Jul 19


Hands On with Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4

Justin Massongill's Avatar Posted by Justin Massongill on Jul 19, 2013 // SCEA Social Media Manager

Killzone: Shadow Fall

At a recent event in New York, I got my hands on Guerrilla Games’ upcoming PS4 launch title, Killzone: Shadow Fall. The game will feel instantly familiar to anyone who’s followed the long-running series, but there are enough new features and additions that even the most battle-worn Helghan veterans will want a primer before heading into battle.

The tools at your disposal in Shadow Fall are many: In addition to the requisite bullet-driven armaments, the new OWL drone gives you an enormous tactical advantage. Swipe up on DualShock 4‘s touchpad to set the OWL into attack mode, point your crosshairs at a space in front of an enemy and press L1 to deploy the drone, which both attacks its target head-on and serves as a distraction while you flank around the other side. The OWL is also incredibly useful when trying to keep track of one of the game’s teleporting enemies. Just follow the bullets.

The OWL has other uses, too. Swipe left on the touchpad to put the drone into stun mode, which will incapacitate foes and nearby electronics. Swipe downward for a drop-anywhere shield, creating last-minute cover from gunfire when things go south. Swipe right to turn your OWL into a zipline — especially useful for covering large amounts of ground quickly or escaping a tower you just planted some C4 on. The OWL can also hack security systems, ensuring your enemies can’t call in reinforcements in the middle of a fight.

Holding up on the directional pad sends out a pulse that scans for nearby enemies. This is a big help when you’re trying to quietly take out foes, but be careful: hold it for too long and the signal will become strong enough for enemies to notice, alerting them to your location (and likely ruining whatever plan you had in mind). One strategy I employed was to locate mid-range enemies while hidden behind a rock or tree, then attach a scope to my rifle (by pressing left on the d-pad) and take them out from afar with a charged shot. If I missed and things got hairy, I could quickly switch weapons, send out my trusty OWL drone, and switch to Plan B (shoot things and try not to get shot).

Killzone: Shadow Fall

From time you time, you might find yourself faced against odds that you aren’t quite ready for. Pressing down on DualShock 4’s d-pad will not only restore your health (using up one of your reserved med-kits), but gives you a shot to turn the tables by putting you into a slow-motion mode when looking down the scope of your gun. This effect lasts for just a few seconds, but is usually all you’ll need to get yourself out of a messy situation and back on your feet.

PS4’s enhanced hardware is beautifully showcased in Shadow Fall: each melee takedown gives you an up-close look at the finely crafted intricacies of enemies’ uniforms. Ropes dangle and sway from ledges, and guns are seemingly machined from real, tangible metal. I found myself constantly stopping to marvel at the little details, like an accurately rendered lens flare that swept across the screen when I panned the camera across a particularly gorgeous sunset. If a PS4 launch title already looks this good, I can’t wait to see what developers get out of the system throughout the course of the generation.

Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4

DualShock 4 has earned quite a few kudos since E3, and in Shadow Fall those positive impressions are solidly reinforced. The longer, concave analog thumbsticks respond to the tiniest adjustments while the extended, textured handles made extended play sessions feel more comfortable. And the triggers… oh, the triggers. My index fingers felt like they were made to wrap around the lovingly redesigned L2 and R2 buttons, which are assigned to look down the scope of your gun and fire, respectively. Throw in the touchpad implementation discussed above, and Killzone: Shadow Fall is a perfect showcase title for PS4’s new controller.

Killzone: Shadow Fall makes a strong case for FPS titles on PS4, from the ultra-slick graphics to the impeccably implemented controls. You’d do well to keep an eye on this one if you’re considering your PS4 launch day options. Stay tuned to PS.Blog for more updates on the game, right up until its launch this holiday.

//Add Your Own

72 Comments   10 Replies

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+ AkelisRain on July 19th, 2013 at 8:06 am said:

Well, that trailer just def convinced me to add this to my pre-order list.


+ AkelisRain on July 19th, 2013 at 8:07 am said:

Never mind, turns out I already did. MUAHAHAH!


+ moecage on July 19th, 2013 at 8:11 am said:

I love the killzone series and I’m only getting a ps4 for shadow fall, I do have one question, is this killzone 4 or is it not related to the story of 2 and 3 ?


+ BushLovesOsama on July 19th, 2013 at 8:26 am said:

“Pressing down on DualShock 4′s d-pad will not only restore your health (using up one of your reserved med-kits)”

Please tell me this means health bars are back, thats the only thing GG need to get off my perfect KZ checklist.
Secondary fire? Check. Brutal melee? Check. Classic Helghans? Check.
Sliding mechanic? Uncheck. Health bar? ???


+ T3DV0L70L1N4 on July 19th, 2013 at 8:28 am said:

I’m concerned that being able to send the drone to attack enemies will make the game too easy. I feel like that game mechanic will make the game more accessible to a less-experienced audience, but it could seriously detract from the enjoyment of long-time fans of the series and genre. Can the drone’s attack mode be entirely disabled on the harder difficulty levels?

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    + Justin Massongill on July 19th, 2013 at 9:53 am said:

    I don’t know whether you’ll be able to disable it, but don’t worry about it doing your killing for you — it didn’t seem like its guns were very powerful. I found that it worked best as a distraction, rather than as a direct weapon. Send the drone out in front of an enemy to keep him busy, then run behind the guy and take him out.


+ GeoDarky on July 19th, 2013 at 8:53 am said:

I pre-ordered PS4 Killzone SF bundle and i can’t wait to dive into this game in the holidays


+ obed17 on July 19th, 2013 at 8:59 am said:

I guess no PS Move or 3D support than?

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    + Justin Massongill on July 19th, 2013 at 9:50 am said:

    Nothing’s been announced that I know of.


+ dusek on July 19th, 2013 at 9:09 am said:

Now there’s a PS4 game box!


+ MushThePainter on July 19th, 2013 at 9:25 am said:

I’m excited to hear about the multiplayer, definitely the first game I’ll be picking up for the PS4


+ zombie9 on July 19th, 2013 at 9:25 am said:

So I guess no move controller or Sharpshooter (move) on this. Killzone live Action!!!

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    + Justin Massongill on July 19th, 2013 at 9:49 am said:

    I haven’t heard anything about whether those will be supported here, but the demo I played was on DualShock 4.


+ MartB64 on July 19th, 2013 at 9:31 am said:

That’s an interesting twist…
” L2 and R2 buttons, which are assigned to look down the scope of your gun and fire, respectively.”

After years of using L1 & R1, this might take some getting used to. I’m not complaining, just making an observation :-)

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    + Justin Massongill on July 19th, 2013 at 9:47 am said:

    The triggers feel unbelievable; it’s easier to get used to than you might think.


+ Butters360 on July 19th, 2013 at 9:40 am said:

Stoked for this! I just want to sink my hands into the DualShock 4 and the PS4.


+ AVILIVE on July 19th, 2013 at 9:44 am said:

I pre ordered since it was announced
Any word if there is going to be a Collectors Edition for this game?


+ guitarded77 on July 19th, 2013 at 10:01 am said:

Got mine pre-ordered for day 1. Killzone and Battlefield at the same time == FPS OVERLOAD!!!

QUESTION: Will there be online co-op campaign???


+ Lemondish on July 19th, 2013 at 10:46 am said:


I think you’re missing that the drone is essentially no different than Rico killing baddies for you in Killzone 2 and 3. Only this time, you have control of his movements like in the stellar PSP title Killzone: Liberation. Despite you being perfectly able to sit back and let Rico take over, that game wasn’t that easy. You had to use your brain and think tactically to continue through it. Killzone: Shadow Fall looks pretty similar in that regard. Sure, you could probably let your OWL take on targets solo, but how long will it (and by extension you) survive without working together?


+ Nightmare142 on July 19th, 2013 at 10:58 am said:

Will the old assault Helghast suit make a return? I know it’s 30 years later, but i love those.


+ Mando44646 on July 19th, 2013 at 11:00 am said:

Already reserved. Killzone is one of my favorite PS franchises


+ bgregs on July 19th, 2013 at 11:01 am said:

KZ2 and KZ3 had a sticky cover mechanic. Does Shadow Fall have a similar cover mechanic? And, what is the default button for crouch/cover? Thanks.


+ boomstickbhg on July 19th, 2013 at 11:08 am said:

Will we be able to set custom controls to put the Aim and Fire buttons back on R1/L1?

I will never play any shooter requiring R2/L2, I don’t play games that use those buttons at all most of the time, my fingers aren’t able to use those buttons.

It’s why I never play shooters on the Xbox.

So please make sure you still let us customize the controls so everyone can play this!


+ BlueBl1zzard on July 19th, 2013 at 11:15 am said:

Nice to see they’re making use of the touchpad. Sounds like it feels intuitive.

Now we just need some splitscreen and PS Move confirmation and I’ll be set!


+ gotta-buy-em on July 19th, 2013 at 11:16 am said:


iv made so much research trying to know if killzone shadow fall is gonna have ps move support (cant get enough of shooters with motion controls)

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    + Justin Massongill on July 21st, 2013 at 6:10 pm said:

    Don’t think anything’s been announced regarding that yet, but I’ll see if I can track down some more info.


+ KwietStorm on July 19th, 2013 at 11:29 am said:

Really not all that concerned with all the single player coverage. If the multiplayer is blank again like KZ3, I won’t be able to get the game.


+ Bigbadwolfe143 on July 19th, 2013 at 11:45 am said:

I asked this in the post about the preorder bonuses, but got no response so will try it again here:

“I would like to know if these (The Bonus DLC Items) are going to coming with the digital version of the game, not sure if we will be able to pre-order the digital version as the system won’t be out until release date but would hope these bonuses would be included for Day 1 Digital purchase!”

I would appreciate an answer if possible as I definitely plan to pick this up day 1 and would prefer to go digital but would like to get the extras as well.

This game looks great!


+ T-8k8O_ on July 19th, 2013 at 1:09 pm said:

This should be on PS3 too.


+ sciteach on July 19th, 2013 at 2:13 pm said:

any word on how this is translating to the Vita? I’m really looking forward to seeing how the complex controls translate over to that console.


+ Techni on July 19th, 2013 at 2:17 pm said:

I too would like move (sharpshooter) and 3d support.
I find it infuriating Sony abandoned 3d for the most part after I paid through the nose for that 3dtv of theirs

Especially since they lowered the price shortly after, by more than half!


+ iamaguy2610 on July 19th, 2013 at 2:21 pm said:

the game look so lush and beautiful.


+ kennypg23 on July 19th, 2013 at 2:24 pm said:

I can’t wait to get my hands on that dualshock 4 and Killzone Shadow Fall. I’m glad I preordered my PS4.


+ Kchow23 on July 19th, 2013 at 2:25 pm said:

I like the box art, hoping that the story is night and day in comparison to previous Killzone games.


+ ChangeDaBullets on July 19th, 2013 at 2:39 pm said:

Ah I pre ordered this game and paid it off a long with the ps4 day one edition fo watch dogs.. Can’t wait to pick up my order this holiday season! Wonder when it comes out?


+ tusunami on July 19th, 2013 at 3:07 pm said:

This will be most excellent FPS getting this for sure. KZ series is one of the best!!!!!!!!!!


+ CrusaderForever on July 19th, 2013 at 3:28 pm said:

Amazing! Decisions, Decisions
Killzone Shadow Fall
Battlefield 4
ACIV Black Flag
Going to be a tough but fun Holiday season!


+ derb on July 19th, 2013 at 6:08 pm said:

Will this be uploaded to PlayStation YouTube?

I get nothing but a black screen here.


+ conan7712 on July 19th, 2013 at 8:52 pm said:

is there going to be a special edition of the game or just the standard?


+ RogErRaBbiT11 on July 19th, 2013 at 10:08 pm said:

Looks awesome can’t watch !


+ JMBlakk on July 19th, 2013 at 11:45 pm said:

stop with the trailers, give me a release date. A RELEASE DATE!


+ DeMoNSeed11 on July 20th, 2013 at 12:28 am said:

Looks as if it has potential …..


+ kingunchartedudc on July 21st, 2013 at 6:42 pm said:

man I’m glad that they finally put more color on killzone


+ kingunchartedudc on July 21st, 2013 at 6:50 pm said:


Say if I gota 12 month Playstation Plus on September the 17th when 2014 come around will my Playstation Plus days will be over or do I wait until September 17th 2014?


+ kingunchartedudc on July 21st, 2013 at 6:52 pm said:

I cant wait for multiplayer Footage


+ BigBacon87 on July 22nd, 2013 at 7:22 am said:

I can’t wait for this game. God I hope Operations mode is making a return. Best game mode I have ever played.


+ Elvick_ on July 22nd, 2013 at 7:39 am said:

Would also like to know if it supports PS Move.

Are there any games for PS4 that support it yet?


+ Phoenix7469 on July 22nd, 2013 at 6:08 pm said:

Hands on? How about MY hands on this game! eventually will happen but will have to wait =(


+ Phoenix7469 on July 22nd, 2013 at 6:15 pm said:

Sorry but I am going to leave another comment. Every Helghast class from the dawn of Killzone all the way to Shadow Fall look amazing. Every single Helghast! One thing I love is uniform detail. Every Helghast class is unique and easily distinguishable from each other and look epic. Thanks Guerrilla Games for a great story, game, and experience!


+ justindunde on July 25th, 2013 at 9:44 am said:

Love me some KILL ZONE!


+ Welmosca on July 25th, 2013 at 12:01 pm said:

The box of PS4 games looks terrible…why not keep the black?…..what a mistake,that blue on Vita boxes looks awesome but for PS4 looks ugly….the boxart of shadow fall looks nice though…..anyway the more I see from PS4 the more I dont want to buy it….dualshock 4 looks awful…..and Guerrilla games…I hope that there will be options to switch the controls to aim and shoot on L1 and R1…..WTF is happening to you guys?….you shouldn’t listen to whiners….being different means being the best.


+ McGrahamable on July 25th, 2013 at 1:48 pm said:

I really love the Killzone franchise and as much as I would love to support Guerrilla and buy this game, I am not convinced just yet. I really want to see some innovations especially when it comes to multiplayer. I want to be impressed like I was after watching the trailers for Titanfall and Battlefield 4. Graphics aren’t going to cut it this time, Killzone 3 is the Best looking fps on the PS3 right now but it doesn’t matter if the gameplay gets stale and level design for a lot of the maps are just not that great, Lets be honest. Most of the time I played I was dedicated to trapping the enemies at their spawn. If I see multiple drivable air and land vehicles, smaller portable jetpacks, more weapons, gadgets, and accessories I will give this game a buy. customization is needed in this game, they could be endless customization. The game is set in the future there are lots of things I could think of.


+ KILLERKUBAN1 on July 25th, 2013 at 6:25 pm said:

Tell us more about the things u can use vita with it and give us a date im gonna lose my vacation when it does come on.


+ HazeBlaze on July 25th, 2013 at 7:45 pm said:

I can’t wait!!! This and Watchdogs are really the only games I care about from launch through the rest of the year! (Although I’ll likely pick up BF4 as well). I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the multiplayer.

Although I was happy with the tweaks in KZ3… I hope the multiplayer here feels as fresh and innovative as KZ2 did when I first played it. I hope there is at least one twist to it that goes beyond what we’ve seen in the current gen.


+ nameaprice on July 27th, 2013 at 9:37 am said:

So i was get my PO PS4 with BF4 but then I was like im already gettin it on PC, as mouse and keyboard are the way to go HINT HINT #Sony. So i wasnt a big KZ fan as i thought it played kinda klunky and slow. Buuuut with what ive seen so far im PO PS4 with this.

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