Killzone 3, 10 Years Later: The Game That Brought The Arcade Home With MePlatforms: Sony PlayStation 3
Growing up, my experience with video games began like many others, with keyboard and mouse. Not long after that, I was fully entrenched in Pokémon and Yoshi’s Island's likes on my Gameboy Advanced, until finally, I received my first home console, the PlayStation 2.
In the midst of all that, there was a smaller, though still deeply influential, aspect of my early gaming days—the arcade. Or, as I more properly knew it, the small arcade that was inside the movie theatre. It was here I played my first shooters, first racing games, first rhythm-based games. The arcade brought gaming into the physical world for me and gave me a whole new dimension to think of how games could be played.
Though I rarely got to play at the arcade whenever we made a family trip to the movies, I always eyed it as we would walk by, wishing I could have even just one of those machines at home. To my wondrous surprise, I would eventually feel like I had my very own arcade machine in Killzone 3.
A decade ago, before we knew of Aloy and her horizons, we knew the war between the Helghast and the ISA. The Killzone series was Sony’s main first-person shooter exclusive, a spot that has been left empty since the series departure. Killzone 3 was believed at the time to be the conclusion of a story spanning two console generations, the final epic chapter after Killzone 2’s cliffhanger ending. Evidently, it was not the final chapter, and in regards to it being epic, even I’d say that stakes felt higher in Killzone 2. However, despite Killzone 3’s shortcomings, it still stands out as a fun shooter. More importantly (for me), Killzone 3 was unique in the series in that it allowed you to play not just with your Dualshock 3 but the PlayStation Move controller. It was this key feature, along with my PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter, that made me feel like the arcade had finally come home for me.
Killzone 3 is not the best title in the series, but it is the one that I had the most fun playing with. Today, on its 10th anniversary, it still is as fun to play with the Move controller as I remember. What keeps Killzone 3 memorable for me is the realisation that I didn’t need to go to the movies to play a game like this. It also has the added benefit of having a more fleshed out story and characters than the rail shooters you would find at the arcade, so the combination of the two meshed quite well for my 15-year-old self. What resulted from it was a level of immersion that I hadn’t felt before, even if my arm got tired after a while, which I have to report is the only downside.
It’s also worth mentioning that Killzone 3 is notable even without the motion controls. It is a fun and intense shooter that creates a thrilling and challenging experience, especially on higher difficulties. The look of the game is also great, and thinking back on it now, after the release of Horizon Zero Dawn, you can see how Guerrilla evolved from the look of Killzone to Aloy’s story. You can still have a fun time with this game, even without all the accoutrements for that arcade feel. I feel like Killzone 3 has actually aged pretty well, considering it’s my third favourite title in the series behind Killzone Mercenary on PS Vita and Killzone 2.
Unfortunately, the part that aged the best requires additional controllers, but I’d be willing to bet the cost of those accessories is still less than buying an arcade machine. So if you’ve got a PS3 kicking around, I encourage you to look back on Killzone 3 and simpler times. Maybe feel like you’re out at an arcade again, or imagine we live in a world where Sony has a first-party first-person shooter.