|Name||Killzone 4: Shadow Fall|
|Summary:||We didn't get to see too much of Shadowfall - only ten minutes or so - but it was both a solid shooter and a good demonstration of the new controller's abilities.|
|Games Info:||Developer: Guerrilla Games; Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Classification:||Not yet rated|
Killzone: Shadowfall takes place seven years after the end of Killzone 3. The Helghast have moved to a new planet, and everything is peaceful. As you can imagine, however, it doesn't last, or you wouldn't get to rock around for a few hours shooting bad guys.
The shooting mechanics in Killzone were solid as they always have been, although we found the controls a bit sensitive - that's likely just a quirk of the demo and not a reflection on the final game. Sensitivity is always adjustable in the final versions of shooters, so we're not worried.
But it's not all about the guns in Shadowfall. There's a new game mechanic that seems to be very important to gameplay, called the OWL drone. The OWL sits on your back until you command it to do something else, and can shield you, stun enemies, shoot out a zipline, or patrol an area for enemies. If it's in this mode, it'll attack any enemies that come into its range.
If you press up on the D-pad, it can also scan a whole area for enemies, which will then have a red outline around them even if they're behind a hill or trees.
Conveniently, the OWL also works as an all-purpose hacking device, so you can turn off any triggered alarms before reinforcements show up. Using its patrolling mode is also a nice distraction - you can attack with the drone, and while the enemies are fighting it, flank or attack from the rear.
The OWL may sound all-powerful, but it can only protect you in a pinch if you're quick. It also has limited health, and when it's damaged it'll fly back into your backpack for a while, until it's regenerated.
If you want to run into an area in Killzone: Shadowfall and start gunning recklessly, you're able to, but it's a tough route to take. Going out in the open to fight backfired pretty badly, and we died a bloody but quick death. Taking a more tactical approach, by picking off enemies one by one and using OWL's abilities strategically, made the fight a lot easier.
Traveling around a map is quite different this time around, as the ziplining mechanic can be used on any and every surface. The only limitation on your zipline is its range, so you can attach to a metal panel, a tree, or the ground with no problems so long as you're close enough. If you really wanted, you could practically glide around Batman: Arkham City style.
There's definitely something to be said for the PS4's graphics. Killzone: Shadowfall is already a vast improvement on Killzone 3 in that regard, and it's still fairly early in its development cycle. However, the incorporation of the controller's touchpad into Shadowfall was a bit odd. To select tasks for your drone like the zipline or the shield, you have to swipe the touchpad in a certain direction. It takes some getting used to, as you have to put a bit of pressure on to get it to register.
We didn't get to see too much of Shadowfall - only ten minutes or so - but it was both a solid shooter and a good demonstration of the new controller's abilities. The OWL drone is a lot of fun to toy with, too. But can Malcom McDowell make a triumphant return, please?