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Killzone 3 detailed in US magazine scans

Ice levels, jetpacks, rockets, 3D glasses...

Scans from the latest issue of GamePro have outed Killzone 3, the inevitable PS3-exclusive first-person shooter sequel from Guerrilla Games, and revealed that it features jetpacks, ice levels and a 3D mode.

According to the preview, Killzone 3 picks up after the events of the second game as a small band of ISA troopers - including Sev and Rico - are forced to contend with a regrouped Helghast army.

"It's the story of David battling Goliath, but this time you are David. That's the big shift in going from Killzone 2 to Killzone 3," Guerrilla MD Hermen Hulst explained.

Fortunately the player has new toys on his side, including a sprightly jetpack, which has a mounted machinegun and is controlled by little bursts of acceleration in midair. The mag described it as "surprisingly lightweight and agile". Enemies will use jetpacks too, and light up "like Roman candles" when they explode.

There's also a new weapon, the Wasp, which fires multiple rockets in quick succession or, with the secondary fire mode, all at once.

Environments include a sprawling ice level where you fight among oilrigs and tankers embedded in glaciers as you attempt to extract a prisoner from a Helghast weapons lab.

The mission, called Frozen Shore, is the fourth in the campaign and includes an on-rails dropship chain-gun turret sequence, which Hulst said was included after fans complained that the dropship intro to Killzone 2 wasn't interactive.

In combat the game is said to be very similar to Killzone 2 - you begin with the standard-issue assault rifle and pistol - but there's a new hand-to-hand melee combat system that you can use when an orange fist icon pops up. Finishing moves include head-stomps and rifle-butt smashes.

As for the 3D mode, it's optional and will require you to wear glasses - the author of the preview noted that he played on a Sony Bravia TV and that it was necessary to sit centrally to enjoy the effect. There's no word on performance implications.

The preview also revealed that Killzone 3 will shine a bit more of a light on the origins and motivations of the gasmask-wearing Helghast, too.

Hulst discussed the origins of the Helghast and parallels to Nazism. Apparently back in the old days the Helghast ruled over Helghan and Vekta, but after they set themselves up as an independent state the people of Earth booted them off Vekta.

"Although the Helghast are physically still human, they consider themselves superior to the human race in terms of society and culture," Hulst said.

"They possess a mentality that's similar to how the Nazis viewed those not part of the Aryan bloodline. Helghast look down on humans as weak, lying and spineless. In Killzone 3, we show that even the Helghast have some humanity left in them."

As for the player's story, Hulst likened it to Inglourious Basterds, based on the small numbers of ISA and the shades of grey we will encounter in the storytelling. "We explore the notion that even honourable soldiers have to make debatable decisions at times for the greater good - or simply for their own survival," he said.

Look out for our own Killzone 3 preview and interview soon.