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Guerrilla’s war – Steven ter Heide on Killzone 3

Tuesday, 1st February 2011 14:03 GMT By Patrick Garratt

With Killzone 3′s open beta starting tomorrow in the US and on Thursday in Europe, Guerrilla senior producer Steven ter Heide filled VG247 in on what to expect from the test and plenty more.

Killzone 3

Multiplayer beta starts February 2 in the US and February 3 in Europe.

Single-player demo coming February 9.

Full game releasing in late February.

Q&A – PlayStation 3

Q&A – Killzone

Despite winding Killzone back from PlayStation’s hype frontline with the third home console title in the series, Guerrilla has maintained the IP’s clear status as a vital cog in Sony’s PS3 machine. It was announced last week that the shooter is to enter open beta in both the US and Europe in the next two days ahead of a late February launch, and that a single-player demo’s releasing on February 9.

Speaking on the phone last week, Guerrilla senior producer Steven ter Heide confirmed that the beta’s completely open: anyone with a PSN account will be able to download it, and Sony’s looking to get “as many people as possible” involved.

The beta will include one map and all game types, with ter Heide saying those that participate will find something that’s “indicative” of the final online experience.

For the record, ter Heide hasn’t played the Crysis 2 beta yet. It’s been too “hectic” to pay attention to the competition, but he “thinks” Killzone 3 will stand up in the ultra-competitive console FPS category.

“We still have a lot of things to give.”

And if you think you can argue with him based on what you’ve seen already, think again. Much of the game’s content is still under wraps, thanks, ter Heide said, to wariness over early exposure based on the management of Killzone 2′s reveal.

“Part of it is down to marketing, obviously,” he said when asked why relatively little had been seen so far of the game’s much-talked-about “diversity”.

Killzone 3 senior producer, Steven ter Heide

He added: “There’s a specific strategy. We didn’t want to reveal a lot early on. With Killzone 2 we showed a lot of the game ahead of time; preview code, I think, included half the game. This time round we wanted to go with a smaller sub-set, try to see if we could make people hungry for more, with the final blow-out closer to launch.

“We still have a lot of things to give.”

When Guerrilla first announced Killzone 3 to the press in Amsterdam last May, studio boss Hermen Hulst made sure to note the game contained a multitude of environments. A common complaint of Killzone 2 was a lack of diversity in the levels. Hulst mentioned jungles at the time: the first jungle trailer was only revealed last week.

Ter Heide said that the decision to keep so much secret for so long was also based on fans saying they’d seen much of Killzone 2 prior to launch.

“It’s making sure there are still plenty of surprises and plenty of things to talk about,” he said.

While the multiplayer test gets underway, though, forward thinking players will be asking questions about Killzone 3′s single-player campaign. And the obvious one: how long it is?

“From the playtests, I think it’s anywhere between 8-10 hours,” said ter Heide.

“The fastest guy did it in about eight hours, but on average it was about 10 hours.”

Killzone 3′s campaign lasts “between 8-10 hours”

Publicly, virtually nothing has been seen of the game’s campaign at this point. Killzone 3′s plot starts immediately after the ending of Killzone 2 and follows the previous games’ main protagonist, Sev, a Special Forces operative fighting for the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance against the Helghast Empire.

Without giving anything away, the Helghast are in a state of internal conflict. Plenty of information is about to be released on the campaign, so if you want to spoil yourself, you won’t have long to wait.

Two aspects of the shooter Guerrilla have been open on, however, are its 3D and Move support, the inclusion of which led many to question whether or not the developer had sidetracked quality away from multiplayer or, heaven forfend, single-player.

The first look at a Killzone 3′s jungle level.

Ter Heide wasn’t having any of it.

“A lot of people think it may distract us from doing other things, but in all honesty it’s not that big of an investment to get those things up and running,” he said.

“You have to spend some time to make it right, but it’s not like half of the team has been involved in doing the 3D stuff. It’s been, like, one or two guys.

“If you look at what the end result it and what it brings us, in terms of being able to give that immersion to those people that like their games in 3D, I think it’s a great bonus.

“It’s great to be able to expand the audience and build upon the strengths of the franchise. Killzone has always been about the immersion and putting you in the centre of this battle, and 3D is a big help with that.”

The addition of Move control, ter Heide said, allowed Guerrilla to go after the “hardcore” PC audience with Killzone 3.

As far as Move goes, we’ve always been on DualShock; that’s the controller of choice. But there a lot of hardcore players that prefer a PC with a mouse because of the accuracy, and Move allows us to tap into that accuracy. One of the considerations for us is whether or not we can broaden the audience by doing these sort of things.”

“It’s not like half of the team has been involved in doing the 3D stuff. It’s been, like, one or two guys.”

The producer said that the firm may have made a different decision on including Move and 3D support if the resource cost had been heavier, but that the features had been included is a “great benefit”.

One aspect of Killzone 3′s development that ter Heide was less specific on was Hulst’s previous assertion that the game was using “100 percent” of PS3′s max SPU load.

“That’s tricky,” he laughed. “I know we said that with Killzone 2 as well, that we were firing on all cylinders. As we progress through the hardware cycle, you see people get better and better at maxing it out. We’re using a lot of elaborate tricks.

“So yes, we keep the processors occupied, but there are probably smarter ways of making them do useful things. I think there’s still a lot more to be had. If you look at the difference between the PlayStation 2 launch titles and God of War II at the end of the cycle, it’s huge. I still think we’re going to see improvements in what we’re able to do on PlayStation 3.”

Guerrilla Games

Founded in 2000.

Wholly-owned by Sony.

Based in the Netherlands.

Official site.

Whether or not Killzone 3 taps PS3 out completely, it seems as though Guerrilla may be about to make a break from the IP entirely.

The developer confirmed in August last year that it’s now working on something completely new. Ter Heide’s comments on the property indicated it may become Guerrilla’s primary concern.

“We’ve been working on Killzone for a long while now,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon, but I think it’s also interesting to start exploring a new IP. It’s all very early days – we haven’t even had a break yet from developing Killzone 3 – but after the break I think we’re going to start putting our heads together and figuring out what we’re going to do next, and whether that’s making a lot of headway into the new IP or more in the Killzone universe, that’s something that we have to decide on then.”

The developer shrugged off a question about whether or not we’re going to see anything on the new game this year.

“Generally, these things take a long time,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll make the mistake again that we did with announcing Killzone 2 about two years before we actually had gameplay to show. That’s something that we need to carefully consider, because there was a lot of backlash from that. It brought us a lot of positive things as well, but we have to be careful in that respect.”

Killzone 3 releases on February 22 in the US, February 23 in mainland Europe and February 25 in the UK.

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32 Comments

  1. Rain

    I look forward to any game released by guerrilla.I feel like that back at 2005 they were kids and now they are grown ups.you can see that in Killzone 3.A game which has the potential to become the best shooter of this gen.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Shifty

    GG make a game thats more than graphics, think about the gameplay and what you can bring new to shooters not the same old shooter but diffrent art style

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Shifty

    @1 Killzone 3 will never become the best shooter this gen, its not bringing anything new to first person shooter except good graphics. Its a good game but its a blockbuster game, a game which reviews are between 8′s and 9′s but is a good action game thats it.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    I agree with #3. It´s a good game for sure but nothing spectacular.
    Btw: Love those info boxes .p

    #4 4 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

    I wonder what the map will be?

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Rain

    @3
    You are right, it is not bringing anything new.
    But I think that while it is not an innovative game.It can at least raise the bar for the genre in terms of graphics and game play.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Zarckan

    Seriously!

    if I’m going to spend £40+ I want more than 8hrs of single player please. 12-15 is acceptable, less is a rip off!

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Shifty

    8hrs and multiplayer with 4 modes and 8 maps on a blu-ray disc, unbelievable!

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Detale

    I’m so rubbish at FPS that it’ll probably take me at least twice as long as that to complete it anyway…

    #9 4 years ago
  10. spiderLAW

    Killzone 3 is FPS of the year and maybe game of the year, according to what i can tell of it so far.

    Shifty, your arguement on innovation is just, well, stupid. Honestly. I have already listed what Killzone 3 is bringing that is new in an older post. But besides that, what would be best shooter this generation then? Call of Duty? Battlefield? Halo? If Killzone hasnt brought anything new than neither has any other FPS this Gen.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. OrbitMonkey

    @7 8-10 hours for ANY game this gen is pretty good & fucking great for a fps.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Johnny Cullen

    I’m excited for Killzone 3. Yes, I’m gonna come out and say I am looking forward to Resistance 3 more, but Killzone 3 won’t disappoint from what I have seen and played of it so far (on the MP side).

    I loved Killzone 2, so I won’t expect anything less then a great game from Guerrilla.

    By the looks of it, they’ll deliver.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Shifty

    @10 Your tellin me that HALO, CALL OF DUTY havent brought nothin to fps genre, well you certanly know your games then. Im not saying Killzone 3 is bad im just saying its like a transformers movie, while a game like Halo is a film like Inception. Its a good game but its a game you stop playing after few months, games like Halo people play in millons and play for years. I cant wait for 343 industries Halo project!!!

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    @spiderLAW, ” But besides that, what would be best shooter this generation then? Call of Duty? Battlefield? Halo?”

    Battlefield of course. Bulletstorm also have a chance to prove that it is good. Maybe Half-Life 3.

    Killzone 3 is going to be a solid shooter and thats it. Killzone 2 failed to be something good except for good multiplayer component.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. LePlatypus

    Isn’t tomorrow and Wednesday the same thing?

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    @15 – Rats. I’ll edit it.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. OrbitMonkey

    @13 Halo isn’t a big dumb blockbuster? I obviously missed the intricate plot & subtle storytelling whilst blasting aliens in the face i guess.
    I’d have said Half-Life was more like Inception, in that it actually had a plot that wasn’t written in crayon on the back of a stamp.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Shifty

    @17 I dont care what Fanboys say about Halo because nothing will change them saying stupid stuff unless it went to ps3, but i know myself Halo is the best shooter of this generation and 343 industries Halo project will keep it as the best shooter ever!

    #18 4 years ago
  19. OrbitMonkey

    @18 Which Halo? Theirs been 2 on this gen…

    #19 4 years ago
  20. nofear360

    @ Shifty: I’m sorry, but that is one shitty analogy.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. tmac2011

    im getting this game and going to play the multipayer beta

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Shifty

    Halo Reach and Halo 3 have stuff no other game at all has, things like theater which almost all shooters copy now, its has 4 player campaign co-op and split screen, firefight 4 player co-op, and Forge world which is no doubt one of the best tools ever in any game. You make your own maps, your own game modes in forge plus you can upload them for other people, and this is with a amazing multiplayer and single player on one dvd disc. Tell me one thing in this paragraph Killzone 3 has, just one thing.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. nofear360

    @17: I’m an Xbox 360 fanboy (got my PS3 only a few weeks ago, I’ve had my 360 since EU launch) and I have played all Halo titles this generation.
    When compared to Killzone, I can easily say Halo has NOTHING on it as far as the single-player campaign is concerned. Killzone 2 (or better 3) is simply more fun, more immersive, and, overall, offers a whole lot better shooter experience (and yes, I have played all your Call of Duty’s, Battlefields, Crysis’s and what have you). Halo is really behind the curve in the tech department (save for its multiplayer features).

    #23 4 years ago
  24. spiderLAW

    Shifty….after your Halo praise…..no point in arguing with you.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Shifty

    @24 well done! your growing up

    #25 4 years ago
  26. OrbitMonkey

    @22 Those are all good points, i’d counter with the simple fact that Killzone 3 will set the benchmark for graphical good looks on ANY console (Thats console, we all know pc’s have the best :D )
    Plus Its the 1st HD fps that uses motion control, which like the man said will bring mouse like accuracy to a ps3 user.
    Now these may seme like mere technical achievements, but combined with refined gameplay, they will deliver the good & then some.
    Oh yeah, Its also 3d & all on one blu-ray disc :)

    #26 4 years ago
  27. spiderLAW

    @25
    you are a young one arent you…or really old….either way, no point in arguing with Halo fanboys. They are blinded by Bungie’s hairy ass and choked by microsofts veiny dick.

    Grown up enough for you?

    #27 4 years ago
  28. HighWindXIX

    Comparing Halo to Inception? Are you on drugs!?! Wow. And comparing Killzone to Transformers? Nope, thats not right either. We could compare Call of Duty to Transformers but not Killzone.

    Either way, when talking about “The Best FPS,” there needs to be ground rules. First, are we going based on innovation? I don’t think we should, but if we are, then we’d have to give the award to Halo. If it weren’t for Halo, we wouldn’t have our wonderful two analog stick control scheme that EVERY FPS has copied since. (though, Turok for the N64 did have a sort of backwards version of it back in ’96)

    Are we giving out our little “Best FPS” award based on single player enjoyment? Multiplayer? The whole package. Whatever. Either way, Halo =/= Inception.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. russdude13

    When does the beta finish?

    #29 4 years ago
  30. spiderLAW

    @28
    we are talking FPS of this Generation.
    Half-Life doesnt count really as HL2 was last gen PC launch revisited for this gen.
    Halo 3 was shit and was just an updated graphics version of Halo 2 with actual components stripped out that made it feel a step backwards.
    Halo ODST was an expansion pack runninng around as a stand alone title.
    Halo Reach wasnt anything new or exciting. Same old wash rinse and repeat Bungie did with the other Halo titles. It was fun, i like Halo Reach, but i dont praise it like the other Halo/MS fanboys do (i was a Halo fanboy when Halo: CE and Halo 2 were out…left when Halo3 sucked)

    And no, HALO:CE didnt revolutionize shit. All 3 systems had dual analogs and were prepared for the FPS shift. Halo was just the first released to use it on consoles. But even during that time, PC FPS were already using dual analog controlers with the right stick as the mouse.

    @29….dunno but im playing it all night tomorrow for sure.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Johnny Cullen

    Best FPS of this gen? The Orange Box (game-wise, some are old, some new. Content wise? Hell yeah).

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Isaaclarke37

    I am a big fan of this game and i think it will bring all what’s good on the table for the franchise.

    #32 4 years ago

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