Guerrilla Games has been acquiring talent from Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege team.
An eagle-eyed member of ResetEra (via PushSquare) noticed the Horizon: Zero Dawn developer had recently taken on a couple of Six alumni, including game director Simon Larouche who joined Guerrilla nine months ago for a game described only as "Secret Game is Secret!".
This is Larouche's second stint at Guerrilla, having previously worked on Killzone 2 before leaving the studio to join Ubisoft in 2009.
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Sony has updated the PlayStation Store with some actual content this week, including downloadable games Crystal Defenders and Shatter (Sidhe! GripShift represent!), and wallet-deflating expansions for WipEout HD and Killzone 2.
A new patch for Killzone 2 is due to be released via PlayStation Network this morning.
According to lead multiplayer designer Eric Boltjes, it'll now be much easier to find and play with friends. You can automatically join a friend's faction and squad, even if faction balancing is on. Factions and squads are now persistent over multiple games.
All the badges in Skirmish Mode have been unlocked. "Considering that the game has been out for a while, and that many players have already reached the rank of General, we believe this is a nice way for players with lower-bandwidth network connections to experience the full range of weapons and abilities available in the Warzone," said Boltjes.
Sony has announced a second map pack for Killzone 2 called Flash and Thunder. It will be released on 11th June.
Inside are the Beach Head and Southern Hills maps from the original Killzone on PS2. They've been remade, obviously, the former to be a claustrophobic coastal affair and the latter to be a hilly compound-storming sniper's paradise.
Pricing is still "TBC", according to a SCEE spokesperson, but the Steel and Titanium map pack released in April cost GBP 4.79 / EUR 5.99, so expect the same again.
Scratchy Marvel superhero Wolverine is the growl of the town this week; the film launched on Wednesday and the game arrives tomorrow. There's a demo here to try out, and our review is poised, ready to strike. Hint: brutal but banal.
The other eye-catcher is the Steel & Titanium map pack for Killzone 2, adding an extra pair of multiplayer maps. The Cops and Robbers mode - does what it says on the tin - for Burnout Paradise might be worth a look, too. Expensive, though.
The rest is fairly run-of-the-mill. Incidentally, the Brain Challenge Bundle is a brain-teaser game plus add-on packs.
Killzone 2 will be patched to version 1.24 on Wednesday, 22nd April at 8am GMT, preparing the game for an influx of Japanese players later in the week when Guerrilla's highly rated FPS goes on sale in the Far East.
The 57MB patch also prepares the game for the Titanium & Steel downloadable map content due to go on sale through the PlayStation Store on 30th April at an undisclosed price.
In a post on the official US forums (thanks Kotaku), producer Seb Downie also included the changelog, highlighting tweaks, fixes and minor new features.
Sony has announced the first downloadable content for Killzone 2 is coming later this month.
The Steel & Titanium Pack will include two brand new maps for online multiplayer fun.
First up is the Wasteland Bullet map, where the action takes place on the bullet train linking Pyrrhus and the Wasteland. You have to wrestle control of the train from the enemy as it hurtles along the track at full speed. Overhead obstacles are likely to prove a particular problem as they can cause instant death.
A bundle of new stuff has appeared in the PlayStation Store, including a playable Killzone 2 demo.
It's likely to be in high demand, but we're downloading it right now and there don't appear to be any issues. Unless you live in Germany, of course, where the demo will not be released. Sorry, Germans.
Also out now is the Burnout Paradise Ultimate Bundle, priced at GBP 29.99 / EUR 34.99. For that you get the full (and excellent) game, all the free updates and the Party Pack. This is a new add-on which introduces a pass-the-pad mode for up to eight players, new challenges, and enhancements for the modes, visuals and vehicle dynamics. The Party Pack is available separately for GBP 7.99 / EUR 9.99.
It's easy to be blinded by the sideshow with Killzone 2. Any platform exclusive is going to attract the wrong sort of attention in the current console climate, and when the game in question is the sequel to a poorly received last-gen title, the stakes are raised even higher. Sitting down to evaluate it, you can feel the clutter hovering over your shoulder. Texture maps are scrutinised for the slightest flaw, frame rates obsessed over, AI team-mates subjected to Mensa tests.
Fortunately, Killzone 2 makes it easy to ignore them. Let those with vested interests debate the pointless minutiae. For those pining for a muscular, aggressive military shooter, whose console has the biggest balls soon becomes a minor concern. It swiftly becomes apparent that Killzone 2 isn't going to be pushing beyond the boundaries of its genre. That could be taken as lack of ambition, but in context it feels more like creative focus - this is a game that polishes existing concepts to a compelling shine, rather than colouring outside the lines in search of new patterns.
So it is that you find yourself controlling Sgt. Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko, one of a quartet of tough-talking space soldiers tasked with bringing down the despotic Visari and his Helghast armies. Visari has stolen an experimental nuke which could turn the tide of the war, and you're in the midst of the spearhead battling to retrieve it before the launch codes are compromised.
Sony has confirmed the Killzone 2 PlayStation 3 bundle for the UK.
The price will be GBP 299.99, but - as with the game - the date has yet to be set. We're promised something "shortly", even though retailers agree on 27th February - the confirmed US release.
Americans will also be treated to a demo for Guerrilla's exclusive PS3 shooter a day before release, or from 2nd February if pre-ordering from GameStop. There's no word on exact European demo plans, but we've been told to expect one.
After indie and esoterica, sports and music, MMOs and RPGs, fighting and strategy and action and adventure, we conclude our look at what's coming this year with two fields which tend to put refinement ahead of innovation. Can shooters and racing shake themselves up in 2009?
Sony America plans to offer a Killzone 2 demo to the general public on Thursday 26th February, a day before the confirmed US release.
Previously the PS3 sampler had been restricted to GameStop pre-orderers, which are rewarded with an access code to download the Killzone 2 demo on 2nd February.
"Offering a playable demo to motivate pre-orders speaks to our confidence in the appeal of a game such as Killzone 2. We take this approach when we are convinced that the experience will cement a consumer's interest in purchasing," Scott Steinberg, Sony US marketeer, told MTV Multiplayer.
Killzone 2 has much to prove. The first Killzone, released for the PS2 back in 2004, was hailed as a "Halo killer" before release, a rather unfair burden that it ultimately failed to shoulder. Graphically ambitious, its tale of ferocious future war was perhaps too much for the poor old black obelisk to handle. The frame-rate was sticky, the draw distance short. Review scores, inevitably, were mediocre. Then there was that big kerfuffle about pre-rendered footage, screenshots that were scrutinised to an impossible degree, and the lingering insistence from vocal gaming "enthusiasts" that each new PS3 exclusive must apparently single-handedly prove the worth of the console in every conceivable way.
Sony wants to take you to the cinema this evening to watch Aliens and then to play the latest build of PS3 big-gun Killzone 2. That's very kind, especially seeing as 35 pairs of tickets are being given away for free.
It's hard making the sequel to a classic, but it's probably harder making the sequel to a game that everybody expected to be a classic. Guerrilla's Killzone had distinctive World War I-inspired art, authentically creepy enemies, and pre-release claims of revolutionary squad AI, yet the game never delivered on its obvious promise. Its grey trenches brought heavy-handed railroading along with their stylish claustrophobia, and the designer baddies combined a conspicuous lack of street smarts with annoyingly long health bars, which saw them absorb a wearying number of bullets to the chest before eventually collapsing.
Good news this morning for those dismayed at console gaming's steady slide into the patch-and-install quagmire of playing on PCs. Sony's flagship PS3 shooter, Killzone 2, will not install to the machine's hard drive.
Guerrilla Games has told Eurogamer that the semi-public beta for Killzone 2 will draw to a close this Sunday.
This will be the third and final testing phase for the Dutch developer, who'll be tweaking features such as the Revive ability and Shotgun range as a result of community feedback.
Unfortunately, Guerrilla was unable to share plans for a demo prior to Killzone 2's February 2009 release. The developer also told us DLC was planned post-release, but couldn't say what exactly it will be.
Astonishingly violent, conservatively assembled. That was how Tom described his first impressions of Killzone 2's single-player campaign way back in July 2007, and it provides a rather convenient bridge into the multiplayer side of things, as revealed in the current invite-only beta.
While other first person shooters have been busy tweaking and remixing their multiplayer components, Killzone 2 seems to be taking it back to the old school with a deliberate focus on tense, brutal action with the minimum of distracting frills. In fact, for all the talk of Halo 3, Resistance 2 and Call of Duty, the game it bears most resemblance to is the original PC version of Rainbow Six, the gritted-teeth centrepiece of so many LAN parties ten years ago.
Killzone 2's biggest innovation comes in its class system, where you can combine elements of two different disciplines to create a hybrid class that best suits your preferred style of play. Even so, the classes on offer will be instantly familiar to anyone who has spent time on the Battlefield or Team Fortress series. Scouts are the default snipers, armed with a cloaking device and the ability to spot and mark enemy units for their teammates. Tacticians can deploy spawn points and call in air support, making them useful infiltrators. Saboteurs can disguise themselves and plant bombs, while Engineers erect automated defence turrets and can repair damage. The Medic and Assault classes are much as you'd expect, offering the obvious combat and healing options.
First things first, apologies if you were disappointed, having read our Eurogamer Expo preview on Monday, to discover that the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift vehicle outside the Expo entrance was a monster truck instead of a Humvee. We are also sorry that so many of you missed the chance to touch Bertie's moustache, which endures even now atop the sweater-clad granite torso and arms of news-typing sultriness.
Heavy Rain may have been the cover star of the Games Convention, with LittleBigPlanet jumping around in the background, but Killzone 2 was there as well, hidden away, much as it was at E3, with Guerrilla's Eric Boltjes and others keen to talk to the press about the multiplayer ahead of the game's increasingly close February 2009 release.
We doubt you'll cry foul if we point out Sony's E3 conference was boring, but slotting between PS3 appointments elsewhere it's clear it didn't have to be: Resistance 2 was in grisly form, Sucker Punch is showing superhero free-roamer inFamous, and Media Molecule is stealing our hearts in LittleBigPlanet, as you'll be able to read tomorrow. Even as you were turning the air purple in the comments thread, we were watching Guerrilla's Eric Boltjes outline the firm's Killzone 2 multiplayer strategy.
Guerrilla Games told Eurogamer today that a Killzone 2 multiplayer beta is "definitely" in its plans.
The Dutch developer behind Sony's upcoming FPS showed off the online multiplayer side of the game at E3 and admitted it "wants feedback from the fan-base" later in the year - promising more details on when and how in the near future.
The developer also said that co-operative play was "part of our plans" for downloadable content although declined to share more details.
While other PlayStation 3 games, most notably MotorStorm, have shrugged off the stigma of E3 2005's "target renders", Killzone 2's journey to release seems as turbulent today as the bumpy, computer-generated air-to-ground D-Day deployment that first dropped jaws almost three years ago.
SCEE boss David Reeves has revealed Killzone 2 is scheduled for a February 2009 release.
He made the announcement at the PlayStation Day conference this afternoon. A new trailer of the game was shown, and it's looking "stunning" according to our own Tom Bramwell. The trailer should pop up on an Internet near you soon with a bit of luck.
Catch up with all the latest PlayStation Day news by reading our live text of the event.
Guerrilla Games has hotly defended its infamous Killzone 2 E3 2005 trailer by saying it served a purpose and was not intended simply to build hype.
The developer responded to "false" accusations on the "Ask a Dev thread" on the US PlayStation boards, suggesting Sony PR had confused things at the time.
"The E3 2005 trailer was not false. One confused Sony rep claimed it was a movie from the game engine - one guy blitzed out of his mind on fatigue, jet-lag and the madness that is E3. One guy not at all affiliated with Guerrilla Games - probably with a head full of 30 different titles," said "EON", a member of Guerrilla Games.
Phil Harrison says Killzone 2 is important to Sony because the level of anticipation has been set so high. Picking through the wreckage of the first in-game screenshot, which popped up in a US newspaper just prior to E3, it's easier to read it the other way: Killzone 2 is important to Sony because the level of cynicism has been set so high. MotorStorm, another E3 2005 graduate, overcame the stigma by delivering on the concept rather than the graphics. Settling into a screening room beneath a Sushi bar on the streets of Santa Monica last night, we got our first chance to see whether Killzone 2 could hope to do likewise.
Guerrilla Games has said that a new Killzone 2 trailer will demo on PlayStation Network at 3pm PST tomorrow - so, 11pm BST.
Presumably it'll show off some of the level that Eurogamer, among others, was shown on Tuesday in Santa Monica. It sees the player joining part of a unit landing in a hostile, Helghast-controlled area and trying to take out a cannon powered by electricity.
Whether it's any good is something that you'll be able to find out soon in our full preview. In the meantime, why not see what Phil Harrison had to say when we cornered him after the presentation?