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Killzone 2 Demo Impressions |

Okay, I just played through the Killzone 2 demo. It’s a very short experience. I died 5 times and had to redo parts, and it still took me less than 15 minutes. But it gave me a good impression of the game, and that’s what a demo is all about, eh?

First off, the menus are ANNOYING. Do they want me to have a headache before ever entering the game? The whole screen jerks around for every action you do in the menu. Why? Why oh why? “Let’s give everyone a bad impression of the game right from the start!”

The graphics were nice. They didn’t blow my mind, maybe because I’ve seen too many videos of the game. But they were nice. Sometimes there was some stuttering, which was a bit annoying. [Edit: Yes, yes, yes. The graphics are very nice. I am just so used to them by now, having seen a TON of videos, that they were nothing new and therefore didn’t impress me as much as if I’d been seeing them for the first time.]

This paragraph describes what the demo consists of. If you don’t want to know, skip to the next paragraph. Right now! Go! The demo starts off like the famous video, with you flying through the air on a motorized air car, or whatever it’s called. You land and have to shoot some baddies. There is no tuturial to speak of. This level is the tutorial, I guess. Anyway, after you land you can shoot some baddies on a bridge if you want to, but you’re really supposed to get the RPG and blow up the fuel dump on the bridge, which effectively destroys it. Then you wander under the bridge, turn a corner or two, have some more friends join you, and have a big fire fight with a bunch of Helghast. Once that’s done, you move into the building where you fight inside a warehouse area. You’ve probably seen it before in videos. And that’s it. When you exit that room, the demo ends. Then you get to see the death dance video with some text saying how great the game is.

The controls take some getting used to. Crouch is not a toggle, while ADS is. This is backwards in my opinion, though you can make ADS non-toggle in the options. Not so for crouch. Grrrr. Next time I play through the demo I’ll also have to tweak the turning speed, because the default made me feel like I was turning under water. I never have to play with these settings in other games. But I will here. All in all I have to say I was disappointed with the controls. I might still get used to them, but why don’t they have a control scheme that mimics the CoD one? It’s the best there is. At least give us the option. The last Alternate control scheme is the one that most closely mimics CoD, but the “most closely” ruins it. Having to play with both L1 for ADS and L2 for a non-toggle crouch was annoying. I’ll have to play experiment with difference schemes.

All in all? I would love to say that the demo was an impressive tour de force which blew my mind. But… well… it didn’t. Like most shooters I think I’m going to go straight to the multiplayer and skip the campaign. (Unless they release a co-op patch.)

[Edit: Regular readers of this site know that I place a huge emphasis on playing games with other people. Either multiplayer or co-op. So a single player experience doesn’t have much hold on me in ANY game. I am VERY much looking forward to the multiplayer.]

  • Pc

    I love the game….Graphics are great and the controls are good. I adapt well with change and the controls not being exactly like cod, doesn’t bother me at all.
    I’m going to play through the entire campaign before i jump online and get used to the controls and experience one of the best shooters ever made ! πŸ™‚

  • Pc

    p.s. i just played through for my second time, and officially have the controls DOWN ! Man, this game kicks ass ! COD IS OBSOLETE AS OF THE 27TH !

  • James

    What’s ADS?

  • Aim Down Sight

  • chris (cpfuzz2)


    im really liking this game (as far as the demo goes). the motion blur took some getting used to, but after a few mins, you realize how great it really looks. this game should be played at 720p. Dont up convert to 1080p. it doesnt look and feel as good. this game was meant to played at 720p.

  • Hayes

    Just sounds to me like you’re only keen on arcade style shooters… and I don’t care how many vids you’ve seen, if KZ2 visuals don’t blow your mind you should just quit gaming.

    At any rate, I found the controls to be pretty easy to adapt to. And the deliberateness of the movement definitely add to the realism and atmosphere of the game. Kudos to they guys at Guerilla for getting it right!

  • Roneberg

    I see a great work with this demo… cant wait for me to buy it. I dont care about any review πŸ˜›

  • Well, to be fair. I’ve watched lots of HD videos of gameplay directly on my TV through my PS3. So I’ve already seen exactly what I saw today lots of times. Don’t get me wrong – it looks really nice. But I’ve seen it all before, so….

  • James

    Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks.

    Just watched the video review on and there’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment of the reviewer setting up his own custom controls. Shouldn’t be too hard to make a COD setup albeit with the non-toggle crouch. Oh actually, COD uses circle for crouch. That’s not going to work if you want to crouch and move too. Arrrrggggh.


  • rckyg


    Just got threw playing the demo a few times. First of all, it did not blow my mind. Maybe its because i have seen the run threw in this stage more than 50 times (yes im a huge KZ2 dork and have been waiting for this game for 4 years). But it does have great graphics and i do think the REAL game is going to blow my mind. Cant wait to get to Multi. Player.

  • Tom

    Maybe you should stop doing drugs because if you can’t excited about this game then I don’t know what will get you excited! What if a bullet came out of your tv and drilled you in the ass, would that make you happy with the game then? Jeesh!

    For your info the demo is just the first 2 sections of the first level out of 10 existing levels! Surely you aren’t writing the single player campaign off already? Reviewers have been saying the game picks up and continues to pick up throughout so I hope you don’t skip it.

  • derek

    why does everyone relate shooters to COD, cant they think outside the box and try something new.

  • What ?

    Because you’ve seen it before, the graphics are not that good ? What kind of appraisal is that ?

  • James: in CoD crouch is a toggle. So you can crouch and then move around without having to hold the button down.

    Tom: I am excited about the multiplayer. But then I’m more of a multiplayer kind of guy. I would definitely play the campaign if it were co-op. As is I might give it another chance. πŸ˜‰

  • What? : I didn’t say they weren’t good. They are. They just didn’t impress me so much because I’ve seen them so much before. You know how things are less impressive once you’ve seen them for a while.

  • mantis

    i played the demo on a standard crt tv(yes i kno i dont have hd) and the graphics blew my mind away. the controls may take a while getting used to but overall as of the 27th of feb 2009 killzone 2 becomes a genre in itself. ive played alot of games and nothing has blown me away and actualy say wow like killzone 2.

  • WoW

    You know you can also adjust sensitivity and also choose Controls set 2 with “hold to zoom” so its the same as cod.

    The slowness is due to the 2x gravity on the planet.

    Everyone else will be at the same speed online and so it will be fair.

    KILLZOWNED like the cat here vgwatchdog. com/pics/kzcat.jpg

  • WoW: yes, I mentioned as much in my article. What I want is a toggle for the crouch.

  • Biggy

    The menu system screen movement is controlled through the sixaxis tilt. If your getting a headache then hold the controller still. You must have been moving the controller around in your hands. I think the interface is slick.

  • Biggy: I don’t think it was the menu system that was controlled through SIXAXIS tilt. It was the loading screen. That didn’t bother me.

    In the menu, when you hit X, the whole screen did a jerk. It was the same every time. But I’ll check it out again just in case.


    dude,you sound like little spoiled sissy,cryin about everything in the demo. like i’m reading Paris Hilton’s blog about some guy that dumped her. what are you talking about?you don’t like menus? it’s giving you a headache? hit yourself with a brick in the head,you’ll feel ral headache.

  • FRANKO: πŸ™‚

    Have you tried the game? Have you experience the menus first hand?

  • What ?

    The lighting system is hands down the best I have ever witnessed in ANY game.

    They did a really good job on the dark and gritty atmosphere. Day 1 for me.

  • ThatWhorre

    I like FRANKO.

  • James

    lmao, franko ftw

  • Jonno

    its supposed to be like that the main menu that is is like an old computer that u would get back in the day adds to the affect.

  • DylanMMc

    I dont know what the fuss is over controls. Alt-2 is COD4 controls with the exception of O being crouch in COD4 and L2 is crouch on Killzone 2

  • Strange

    I don’t feel the same way you feel about the crouch

    This is because in Killzone 2, Crouch doesn not just mean Crouch.

    It means CROUCH + COVER
    if you make this toggleable, you WILL be covering everytime you hit a coverable object (which is close to everything), and I don’t think that will be a pleasant experience for anyone.

  • bmore2bstuy

    will download when I get home….even tho I’m not European……YAY!!!!!

  • Patriz

    I would like to say i am equally a fan of PS3 and 360, and i have to say i was expecting killzone 2 to blow me away, but it didnt, aim down would have been nice, as well as the character models looked better in gears and the overall txtures of gears looked better for example, zoom up against a wall in gears and its crystal clear zoom in on killzone and its back to 8 bit nes, I dont get what all the hype is about and again i am by no means a fanboy, i was hoping sony would blast it out of the water but i dont see the big fuss maybe when full game comes out it will make more sense .

  • balzebub

    patriz: i havn’t played the demo yet but 8 bitness is a bit harsh. maybe they hype got to you. But to me you sound biased anyway the fact you say a couple times your not a fanboy you sly dog.

    is anyone stoked on bots? Im excited about that becuase it reminds me of the n64 days when i could play multiplayer when no one was around and have heaps of fun.

  • Try Alternate 2 control system, i think that’s one is far more like other shooters than the rest. Remember there’s no crouch or cover in multiplayer so I would imagine that key is for push to talk voip.

  • 360

    the menu moves when the controller does hold it steady,what a twat

  • Pc

    @Patriz…It’s funny that you even say anything about 360 on a KZ2 post ! I remember playing Gears and having to wait for the freakin textures to show up on my character ! lol
    Btw, are you trying to say that Gears is better because you think that the textures are better in it ? I just have to lol one more time…..Gears was an ok game (i owned it), but it has nothing on KZ2 ! NOT ONE BIT ! Their not even the same type of shooter anyways!
    Ok, so anybody that post’s anything about 360 or one of its games from now on is retarded! πŸ™‚

  • jim

    if you like the COD controls so much, why don’t you just stick to playing COD then and leave the rest of us to have fun with killzone by playing killzone not a reskinned COD.

  • mpz

    I can’t seem to get any control scheme to work with the camera, i ran around looking at the sky or ground or turning the wrong way for ages (R2 has messed my head up, and i have barely played it). Other controls were pretty simple, although i missed the lean-and-peak and take-cover button help.

    The menus were nice I thought. Something better than a bland bit of text. How much time are you ever going to spend there? The loading screen ‘hologram’ thing was a nice touch.

    In game graphics looked a little flat, and had some aliasing. Not much, just a bit. I was sitting too close (i’d been reading and gone short-sighted), and maybe i had the brightness turned up too much. The intro scene was noticeably nicer than the game section. The effects, particles, motion blur, film-grain and so on were all spot on – the presentation is really unlike any other game. Textures were decent, lighting excellent. A few little animation blending glitches, but otherwise the animations were pretty slick, people died `convincingly’. Blood was nice and gory. A tiny load-stutter when I got in the lift otherwise the frame-rate was perfect, with no tearing.

    Gameplay was, ok. Felt like the guys you were with were just there to get hit so you had to revive them – was this made before they adjusted that a bit? And they didn’t seem to contribute otherwise. The guy standing on the rocket launcher telling me to take out the bridge just seemed a bit silly.

    But it’s just a demo, not sure what you should expect. I guess it was a decent bite-size technical preview of the whole game, and it looks pretty slick, it’ll sell.

  • first let me say that i suck at FPS’s and don’t play them much… the last one i played was resistance 1, which i quite liked.

    i enjoyed the KZ2 demo a lot. i will probably get it and play it on easy. i thought the graphics were amazing!

  • David

    I was wondering if there is a secondary fire . in killzone 1 the helgan gun could should one shotgun round ata a time and the main isa weapon that you start off with has a noob tube. will the final version have these?

  • Pellib

    “Well, to be fair. I’ve watched lots of HD videos of gameplay directly on my TV through my PS3. So I’ve already seen exactly what I saw today lots of times. Don’t get me wrong – it looks really nice. But I’ve seen it all before, so…. ”

    I don’t get it, in what way does the fact that you have seen HD Videos of the game previously have any bearing on the actual graphics ingame ?

    Menus are slightly annoying but as I spend little or no time at the menus it doesn’t really matter.

    I have read more or less every impresssion/review you have written on this site and it seems like you are happier when you find faults and more keen to point them out.

  • Gibb

    (maybe already explained but) Crouch is not a toggle because of the cover mechanics in SP, you can however toggle crouch in MP.


    hen man, i’ve played the demo 15 times,checked the menus,watched videos & pics and nothing bothers me in this demo. STOP crying! you got 5 control schemes to choose, THIS IS NOT COD GAME!!!

  • jerryhat

    Disagree with any reviewer all you want – but calling them names and so on is totally unacceptable. A lot of people in this thread need to re-evaluate what they say and how they say it.

  • John

    Technically and graphically, KZ2 is definetely in a class of its own, well above the rest. However, this was more technical wow than a pure wow factor because of (for me) the art direction. It just felt like the bland uninspired level design didn’t do justice to the engine.

    As for gameplay, well, it’s just another shooter: I got bored of those sometime in the last century, so count me out on that aspect. ^_^

  • I’ve played the demo once last night and I think the graphics in KZ2 are superb. The noise was good as well and I was entertained enough to go out and buy the game when it comes out.

    But what annoyed me a bit was that the game was quite unclear as to what you had to do and where you had to go. It took me a few minutes to locate the lift, for example. It would have been nice to have sort of a pointer or arrow like in other games.

  • I had the same problem. It annoyed me at first. But then I thought to myself that maybe it’s nice to be a bit more realistic and have less hand-holding.

  • Pellib

    We are all different I guess, I really enjoyed the chaos and that I was unsure on where to go next.

  • Brasil

    @ Glitch
    Hit UP on the D-PAD. it’ll tell you where to go.

  • @Brasil: Yep, that worked like a charm, thanks. πŸ™‚

  • Patriz

    ok first off I had gears 2 and killzone 2 in switching back and forth checking out overall appearances and i have to say, killzone 2 is in a class of its own. from the wind effects to smoke from your barrall the sutle details are truly amazing and it deffinitely in a class of its own. I think i was just expecting more from the demo and didnt analyze it properly, again i have no favorite system I am a gamer it dont matter what system its on a good game is a good game

  • Patriz

    Hey all you guys going on about how their is no guide to tell you where to go. Try pressing up on the d-pad it will show you where to go

  • patriz

    The controls alternate 2 are prob the best controls ive ever used in a game