Monday, March 9, 2009

More "Killzone 2" thoughts: Terrific -- for what it is

The more I play this game, the more impressed I am with it as visceral interactive entertainment. I'm comfortable with its violence, and I'm thrilled with its intensity. My sense of engagement is off the charts, and the technology, while not perfect, makes me feel challenged personally as well as tactically. Yes, personally, because it demands that I call on just about everything I've learned during a decade (or close to) of reviewing first-person shooters.

And here's something I know from experience: If I can be that specific about why I like a game -- as opposed to settling for "It's fun, so there'' -- we're not talking about your run-of-the-mill game.

Isn't it interesting, then, that "Killzone 2" is also a testament to the video-game industry's continuing shallowness. The game is devoid of any artistic depth. It's not without some artistic elements, and it conveys a reasonably absorbing sci-fi milieu. But it has almost exponential powers of silliness in its dialogue and other pretensions toward humanness.

Honestly, I'm not knocking it. It is what it is, and I'm hooked. But someday, games are going to combine raw strength (as found in "Killzone 2") with genuine literary qualities. I'm still waiting for that era to begin.

(Oh, and yes, I'm writing this before finishing "Killzone 2," but folks, video games don't find their muse in the 10th, 15th or 20th hour of a shoot-'em-up).

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