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Killzone 2: Not Just A Pretty Face

With LittleBigPlanet and Resistance 2 spinning comfortably in PS3s worldwide, attention now turns to February and the release of the long-awaited and somewhat controversial PS3 shooter, Killzone 2. Sony recently held an online multiplayer beta test and guess who got a chance to check it out?

Although the multiplayer beta only included three of the planned eight maps that will ship with the final game, all of the game types were available. Surprisingly, the obligatory Deathmatch mode wasn't included, though a team variant, called Body Count, is around to take its place. Assassination places one player in the role of VIP and charges the rest of the group with the task of keeping them alive. Two variants of Capture the Flag are included; Search and Retrieve runs like a normal match, while Search and Destroy adds an extra bit of charge to the experience. One option that should prove incredibly popular with players is the ability to switch game types without having to exit back to the lobby.

Perks and experience are slowly becoming the norm when it comes to online games, and Killzone 2 is making them a central part of the entire experience. There are seven classes to choose from, including medics, riflemen, engineers and tactician. As you would expect, each has their use on the battlefield and you'll need to find the right balance of types to keep your team on the winning side of matches. Riflemen provide firepower, while medics can heal. Some of the more interesting abilities come from the newer classes. The tactician can deploy mobile spawn points and the saboteur can disguise himself as members of the other team.

Character progression is a huge part of multiplayer. As you level up each class, you'll unlock badges that offer different abilities. This system allows players to combine skills (including those from other classes) and create a class that suits their particular tastes and play style. Multiplayer matches can get hectic, especially when 32 players are added to the mix. To help make things easier to manage, full clan support is offered. You can group up into teams of four and share class skills as well and communicate directly with other players. This lends a decidedly tactical feel to the entire game. It wasn't present in every game, but with the right leader and willing players, it added a lot to the overall gameplay.

Visuals have taken a central role when it comes to Killzone 2. The game looks great; though the included maps are optimized more for data flow than looks, so the included maps offer few chances for the game to really show off what it can do. The atmospheric effects are the most impressive part of the entire visual package. Light naturally streams into indoor areas and dust is kicked up during battles.

Although the multiplayer beta didn't show off everything Killzone 2 is capable of, it offered enough of a look to keep it at the top of every PS3 owner's want list. Killzone 2 is currently listed as a February release.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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