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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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+ crazeeavery on August 1st, 2013 at 12:56 pm said:

LOL you call this a game?? Xbox one is going to kill the ps4 lol


+ Riseer23 on August 6th, 2013 at 8:14 am said:

I already have have the Ps4 launch day bundle with KZ SF.Can’t wait!!!


+ Riseer23 on August 6th, 2013 at 8:16 am said:

That cover art looks awesome with the blu case.


+ Riseer23 on August 6th, 2013 at 8:21 am said:

crazeeavery,with what Forza 5 which uses pre baked lighting?You should give back your Playstation card.This trailer is from E3 it will look better by launch…


+ Riseer23 on August 6th, 2013 at 8:25 am said:

CommandingTiger,The cloud that MS is using won’t do anything for graphics.That is marketing BS they will need more then 300k servers..much more.At E3 what you saw from MS was running on Pc’s..not even development kits.


+ shamon on August 10th, 2013 at 8:15 pm said:

happy i pre order all games


+ AizawaYuuichi on July 20th, 2013 at 12:43 am said:

Looks amazing. Already have this paid off… seriously, Sony, just give us a launch date already.

And that box art is smexy! :D


+ JuJiTSuU on July 20th, 2013 at 3:28 am said:

Swwwwweeeeet !!! Xp


+ RydogV on July 20th, 2013 at 7:19 am said:

Pre-ordered Killzone: Shadow Fall when I pre-ordered my PS4. To be honest, this title is the ONLY reason I am getting a PS4 at launch. Feeling that the new Killzone might cut into a good chunk of my Dust 514 playtime. But then again it has been over 2 1/2 years since KZ3 and I am primed to wade back into that universe once more.

Hoping to curb the withdrawls a bit with Killzone: Mercenary on Vita in a couple months. Signed up for the Beta. Fingers crosses.

Never did try Killzone: Liberation on PSP. Curious if it has been ported to Vita yet for download?


+ chrisgomez3030 on July 20th, 2013 at 7:43 am said:

can’t see the video on my vita :(


+ PhillyPhreak on July 20th, 2013 at 11:51 am said:

I’m open to change, but I like options, too. Hopefully we can reconfigure our controls to our liking. I really like using L1 to ‘aim down the sights’ and R1 as my primary ‘fire’ button in shooters.

I look forward to seeing some multiplayer analysis.

    Justin Massongill's Avatar


    + Justin Massongill on July 21st, 2013 at 6:07 pm said:

    Not sure whether customizable controls will be an option, but DualShock 4’s triggers feel mighty fine. I was concerned about the change at first too, but after half an hour with it I’m a believer.


+ neuropunk on July 20th, 2013 at 4:38 pm said:



STAHP with these crappy FPS!


+ ringmon on July 20th, 2013 at 5:47 pm said:

Can we hope to see the playstation plus instant games for august soon?
Also last year Europe got Red Dead Redemption, can we here ever hope to get this game to add to our instant game collection?

    Justin Massongill's Avatar


    + Justin Massongill on July 21st, 2013 at 6:03 pm said:

    No word on what the upcoming content will be yet, but keep an eye out for updates each Monday morning.


+ HalmaneiUS on July 20th, 2013 at 6:16 pm said:

I like the graphics! I think it will be in the top 10

    Justin Massongill's Avatar


    + Justin Massongill on July 21st, 2013 at 6:02 pm said:

    It’s a gorgeous game, that’s for sure.


+ D-Squad3 on July 21st, 2013 at 2:15 am said:

Please tell me there will be no input lag when aiming!


+ Mattsta001 on July 21st, 2013 at 7:40 am said:

The trailer looked good. Unfortunately the actual play through of the forest section I’ve seen looked really boring and I wasn’t the only one to think that. The OWL and the wall hack ability remove all tension from the game. I don’t think the OWL is even destroyable. The Helghast AI didn’t look all that great either. Slow mo is a real immersion breaker and has no place in a FPS. A bit worried this is going to be a pretty game with little in the way of compelling gameplay or story.


+ CommandingTiger on July 21st, 2013 at 12:58 pm said:

Here’s a few things the PS4 needs to do.

From the base. We need to have our own character customization that will play across all games.
Bring as much if not more customization than the characters in PS Home, just the character as your personal avatar.
Xbox One will be doing this as one of the basic features. It’ll scan your face in 3D and your body and place your character in the game. So if we can have our own characters as well, that’d be awesome.
If you can make the PS Eye to have your shape & body, not just the lame face in Reality Fighter.
Maybe you can make the player turn the camera around to get the shape of the face, but that can be updated later on.

The important thing is the customizable character.

Another cool thing, whenever you buy games, you can customize your avatar with clothes/items of the games, like in PS Home. Perharps even custom appartments included as a redeemable code voucher. People may want to purchase new to get those iems.


+ Sandmano-- on July 21st, 2013 at 1:24 pm said:

I hope you the characters finally talk in MP.


+ CommandingTiger on July 21st, 2013 at 1:41 pm said:

That’s one of the features that comes as basic on the Xbox One, it should be the same for the PS4.

That, we are already aware of the Cloud of the Xbox One, and how it wanted to restrict you in every possible way.
They do have a neet feature that enhances the graphics online on their cloud by having the server enhance the graphics instead of the console.
That’s something NVIDIA were the first to initiate. Maybe you can get those contacts and make it work?
It’s not like it’s that big of a deal, the PS4 will be much more powerful either way. And the maintenance cost of such servers could be costly, but that’s yet to be seen.
It’s something you can look into.

I do have several ideas that would enhance the PSN.
For intance, you’ll have your facebook/avatar on your profile.
Well, place your PSN character in that same section.
It’s nothing new, we already have the PS Home character, but it’s a start.


+ Guimace on July 21st, 2013 at 3:34 pm said:

Beautiful PS4 box! Love the blue.


+ DefiantCaptain on July 21st, 2013 at 5:10 pm said:

I am tired of “Xbox One” and the “Cloud” thing…

I cannot imagine developers using such a “combined” architecture to send up to the server certain aspects of graphics processing, and returning that information to the “client”. Xbox One does not require an internet connection, and what happens when the internet connection is slow or fails? Does the game freeze? Plus, developers complained about PS3 being tough to develop for, can you imagine them implementing something as complicated as that? Cloud is just a fancy word for a server that scales, it is not some mystical entity that resolves the complexity of the problem.

Microsoft is all but lying to the consumer when they brag about there Cloud. PS4 has them beat on power, and they know it.


+ ThoasBrand on July 21st, 2013 at 5:31 pm said:

Looking good

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