Motion controls are nothing new in the video game industry, but the games you can play are often gimmicky one-shot titles. “Killzone 3” is the latest game from the “Killzone” franchise that is exclusive to the PlayStation community. This game brings something very rare: a first person shooter that can be played with the motion control system PlayStation Move. I played the game with the sharpshooter rifle accessory to go with my move and navigation controllers, and throughout the campaign I switched back and forth from the standard controller to the motion-controlled ones.
For people using the motion controls, you find that the opening moments of the game are rather difficult. You have to learn how to walk, then run, then shoot moving targets all within the space of a few minutes. The one thing I discovered is the default turn speed is set rather high, meaning when you point your control to the sides of the screen your character turns. It is very easy to get disoriented if this setting is too high. Calibrating your controls is a must every time you play, just to make sure that you can hit what you’re pointing at. This is the first FPS game I have played using motion controls, aside from a rather good “Metroid” game for the Wii, and so far I’m impressed.
The story starts exactly where “Killzone 2” left off: the Helghast emperor is dead, and the entire Helghan Empire is out for revenge upon your small platoon. I hadn’t played the previous games, so just to make sure I knew the history of my character, I read the plot information on the previous “Killzone” games. The story is intriguing, and there is about one cut scene per battle area, which may frustrate a player expecting quick combat the entire time. Most players will find they die a lot. Some missions became an act of memorizing where certain enemies would spawn so that I could kill them before they could attack. Many times, I would round a blind corner and be blown away by every enemy in the area.
The motion controls are rather fluid, and with the rifle accessory you can reload by cocking the gun, and melee by swinging the gun around. At the start, players may find it awkward to move with the navigation controller and turning by pointing in the direction you want to go, but after a few combat sessions, at least I was able to move around more comfortably. The odd thing is that after playing with the motion controls I felt cheated by the standard controller. When using the motion controls my accuracy is as good as I can point, but when using the standard PS3 controller I have trouble tracking quick enemies using the thumbstick. I found myself choosing long distance weapons rather than spray and pray machine guns, because my accuracy is so much better with the motion controls, and I could pick off enemies from huge distances.
I played several multiplayer matches and found out some interesting information. People using the motion control system have a bit of an edge against those using the standard controller. It’s akin to how “Halo” originally had both PC and console gamers in the same matches. The PC gamers can just click on the opposing characters to kill them, and in my case I just have to point. The only downside I found was that in cases where the enemy blindsides you, with the motion controls you cannot turn around fast enough to defend yourself. Other than that I had a fun time as the marksmen class with a long range rifle in online play.
“Killzone 3” is a fun game that offers something very unique so far in the gaming industry, and gives me a bit of hope that motion controls can be more than just a gimmick. The game did have some bugs with audio, and twice I had to restart my PS3 because the game locked up, but the game is still fun. It’s a challenge to get past some areas in the game, and that’s not something we see so much anymore. If you get a chance to play using the motion controls, give it a shot and you may find yourself saving up for your own set.