Killzone: Shadow Fall PS4 Multiplayer Hands-on

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Killzone: Shadow Fall PS4 Multiplayer Hands-on
Killzone: Shadow Fall PS4 Multiplayer Hands-on

Going hands-on with Killzone: Shadow Fall’s multiplayer mode for the first time at Gamescom, I couldn’t help but feel that Shadow Fall represents a sea change for the veteran shooter series. The gameplay retains the series’ signature weight and heft, so you never feel like you’re ice-skating through the the meticulously detailed environments. But thanks to a host of refinements from Guerrilla Games, Shadow Fall is undeniably a faster, more fluid, and more satisfying Killzone. Call it Killzone reborn.

DualShock 4 plays a significant role here, with its massively upgraded ergonomics and shooter-friendly L2 and R2 triggers (though Shadow Fall will allow you to use the classic L1 and R1 as well, if you prefer). After my play session, Game Director Steven ter Heide commented that the Shadow Fall no longer uses aim assist, making it a truer test of skill. And you’ll never even notice that change, given the high responsiveness of DualShock 4’s comfortable new analog sticks.

Killzone Shadow Fall Multi Screenshots, 04Killzone Shadow Fall Multi Screenshots, 03

Of course, the spectacular graphics don’t hurt the experience. Shadow Fall’s art direction takes a cue from Killzone’s traditional grey and red palette, then spikes it with orange, blue, and purple to create a look both grim and gorgeous. PS4’s powerful GPU struts its stuff in the desolate environments, rendering large, colorful maps drenched in atmospheric lights and shadow. Eye-catching visual details abound: the way moonlight briefly illuminates a raindrop as it streaks past, or how spotlights ominously scan the dark, tortured landscape.

Shadow Fall’s multiplayer mode starts by loosening stuffy conventions that have defined many modern military shooters. All of the game’s 22 weapons come unlocked, so you’re free to start building specialized classes from the get-go — a move that Guerrilla Games believes will help newcomers find an effective loadout quickly. And rather than grinding matches to earn XP, you’ll augment your equipment and upgrade your skills by completing more than 1,500 skill-based feats and challenges — everything from nailing headshots to destroying enemy shields and much, much more.

Speaking of weapons, Shadow Fall’s arsenal is far larger and more sophisticated than I was expecting. Killzone’s iconic M82 and stA-52 assault rifles both return to active duty, but they’re joined by a host of exotic new weapons, many of which feel both futuristic and lived-in. One versatile new weapon is a burst-fire energy carbine that chews through enemies at medium range, but tap L1 and you’ll extend the barrel to activate a lethal railgun charge-and-fire mode for impromptu sniping. Even a standard-issue VSA M55 Assault Rifle can prove to be a versatile weapon once upgraded with incendiary ammo, a buckshot secondary fire, sights, scopes, and more.

Shadow Fall brings a key innovation to the multiplayer battlefield in the form of player-defined Warzones, i.e. custom game variants that you can name and share online for all to play. You’ll choose from a host of settings dictating map selection, allowed weapons and attachments, faction-specific perks, and more before heading online to test your creation.

One of Guerrilla’s stated goals for Shadow Fall is to keep the game evolving with its player base, and the user-defined Warzones seem like an ideal place to start. Future expansion packs that add new Warzone modifiers are designed to keep Killzone fans experimenting for months, and years, to come.

Killzone: Shadow Fall 01

Shadow Fall will ship with 10 multiplayer maps, and Guerrilla has already confirmed that post-launch DLC maps will be offered free of charge. And the final game promises to dish up an array of other niceties, from clan support to online and offline multiplayer bots, party chat, and a redesigned interface.

Killzone: Shadow Fall ships alongside PS4’s debut on November 15th. Have questions about the multiplayer mode? Leave your questions in the comments!

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17 Author Replies

  • If it’s anything like the Killzone: Mercenary Beta, sign me up!

    • It is and it isn’t. I’d describe Mercenary (which is great) as closer to the traditional KZ style, where Shadow Fall is actually a bit of a departure in a few ways — all good ways, though.

  • Does it have splitscreen support?

  • Everything about Shadow Fall sounds (and looks!) amazing. I’m hoping Guerrilla is putting plenty of work into the singleplayer as well; I loved the pacing and set pieces from Killzone 3. So far it looks like a huge improvement in terms of gameplay, but I’m really looking forward to seeing if the narrative has evolved in any way.

    • Yeah, haven’t played SP yet but even the core concept — the two arch enemies being forced to live right next to each other is a very powerful concept. Can’t wait to learn more, but Justin really liked the small bit he played. It’s definitely far more sandbox-y

  • So far, so good.

    Nice job on the preview, Sid. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the game!

  • Very excited for sure!
    Operations? I play with a group that still plays Operations every Sunday night. Love that mode in KZ3.

  • Easily the best looking shooter on next-gen, i have a feeling that Shadow Fall is going to be big on PS4 and rightfully so it just blows my mind how beautiful and fun this game is, well done GG you guys set the par high for shooters on next-gen and at right at launch thats no small feat.

  • What about class specific powers – i.e. the sniper’s cloak, the engineer’s turret etc. Are those in Shadow Fall? I’ve read that there are 3 classes but have yet to see them detailed.

    • Yes, I believe they’re handled a little differently in some cases. But the Sniper can cloak, the Support class can use a revive droid and turret (among others), drop spawn beacons and more.

  • But can I hang back and hide while sending my drone in to kill everyone? You know, like in the single player demos we’ve been seeing?

  • Up to 24 players again?

  • killzone mercenaries looks better than this lol see what i did there

  • Hopefully some of the upgrades in mechanics have made there way into Mercenary! I’m excited for both!

  • Does the touch-pad do anything special?

  • Do you know if the game offers (online or offline) splitscreen support?

  • LOVE the idea of offering post-launch maps for free. Segregating an online community behind pay-for map packs, particularly at a console launch, is about the biggest mistake that publishers/developers make. All it does it hurt the community and interest in that game.

  • Any chance we could see a level editor added in the future??Combine that the ability of making our own own warzones and you will have one hell of game.

  • Cannot wait to play this, everything I read about it just seems like more of what I want as well as an evolutionary leap for the developers. I almost feel like Guerilla were ‘waiting’ for PS4 so that their vision for the Killzone universe could be properly realised and explored.

  • you forgat the most important part: 60 FRAMES PER SECOND BABY!!

  • I’m curious about classes. I heard there were only 3.

  • Can you please answer if there will be spawn grenades in Shadow Fall. Or is there some other spawn mechanic that will make each game more dynamic with the flow of battle?

    Thank you!

  • 1) Will we be able to preorder the downloadable version from the USA PS Store?

    2) If yes, will PS Plus members get a discount or pre-order DLC?

    3). What are some of the ways that the Support class can be customized with special abilities & equipment?

  • Aim-assist is removed? This is a very big deal. Now this game can be taken seriously by MLG.

  • D1P for me, easily! I have put in 15 hours with the Killzone Mercenary Beta and it’s fantastic! Killzone is my favorite shooter on the PS3, Vita and soon to be PS4. It’s just brutal having to wait for the PS4 launch. Going to be a great gaming experience! Thanks Sony!

  • I can’t wait to get my hands on the PS4 and KZSF! By the way, will we be able to attach any type of attachments to our liking on our weapons or are they going to be pre-attached like in Killzone 3?

  • Supremely disappointed that even after the letdown that is KZ3, we still don’t get the badge or honor system back, the player count is still just 24 max, even on this powerhouse system, and there is only 3 classes, down from SEVEN. I’m really gonna need more multiplayer details before release, and I hope there is some way to build your own soldier, since there’s so little to choose from. I really had high hopes of this returning to a lot of what made KZ2 great, but I don’t know right now.

    • I’ll confess that I didn’t play a toooon of KZ2, but what I played of KZSF was very inspiring and promising. The classes are hyper customizable so I don’t think that’s going to be a big issue, you can make highly specialized classes out of those three broader classes.

  • Can’t wait for this game!

    Got into the Killzone series recently, and I love it! This game will definitely be awesome!

  • It looks good. I need a new competitive sci-di shooter to keep me engaged. I’ve been having Halo 4 withdrawals ever since I jumped ship to PSN fully. PS Plus IGC and sales are keeping me occupied until the PS4 release and I imagine long after the launch. But, I want that azure blue PS3 for my office!

  • cant wait

  • Man, I love the Killzone series and I can’t wait to play Shadow Fall. I wonder what kind of DLC
    They have planned to offer us. Yeah, I’m jumping the gun. xD

  • will it have the operations mode from killzone 3

  • How will the spawn system be implemented with Shadowfall? Spawn Grenades or Spawn Points?

  • Playstation 4 paid for … check… Killzone Shadow Fall paid for…. check.. Nov. 15th patiently waiting… UUGGGHHHH!!!!!!!! can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Will there be split screen support?

  • Can’t wait to play it!!

  • OMG that looks awesome….KZ3 is the best FPS multiplayer ever created….if they make Shadow Fall MP like KZ3 then you already have the best MP in a FPS on the next-gen…..KZ3 is one of the few that its worth to play….Shadow Fall is the game that is pushing me towards to buy a PS4…but still I’ll wait since its unnecessary…but damn I want to play Shadow Fall so bad.

  • So yeah a noob fest!!

  • @2 @13 I second these statements, I’d 3rd it, but they were both individually said, and I suppose it felt semi-awkward…And you know, Will it have splitscreen!?!? KZ3 was in the right direction with Single Player, cause it was awesome, especially with Simulview…Please bring that to the ps4 with more game support…But Multiplayer with my brother would rock. I never get to play with him, so it sucks in that situation. :( Love ya Guerilla, hopefully the ps4 grants you and I this wish.

  • So stoked. The only shooter series I play. Been loving the Mercenary beta.

  • @Jesszman No, they confirmed it will not have splitscreen but it will have offline bots. Sorry :(

  • How about 3D or PS Move/Sharp Shooter? Are they supported?

    I can see the difficulty of PS Move/Sharp Shooter but not 3D, particularly on a system as hefty as the PS4.

  • They confirmed no splitscreen!!!! WTF!!!!!!

    No splitscreen no buy.

    Sucks cause i had my hopes up for this one. The best non-splitscreen killzone will always be KZ2, pre-patch.

    If there is no local coop at all I guess I have no reason to get a PS4 at least until Infamous comes out, watch it will end up having local play and this shooter will be for no lifers wit only virtual friends.

    No 3D, no Move, No sharpshooter…….. Or have these been confirmed…..

    Wonder wat launch games crap box has with local play……

  • was not possible to establish a connection with the host of the game,
    What is this, I can not play!

  • To Phillyblunz:

    It’s 2013 didn’t know having local co-op was a standard. Hardly any pc games have it.

    Who’s to say down the road they won’t add it?

    From what I’ve seen from the Multiplayer, Single player and how gorgeous it looks, no wonder split screen wasn’t included.

    Have you ever played Halo 4 in split screen? It almost half’s the resolution to make frame rate playable. The same even goes for call of duty.

    It degrades the visuals of the game, and this game is all about immersion and eye candy.

    Well, regardless your loss.

    I’m picking it up with my Launch day PS4.

  • Well 1st up KZ Mercenary is how a FPS is supposed to be done for PS Vita, looking at Cod declassified because the developers are supposed to be good at there craft. And yet it looks like people that just got into into the gaming industry, it was for a rushed project.

  • But KZ Shadowfall for PS4 looks dynamic this will be fun, to get back into the KZ universe!!!!!!!!!!

  • Question, in Killzone 2, for the snipers, you could use the stick for big movements and sixaxis for the small movements. I believe 3 had this removed, but will I see it return in Shadow Fall ? It was a fantastic feature.

  • It looks really gorgeous. Definite day one purchase for me.

    Out of curiosity, did the build you played have the voices implemented yet? I love the Helghast voice work in the other games, and I haven’t really heard any of it in the videos shown so far. I know a lot’s changed for this game, but I’d be sad if they ditched the distinctive Helghast voice style.

  • Already pre ordered in France on : PS4 500 Go + Killzone Shadow Fall Pack

  • Always love Killzone games, great single and multiplayer modes. Looks like this one will be no different, can’t wait.

  • It’s very disappointing if Move controls are gone. That was one of the things Killzone 3 did really well. If you turn off aim assist with the Move, set Turn Speed to 100%, set Sensitivity to 10%, and set the Deadzone to 0%, it was really close to a keyboard+mouse feel. The Sharpshooter was fun for a while, but got tiring and made it hard to react quickly in multiplayer.

  • no split screen!? i hate whats become of gaming i used to love playing
    split screen with my bros now we have to buy multiple copies
    of a game to play togethere i even KZ3 with my bro split screen coop
    it was awesome KZSF looks awesome id expect split screen coop from it
    or even split screen multiplayer online like CODBO2

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