Finally! We queued for ages. But it was worth it. Just standing there looking at other people play it was awesome. Yes, Killzone 2 is at the Eurogamer Expo and we finally got our hands on it.
Full impressions after the break.
By Mike Bowden
Let's just start by saying that this is probably game of the show. We haven't felt 'a part of something' in game for quite some time. You really do feel like there's a huge war going around you and you're just chipping in. There's fighting going on outside your window: aircraft flying overhead, tanks rolling forward, screams from the battlefield muffled by the distant judder of machine gun fire - it's war.
That's not to say that you haven't got your hands full. Wave after wave of black-clad, red-visor-wearing militia stand between you and the objective constantly flashing on the screen. They're no cannon-fodder either. You instantly notice how the AI tries to make use of the surroundings: taking cover behind corners, ducking down behind walkways - Killzone 2 makes you work for your kill. But a bit of effort and thought never hurt anyone, especially not in a first-person shooter, and it's work like this that is one of the many things that has the potential to make this the most engaging game on PS3 to date.
Destructible environments is another example. It's not just a case of a few flecks of old paint that splay into the air as your gunfire catches the edge of a doorway. Not here. Whole buildings collapse before your very eyes.
Yep. Whole buildings.
You'll find yourself pinned down outside a multi-tiered building with manned turrets raining bullets at you from every level. It soon became apparent that if you shoot the ground beneath their feet, the floor collapses and your would-be assassin comes tumbling down with turret and concrete for company. Soon however, more and more enemies pour in and you're completely outnumbered, cover is at a premium and you're getting hit. A lot.
What to do next? Well, why not try shooting the red oil barrel on the middle level? No sooner thought than done, an enormous explosion fills the screen and we pulled back to witness the whole building collapse. Our hands gripped the controller, a little smile was on our lips - this was something very special indeed.
With the limited time we had with this code, you could say this has gone to number one on our most wanted list. The game did did pause a few times whilst loading, and the smooth, straight lines, well, just weren't, but this is pre-beta code. So we'll forgive it.
The weapons had a chunky feel to them and were excellently weighted, your companion AI wasn't getting in your face every five minutes, the enemies have an almost F.E.A.R.-like sense of self-preservation, and the game isn't easy. In fact, every box on our, "What makes an FPS great" checklist was ticked. Conversely, our, "What makes an FPS shit" checklist was bare.
Basically, if you haven't pre-ordered this by now, erm, pre-order it. Can't say enough good things about it, if we're being honest. Now we're off to join the hour-long queue for another go. Turrah.