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What 'Killzone 3' lacks in plot it makes up for in action experience


“Killzone 3” has it all — unparalleled visuals, cliched characters and a plot that will evacuate your mind like a burrito through your gastrointestinal tract.

The fourth installment of the “Killzone” saga means well and plays well, but its throwaway characters and plot detract from what could have been an otherwise fantastic, albeit incredibly short (five hour campaign!?) experience.

However, to say the game is without accomplishment would be a grievous disservice to the well-done elements within.

"Killzone 3" (PS3) First-person shooter M for Mature Online multiplayer 4 stars out of 5
It is set on the planet Helghan, home of the Helghast who, for whatever reason, are bent on ruling the universe. The game picks up right where “Killzone 2” left off.

With the death of Helghast leader Visari, good-guy troops begin to evacuate the planet while members of the Helghan senate engage in a political struggle to fill the resulting power vacuum.

Players will be continually force-fed a paper-thin plot that does little more than break up the game’s constant, in-your-face action. That doesn’t mean the cut scenes aren’t pretty to look at, but it’s hard to care about bad guys bickering about leadership when you know you’re minutes away from mutilating more of the red-eyed Helghast.

Combat is where “Killzone 3” really shines – the pacing is spot-on, battles are blisteringly fast and the gunplay is better than the average shooter. Each weapon has a satisfying heft, instilling a sense of weight and power within every gun.

The weighting is similar to that found in “Killzone 2,” but the developers have done a great job of adjusting the overall experience so it feels less like lag and more like you’re actually carrying a rather large weapon that has some substance and stopping power.

If mowing down enemies from a distance isn’t quite your style, a variety of brutal melee attacks can be executed — many of which involve shoving fingers or sharp objects into the glowing goggles of your enemies.

If you’re looking for immersion, it’s easy to quickly get sucked into the visually stunning world of Helghan. Immense detail populates every single environment and texture, making this one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen on the PS3.

It’s unfortunate the quality of graphics had to be toned down for the multiplayer portion of the game, which is a blast in its own right.

Players can create turrets as an engineer, revive fallen teammates as a medic or use stealth as an infiltrator. As per most online shooters, experience points are rewarded for high scores, netting online veterans unlockable equipment and skills.

The game certainly has its merits: it’s fun, engaging and beautiful to behold.

However, it’s plagued with a tired “stop the bad guys from destroying the world” plot, a short campaign and characters who have little to offer in terms of personality. Not to mention an atrociously abrupt ending.

But, hey — shooters are all about action. In that regard, “Killzone 3” is second to none.

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