It was just sort of a bummer. 

That Said...

If you have a PS4, I can honestly think of no better game to buy. The console is clearly demonstrated at it's highest abilities with this game, and if nothing else, the OWL is a fantastic feature that is hard to ignore. 

Check back later for more in depth analysis, and a complete review. 

Co-Op Mode for Resogun Detailed Thu, 14 Nov 2013 00:59:23 -0500 Brian Armstrong

PlayStation 4 launch title, Resogun, will be available for free for PS Plus subscribers ($14.99 for everyone else) on Friday, and while it looks to be a beautiful, high-score chasing, single player thrill ride, it also promises to be a fun and frenetic multiplayer challenge.

Three Ships, Endless Fun

Sony revealed some details on the co-op mode in Resogun today on their blog, and included a video that showed some co-op gameplay in action. The video shows the game’s three ships, the Ferox, the Nemesis, and the Phobos, and the post said each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. Grouping them together in all their various combinations will provide a different gameplay each time.

By implementing a revolving, cylindrical world and the ability to only shoot left or right, players will be forced to stay on their toes at all times. Dodging enemy attacks, floating objects and other shrapnel means players will need to be thinking ahead a few seconds, providing an intense and exciting experience. The visuals are gorgeous, and while maybe not the best looking PS4 launch title, it appears that Housemarque threw everything it had at this game.

The game will also feature different Trophies for completing the game with each ship, giving players incentive to keep coming back and trying the game in different ways. Joining together with friends and trying out different ships and strategies could also prove an addictive feature as well.

Your New Addiction

“The Ferox is balanced in all areas, making it the easiest ship to start playing with. Nemesis is the most agile ship, making it perfect for flashy and acrobatic boost kills. Phobos is the least agile, but has the most powerful overdrive beam, making it the perfect choice for filling the screen with special effects that PS3 can only dream of.”

As far as launch titles go, Resogun may not be a typical AAA system-seller, but it certainly warrants your attention.

From Housemarque, the people that brought you the Super Stardust games on the PS3 and Vita, Resogun looks beautiful, fast, exciting, and addictive. I had the chance to spend some quality time with it at PAX Prime, and can confidently say it will suck away a lot more of your time than you might expect. It’s one of those games you start playing late at night when you’re tired, don’t necessarily want to get wrapped up in a story, and just need some fun, relaxing entertainment. Before you know it, you’ve been playing for three hours. The addictive draw of chasing new high scores will recall younger days when high scores were the only achievements you could brag about, and it was great.

As a PS Plus subscriber, you owe it to yourself to try this game the day you unbox your PS4. If you, for some reason, don’t like free games (some of them even being big-name, triple-A titles like Uncharted 3) and aren’t a subscriber, the $14.99 price tag is likely an absolute bargain. With beautiful visuals, fun, addicting gameplay, and an appeal that may have you longing to come back to it time and time again, Resogun looks to be a dark horse for the PS4’s best launch game.

Playstation 4 Review Embargo Lifted, Scores Incoming Wed, 13 Nov 2013 11:26:58 -0500 Ryan Kerns

While the unwashed masses (GameSkinny included) will have to wait until Friday to get our hands on the Playstation 4, this morning marks the lift of Sony's review embargo for the gaming press... and the scores have been pouring in. 

Of course the two titles everyone has their eyes on are those first-party exclusives that start with "K". Since I just wrote an article about Knack creator Mark Cerny, we'll start there.

I was actually pretty shocked that the first reviews to go up were largely negative. Eurogamer gave the game a 4/10 and so did Gamespot. The game started off this morning with a Metacritic score of 30... which is usually reserved for pretty lousy games. Thankfully as more scores are going up, that Metacritic score is up to 60 as of 10am EST. 

Still, that's a pretty mixed bag of reviews. While most reviews I've read praise the game for the nice particle effects, common complaints are that you don't have enough health and die very easily, and that the voice acting and dialogue is a bit on the cheesy side. 

Fairing better is Killzone: Shadow Fall. So far there has not been a single negative review and its Metacritic score is at a solid 71. The game is being praised for having stunning visuals and a rock solid framerate. Some complaints I've seen so far in reviews is the lack of jetpacks and mechs in multiplayer (that were in Killzone 3) and also that the campaign starts off very strong, but the last 1/3 of the game really takes a dive. 

So there you have it. I'm sure as the day goes on and more reviews go up we'll see these scores fluctuate a bit more. You can find the Knack reviews here and the Killzone reviews here. We certainly encourage you guys to share your impressions of these games once you've played them. I hope to have some impressions of my own up sometime next week.

PS4's Remote Play May Not Work As Promised Fri, 01 Nov 2013 23:36:22 -0400 Steve Lawton

With the dawn of a new console age upon us, Sony announced some new information about PS4's Remote Play. If you haven't heard (or forgot this is a thing), Remote Play is a feature that allowed PS4 gamers to play their games on the go via their PS Vita. A great idea on Sony's part that ultimately may not live up to such a lofty premise. Here's the skinny (see what I did there?) on all the new information released about Remote Play.

Probably the best news mentioned: Unless the game specifically requires other peripherals (i.e. Playstation Camera), all PS4 games will have the Remote Play feature. This is great for gamers that want to (or have to because they share a TV) play games around the house while also being great for Sony to push PS Vita sales (sometimes it seems like they forgot they sell it).

***Yea... But can it dance? (Does The Worm)***

Onto the bad news. In order for Remote Play to work, your PS4 must be on. At all times. Also, you can only use Wi-Fi for Remote Play. It's not 3G compatible. Oh and you wanted to bring the game to class while some moldy old professor babbles about American politics? Well it better be an online class (with high bandwidth) because Sony suggests you don't leave the Wi-Fi the PS4 is connected to in order for games to work properly.

This is a huge let down as Sony told us we could leave the house and play our PS4 games while not attached to the TV (i.e. driving, rave parties) in public. The concept is still interesting. Being able to sit on the porch and play Killzone will finally give kids an answer to the classic parenting question: "Why don't you go play outside?"

To be fair, it is possible to play a game while not on the same Wi-Fi as your PS4. While Sony seems to strongly suggest you should stay on your own Wi-Fi, it isn't 100% necessary. Of course, when the public Wi-Fi at Starbucks fails and you lose or corrupt a game save that'll be the end of Remote Play (and probably your Vita, as it no doubt will be thrown through a window).

***This isn't the first time a beautiful woman lied to me***

Ultimately this news is a big letdown. While the idea is sound, it doesn't appear to be what Sony promised it would be. If Sony admitted the feature wasn't where they'd like it to be at launch that's ok. Just don't create a commercial for a feature you can't guarantee on launch day. I hope that during the PS4's lifespan they can find a way to have Remote Play function beyond my driveway. I also hope someone buys a PS Vita AND PS4 for me in the next few weeks. So we'll see how that all goes in the future.

What do you guys think? Would you ever use Remote Play? Comment on my dance moves down below!

Killzone: Shadow Fall Unboxing Thu, 31 Oct 2013 11:58:42 -0400 Max Jay

Some bizarre glitch in GameStop's computers has allowed them to break the technical street date of November 15 for Killzone: Shadow Fall and begin dolling out the pre-ordered copies a bit early.

As I received a text to go pick up my copy, I woke up early and hurried out to pick up my pre-order prior to heading out-of-town. As I am a generous ruler, I also forced myself to throw together a quick unboxing. As you can see above - this was unrehearsed, unscripted and heavily edited to make me not look like a complete moron (just a partial moron, I guess).

That being said, it's a box with a disk and some other crap in it - just like everyone assumed it would be. The major difference being the box is a sexy blue and has the PS4 logo on it. Having the game in my hands, the excitement effervesces throughout my body; the PlayStation 4 launch is just two short weeks away.

Have you been able to grab your pre-ordered copy of Killzone, or are you stuck waiting until the 15th at midnight? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I'll let you come to the PS4 launch with me and hold the camera while I bother people!

Killzone Explains How Play As You Download Works Wed, 23 Oct 2013 14:09:49 -0400 Amanda Wallace

A few months ago, Sony announced that the PS4 would have a "play as you download" feature, which would allow quick access to the early levels of the game. In an interview with Official Playstation Magazine, Eric Boltjes of Killzone: Shadow Fall explained how the feature will work. 

A large part of any game, especially a first person shooter,  is the game mechanics and weapons -- the things that persist level to level. To get past this, Boltjes mentions that Guerilla Games "PlayGo" system (which allows for simultaneous play and download) will download the game in sort of packets. The level design is actually a smaller portion of the download, and so it then becomes a matter of what is included in those early levels: 

So before you can start playing we have to look at, well, what does the first level contain? Well it contains these enemy types, these weapons, these textures, these sounds, etc. We make a package out of that, and that's the first bit you download which is a lot smaller than the entire game.

The idea is while you play Level 1, the game can begin downloading the features, textures and scenery that debut in Level 2, and so on. That way you can play the game, while it downloads. At least in theory. 

Hopefully, there's going to be wait times, but hopefully there'll be a lot less wait times than having to download the whole game.

With this system, Boltjes and Guerilla Gear hope that they can lessen the impact of fixes and patches -- though not entirely limit them. New content, new weapons for example, would still have to be patched into the game. But weapon balancing? "That we can do on the fly." 

Will you be downloading Killzone: Shadow Fall?  What do you think about this new system? 

Killzone Will Not Have Split-Screen, Will Have 10 Hour Campaign Mon, 21 Oct 2013 19:27:18 -0400 Amanda Wallace

In a Playstation Blog Q&A, Steven Ter Heide of Guerilla Games made a few announcements. For one, there was a confirmation that Killzone: Shadow Fall, a launch title for the PS4, will have a campaign that will last about 10 hours. 

Ter Heide answered quite a few questions on the newest addition to the Killzone franchise, including details about the nature of the campaign. 

There are no plans to support split screen support, even for local multiplayer functionality. The campaign will not be co-op, though there will be a DLC Expansion Pack after launch that will support an online co-op functionality. There's no word on whether that will include split-screen functionality, but it looks like it will not.

Ter Heide talked about a few other details about the game, including that there will be 22 customizable weapons available at launch, and the DS4 touchpad which will work during the game to select the mode the OWL is in. There are more details about Killzone features on the Playstation Universe Blog

Guerilla Games also announced today that the title was officially gone gold. In developer lingo, "going gold" means that the game has entered the final stage -- manufacturing -- before launch. 

Killzone: Shadow Fall will be launched alongside the PS4 on November 15. 

Bringin' it: Killzone team working on new IP Mon, 30 Sep 2013 18:32:00 -0400 GirlGoneGaming

Lead designer Eric Boltjes of Killzone: Shadowfall told Eurogamer at EGX:2013  that work has officially begun on a brand new IP over at Guerilla Games. Now that their Playstation 4 launch title has been completed, Boltjes made it known that the team has been planning the jump to a new IP and can't wait to get started!

“As a studio we do want to branch out, and we have started work on a new IP, something completely different to Killzone. I don’t want to say anything about it right now, but as a studio we do want to keep it fresh.”

Killzone: Shadow Fall will drop in November, but it is still no big surprise that Guerrilla’s  team has shifted their focus to starting a brand new project. A few may remember that GG started Killzone:Shadowfall for PS4 before they had even released Killzone 3 on on PS3! Is that ambitious or madness? Boltjes did drop some insight on their rational to keep things moving:

“Usually what happens is at the end of a game people start to roll off....So about there to four months before you ship, the designers sit down and think, what can we do for the next one. That happened then [with Killzone 3 to Shadow Fall] as well. So, about three years ago we went into that phase. The really tricky part about that phase is not trying to do too much.

Obviously Boltjes couldn’t be convinced to speak much on the project as it is still under wraps, but it’s definetly official! The guys at Guerilla Games are talented enough to pull it off so I'm personally not too concerned about the quick turn around.

Let's talk, gamers! What would you guys like to see from the team?

A Digital Future Sounds Appealing, But Will it Work? Wed, 04 Sep 2013 22:42:50 -0400 Brian Armstrong

Sony's PlayStation 4 has claimed small victories over the Xbox One in almost every category since its announcement back in April. From being announced first, to not requiring a motion device, to now being released to the market in the US first, the PS4 seems to be in the lead in terms of the internet's favorite console at the moment. But a news story on Wednesday revealed Microsoft could potentially claim one of these little victories, and possibly turn it into a huge advantage.

One of the biggest hurdles consoles face in the digital age on storage space. With online stores tempting you with easy grab-and-play deals, it's easy to fill up a hard drive pretty quickly. And as games begin growing larger and demanding more file size, even a large 500 GB hard drive is going to fill up pretty quickly. That's why the ability to swap in and out hard drives or attached external drives is so crucial. But according to Time, even though the PlayStation 4 will allow external hard drives to be attached, it will not play games from these drives.

So what's the point? If I can load up my external HDD full of games but can't actually play any of them from there, why would I need the external drive?

Microsoft has said it will not support this feature at launch either, but insinuated that this functionality would come later. It could very well be true that Sony will support this down the road as well, but if not, this is a major misstep by Sony in what has been an otherwise spotless record for the PS4.

Personally I still love having a physical games collection, and am struggling with "getting with the times" and buying all my games digitally. I still like to have the box, sometimes a map or instruction manual, and some of the other extra goodies you get with special editions. Digital copies provide none of this, yet often charge the exact same price, if not even more. But the convenience that Sony and Microsoft (especially) are promising (the instant switching from one function to another) is such a killer potential feature, I truly hope it works. For example, if it truly is as easy and smooth to instantly switch from playing Killzone: Shadow Fall to inFamous: Second Son, then that is awesome, and I'll be willing to jump in. But if I'm going to embrace the digital future and no longer use discs, I'm going to need more storage options.

Let’s look at some specifics on the PlayStation 3. Resistance was 17.53 GB. Final Fantasy XIII was 37 GB. Uncharted 3 was over 50 GB. And those are even the newest games. But even so, just imagine those three titles sitting on your PS4 hard drive. That’s over 100 GB – 20% of the PS4 hard drive capacity – with only three games. That’s not good, because games are only going to keep getting bigger, and if this console generation is expected to last 10+ years, that’s a long time to have to do some file micro-management with your game library.

I have no doubt that physical video games are headed the way of CDs, and I suppose in the end I'm ok with that. I’ll get over not having the cases or the special edition goodies. But if I don't have room on my drive to keep my many digital purchases installed so I can play any one of them at a moment's notice, then I will feel completely cheated this generation. If Microsoft and Sony can work out a solution so I can plug in a USB 3.0 external HDD and load it up with as any digital games as I can blow my money on, then there won't be anything to worry about. But if this is a problem they simply can't fix, then the convenience of a digital world that both companies want us to buy in to will be meaningless.