Game Notes: Killzone 2’s Suljeva Village

There’s something about Killzone 2 that hasn’t quite been replicated in other games, not even Killzone 3. There are sheer moments of awe, one of which takes place in Suljeva Village.

Caught on the enemy’s home turf, you stumble upon a wreckage of rusted, broken debris, makeshift into cover and shelter from the consistent dust storms. As I saw an enemy run by on a tall catwalk, laser sights home into me, and my AI partner screams “don’t let them get their pistol laser sights on you!” At this point, it becomes a game of cat and mouse.

I think what really gets me is the combination of great music, facing a new enemy in a beautiful setting, and the almost stealth-like mechanics in a game that has been nothing but nonstop shooting at this point. It’s a moment that lasts less then ten minutes, but is one of the best segments of the game.

There’s something visceral about enemy laser sights in games that triggers a player to go from super-action-commando to stealthy, silent worm in seconds. Laser sights like the ones in Killzone, Resistance 3 and so many other games seem ridiculous (why doesn’t your gun give off a laser sight? Why can’t the enemy use scopes instead?) but what better way to convey that the player is completely overpowered than a laser beam directly on them? Immediately you think, holy crap, I gotta get me some cover. It’s an automatic trigger that not even a dual wielding mini gun boss would inspire (I died because I clearly did not shoot enough rockets at that guy!).

Laser beams just plain look cool, they convey a sense of doom for the player, and Killzone 2’s Suljeva Village handles it brilliantly. I hope laser beams stay around forever.

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