First of all, click on that image below. See the screenshot full-size, and look at the water in the lower-right corner. Go ahead, and come on back. I'll wait.
I know what'cher thinkin'. You're thinkin' bullshot. It's not. That shot is bull-less.
The game looks that good. More than that, it looks that good in motion as those waves dip and crest below these massive platforms you cruise over, in the demo.
Preview articles were, for months, assuring us that this game is gorgeous. Recent reviews have hailed it as gorgeous. I'm rarely prepared to believe that stuff, but now that I've laid hands on it - now that I've seen it with my own eyes, I must concede - this game is gorgeous.
* * *
A week or so ago, I went into HMV to preorder Killzone 3. I'd decided I would lay money down on it, and not Bulletstorm (a reversal of my position last month), as the Bulletstorm demo didn't quite blow my skirt up. ...I should still spend more time with that demo, I suppose... but at the time, I wondered if I made the right choice.
I did. Bulletstorm represents a lot of what I feel has been missing in recent first person shooters - a sense of raw entertainment, childlike silliness and a willingness to indulge - while Killzone 3, on its surface, is wholly generic.
It's a military-esque taking-itself-very-seriously shooter about a bunch of roughneck soldiers - in space. It's Medal of Halo - but it's also incredibly good-looking with an immersive world (unlike Halo), and driven by a bit of creativity and fantasy world-building (unlike Call of Duty). I find the combination rather appetizing.
At this point, of course, I have to worry. Is this assessment genuine? Can I trust my own judgment on this? After all, fanboys don't think they're fanboys.
* * *
Let's face it - this is a PS3 exclusive that I'm hot for, as opposed to that 360 exclusive (Halo), which I'm not. There is an argument to be made, here, that I have somehow convinced myself that Killzone 3 seems pretty damn great simply because it is a Sony exclusive.
That's a terrible thought, so I applied the principle to other genres.
Is God of War III really a great action-adventure?
Compared to what?
Force Unleashed, Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, Dante's Inferno...
Better than Bayonetta?
Why? Bayonetta's gameplay is spectacular.
Yes - but overall, GoW III has better voice work, story design, story presentation, writing, art direction, technology, overall presentation, graphics, camera work, pure ambition...
Okay, okay, that's enough. What about... Gran Turismo 5?
I couldn't care less about racing games.
Maybe a real Sony fanboy would blindly support those titles anyway?
This isn't about that, it's about me feeling that Killzone 3 is more appealing than Halo. It's comparing one game in a genre I know well to another game in a genre I know well and saying this one is superior.
What about... Uncharted 2 versus Gears of War 2?
Good one! Umm... for my money, Uncharted 2, definitely.
You fucking fanchild.
Look, I've played both. U2 actually does have better graphics, story, animation and voice work, and it doesn't have one-note gameplay. It's not just shooting - it's that plus platforming and puzzle solving and exploration. It's a better game.
What about multiplayer?
I wouldn't know, I didn't spend much time with U2's multiplayer outside the beta, and I don't have a Gold membership on Live.
So Uncharted 2 is a better game for you?
So maybe the same is true of Killzone 3?
But how do I know my perception isn't colored by some insane brand loyalty?
You could try writing about it on your blog, and finding the answer through discussion with yourself.
No, that hasn't helped.
Well... are you looking forward to it?
After that demo? Fuck yes.
Then stop over-analyzing this and just go play Stacking.