Is Killzone 2 A New Era's Half-Life?
You know, we've been thinking (smells like something is burning), and based on all the hype and our own personal experience with Killzone 2, we just had to reminisce a bit. The industry is old enough now where very few occurrences are actually "new;" most all can be compared to a past happenstance. In this way, we're starting to view Guerilla's impending masterpiece as the Half-Life for a new generation.
Most of you should be old enough to remember - it wasn't that long ago - when several landmark pieces of software dropped in the late '90s. PC users will certainly remember 1998, for example, and PlayStation and Nintendo fans recall those same years with a great fondness. But to be specific, it was a time when the FPS really started coming into its own, and most will attribute the genre's ultimate success to Half-Life. While the new category began way back in the day with Wolfenstein 3D, and a little later, Doom and Duke Nukem, it was Half-Life that represented the next giant step. Many gamers knew it as soon as they saw it, but the belief became verified as the years went on: critics were using Valve's revolutionary FPS as a benchmark; it was the measuring stick against which all other FPSs were compared. A new FPS would come out and someone would immediately say, "yeah, but can it stack up to Half-Life?"
It launched the FPS genre into a new stratosphere, and while smaller strides have been made since, they all tend to fall within the same universe. In other words, while FPSs have certainly advanced over the years, they still don't feel that much different from Half-Life. Sure, everything, from the technicals to the artistry, is vastly superior these days, but the overall experience is only enhanced; it's not redefined. Now, it's our estimation that Killzone 2 has a chance of redefining the genre. It'll be an experience like none other and could very well represent the HL for the near future. We can easily see KZ2 becoming the aforementioned measuring stick, and looking down the road, we see FPS developers with promising projects making immediate comparisons to Guerilla's title. Some of you may see this as overstating the issue, but you have to admit two things: 1. the FPS genre is long overdue for a revolution of some sort, and 2. you haven't played it.
We're perfectly willing to admit to the possibility that we're wrong. Everyone might just finish Killzone 2 and say, "yeah, that was great, but it's not really anything new." We can't really see how someone could say that, but it might happen. And if that's the case, it's just another excellent FPS, but doesn't really separate itself from the rest of the pack. However, as we see it now - again, weighing the combined hype and early reviews and feedback - there appears to be a very good chance that, a little over 10 years after the last big step, another one is only a few weeks away...
Related Game(s): Killzone 2
1/23/2009 Ben Dutka