Killzone: Shadow Fall is also at Gamescom 2013, and this time, Guerrilla has decided to focus entirely on its game’s multiplayer functionality. Not surprisingly, Shadow Fall’s online component appears to be very strong, continuing the trend first started with Killzone 2 and Killzone 3 on PlayStation 3.
On the periphery, Killzone: Shadow Fall is deceivingly simple. It totes only three classes, and these classes are easily defined and understood. The Assault class aims to be “in the middle of the action,” while the Scout class wants to “strike from the shadows.” The third class, Support, is the “real team player,” with the ability to heal fallen comrades while contributing only moderately to the offensive success of a given team.
That deceiving level of accessibility is belied by Shadow Fall’s deeper systems resting just underneath the surface. There are a ton of guns, attachments, abilities, and augments, but more importantly, Guerrilla has crafted a series of modes that don’t rely on experience points, replacing such a straight-forward approach with an extensive series of skill-based challenges. Killzone: Shadow Fall will launch with a staggering 1,500 of these challenges, which range from achieving kill streaks to using certain weapons effectively. Completing challenges, in turn, increases your online ranking.
There’s further beauty to this challenge system, however, since there’s a more practical application for it apart from the online ranking and associated metagame. Completing challenges will unlock new scopes, improved abilities, and more, meaning that if you dedicate yourself to mastering Killzone: Shadow Fall, you’ll have more to show for it than merely a numerical ranking.
This is a cool option that Killzone fans will undoubtedly enjoy, but what’s even cooler is how functional Warzone customization is within the community. Guerrilla will ship the game with pre-set options, but new rule permutations can be shared with anyone in the community. The best ones can be featured and discovered by others online, and each shared ruleset will even have its own, completely dedicated leaderboards. Of course, Shadow Fall will also support clans, bots, party chat, and much more, but deep Warzone options really seem like they’ll sit at the center of the newest iteration of Killzone’s online community.
The diversity of the maps I played on (thankfully) reflected Shadow Fall’s single player’s vivid color palette and locational diversity. Unlike Killzone 2 and 3, Shadow Fall really does seem like it’s moving away from a bland, brown, monochromatic aesthetic. The first map I played on, The Park, was full of green flora, with blues and oranges interspersed all over the place. The Wall, on the other hand, was a rainy, decrepit locale that had an almost prison-like atmosphere. But even there, there were shades of color that made Shadow Fall look decidedly un-Killzone.
I was also pleased to learn that Guerrilla has “extensive plans” to support Killzone: Shadow Fall after it's released. The game will launch with 10 maps, but as we first reported yesterday, all subsequent maps released will be made available completely free of charge. And there’s a team at Guerrilla already dedicated to making this DLC, so you can probably expect those maps sooner rather than later.
Killzone: Shadow Fall will be available for PlayStation 4 when the console launches this November.