Two big first-person-shooters. Both exclusive to the PlayStation 3.
Both set for release within a few months of each other.
Both featuring a lot of earth tones.
Insomniac Games' "Resistance" is set for late 2008 release. "Guerrilla Games' "Killzone" is set for February of 2009.
If you could play the two of them as they are today, both several months from completed development, what would set them apart?
I played both games at a Sony press event in Los Angeles last week and would like to offer some differences that stood out to me...
"Killlzone 2" Currently Looks Better -- Graphically, "Killzone 2" is in the "Call of Duty 4" league, and the game is nine months from release. The graphics are detailed and gritty. Enemy characters animate convincingly. The scenario I played featured my soldier and fellow squad-mates descending from the sky on a hovering platform called an Intruder. He landed in the middle of an urban war zone, and had to shoot through the opposing enemy Helghast forces as they emerged from the backs of armored vehicles and fired from balconies of whatever city he was in. The battle was frantic; a violent march through unsafe terrain. Looking down the green-lensed sights of my character's machine gun, I felt as if I was in fact playing an interactive version of the infamous "Killzone 2" E3 concept video. "Resistance 2" looks fine, but "Killzone" appears on track to be the bigger graphical stunner of the two.
"Resistance 2" Will Apparently Make You More Of A Hero -- I haven't played or seen a split second of the single-player game of "Resistance 2," but I asked Kyle Shubel, producer of "Killzone 2," how the games differ and he offered this idea of heroism. Of the game he's involved with, he said: "You are not a god among men." He told me the developers at Guerilla Games are designing "Killzone 2" to emphasize the theater of war. He talked about scenes that feature eight intruders whizzing by overhead, mortars landing all around and a "bigger battle" that the player is just a small part of. Maybe "Resistance 2" has some of this too, but it's what Shubel immediately offered as a distinguishing point. That's got to mean something.
"Resistance 2" Has 60-Gamer Multiplayer That Just Might Work -- Only the large-scale multiplayer mode of "Resistance 2" was playable at the L.A. event. No co-op. No single player. Insomniac Games president Ted Price was on hand to talk me through the still-in-progress mode. Players join a 60-person game as part of a squad. Every squads includes four to six players, and each squad is assigned a rival squad. Each pair of squads are given the same objectives and essentially must battle each other to complete them. Objectives includes things like holding a patch of territory, taking a control point or reinforcing other squads on the map. The avatars of the players in your rival squad are tinted red, so that you know who to gun for. The focus on squad objectives set amid a larger 60-player conflict seems like it could provide needed structure to the game's grand multiplayer battles. And the developers there hinted that there would events during multiplayer that might bring the players into larger groups. I suggested invasions of boss characters. Does "Killzone 2"'s multiplayer have a chance of competing? I don't know. Sony wasn't showing it or talking about it.
Back in February I asked Ted Price about the chance of "Resistance 2" and "Killzone 2" competing with each other. He didn't sound worried and stated that the two development teams get along. Both titles appear to be on the path to success. I can't tell if overlap is going to be a problem, nor if the placement of the two games a few months from each other on the release calendar will help or hurt.
At the L.A. event last week, Sony kept the games apart -- "Killzone 2" on the first floor of a penthouse suite; "Resistance 2" upstairs. And the modes shown weren't that comparable. But every PS3 owner checking their system's release list for major upcoming games must notice the parallels and may well have to make a choice.
Which one's for you? There's no easy answer yet.
And for your added info, here are the descriptions of the two games, via Sony's official press release for the 2008 PS3 line-up:
Resistance 2 – PS3 (Available Fall 2008 / Not Yet Rated)
On the brink of annihilation, mankind resumes the fight against the unstoppable Chimera on the shores of the United States. Thus the stage is set for Resistance 2, the highly anticipated follow-up to Insomniac Games' best-selling PS3 launch title. Players will once again step into the war-torn boots of Sgt. Nathan Hale, who not only faces near impossible odds on the battlefield, but also struggles with the Chimera virus raging inside his own body. In addition to an epic single-player campaign, Resistance 2 will offer a truly unprecedented eight-player, class-based online co-op campaign and 60-player online competitive multiplayer built upon a 'massive battles, greater intimacy' mantra. Also, players can expect tightly integrated community support via MyResistance.net.
Killzone 2 – PS3 (Available February 2009 / Not Yet Rated)
Developed by Guerilla Games, Killzone 2 is the highly anticipated first-person shooter created exclusively for PS3. Killzone 2 brings a highly detailed, ultra-realistic "theater of war," where players encounter adaptable artificial intelligence (A.I.) from enemies as well as fellow soldiers, destructible environments, and stunningly detailed scenery. Set on the hostile enemy planet of Helghan, players will once again join the ranks of the ISA with a directive to battle through the harsh environment to capture the Helghast emperor and bring the enemy war machine to a halt. With an extensive single-player campaign and thrilling multi-player mode, Killzone 2 delivers a host of new weapons, vehicles, and gameplay elements all wrapped in an intense storyline.