As a co-op player, perhaps the most bizarre thing I found was that the game gives you an AI buddy right from the get go in Rico. Like Army of Two, if you go down, the AI is actually capable of reviving you, and you revive him. But he’s not there for every mission. I was surprised to see when playing the two player local co-op (the only co-op the game has) - Rico isn’t controlled by your friend, instead it adds in Natko from the previous game for your co-op partner. While not too big of a deal, it does make the cut scenes a bit fragmentary because the second player is no longer included.
These are just a few of the oddities we found while playing the campaign in co-op. It’s clear that the game wasn’t designed for this mode from the start, but instead Guerrilla found a way to add it in. As we said, co-op in Killzone 3 is a split screen only affair - and it uses the offset box technique but still keeps an odd aspect ratio for display. I’m not quite sure why its done this way - usually when there’s the offset boxes it keeps a 16:9 ratio on the perspective. Still I never did feel like I was cramped playing split screen, so that’s a good thing.
While I never found a memorable moment throughout Killzone 3, I don’t think there was necessarily a bad moment either. There’s an odd focus on the new (and brutal) melee kills, but the weapons themselves are all a lot of fun to use and there’s a good variety. Most weapons return from Killzone 2, but the few new weapons are incredibly satisfying.
Speaking of weapons I did pick up Sony’s “Sharpshooter” attachment for playing the game in single player (it's not available for co-op) using the PlayStation Move. While I can’t see myself using this as an alternative to the controller, I gotta admit it really adds to the immersion of the game. Guerrilla has gotten really close to creating a motion controlled system that works for first person shooters. There are times when you can get into a zone and just work through sections of levels with no trouble at all, but then there are times - usually with tight corridors - where you realize the limitations of the motion controls. Basically your trade off is more precise aiming for less precise movement.
After you complete the 6 hour romp through the story there’s a pretty beefy multiplayer mode to enjoy - that is when it works. I had a heck of a time trying to get into matches, usually joining a game only to be immediately put back into a matchmaking queue. When it does work the Warzone multiplayer mode is where you’ll want to spend most of the time. This class based, team based mode puts dynamic changing objectives into a single match that gives it a distinct flavor unlike any other multiplayer versus game out there. Add on an XP based progression system, ala Call of Duty, and you have addictive, fun and replayable multiplayer.
While Killzone 3 didn’t have any excessive rhetoric to live up to like its predecessors, perhaps it would have benefited from something of a lofty goal. 3D and Motion control are fine for some, but you’re only hitting a very small segment of your market when this becomes your focus. Game design and quality clearly suffered here and while the co-op is a lot of fun, its clearly not fleshed out. Its not that Killzone 3 is a bad game, but for a major AAA title that’s considered a flagship for your platform, it just makes me face palm.
The Co-Op Experience: Play through the campaign with a friend in couch co-op.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.