PS3 Not Maxed Out By Killzone 3, says Guerilla
This week marks the release of Killzone 3, the latest chapter in the popular first person series that continues the war between the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) and the evil Helghast Empire. It is arguably the best looking game on PlayStation 3, complete with gorgeous environments, giant enemies and epic scenes of destruction. Therefore, it’s only natural for people to speculate whether developer Guerrilla Games maximized the console’s potential. Well, Managing Director/Co-Founder Hermen Hulst wants to kill the argument before it begins. The team didn’t squeeze the PS3 for all it’s worth. Not even close.
“At the end of every project, we say, ‘we’ve maxed it out.’ I made that mistake at the end of Killzone 2,” Hulst admitted to IndustryGamers. “We felt that we’d pushed it absolutely to the max. We now know from experience there’s always more mileage in the tech. You can always find new techniques.”
Guerrilla discovers ways to push the system with help from other in-house Sony developers, as well as research it conducts independently. It also helps, according to Hulst, that these companies design their own technology.
“The guys that created LittleBigPlanet, I don’t think they would have been able to create a game that looks as great on someone else’s tech and that’s the same with us,” he said.
“For example, in Killzone 2, we introduced anti-aliasing to get rid of the jagged edges. We’re using that, but an improved version that is much more efficient, so we actually leave space for more detail, bigger environments and more polygons. Compared to Killzone 2, Killzone 3’s polygon count is three times as high, so we’ve been able to find new space, probably averaging out to 40 percent.”
Guerrilla used this new space to introduce jetpacks and integrate the new melee system, and the game also runs in stereoscopic 3-D, but critics should avoid calling this a waste of resources.
“We’ve had one dedicated programmer on it and a number of designers that attend play test sessions and process the feedback. 3-D is here to stay. It’s like going from mono to stereo sound. You don’t necessarily change the tune or the lyrics, but still the effect can have a profound impact, and from a tech perspective, it’s not that expensive to put into a TV.”
That said, the company chose to nix online co-op, a feature that fans have begged Guerrilla to include. Instead, they’ll need to enjoy Killzone 3’s single player campaign offline, a decision that Hulst doesn’t regret.
“We considered online co-op, but there comes a point where you say, ‘Will it be diluted if we push forward, or is it going to require the same resource that’s needed for the competitive online multiplayer?’ We chose what the core team found to be the most pleasant online experience, and that’s sitting with a pal on the couch.”
As for the future of the series, Hulst wouldn’t discuss Killzone 4, but he feels optimistic about the upcoming entry for Sony’s Next Generation Portable (NGP), currently in development by Sony Cambridge.
“We would never ask another team to do Killzone if we weren’t comfortable. SCE Cambridge is a team that has a lot of Killzone experience. We’ve had probably 25 of their staff help at the end phases of Killzone 2 and DLC. They’ve worked on DLC for Killzone 3. They’re well versed in the Killzone universe. I think they’ve shown with the development of LittleBigPlanet for PSP that they can take someone else’s property and make a great handheld experience.”
Killzone 3 is available nationwide for the suggested retail price of $59.99.