We double up on 3D and motion control with an updated look at Sony’s sci-fi shooter.
On their own, Sony’s PlayStation Move and push toward 3D gaming mark two major initiatives toward changing the way people experience video games. But what happens when you take both of these technologies and combine them with the same game? That’s the question we sought to answer when we saw that Sony was allowing Tokyo Game Show attendees to play the upcoming first-person shooter Killzone 3 with Move motion control and 3D glasses. At the risk of looking like someone cosplaying as a cyberpunk magician with all that fancy gear, we took a turn at Killzone 3 to see how the experience differs while playing with Move and 3D.
Controlling Killzone 3 with the Move controller feels a lot like playing a first-person shooter on the Wii. That’s due mostly to the fact that there’s a noticeable “dead zone” on the screen where your targeting reticle can move about before changing the perspective. It’s a marked change from controlling a first-person shooter with a console controller because moving the right stick on a Dual Shock instantly changes your perspective with the targeting reticle remaining locked in the exact center of the screen. If you haven’t played a Wii FPS, it is probably going to take some time to get used to it, especially because the dead zone that Killzone uses by default is quite large. (This being a Japanese build, we were unable to navigate the controller settings to see if you can adjust the size of the dead zone.)
When you combine that required adjustment period with the added depth and visual trickery that playing the game in 3D offers, our first few minutes with Killzone 3 was a slightly disorienting experience. Of course, it probably didn’t help that we were dropped right into a later level in the game (a snowy warzone we’ve previously covered). Nevertheless, we stuck to it and eventually got a hang of the controls to the point where we were able to do perfectly well against the legions of Killzone’s signature Helghast enemies. The Move controller really showed its potential when we had to shoot a far-off enemy sniper, as it offered more instantaneous precision targeting than a regular analog stick. There were even a few motion gestures thrown in that seemed to make pretty good intuitive sense, like tiling the controller to the side to reload (mimicking the animation of your onscreen character tiling the assault rifle over to pop in a new magazine) or sweeping up to grab a new gun off the ground.
Overall, playing Killzone 3 with Move and 3D is an experience that has its benefits and drawbacks. There’s definitely a larger hurdle to overcome if you’re jumping into it cold turkey because it can be pretty disorienting using both technologies at once for the first time. On the other hand, the Move controller has some real advantages in the game’s first-person shoot-outs, and we didn’t really miss the Dual Shock while playing. You can expect to try it out for yourself when Killzone 3 arrives on February 22.