Killzone 3 Sharp Shooter Impressions


Immersion

The core move, aim & shoot game mechanics are much more immersive with a light gun that you actually aim rather than thumb sticks and buttons. It’s a different play experience that is worth trying. The ergonomics are excellent and the nav controller movement is very intuitive.

Learning Curve

I won’t lie; this is way harder than using a traditional dualshock. When I transitioned my FPS input style of choice from keyboard-only to mouse-look and again to dualshock, I went through long learning curves. It’s possible that I will grow accustomed to this over time but I’m skeptical that I will ever reach my full dualshock level of proficiency.

With limited proficiency, this isn’t a viable option for competitive multiplayer where you will get butchered by dualshock players, but for single player gameplay, this is a ton of fun.

Major Flaw

The huge limitation to this control system is how you turn your character. As it is now, to turn your character, you move the aiming reticle to the edge of the screen to start the turn, hold the aiming reticle steady until you turn as far as you want, and then move your aiming reticule back to center to stop turning. This is very hard to coordinate and completely unnatural. I frequently find my character spinning around while I frantically search for that center, “stop turning” position.

The Ultimate Solution

In a perfect world, the ideal control would have your character turn one-to-one with your real body turns, and stop turning when you stop turning. Ultimately, that can’t happen until gaming hardware moves away from the traditional free-standing TV display form factor and adopts wearable video video glasses that track your head’s orientation and delivers camera control that works just like your body’s natural camera control.

To long time blog readers, I’m sorry for harping on this again, but honestly, this feature is worthy of repeat mention. This single feature would deliver the next level in 3D environment immersion.

Additionally, if anything demands a unique platform and special input hardware, it is this. Who cares about DS-style dual screens and NGP-style back plate touch control silliness, when you can have a genuinely transformative input paradigm?


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Trieloth on February 24th, 2011 [ 3426 Points ]

    I got the sharp shooter last night and it took some getting used to. The turning and moving is a joke but once I adjusted some controls and what not it was really fun.

  2. #2 by Oly on February 24th, 2011 [ 132130 Points ]

    I found the same.. changing the setting helped a lot, but still need to tweak it some. Def not a viable MP option at this point.

  3. #3 by Delive on February 24th, 2011 [ 465 Points ]

    One thing I found myself trying to do was rotate the controller left or right to turn. The same way you rotate to reload. I know this does not work, but my mind was trying to do that more naturally than the moving to the edge of the neutral zone.

    I also found that when I calibrate, I make the neutral zone bigger by aiming an extra 5 to 10 inches off the screen when it tells you to shoot the corners. Allows a little more room for error.

  4. #4 by xDeFcoN_2FasT4Ux on February 24th, 2011 [ 2160 Points ]

    Yea I think that its not just the sharpshooter, its teh move overall. Making turns is hard. And completely not a great way to game. They should have made it so that you body is tracted, like the Kinect. TO be honest. It would be more realistic. Like the camera fallows your movements.

  5. #5 by Darrin on February 24th, 2011 [ 17143 Points ]

    I’ll definitely try growing the neutral zone (I assume that is the don’t turn zone).

    The Move doesn’t handle turning your character very well, but Kinect doesn’t do this either.

  6. #6 by Delive on February 24th, 2011 [ 465 Points ]

    @Darrin, yes, I was referring to the “Don’t turn zone” :). I’m on a small 21″ monitor too. If your playing on a larger TV, maybe it works better. It’s a surprise, but Cabella’s Dangerous Hunts 2011 played with the move feels better than Killzone 3, so far. It seemed like the screen edge triggered the turn, instead of the smaller area in KZ3. If you flinch too hard, your looking at the sky in KZ3..

  7. #7 by EdEN on February 24th, 2011 [ 139651 Points ]

    @Darrin: Sounds to me like you didn’t configure the dead zone box to better fit this peripheral. After years of playing FPS games with a pointer (thank you Wii!) I can tell you that if KZ3, like Red Steel 2 and Metroid Prime 3 (and Trilogy), allows for a lot of customization options such as aiming and turning speed, dead box sizes and shapes and motion sensitivity, to name a few, you’d have a better experience next time.

  8. #8 by sam on February 24th, 2011

    yeah dead zone shold fix the complaints. i have been FPSing for a while on Wii with very natural movement. Red Steel 2 is still the best in my opinion.

    as lon as they give you the option to customize everything i dont think its a problem.

  9. #9 by sam on February 24th, 2011

    also, these games take a lot of practive to get good at. there IS a large learning curve and a lot more room for error.

  10. #10 by Darrin on February 24th, 2011 [ 17143 Points ]

    People are getting “dead zone” mixed up with “neutral zone”

    The “dead zone” is where small controller movements are ignored as noise. This is a very standard concept.

    The “neutral zone” is where you can aim but you don’t rotate your character.

  11. #11 by xDeFcoN_2FasT4Ux on February 24th, 2011 [ 2160 Points ]

    Darrin: I’ll definitely try growing the neutral zone (I assume that is the don’t turn zone).The Move doesn’t handle turning your character very well, but Kinect doesn’t do this either.  ^

    o really i thought it did, well that sucks then. I would have thought that Dance dance rev, would have need it, well thats kinda differ though.

  12. #12 by Delive on February 24th, 2011 [ 465 Points ]

    There are quite a few options for customization. Rotation and cursor speed, dead/neutral zone size, sensitivity. The issue I’m seeing is when I adjusted the zone where I can move the cursor, but not turn, it takes up a small part of the center of the screen. When scoped out, it is closer to the full 16:9 ratio. So, finding that perfect “Sweet spot” is a must. I’m just surprised that Activision got it to work better than Guerrilla.

    It is fun playing with the sharp shooter, but until I get the right feel for playing with it, there is no way I’m going online playing like that.

  13. #13 by premiersoupir on February 24th, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    For what it’s worth, there’s a sizeable or at least vocal elite cadre of MAG players who swear that the Move is the only way to play the game, once the thing is properly calibrated and its options configured. I had a terrible time using the Move in MAG, but as @Darrin intimates, it’s probably something that one must simply practice in order to perfect.

  14. #14 by Beastxjason on February 24th, 2011 [ 25926 Points ]

    This thing is flawless. Im blazing through insanity mode with it and after tweaking a few settings have none of the issues you are. I understand its your impression so far but suggest spending a decent amount of time playing with every setting. Learning curve wasnt there for me as Im used to the movement from time crisis story mode which uses navi and move. I would say my only complaint if I had to nit pick, is it feels front heavy? I think that’s the only way to state it. I picked up another one today for my son and were in heaven with them.

    As far as the MAG comment I can only say if your pointing it at the screen your probably not playing the way most are. Just sit back and point it anywhere you like. For games like mag and RE5 it is used more like a mouse etc. Well, that is the way I do it and yes there is no going back to the controller for me.

  15. #15 by Kane112 on February 24th, 2011 [ 34177 Points ]

    hmmm interesting i really want to try one of these out before i decide on getting it or not

  16. #16 by Smegmazor on February 24th, 2011

    Darrin,

    I just read your review and I totally agree with everything you said. The Sharpshooter is fun for single player action, but I couldn’t see myself playing multiplayer with it because of the turning issue. The video glasses would be key in this situation and would also bring the shooter genre to a whole new level of gaming. I’m for it!

  17. #17 by pedro on February 25th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    In all reality the problem is the crossair (i’m not completely sure this is the right word, but let’s get on with it). The problem is, it moves inside a static screen, when it should always be centered and move with the screen.

    That’s how it works “in real life” (not really, but it’s more similar).

  18. #18 by BATTLEFACE on February 25th, 2011

    pedro: In all reality the problem is the crossair (i’m not completely sure this is the right word, but let’s get on with it). The problem is, it moves inside a static screen, when it should always be centered and move with the screen.That’s how it works “in real life” (not really, but it’s more similar).  

    This is where Darrin’s video glasses would come in. If the crosshairs moved with the camera, then you’d have to physically turn 180 degrees to pop anyone behind you, removing the sharpshooter’s line of sight of your TV.

  19. #19 by Captiosus on February 25th, 2011 [ 20 Points ]

    Darrin: People are getting “dead zone” mixed up with “neutral zone”The “dead zone” is where small controller movements are ignored as noise. This is a very standard concept.The “neutral zone” is where you can aim but you don’t rotate your character.  

    Except that’s not how it works in KZ3.
    Again, check the Waggle3D video of it (Time stamp 7:30). He puts screen overlays to highlight the dead zone at various settings and you can clearly see the minute the crosshairs touch the respective boundaries, you begin to turn. In KZ3, the Dead Zone is the neutral zone.

    The video also addresses turning speed. After watching the video, I was able to tweak the settings and haven’t had any issues with aiming or camera drift. I will agree that it’s not really great for multiplayer.

  20. #20 by Darrin on February 25th, 2011 [ 17143 Points ]

    @Captiosus, you are right; they are using the words “dead zone” to refer to the “do not rotate” zone.

  21. #21 by Darrin on February 25th, 2011 [ 17143 Points ]

    wow, that iWaggle video is awesome. It explains all of those settings perfectly. And those settings are not very clear on casual use.

  22. #22 by xDeFcoN_2FasT4Ux on February 26th, 2011 [ 2160 Points ]

    Okay so yesterday I tried out the move with shaprshoter and everything. MY yellow crosshair would not stay still. Like like when i went to look up, it would really track it, it was really unresponsive. Not mirrors no glass was around me, lights were out and all in the room not sure if that a play on it, but yea. I am really scared that my MOVE controller may be screwed up.

  23. #23 by Joel on February 27th, 2011

    Interesting that you say that the move/sharpshooter is not a viable option for multi-player. I’m not an experienced console online multi-player FPS player, but within about an hour of playing Killzone 3 online Guerrilla Warfare (team death-match) with move (haven’t got the sharpshooter yet) I was consistently ranked in the top few players in my team, something I would never have been able to do with the dualshock 3.

  24. #24 by Jonaskin on March 2nd, 2011

    I didn’t end up grabbing KZ3 over the weekend purely because I’m waiting for more Sharpshooter bundles to arrive.

  25. #25 by Darrin on March 2nd, 2011 [ 17143 Points ]

    @xDeFcoN_2FasT4Ux, did you try quitting/restarting the game? I had some wonkiness a few times, but a simple quit/restart fixed it.

    @Joel, I believe it. You are probably a much better player than I.


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