Saturday, February 14, 2009

'Kill Zone 2' demo phails to impress

Originally published on on February 07, 2009

I got a chance to play the demo of Guerrilla's newest offering, "Kill Zone 2." PS3 fans have been hyping this game to the heavens. Does it live up to the hype?

Did the "KZ2" demo live up to all the expectations that PS3 fans have hyped it up to be? In one word - NO. It's a very short demo - roughly 10 minutes - and features two levels - a beach and a warehouse. The graphics are good - but not as awesome as the first "KZ2" footage I saw. That blew me away totally - this? Not so much.

You play as Sgt. 'Sev' and start the demo crash-landing on the bank of the Corinth River. You learn quickly to use cover or get killed fast. After working your way to Echo team, you are ordered to snag an RPG - rocket propelled grenade - and take the bridge out. Done. You roll under the bridge to open the floodgate. Avast - Helghast, stage right.

After taking them out, you and one of your teammates, Garza, infiltrate a Helghast warehouse and work your way through it and head to the floodgate control.

It's the first level of the game and a very short demo. Now, this is where I am like 'What?' The E3 version of the game looked awesome. This one? It's good, but not as good as other shooters like COD 4 and WaW. The graphics are supposed to put you into the game. Sadly, I didn't feel removed from my den floor.

In the end, it's a demo and doesn't necessarily represent the *finished* product. Sure, it will sell a gazillion copies, but it is nowhere as impressive as "Gears of War 2" and looks nothing like the E3 build.

I predict good sales initially for "KZ2" but will fall off rather quickly unless the game is bundled with PS3s.

Sadly, based on what I've seen with "KZ2" the demo, it's a good shooter in the midst of awesome shooters. Plenty of eye-candy, but like the first "KZ," it's no "Halo" killer.

Maybe they'll get it right with "Kill Zone 3."

P.S. Don't give me the 'it's a demo' B.S. either. A demo should be the best effort a company has to sell its product. I test drove a BMW 5 series - nearly $60K - and I gave it strong consideration before getting my Commander. The test drive nearly sold me. However, in the end, I thought the Commander was a better fit. Had the Beamer performed like a Yugo, we wouldn't be having this convo at all. A demo gives you enough - a tease - to the game. Color me skeptical.

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