Killzone 2

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: This may not be the most bloody or gory game in it's genre (you can shoot off heads, but there's no added dismemberment or gibbing, unlike the moderately gorier series, Gears of War), but the blood effects are still prevalent, it's full of intense, chaotic gameplay and packed with language (with seventy-six uses of the f-word alone)--it's simply not appropriate for younger teens. So I recommend this game for ages 17+.

Blood and gore: The blood effects puff and spurt in thick and moderate to heavy amounts when you hit or shoot an enemy--the cockroach-like bugs scattered about later areas puff apart in green goo and oversized spiders explode in chunks of red goo when shot. Blood does linger, splatters onto floors and walls; sprays on the screen when enemies are shot in close quarters or when you're close to death; and there is static blood smeared on floors and walls. Bodies do linger, and you see many dead, bloodied enemy and ally bodies throughout. In addition, if you shoot enemies in the head with a powerful rifle or the shotgun, their heads will fly off with a squish, as blood jets moderately from their necks. There is no option to turn blood off.

Specific scenes of blood & gore:

  • While you turn a corner, you see an allied soldier up ahead, dragging his body on the ground as he pleads "no, no!" in a panicked tone to a Helghast off-screen, who then shoots him in the head, resulting in moderate blood splatter.
  • After catching up to your captured team, you see them sitting on their knees, hands over their heads, as an enemy soldier shoots one of them in the head, resulting in moderate blood splatter. One of your team members gets impatient, and then rushes in to save the remaining men, but in the chaos, one of the captives gets injured (blood splatter included), and later dies from his wounds.
  • When a main villain demands an allied leader to give him the launch codes for their nuclear weapons, he refuses, causing the villain to shoot another main character in the chest, resulting in the bullets tearing through their torso, as the bullets then visibly fly out the other side, shredding and bloodying the cloth as they go. He then tries to disarm the villain in anger, but fails, as the villain shoots him multiple times in his torso, resulting in moderate blood splatter and more views of the bullets ejecting out the other side, as they shred and bloody his clothing. Leaving him for dead, the villain starts to hack into the computer for the codes, while the leader drags himself half dead and bloodied to a nearby console, as he tries to lock them out, staining the console with his blood.
  • After you defeat a later boss, he's too injured to continue fighting, and rather than be captured, he shoots himself in the head instead, resulting in moderate blood splatter (no gratuitous detail is seen; he's wearing a mask and helmet).
  • While the main villain is on a long-winded rant, your team member quickly shoots him several times in the chest, resulting in moderate blood splatter, as the bullets rip through his torso and out the other side, shredding and bloodying his clothes in the process. You then see a close up shot of his bloodied, dying face, while blood leaks from his wounds, as he gurgles his last words.

Intense violence: Two years after the Helghast invaded their homeland, Vekta, the ISA (or, Interplanetary Strategic Alliance) takes the fight to Helghan, the enemy's home planet. Your aim is to capture their leader, Emperor Scolar Visari, and to do this, you'll have to not only fight through the hundreds of enemy Helghast in your way, but deal with their mastery of the planet's unique properties; they've learned to use it's natural resource, Petrusite, along with its regularly occurring lighting storms to create devastating weapons, which they'll now gladly use against you. Can Sergeant Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko and his team survive the enemy's electrical weapons, navigate the hostile planet and capture the enemy leader alive...?

The base gameplay consists of you fighting through the Helghast hordes with your varied arsenal, as you navigate the war-torn battlefields (take cover, climb ladders, use elevators, open the way with valves/levers, etc.) and infiltrate enemy lines while you clear out and destroy enemy bunkers; AA guns; flak guns; lightning towers; and power grids, by planting explosive charges and using enemy's nearby mounted guns, in order to take over and hold the area against the enemy onslaughts, as you cover (and sometimes escort) your men to the next targeted area. You'll also pilot a tank, fight hovering ATAC drones and huge Helghast mini-bosses equipped with gattling guns; use a mounted AA gun on your airship to fend off waves of incoming enemy airships; and pilot a mech suit while you tear through enemy tanks.

Your enemy is made up of the Helghast, their robotic ATACs and Petrusite filled spiders, and you'll be combating them with your knife, pistol and revolver, assault rifles, machine guns, a rocket launcher, grenade launcher, sniper rifle, shotgun, flamethrower, Electricity gun, Boltgun, and grenades (electricity and frag). The combat system is adrenaline-pumpingly intense, with you gunning through Helghast (including allies, if you so choose--friendly-fire is enabled) with your varied arsenal and mounted machine guns; using grenades and explosive objects to kill anyone nearby (causing bodies, dust and debris to fly); the flamethrower to set enemies ablaze; the Boltgun to impale, then pin them to walls (soon detonating to finish them or those nearby off); the Electricity gun to lethally shock them with bolts of lighting; and the butt of weapons or your knife to attack them in close quarters.

When shot, the enemy will grunt and cry out in pain while they hiss, hyperventilate, and then finally fall in contorted positions; they will howl in agony, cry for their "mommy" and flail around when set on fire; yell in high-pitched tones while they violently gyrate in place when shocked with the Electricity gun; and the hulking Helghast mini-bosses will grunt in panicked tones, as the tank on their backs leak gas and then explode in large fireballs. Add this, the semi-destructable environments (wood breaks away; concrete pillars crumble, leaving their steel underwire exposed; bullets imbed themselves and leave marks in walls; glass shatters, etc.) and their destroyed appearance (battlefields are overturned, in complete ruin and filled with rubble), and it gives the overall combat a chaotic, gritty and tense feel.

Enemies will attack in overwhelming numbers (usually dozens against your two to three) while they quickly and accurately snipe you from afar; fire rockets and fling grenades your way; pin you down with mounted machine guns; flank you aggressively from all sides; and then attack with flamethrowers, the butt of weapons or knives in close quarters--all the while they send in backup with armored vehicles (as they charge out the hatch, while the gunner on top fires on your position) and helicopters (which they then quickly rappel down). You'll also fight a few large and powerful bosses in the form of huge Helghast enemies equipped with back mounted gattling guns and the ATAC, a hovering sentry drone, which will continually shoot you with a high-powered machine gun, as it effortlessly dodges your every shot...

You'll go lone wolf during the boss battles and many of the levels, giving these portions a vulnerable and isolated feeling. And since you can only take a certain amount of hits, if you don't successfully dodge the enemy's fire and find adequate cover in time, the screen will darken, turning black and white, as it gradually gathers your character's blood around the edges, and the surrounding sound muffles. Your team will eventually fall from the same enemy fire and call out for you to revive them, forcing you to make it through enemy crossfire, the ever present blinding smoke and dust (kicked up by gunfire and blowing through battlefields) and the many huge and disruptive explosions to reach them--you and your team are never "safe."

The cutscenes contain plenty of intense action and chaotic explosions; you frequently see allied soldiers shot down, blown up and set on fire (as they scream and flail about); one scene shows a destructive enemy weapon shoot out bolts of lightning, tearing up the cement and flinging allied tanks and soldiers as it goes; in a later scene, after part of your team and an allied female scientist are captured by the enemy, she trips and falls, causing a Helghast soldier to walk over and kick her in the stomach while she's down; a scene near the end shows one of your team members violently beat up an allied side character after he bad-mouths a fallen leader; and there are couple of violent and somewhat tragic main character deaths.

When it comes to what age group this game is appropriate for, on the one hand, while it may not be the goriest or even bloodiest game in it's genre (you will sometimes shoot off enemy heads, but there's no added dismemberment or gibbing, unlike the moderately gorier, Gears of War or Resistance 2), blood effects are still prevalent, it's full of intense and chaotic gameplay, packed with an extreme amount of language (including seventy-six uses of the f-word), and unlike the Gears of War series, you can't disable anything, meaning this really isn't appropriate for younger teens--this game is just more suited to older teens and adults.

Strong language: There are over six dozen uses of the f-word, over five dozen uses of sh*t, over a dozen uses of d*mn, hell, a**, and God d*mn, under a dozen uses of bastard and SoB, three or under uses of a**hole, b*tch and God, and one use of p*ss and Jesus. Other than the main script, soldiers will infrequenty use hell, d*mn, a**, sh*t, Jesus and the f-word while fighting. There is no option to turn language off.

Content review posted: 03/04/09

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