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Killzone 2 Multiplayer Hands-On Review

Killzone 2 Multiplayer Hands-On

Killzone 2 was one of Sony's key titles at E3 2008, and at the show details on the multiplayer mode were revealed by the game's senior online designer, Eric Boltjes. Killzone 2 has some interesting options available for multiplayer, including customisable character classes, match settings, squads, and community integration with the game's official Web site at killzone.com.

In addition to being able to tweak match settings, you'll have the choice of five different mission types: assassination, bodycount, capture and hold, search and destroy, and search and retrieve. You can also combine mission types when playing; for example, you might play one round of assassination, followed by search and destroy, culminating in a tiebreaking round of search and retrieve. Boltjes revealed a new multiplayer feature at Leipzig including AI bots. They'll look like and mimic the behaviour of regular competitors and will be available in offline and online matches. In addition to standard run and gun duties, bots will also be able to complete mission objectives, and have access to the same abilities and weapons as regular players. We got some hands-on time with the game but unfortunately didn't get a chance to see any AI participants in action.

Killzone 2 supports up to 32 players, and has eight maps that are designed for between either 2 to 16 players, or 16 to 32 players. You'll be able to have any combination of players on any map, but be prepared for some fast-paced, close-quarters battles if playing on smaller maps with large teams. There are several spawn points available in each map, depending on the size and once you've captured them they'll be available for your team to spawn to. You'll also be able to spawn directly to your leader's position and straight into the heart of battle (if he's doing his job properly). The first map we tried was one of the smaller ones, and we joined one of the two five-man sides. The level fit the look and feel of what we've already seen of Killzone 2 with the action taking place in a battle-scarred warehouse. There were several levels in the stage with gantries above us and staircases leading down to several underground basements. We started off as a standard ISA soldier, equipped with an assault rifle and sidearm. The rifle worked effectively at short range and we were able to snipe a few enemies across the way using the gun's sights.

We then moved on to a much larger map, designed for up to 32 players, and the level featured a prominent, central outdoor courtyard. This time around we chose a Helghast engineer but combined his abilities with another class to be able to deploy sentry guns and call in AI-controlled air support. Depending on your class you'll have access to other abilities such as being able to heal others (medics) or repair equipment (engineers). Throwing a beacon directs air support in, and the airship will hover over the beacon's coordinates for a short time, attacking any enemies in the immediate vicinity. Because it needs line of sight it's only useful in maps with outdoor areas. Sentry guns, on the other hand, can be deployed in any part of the map and will keep watch until being destroyed by enemy troops. The objective in this map was to assassinate an enemy soldier, chosen seemingly at random by the game. The target's name and health will be displayed on every player's HUD, which makes the pace of each round a bit more hectic. After each round, the game will randomly select another assassination victim. There were a further six maps that we didn't get a chance to look at but expect those to offer a healthy range of variety and size. If eight maps doesn't sound like a whole lot to you, Guerrilla told us that more are being planned for distribution over the PlayStation Network postlaunch. If you can't wait that long to get your hands on Sony's upcoming off-world shooter, a public beta program is also planned before launch.

By Luke Anderson, GameSpot

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