In the interest of full disclosure, I was not terribly fond of the campaign in “Killzone 2,” and one of the issues I had was the controls, which felt slow and stiff. The standard controls for “Killzone 3” feel a bit tighter than its predecessor, but it turns out the best way to play Guerrilla’s anticipated shooter is with PlayStation Move, which is something I did last night.
There’s never really been a first-person shooter that worked well with motion controls. “Metroid Prime 3” is probably the best example of motion controls working for an FPS, but that game didn’t require the fast reflexes and precision associated with the genre. “Killzone 3” is all about fast reflexes, headshots and using cover, all of which are made even easier with “PlayStation Move.”
Aiming works as you’d expect. Point the Move remote around the screen to move an enlarged reticule where you want and pull the trigger to fire. Moving around the center of the screen only changes the location of your gun, whereas moving to the sides will start to spin your character. Because your point of view is mostly stationary, you’re able to jump from target to target as quickly as you would in a light gun game.
You have the option of going into iron sights, but more often than not the standard reticule works fine for close and medium range targets. Better than fine, in fact, as I was able to clear a room of Helghast in mere seconds, lining up headshots which normally would’ve required careful cover and preparation. Suddenly close-range combat, which was a bit clumsy in “Killzone 2,” feels a lot more like an option.
I would definitely say that your aiming will improve dramatically when using PlayStation Move with “Killzone 3.” Movement, admittedly, is going to be a bit trickier, as turning your character around takes more time than it would with a standard analog. But you gain the benefit of being able to run in one direction and fire at enemies in your periphery, without having to turn the camera towards them. It’s a move that Arnold patented with his M60 in “Commando” and finally you get to replicate it in a video game.
Throwing grenades works great with Move, as well. No silly throw-movement is required. You simply hit the L1 button on your sub-controller and point your reticule where you want things to explode. It’s way faster than throwing an accurate grenade with the Dual Shock, and feels more fluid as well.
Lastly, props to Guerrilla for the best motion-based reload function I’ve ever used. A simple twist of the Move remote tilts your gun to the side for a quick reload. It’s intuitive as you’re matching the action on screen, and it’s quick enough to not be annoying after the first 10 times.
Frankly I didn’t expect to be so impressed by the Move controls in “Killzone 3.” For hardcore gamers, this will be the best use of PlayStation Move when it launches in 2011. We’ll just have to wait and see how Guerrilla plans on supporting Move in multiplayer, as the difference with and without motion aiming is wide enough to cause a gap in player ability. Move-only servers, perhaps?