By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Thrilling sci-fi shooter with heavy doses of violence, gore.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While players take on the roles of heroes fighting against a vicious alien race threatening Earth, it's clear that glorified violence is the core of the experience. The player is rewarded by upgrading to better weapons, too.
Positive Role Models
Players assume the role of an elite operative, Sev, with the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance. You and your comrade Rico are determined to stop the Helghast armies once and for all -- on their home planet -- in order to help protect the human race. Sev's efforts are noble and well intended, but he is a conduit of violent acts that involve high-powered weapons and brutal melee attacks. He kills in excess of a thousand enemies over the course of the game.
Ease of Play
Those who've played Killzone 2 or other console shooters will likely pick up the game quite easily. Detailed in-game instructions help players on the fly, and the manual clearly lays out the control scheme. The game also supports the PlayStation Move motion-sensing controller, though it wasn't tested for this review.
Violence & Scariness
Killzone 3 is a violent, first-person military shooter that takes place in the future. Players can shoot enemies, impale them with a giant spike, and perform melee attacks that range from slicing throats to snapping necks to the gouging of eyes. Some weapons, such as a boltgun, can decapitate soldiers. Gratuitous amounts of blood can be seen spraying at times. Many thousands of Helghast enemies will be killed by the end of the game.
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Strong language can be heard in dialogue sequences throughout the game, including "f--k" and "s--t," along with "damn," hell," and "bitch." Note, though, that the frequency of offensive language has been reduced compared to the nearly constant swearing found in Killzone 2.
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Products & Purchases
A set of military dogtags pictured on the box advertise SOCOM 4, another upcoming shooter for the PlayStation 3. Plus, players will find a code inside the box that enables early access to the beta version of that game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Killzone 3 has plenty of violence, blood, and gore. In addition to traditional and futuristic weapons, players have access to some very vicious melee attacks. Players can sneak up on unsuspecting soldiers to slice their throats, snap their necks, and gouge their eyes out with their character's thumbs. Some non-interactive cut-scene sequences also depict violence and gore, including one in which a person is impaled, with body parts littering the ground. Note, too, that this game supports open online voice communication. Common Sense Media does not recommend non-moderated online communication for pre-teens.
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Videos and Photos
Based on 7 parent reviews
This game involves violence But not lots and lots.
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A brutal, gory game.
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What’s It About?
Picking up moments after the final scene in Killzone 2, which left the evil Emperor Visari dead at the feet of protagonists Sev and Rico, KILLZONE 3 introduces a new and more vicious Helghan uprising that takes place in the wake of Visari's death. While the story is more light-hearted than its predecessors (an intentional move, says the company), the game once again stars you as Sev, a member of the ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance) who must survive on the Helghast home world while searching for a way off the planet. Using traditional and futuristic weapons, a number of vehicles, and a handful of new "brutal melee" moves, you'll take down the nasty Helghan armies in alien jungles, abandoned cities, and arctic wastelands, all from an immersive first-person perspective.
Is It Any Good?
Despite some less interesting characters and a few confusing dialogue and story sequences, Killzone 3 is the best game in the series to date. With much bigger set pieces, more weapons and vehicles, and destructible environments, this sequel delivers the most intense white-knuckle action yet. The enemies are smarter, too, and for those who want to take the fight online, two out of the three modes are playable with up to 24 players. Offline co-op play on the same TV is also offered.
What's more, the game feels tight and responsive on the PS3 controller. Players who prefer motion-enabled controls can opt to use Sony's PlayStation Move controller. And as if the game's lifelike, high-definition graphics aren't enough, those with a 3DTV can play the game with an added sense of depth. Its narrative could do with a little polish, but Killzone 3 certainly won't disappoint fans of the genre.
Online interaction: Killzone 3 offers three types of head-to-head play online with support for voice communication. Players may be exposed to inappropriate topics of conversation and offensive language. Potential exists for players to share identifying information with one another.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether the violence in this game, which is targeted at slightly mutated and clearly malevolent descendants of human colonists, is more acceptable than a game that takes place in contemporary times on Earth and against human soldiers. Should it make a difference?
Families can also discuss the dangers of open online communication. What should players do if they encounter belligerent people online? How can they protect themselves?
- Platform: PlayStation 3
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release date: February 22, 2011
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
- Last updated: August 30, 2016
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