[Games That Nobody Plays Anymore is a weekly series written by Nathan Hardisty with a little title card help from Juan Houter. It’s an on-going series about the forgotten games of yesteryear, and doesn’t totally reflect the title. Remember; nobody stops playing these games; it’s just a title. Don’t make something of it or I will come down to your house and ask you politely to stop. If you have any suggestions for future titles to ‘GTNPA’ don’t forget to leave me a comment!]
I think the words that I use have seem to have run their course. I’m bored. To be quite honest, doing this week in week out is killing me. I tease about my essays (two of which are out next week, based around the game ‘Limbo’) and I generally don’t add too much to commentary and review surrounding videogames. Maybe I’m growing old, maybe there’s nothing I can do. We’re all trapped in a world of literal and metaphorical static. We are not moving, but our entertainment is. Our idols are moving. Superheroes, astronauts, sports stars are all moving in directions that we cannot hope to comprehend.
Killzone 2 is a game about shooting people, and harming people, what else are videogames about? What else have we been doing these past few decades but killing things, squashing things (I might touch on this someday – yay tease). It’s set in space and against some aliens or something called the Helghast who want to kill things. The original Killzone is engraved in my mind not for sheer deprived quality or the direct opposite, but for annoying me enough to stop playing. There is one level in which the level design is so terrible, so monotonous that I just gave up entirely.
Going into Killzone 2, years late I might add, was not an easy task. I threw myself directly into multiplayer, to get a bite of the cake, and I found myself surprised. I liked it. It had this edge, this bitter-sweetness about the way it went about itself. The realism perhaps got in the way ever so slightly, and the graphics weren’t very clean. I prefer art style over photorealism, as I find it odd that videogames are meant to be an escape from the real world and yet some of them are dictated to mirror the real world. Obviously, Killzone 2 is set on an alien world, but it’s presented with this photorealism which, in all honesty, just doesn’t appeal to me.
You shoot people, in the game, and that’s it. What can I say that hasn’t been said before? The guns are nice, the AI is okay, grenades are grenades. Multiplayer is fun and has character classes. The word ‘generic’ is thrown around a lot, and I don’t think Killzone 2 is generic. There’s something about it that just doesn’t fit in, even as someone who talks about game design for a living, it’s hard to say what. The story is okay, there’s no big hitting emotional punch, but it does help to create a believable war with alien Nazis. It’s got the edge.
I talked about ‘the edge’ in my Section 8 Review. The edge that just appears in good FPSs, the edge that makes it diverse and perhaps distinguishable from the usual slop of shooters. Killzone 2 has the edge, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s one giant question that settled over my head for all the campaign I played and the hours of multiplayer I played. It’s fun, it’s deep and it has this good feel to it. Maybe I’m just grump or something, but there’s nothing that I actually remember. In every game, pretty much, I can point out good similarities, symbolism and good game design.
Maybe I’ve found the perfect game. One that is safe in its message, one that does everything that it sets out to do – right, one that has the edge. But it doesn’t… I don’t know. For a games journalist, who’s supposed to write about games, I have nothing to write about Killzone 2. I am tired, I do need a change, I’ve felt like I’ve been here so many times that it’s starting to play tricks with my head. Killzone 2 is fun, but maybe it just has an empty feeling about it, like there’s no actual passion that drives it. That’s not to insult the developer, but the game just doesn’t have anything going for it.
Man I’m old.
Next week: Something to cheer me up, Hitman Blood Money.