Hands On with Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4

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Hands On with Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4

Killzone: Shadow Fall

At a recent event in New York, I got my hands on Guerrilla Games’ upcoming PS4 launch title, Killzone: Shadow Fall. The game will feel instantly familiar to anyone who’s followed the long-running series, but there are enough new features and additions that even the most battle-worn Helghan veterans will want a primer before heading into battle.

The tools at your disposal in Shadow Fall are many: In addition to the requisite bullet-driven armaments, the new OWL drone gives you an enormous tactical advantage. Swipe up on DualShock 4‘s touchpad to set the OWL into attack mode, point your crosshairs at a space in front of an enemy and press L1 to deploy the drone, which both attacks its target head-on and serves as a distraction while you flank around the other side. The OWL is also incredibly useful when trying to keep track of one of the game’s teleporting enemies. Just follow the bullets.

Hands On with Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4

The OWL has other uses, too. Swipe left on the touchpad to put the drone into stun mode, which will incapacitate foes and nearby electronics. Swipe downward for a drop-anywhere shield, creating last-minute cover from gunfire when things go south. Swipe right to turn your OWL into a zipline — especially useful for covering large amounts of ground quickly or escaping a tower you just planted some C4 on. The OWL can also hack security systems, ensuring your enemies can’t call in reinforcements in the middle of a fight.

Holding up on the directional pad sends out a pulse that scans for nearby enemies. This is a big help when you’re trying to quietly take out foes, but be careful: hold it for too long and the signal will become strong enough for enemies to notice, alerting them to your location (and likely ruining whatever plan you had in mind). One strategy I employed was to locate mid-range enemies while hidden behind a rock or tree, then attach a scope to my rifle (by pressing left on the d-pad) and take them out from afar with a charged shot. If I missed and things got hairy, I could quickly switch weapons, send out my trusty OWL drone, and switch to Plan B (shoot things and try not to get shot).

Killzone: Shadow Fall

From time you time, you might find yourself faced against odds that you aren’t quite ready for. Pressing down on DualShock 4’s d-pad will not only restore your health (using up one of your reserved med-kits), but gives you a shot to turn the tables by putting you into a slow-motion mode when looking down the scope of your gun. This effect lasts for just a few seconds, but is usually all you’ll need to get yourself out of a messy situation and back on your feet.

PS4’s enhanced hardware is beautifully showcased in Shadow Fall: each melee takedown gives you an up-close look at the finely crafted intricacies of enemies’ uniforms. Ropes dangle and sway from ledges, and guns are seemingly machined from real, tangible metal. I found myself constantly stopping to marvel at the little details, like an accurately rendered lens flare that swept across the screen when I panned the camera across a particularly gorgeous sunset. If a PS4 launch title already looks this good, I can’t wait to see what developers get out of the system throughout the course of the generation.

Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4

DualShock 4 has earned quite a few kudos since E3, and in Shadow Fall those positive impressions are solidly reinforced. The longer, concave analog thumbsticks respond to the tiniest adjustments while the extended, textured handles made extended play sessions feel more comfortable. And the triggers… oh, the triggers. My index fingers felt like they were made to wrap around the lovingly redesigned L2 and R2 buttons, which are assigned to look down the scope of your gun and fire, respectively. Throw in the touchpad implementation discussed above, and Killzone: Shadow Fall is a perfect showcase title for PS4’s new controller.

Killzone: Shadow Fall makes a strong case for FPS titles on PS4, from the ultra-slick graphics to the impeccably implemented controls. You’d do well to keep an eye on this one if you’re considering your PS4 launch day options. Stay tuned to PS.Blog for more updates on the game, right up until its launch this holiday.

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10 Author Replies

  • Beautiful PS4 box! Love the blue.

  • I am tired of “Xbox One” and the “Cloud” thing…

    I cannot imagine developers using such a “combined” architecture to send up to the server certain aspects of graphics processing, and returning that information to the “client”. Xbox One does not require an internet connection, and what happens when the internet connection is slow or fails? Does the game freeze? Plus, developers complained about PS3 being tough to develop for, can you imagine them implementing something as complicated as that? Cloud is just a fancy word for a server that scales, it is not some mystical entity that resolves the complexity of the problem.

    Microsoft is all but lying to the consumer when they brag about there Cloud. PS4 has them beat on power, and they know it.

  • Looking good

  • kingunchartedudc

    man I’m glad that they finally put more color on killzone

  • kingunchartedudc


    Say if I gota 12 month Playstation Plus on September the 17th when 2014 come around will my Playstation Plus days will be over or do I wait until September 17th 2014?

  • kingunchartedudc

    I cant wait for multiplayer Footage

  • I can’t wait for this game. God I hope Operations mode is making a return. Best game mode I have ever played.

  • Would also like to know if it supports PS Move.

    Are there any games for PS4 that support it yet?

  • Hands on? How about MY hands on this game! eventually will happen but will have to wait =(

  • Sorry but I am going to leave another comment. Every Helghast class from the dawn of Killzone all the way to Shadow Fall look amazing. Every single Helghast! One thing I love is uniform detail. Every Helghast class is unique and easily distinguishable from each other and look epic. Thanks Guerrilla Games for a great story, game, and experience!

  • Love me some KILL ZONE!

  • The box of PS4 games looks terrible…why not keep the black?…..what a mistake,that blue on Vita boxes looks awesome but for PS4 looks ugly….the boxart of shadow fall looks nice though…..anyway the more I see from PS4 the more I dont want to buy it….dualshock 4 looks awful…..and Guerrilla games…I hope that there will be options to switch the controls to aim and shoot on L1 and R1…..WTF is happening to you guys?….you shouldn’t listen to whiners….being different means being the best.

  • I really love the Killzone franchise and as much as I would love to support Guerrilla and buy this game, I am not convinced just yet. I really want to see some innovations especially when it comes to multiplayer. I want to be impressed like I was after watching the trailers for Titanfall and Battlefield 4. Graphics aren’t going to cut it this time, Killzone 3 is the Best looking fps on the PS3 right now but it doesn’t matter if the gameplay gets stale and level design for a lot of the maps are just not that great, Lets be honest. Most of the time I played I was dedicated to trapping the enemies at their spawn. If I see multiple drivable air and land vehicles, smaller portable jetpacks, more weapons, gadgets, and accessories I will give this game a buy. customization is needed in this game, they could be endless customization. The game is set in the future there are lots of things I could think of.

  • Tell us more about the things u can use vita with it and give us a date im gonna lose my vacation when it does come on.

  • I can’t wait!!! This and Watchdogs are really the only games I care about from launch through the rest of the year! (Although I’ll likely pick up BF4 as well). I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the multiplayer.

    Although I was happy with the tweaks in KZ3… I hope the multiplayer here feels as fresh and innovative as KZ2 did when I first played it. I hope there is at least one twist to it that goes beyond what we’ve seen in the current gen.

  • So i was get my PO PS4 with BF4 but then I was like im already gettin it on PC, as mouse and keyboard are the way to go HINT HINT #Sony. So i wasnt a big KZ fan as i thought it played kinda klunky and slow. Buuuut with what ive seen so far im PO PS4 with this.

  • LOL you call this a game?? Xbox one is going to kill the ps4 lol

  • I already have have the Ps4 launch day bundle with KZ SF.Can’t wait!!!

  • That cover art looks awesome with the blu case.

  • crazeeavery,with what Forza 5 which uses pre baked lighting?You should give back your Playstation card.This trailer is from E3 it will look better by launch…

  • CommandingTiger,The cloud that MS is using won’t do anything for graphics.That is marketing BS they will need more then 300k servers..much more.At E3 what you saw from MS was running on Pc’s..not even development kits.

  • happy i pre order all games

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