Anyone else as excited as me for Killzone 3? Killzone 2 had its flaws but there is no doubt that Guerrilla Games fixed them with this next installment.
"Developer Guerilla's Killzone franchise isn't known for being very colorful. From its PS2 debut to its PSP iteration to the upcomingKillzone 3, the team behind the franchise seems determined to paint war as the ugly act it is.
Still, amidst the crumbling concrete buildings, twisted rebar and smoke, Killzone is telling a story with its scenery and sparing use of color. While the jungle on planet Helghan isn't as lush and alive as you'd expect, it's nonetheless one of many examples of how color is used to provide context to Killzone 3's universe.You only have to walk in the Helghan wilds for a moment to see how color evokes a sense of danger. This is a harsh world, where even the jungle is largely formed of crags and rocks. What little life grows is composed of either brown grasses or black vines that look on the verge of death, or vibrant yellow and red plants that stand out like warning signs for weary travelers. A few steps around the world and you learn that colors outside of blacks, grays and browns are bad, as the glowing red and yellow plants either outright attack you or will blow up if provoked. It's no wonder the Helghast buildings and uniforms are so drab, because who in their right mind would want to associate their people with the colors of plants that likely gave them so much trouble when they were attempting to tame the planet?
Along with living on a planet whose environment is incredibly harsh, the Helghast have also faced recessions and extreme poverty. Poor conditions have bred deep resentment and desperation in the Helghast people. As one might expect, those who survived have become tougher and nationalistic, and this is evidenced in the garb the Helghast military choose to wear.
The Helghan army is obviously supposed to evoke thoughts of Nazism, and as such the military are pale, white men, complete with grey uniforms and red banners that stand in stark contrast to the surrounding environment. It's equally telling that the Helghast infantry all wear the iconic glowing red goggles seen in the game's promotional materials, which clearly mark them as evil in our subconscious. It may not be all that subtle, but at least Guerilla is trying to evoke these color associations without having the Helghast go on about racial superiority just to drive the point home.
Alternatively, look at the heroes of the Killzone franchise, the ISA. While their uniforms are still fairly boring in that they're generally earth tones, they people fighting for them are multi-cultural, we can see their faces, and the lights on their armor are a comforting blue. We are meant to identify with them and understand why they vilify the Helghast, who despite being human feel alien thanks to their appearance.
Expect more color than this.
Over the course of the Killzone franchise the use of light and color has developed as the graphical capabilities got better. The original Killzone never really got across the otherness of the Helghast outside of their strange voices, but Killzone 3 succeeds in this regard because the colors are so much brighter, the light sources more dramatic. In one of the more intense moments in the jungle, a thick fog overcomes the ground, making it tough to see anything. But you can see the coming Helghast as they push through, their eyes darting around like those of monsters in the dark. Without the proper use of lighting and color, those looming eyes wouldn't fill me with hopelessness.
Our eyes help us add context to the things we hear and sense, and Killzone 3's visual design, aside from looking really good, is great at filling in the gaps. The people of Helghan aren't evil just for the sake of being evil, but are a by-product of the desolate and violent planet they were forced upon. Perhaps their bland uniforms and sterile looking environments that feel so cold to us, the outsiders, are more evidence of their villainy, but for all we know the Helghast find them comforting. "
To be released Febuary 22 and is fully compatible with Playstaion Move and 3D TVs.