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Halo: Combat Evolved vs. Killzone – Video Game Rivals – Episode 1
Since the birth of video games, there has always been a “me too” company that thought they could do better. One that would ultimately create, what would become, a rival!
During the 1980’s and 90’s, rivals were really heating up with Mario vs. Sonic, Unreal vs Quake, F-Zero vs Wipeout – just to name a few.
There have always been “clone” games as well, that borrowed heavily from the games that inspired them, such as Pacman vs. Munchkin. Rivals, in the beginning, just wanted a piece of the pie, but today a rival wants to prove that it’s far better.
In this episode of Video Game Rivals, we’ll take a look at two games from the 6th generation of video game consoles. The Microsoft Xbox, and Sony’s mighty PlayStation 2. Which game stands out as the winning rival?
Let’s find out!
Welcome to Video Game Rivals, Episode One. In this episode, we have two heavy hitter’s that made their start in the 6th generation of Video Game Consoles: Halo: Combat Evolved and Killzone.
Halo: Combat Evolved, or Halo for short, had gone through quite the development cycle. Changing genres 3 times. It had changed from a Real Time Strategy, or RTS, that was going to be exclusive to Mac OS, to a 3rd person style strategy game and eventually into a First-Person Shooter after Microsoft scooped up Bungie. The end result is something that almost every gamer knows about as it set the standard for a console FPS. And this made Sony nervous. Reaching out for its own Halo, or in this case, the Halo killer, Killzone was born.
Halo has more pro’s than con’s, and that is not an exaggeration. (Although it is my opinion) Let’s get the con’s out of the way first. 30fps. I, myself, never saw this as an issue but there were people from the PC Master Race back in 2001 that used to make fun of that. Take that away and the game is pretty much flawless. I remember when I first played the game the day of the Xbox launch, I did run into a few glitches but nothing that broke the game. The hiccups were usually animations that would mess up in some way, more of a funny thing than anything else. Halo, however, had an enormous amount of Pros. The storytelling was perfect with the pacing set up just as it should be. The controls were also very good, even with the Duke controller, which I might add – I really did like it, and plan on buying the version of it for Xbox One. The replay value was also quite high, allowing you to play the story multiple times with areas in the game always playing slightly different due to how the AI might react. Plus, the different difficulty levels were pretty awesome. Halo also had its’ 16-player multiplayer, via LAN. My friends and I used to have LAN Parties every weekend, it was quite the blast back in the day. The multiplayer was also the groundwork for Halo 2’s amazing multiplayer setup.
Microsoft gambled and ended up winning big. Very big actually, since Halo started what would end up being THE franchise for Microsoft and the Xbox platform. Sony saw this success and started to become concerned, so, we saw them retaliate with their own game. Killzone!
Was Killzone actually the Halo killer it was hyped up to be? Was it the best First Person Shooter to date at the time? Before we find out, let’s go over the game a bit.
Killzone has some pros and some cons of its own. Let’s go over them. First with the bad. I feel that the single-player campaign is a bit bland – like food without salt. The weapons, although cool looking, have an off feel to them and the aiming system is kind of off. The Sniper Rifle is a great example. There are a lot of graphical glitches and sound issues. For me, the sounds of the Helghast dying was not great. Mainly because every single guy that dies makes the same sound. (They could easily use some variety there.) The audio quality also is not that great, although that could have been due to my Component to HDMI converter. And last but not least, the campaign. It’s not horrid by any means, but it’s not something that makes you want to keep playing either. It’s just kind of ‘there’. It makes me think that the 16 player online battles may have been a bigger focal point during development.
With that in mind, we move over to the Pros. 16 player online matches were pretty awesome for the time. I feel that – graphical glitches aside – the graphics are great. I feel that Killzone pushes the system a bit due to the visuals, and honestly, that could be the reason behind some of the glitches that I had experienced. With the graphics also comes the art direction. I think they did a killer job there, and I’m glad that they kept with it and improved upon that direction with the sequels. Then we have the story. It may not be so unique now, but when this game was released I feel that it was. In some cases, I feel that if the storytelling was stronger, the story of the game would have been better than Halo. The story is good, it’s just not presented in the best of ways.
Comment down below with some of your memories from yesteryear and which of the two games would be your winner. I will say that Metacritic has the scores for these two and Halo comes out on top by a large margin with a 97/100 and Killzone with a 70/100.
For me, having played both games, Halo wins hands down. However, I do want to say that Killzone looks pretty amazing for a PS2 game. Guerrilla really pulled out the bag of tricks to present a great looking game visually, and I think it shows. In some cases, I think visually Killzone looks better than Halo, however, if we were to compare the two HD remakes, that is a different story altogether.
On the controls side, Halo controls better overall. Killzone’s controls are just okay, aiming sucks and tend to feel a bit mushy. It’s very loose and overall just a mess. In my opinion, Halo has the better storytelling and the voice acting and animations are better as well. Killzone has a lot of animation glitches that are both funny and somewhat of a turnoff. The music for Halo is amazing as it drags you into the story even more. Heck, the music makes you want to keep playing. That’s not to say that Killzone doesn’t have great music, but during most of the game the music is absent. It is quite a silent game in the music department.
Killzone’s review scores match up great with the game’s presentation in my opinion. In some aspects, parts of the game feel like a rush job, where others truly shine. It’s here where I feel that Halo is the more polished game.
What are your thoughts on the two games? Which was your favorite when they originally came out?
Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to hit that like button if you did, and be sure to subscribe and hit that bell icon if you haven’t.
Thanks for watching! And happy gaming!