Review: Killzone Liberation (PSP)

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Good: Control, sound effects, vehicles

Bad: Small characters, drab environments

While the original Killzone wasn't the "Halo killer" that pre-release hype wished you to believe, this PSP incarnation takes the universe in a different, entertaining direction. No longer are you battling the Helghast eye-to-eye, you're now viewing the action from high above.

Liberation's controls are simple, yet effective. You can shoot, crouch, roll, and throw grenades. While this may sound simplistic, how you use the environment to defeat the enemy is where the real strategy lies. Running headfirst into a squad of Helghast will almost always end badly, but crouching behind a low wall and tossing a grenade in their direction will oftentimes let you escape unscathed. The only real problem with the combat is that you'll occasionally be shot at by offscreen enemies.

Certain sections of the game involve vehicles and teammates. When you have a fellow soldier accompanying you, it's possible to order him to specific areas of the map. He can also place explosive charges or attack enemies that you designate. It really does change the gameplay for the better when another fellow soldier is in the mix. It's even better when you get a hold of a tank and crush and shoot your way through the opposition.

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Missions aren't terribly unique, considering most involve getting from the beginning to the end without dying. You'll occasionally have to escort friendlies or destroy specific items, but nothing gamers haven't seen before. Outside of collecting Vektan cash bonuses throughout the areas, there isn't much to do but survive. Replay value is taken up a bit thanks to co-op play, however.

After beating levels, you unlock challenge games. Completing these will award you with points that you can use to upgrade the numerous weapons. These are optional, but will be a great help if you choose to do them (thanks to the sometimes steep difficulty).

Despite some drab environments, Liberation actually looks pretty good on the PSP screen. All of the characters are a bit small, but they animate well. If you don't have a problem holding the system a little closer to your face than usual, it won't be much of an issue. The music is fairly run-of-the-mill for a war game, but the sound effects are great. Explosions and gunfire sound realistic and sharp.

I wouldn't buy this game simply because you might have enjoyed the original PS2 title. It really shares nothing with it outside of environment and characters. However, I'd recommend giving it a shot if you're a fan of tactical shooters.

Graphics: 7.5

Sound: 8.0

First Play: 8.0

Replay Value: 7.5

Gameplay: 8.0

Overall: 8.0

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