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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
State of Play: Killzone 2 hands on
Killzone 2
Killzone is set in a futuristic dystopian world
Killzone 2 has always been about delivering on a promise. When the first trailer for the game emerged two years ago the sounds of jaws dropping to the floor reverberated around the industry.

Soon after, only the gnashing of grinding teeth was heard when it emerged that the trailer was not being run on PlayStation 3 hardware.

Two years on and Amsterdam-based Guerrilla games is working at turning the naysayers into believers. The game is Sony's Exocet missile at the heart of Xbox 360 owners; a rocket designed to convince doubters that the PlayStation 3 has the explosive power to blow away its rivals.

The first hints that Guerrilla has something very special up its sleeve have begun to emerge.

Sat down in front of a playable level it is immediately clear that Killzone 2 will be one of the most cinematic and immersive games ever produced on a console.

The raw processing power of the PlayStation 3 has been harnessed to create a level of detail seen only in a handful of games on high-end PCs.

The dynamic lighting, animation, high-definition environments and details, such as plaster flying off walls and pillars caught in crossfire, create a sense of place and reality that takes games to a new level of realism.

Cinematic scene

The level starts with a cinematic scene of airborne troop carriers swooping out of the sky and into the battlefield.

When the cutscene ends Killzone 2 moves seamlessly into the in-game action; smoke drifts across the street, lightning flashes realistically in the night sky, sparks of bullet ricochets fill the night and a soldier on fire staggers across your path.

Killzone 2 is an archetypal shooter - a futuristic action title that draws on the symbolism of World War II to create a sense of familiarity.

Killzone 2
Shoot or be shot - that is the ethos of Killzone

The game mechanics of the level I saw are not particularly innovative - it is a classic run and shoot adventure, mixing different weapon types and simple tasks to good effect.

The first Killzone title suffered from a number of glitches and bugs, poor AI and a strangely awkward control interface.

This time around, the game's control scheme is solid, the AI of the enemy troops looks on course to be first rate, while there is still some work to be done on specific combat areas, such as throwing grenades.

The violence is intense and the title is destined for an 18 certificate. It could also spark further debate over the use of photo-real violence in videogames.

The one level I played had been in development for the last six months, and with such hyper-real detail it is easy to see why the game is not due for release until 2008.

The developers behind the game I spoke to exuded a tangible confidence when talking about the game; Guerrilla and Sony know they have a special title on their hands.

The high watermark for realism and immersion in videogames could soon be about to be lifted.

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