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Killzone: Shadow Fall set to showcase PS4 tech

Thursday, 13 June 2013 21:25 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Killzone: Shadow Fall aims to be a poster-child for PS4′s new features and a new direction in its own right. Patrick Garratt speaks to Guerrilla in LA.

“We want to make it a showcase for everything on PlayStation 4, and that includes the inputs. Simple things are included such as the light-bar indicating health, but we’ve also implemented the touchpad. And it’s not at all tagged on.”

Some games don’t work well in the trade show environment. Bethesda’s RPGs, for example, present a nightmare for PR as it’s impossible to understand the concept of something like Skyrim if you play it for eight minutes surrounded by hassled reps and huffing men carrying “swag”. Shooters don’t normally suffer as badly from the problem as it’s easy to show five looped seconds of gunplay. Killzone: Shadow Fall is different. And getting to grips with it in the few minutes available for E3 demos isn’t easy.

Luckily, we got a seat in a 30-minute hands-off demo with Guerrilla head Herman Hulst and director Steven Ter Heide in addition to a quick play. I’m glad we did: the PS4 launch title isn’t as two-dimensional as your average FPS.

Guerrilla is open about the reason why: the title’s designed as a showcase for the console’s new features.

“There are a lot of PS4 platform features this game will make use of,” said Hulst. “Pretty much everything is there. Seemingly mundane features like PlayGo? We’ll make sure that works with this game, so you can start right away as the rest of the game downloads. We’ll do Remote Play. You can enjoy it on your Vita as well.

“Essentially we want to make it a showcase for everything on PlayStation 4, and that includes the inputs. Simple things are included such as the light-bar indicating health, but we’ve also implemented the touchpad. And it’s not at all tagged on.”

In addition to a myriad of inputs, Shadow Fall features levels on a far larger scale than those seen in previous Killzone games. Objectives are ordered as the players sees fit, with the overall effect more Far Cry 3 than anything traditionally expected from the Dutch studio. Coupled with the touchpad, the effect is relatively complex.

For instance. You have a flying companion droid called OWL (it isn’t an acronym as yet: the team’s still trying to think one up). It has four different modes. It can attack, stun, shield or create a zipline for you to cross over to platforms too far away to reach by jumping. You select a mode by swiping in the corresponding direction on the touchpad then point and tap L2 to tell OWL where to do whatever you want it to do. You have to think about it.

As well as the OWL controls, your d-pad allows your to take med packs, do a radar-style enemy scan and more. Then you have the fact you’re involved in large environments you can traverse any way you wish. And dropping off ziplines for melee kills. And climbing. You can combine ziplines, shooting, melee, bullet-time, crowd control, flanking and whatever else. It isn’t a simple game. Hulst described Shadow Fall’s play as “more thoughtful”. While it’s possible to approach combat as you like, though, Killzone is still Killzone.

“I don’t want to present it as a stealth game,” said Hulst. “It’s covert gameplay. You’re a super soldier, and you have to engage in combat. The abilities are centred around combat.”

The violence is instantly recognisable. You click the right stick to snap necks and slash throats, and the gunplay is Killzone to the core, OWL or not. While plenty has been added to the traditional Killzone formula with Shadow Fall, Guerrilla is mindful of its roots.

“We’re not going to drop what we liked about the visceral fighting, metre for metre. We’re also going to have that in this game.”

“We don’t want to just create this,” said Hulst, talking of the open levels and freeform approach to objective completion. “We’re not going to drop what we liked about the visceral fighting, metre for metre. We’re also going to have that in this game. There’ll be plenty of areas that are open with varying objectives in different orders, but on top of that, for varieties sake, and for what we like about it, we’re going to have that too.”

But Shadow Fall is new, and represents a new direction for the classic shooter.

“It’s something the new platform has made possible for us, creating fantastical worlds with very high fidelity,” said Ter Heide. “To do that with large open areas that you need to populate with AI rather than faking a lot of stuff in the distance, you need a lot of horsepower. It was just an opportunity to look at the franchise and say, ‘What can we do? What have we always wanted to do?’”

I played the Shadow Fall demo straight after the presentation. Five minutes in, after getting distracted by a large facility in which it’s possible to kit-up for later fighting, I hit the main objective of a downed ship. Helghast surrounded it. I tried to stun them with OWL, missed, aggroed everyone, shot a guy, stabbed someone in the neck, sent OWL up a tree and fell off a wall. And died. I have a feeling that when Killzone: Shadow Fall comes together it’s going to be Guerrilla’s finest hour. I just wish I had a fine hour to get used to it: some games don’t work well in the trade show environment, and normally that’s an indication you’re looking at something special.

Killzone: Shadow Fall will release as a PlayStation 4 launch title this year.

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29 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    Holy crap…

    Game looks boring as hell. What else is out on launch, I’m not really feeling this linear looking snooze fest…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Lengendaryboss

    “Five minutes in, after getting distracted by a large facility in which it’s possible to kit-up for later fighting, I hit the main objective of a downed ship. Helghast surrounded it. I tried to stun them with OWL, missed, aggroed everyone, shot a guy, stabbed someone in the neck, sent OWL up a tree and fell off a wall. And died.” Sounds like the perfect play through for a new gamer :D great read Pat.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Biscuitpants

    game looks so shit, looks exactly like 3 and 2, last good killzone was the second game

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    Not really.

    inFamous 2 is a better showcase or even third party titles.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Lengendaryboss

    @Monkey
    Knack, Driveclub, Watch Dogs, AC 4BF, FIFA 14 (in addition to other sports games) loads of Indie games, can’t think of anything else of the top of my head.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    @5

    I’m hopefully getting my PC finished next month, will prob go for Watchdogs on that.

    Looks like its Indies games all the way! :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. themadjock

    Day1… I assume the vita rear touch pad will mirror the DS4 front touch pad

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Citrus raptor

    I’ve played both Killzone 2 and 3, but I am lost storywise. How the hell did the Helghans end up on Vecta, and why would any authority agree that it’s ok for them to have an army?

    Could be wrong, since I don’t know what’s going on, but it seems like a cool and ‘deep’ Berlin wall parallel premiss for the sake of it, even though it’s contrived.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. zinc

    4th times the charm. This is going to be Guerilla’s CoD4!

    HYPE!!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. polygem

    hey remember mg, if you have ps+ the ps4 comes with driveclub and 3 indy games right out of the box. it´s a good start imo. i´ll prolly pick knack up too, maybe watchdogs…still hoping for a few more announcements though, that´s for sure.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Lengendaryboss

    @Citrus
    The Helghast lost their home world Helghan, then the ISA (Known as VSA in Shadow Fall) agreed to let the Helghast live peacefully on Vekta separated by a wall (i am guessing this is a peace treaty) and they are free to go on as normal i guess, thats my take on it.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Patrick Garratt

    Re story. Shadow Fall’s set 40 years after KZ3.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Citrus raptor

    Ah, ok, so it’s kind of ISA ‘forcing’ Vekta and Helghan (what’s left of it) to play nice, but it gets too tense?

    That would explain the “one wrong move and this all blows up in our face” monologue.

    Not as bad as I though.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Lengendaryboss

    @Pat
    Its 30, not 40.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killzone:_Shadow_Fall

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Lengendaryboss

    @Citrus
    Exactly.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    @14 – Yep, you’re right.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. ps3fanboy

    bring on the halo killer, its gonna be awsome :D

    #17 2 years ago
  18. laughing-gravy

    I see the troll boys are out in force again. :-)

    #18 2 years ago
  19. ultramega

    @1
    Uhhh… I don’t even know why I’m bothering to respond to the trolls, but this trailer is pretty shit. It’s only just more than a minute long. Watch the twenty minute stage demo. The game is far more open than past Killzones. And Guerilla made a point of stating that, too.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Lengendaryboss

    @Ultramega
    Monkey is no troll, thats just his opinion.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. zinc

    @20, Whilst Monkey is a huge troll & should be banned instantly!

    Its because of his constant Nintendo bum-kissing , not his belief Killzone is dull.

    Lets face it, Guerilla have had 3 games to tell us that :)

    p.s. Though i’m sure this one will rock!!

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Sang2

    @3 Where you watching it in 240p?, if so put it on 1080p so you can see that your comment is wrong.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Bill_E_Talent

    Wow, it seems half the people commenting on the article didn’t even bother to read it.

    This actually is starting to sound quite promising, looking forward to it.
    Thanks for the write up Pat.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. machy

    killzone is one of the greatest fps out there … and I can say that GG will take advantage for being lunch title and hock every body to kz and sit a new standers for fps genera

    #24 2 years ago
  25. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ What, you mean just like Insomniac did with Resistance?

    #25 2 years ago
  26. BrahManDude

    i like the heavy gunplay you have to sink in time to really appreciate what the game offers and it sets itself apart from COD and Battlefield wich still to this day no other game has 1st person cover other than Killzone so “F” off haters i heard COD has a dog why don’t you go pay $60 for the same rehash

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Ireland Michael

    I don’t care much for shooters, but its hard to deny that the game isn’t pretty as fuck.

    Killzone has its own definite unique feel to it. The same sadly couldn’t be said for Resistance. I couldn’t keep playing the Killzone games though. They were like an insane sensory overload. My eyes and head literally couldn’t handle all the shit being thrown at me from the screen. It was too much.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. redwood

    @1 it’s not linear.. you can re-organize your objectives as you wish.. and the levels are huge. so no.. definitely pretty non-linear.. but it’s also not open world.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. DrDamn

    @19
    Nah MG is not a troll but he didn’t really read the article if his first comment is about linearity.

    #29 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    DirectX 12 may not be the miracle that some are believing it to be, at least not when it comes to improving the resolution of Xbox One ports. Damien Monnier, a senior game designer at The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has revealed through a Twitter conversation with fans that DirectX 12 may not […]

  • Get infinite items in Bloodborne with this duplication glitch

    Bloodborne has a nasty glitch that will let you duplicate all in-game consumables. The glitch was discovered by Kotaku and makes item duplication pretty simple. Note that doing this will trivialise a major part of the game’s challenge and that it will probably get patched soon. For this glitch to work, you’ll need to create […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 31: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    The weekly reset to Destiny’s merchants, strikes, and reputation caps is here. The strike for this week is The Nexus on the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Void burn will be your ally/enemy for the Nightfall. The Juggler modifier is also available on both Heroic and Nightfall. Inferno Crucible mode also returns with Clash, and it […]

  • Motivational Growth is the first non-documentary film to be released on Steam

    Motivational Growth will soon be Steam’s first foray into selling movies that are not based around video games Steam will release its first, non-documentary film later today in the form of Motivational Growth. The film is a sci-fi comedy distributed by Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital, who has itself produced other game-centred documentaries before, and […]

  • Metal Gear Solid movie in the works at Sony Pictures

    A Metal Gear Solid film is in the making at Sony Pictures. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures has closed a deal to make a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid. The film will be written by Jay Basu, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct. Michael De Luca is said to be heading production. There […]

  • Destiny: Inferno mode returns this week with Inferno Clash

    Inferno mode returns to Destiny this week. This time it’s Inferno Clash. The Inferno playlist will be back to The Crucible rotation in Destiny this week. Unlike last month’s Control, Clash will be the mode variant this time. The main changes Inferno brings to the game is the removal of the radar (mini-map), scoring is […]

  • Bladestorm: how 28 rogue ninja conquered Brittany

    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

  • First Bloodborne speedrun is in, game finished in under 45 minutes

    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

    We’ve got some new gameplay footage from Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies episode 2 – Infection. Arekkz went to L.A. this past weekend and played the new map that Infection brings to Exo Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare. The map is noticeably larger than that of the first episode, with more branching paths you can unlock. […]

  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]