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Who is your favourite Killzone 1 hero?
This poll is closed.
Templar 7 3.24%
Rico 14 6.48%
Luger 23 10.65%
Hakha 64 29.63%
Don't talk to me about Killzone 1 108 50.00%
Total: 216 votes
[Edit Poll (moderators only)]

 
  • Locked thread
nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

:siren::siren::siren:THIS IS THE GOOD KILLZONE, PEOPLE!!!:siren::siren::siren:

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nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013




Not that I intend to overwhelm you with all this Killzone at once, but we are also going to be doing Killzone: Liberation in tandem with Killzone 2. The reason being that much of what happens in the later part of Liberation informs key events all throughout Killzone 2.

Killzone: Liberation, for the curious, is the mid-quel for the PlayStation Portable which takes place a short time after the original Killzone and a few months prior to the beginning of Killzone 2. Liberation is our last hurrah with “Team Templar” as it were, but we’ll get to them in due time.



Liberation's intro cinematic is the outlier among the OG Killzone games in that it foregoes any sort of introductory monologue from Scolar Visari. Maybe Guerrilla couldn't afford Brian Cox on PSP money? I don't know. As such, Liberation begins on an oddly silent note.



We pick up the narrative two months after the destruction of the SD Platform and the death of General Adams. The opening shot of the intro shows what you would expect to see after the end of Killzone 1, remnants of the broken Helghast army after a seemingly decisive ISA victory.



But because this is Killzone, things aren't that clear cut, and it turns out that Luger's dire prediction that the Helghast wouldn't give up on Vekta that easily are proving true.



Because while the Helghast Third Army under General Lente was routed by the ISA in short order, in Vekta's southern hemisphere, the second prong of Visari's assault on the planet is proving a little harder to dislodge.



And this would be the reason why, Helghast General Armin Metrac and his right hand man, Colonel Tendon Cobar. Metrac and Lente were sent to secure Vekta together, each man taking a hemisphere of the planet for themself. It's only natural that Lente would be the one who the ISA would focus on expelling first, because most of Vekta's vital infrastructure is located in its northern hemisphere, and he was also working in conjunction with General Adams, so of course there would be a stronger political push to deal with Lente first while Metrac twisted in the wind... Or so the prevailing logic went.

With the focus off his forces, Metrac, however, made out like gangbusters in southern Vekta, and his forces (bolstered by the remnants of Lente's third army, now fled south to join him) have dug in to an intractable degree.

This is why the game is called Liberation, we will be spending it liberating the rest of Vekta from the remaining Helghast forces.



You can already tell just by looking at him that there's something different about Metrac (HE HAS HAIR :byodood:). There's a few explanations for this, which I will get into in his character profile.



We also see here more shades of "Helghast as Nazi army" imagery in the intro, as a pair of Helghast soldiers turn loose a pair of German Sheppard-like K9 soliders on the ISA regulars to supplement their human(oid) forces. Also note the dogs are also decked out in Helghast army equipment. I have no idea what if anything the Helghan atmosphere and radiology has done to its non-human immigrants, but I can only imagine that these dogs also have some level of natural (and unnatural) enhancements to them.



So despite the title of the final chapter of Killzone 1 being "Hope", it's now clear that it was a false hope, or at the very least a fleeting hope, as the war never really ended, and the role Templar, Luger, Rico, and Hakha played in the ISA's "victory," is looking to be a very small and hollow one indeed.



Here's another example of Metrac being a slightly smarter cookie than Lente proved to be. Metrac formed the Helghast Air Trooper battalion to employ the Stahl Arms SL-06 Personal Jet Propulsion system in combat after live-fire trials with it exceeded the expectations of the Helghan army analysis. The SL-06 jetpack featured an onboard weapons suite, including dual machine guns and a rocket launcher.

We'll be seeing these guys with more regularity in Killzones 2 and 3.



Now, ever the hero, Jan Templar has volunteered to head to southern Vekta and liberate it from Metrac's grasp, though it looks like he might have his work cut out for him.



Because Metrac has his own objective he's perilously close to achieving in the south, something that could alter the course of the entire war, and perhaps the course of Helghan-Vektan history itself.




I'll cover our returning heroes once we get into actual gameplay for Liberation, but for now let's focus on our primary antagonists for the game, both of whom are quietly introduced here in the opening cinematic.


Voiced by Chris Fairbank, who has an impressively long resume of roles in TV shows, miniseries, movies, and video games such as Tim Burton's Batman, Alien 3, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Law & Order: UK, Demon's Souls, and The Last Story (as the game's narrator).

Armin Metrac is one of the highest ranking members of the Helghast military, handpicked by Scolar Visari himself along with Joseph Lente to spearhead the assault on Vekta. Along with Lente, he is one of Visari's closest military advisors and played an integral role in his ascension to the autarchy. He rose quickly through the ranks of the Helghan army and developed a reputation for his cruelty, sadism, determination, and cunning.

Metrac is a member of Helghan's upper class citizenry, who were able to afford dwellings and healthcare that shielded them from the more harmful and mutative qualities of Helghan's toxic atmosphere and natural background radiation as their descendants acclimatized to the planet over several generations. As such, he's one of a number of Helghast who will be appearing throughout the rest of the Killzone series who retain a number of "human" qualities, namely body hair, and less overall body mass than the average Helghast grunt. Regardless, Metrac considers himself to be an "evolved" Helghast.

Much like Adams and Lente before him, Metrac is going to be our stand-in for Scolar Visari in this game. He will be the adversary of our heroic quest to defeat in Visari's place. As such, he gets a face we can identify in order to make matters between him and Templar (the player) a more personal one.


Voiced by Blake Ritson, another actor with a growing resume of TV shows, movies, miniseries, and video games to his name such as Titus (Shakespeare's, not Christopher's), World Without End, DaVinci's Demons, Upstairs Downstaris, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and The Order: 1886.

Nicknamed the "White Death" for his distinctive white uniform, Tendon Cobar quickly rose through the ranks of the Helghast army after Metrac personally selected him to be a part of his immediate retinue. The story has it that Metrac saved Cobar from death row after then-Private Cobar murdered his military instructor when the instructor ordered a stop to a training exercise to clear a critically injured cadet off the battlefield. Cobar believed that such an act of mercy was unbecoming of a true Helghast soldier and his instructor was thereby guilty of treason and deserved swift execution. His superiors disagreed. Upon learning the details of the incident, Metrac had Cobar's prosecuting JAG executed in Cobar's stead and freed the private from death row on the condition Cobar swear to serve him personally. Under Metrac's guidance, Cobar soared through the ranks with unparalleled speed, becoming a full Colonel in a frighteningly short time. Cobar has come to Vekta alongside Metrac to serve as his aide-de-camp/attack dog.

His position in the Helghan military is an incredibly unique one, being one of only three underclass Helghans in the Helghast military command, the others being Colonels Mael Radec and Vyktor Kratek. Radec, we will be meeting later in Killzone 2, while Kratek appears extensively throughout Killzone: Mercenary. Cobar is described even by those who know and respect him as an utter psychopath and a zealot. He was one of the strongest supporters of Visari's rise of power on Helghan, and serves the Visari regime with an almost religious fervor.




DOGE


such deadly. very mutant. wow.

Living proof there is not a drat thing in the universe that Jorhan Stahl won't strap a set of glowing orange lights to, the Helghast remnant on Vekta has begun supplementing their forces with K9 attack dogs. Contrary to what I said earlier, these dogs have in fact been affected by the Helghan atmosphere and natural radioactivity, and are completely hairless and possess a larger and more dense musculoskeletal system than "normal" Earth or Vektan dogs do. Much like the human elements of the Helghast army, Helghan attack dogs also have rebreather masks designed to supply their mutated lungs with Helghanized air while they're serving on Vekta.

According to Killzone lore, Metrac ordered the use of attack dogs for his troops because the sentry drones Lente brought to Vekta were experiencing high rates of malfunction and he wasn't about to go replicating any of Lente's (numerous) bungles if he could avoid them. (Read: they were ineffective and bleeding useless, never posed any threat to Templar and co., and were consistently shot down). Attack dogs like the ones seen in the intro will be recurring enemies throughout Killzone: Liberation, though for one reason or another they only turn up in Liberation itself, so they're kind of a one-off deal.

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 13:01 on Nov 10, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

SgtSteel91 posted:

I'll bite; why is it Pyrrhus?

It's named after the ancient Greek general Pyrrhus of Epirus, who was famous for overseeing battles that, although technically victories, came at a cost so high they could almost be seen as defeats. It's where the term Pyrrhic victory comes from.

Naming the city Pyrrhus is simultaneously the Helghast's big giant middle finger to the planet (and universe) that tried its damndest to kill them, and it's Guerrilla being just a tad bit on the nose thematically, but that's all spoilers for what's coming up in Killzone 2.

:hist101:

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Here's something amusing I noticed about the Killzone 2 intro: just before the camera pulls away from Visari's boardcast to reveal Sev for the first time, the last update on the UCBN chyron ticker says "Combat helmets: are they really necessary?"

I find that to be an amusing in-joke, seeing as how the protagonists who don't wear helmets in-game tend to survive improbable events, while the grunts who wear helmets themselves tend to die in droves.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Monocled Falcon posted:

Course, then they leave.

Well, duh. It took them, what, a whole week to jump from Sol to Alpha Centauri? Who's got that kind of time to spend hopping back and forth just to make sure the kids are playing nice together? :v:

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Blind Sally posted:

:psyduck:

I had to look up video of this guy--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUdmetykD6o

:psyboom:

I didn't think his name would be pronounced that way.

drat. The GI Joe cartoon was a little bit before my time, but wow I didn't expect it to be that cheesy.

Still, that exchange between Cobra Commander and Serpentor was just great:

"But I still make all the important decisions around here." / "Then you can start by deciding where you want to be BURIED!" Dayum.

Poor Chris Latta, he will never not be Starscream, even on shows where he's the loving main villain. :v:

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

I'll add that to the intro post under Weapons when I get home.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Okay, I've added the dogs to the intro post for Liberation (and stole Sally's summary of their place in Metrac's army wholecloth).

But look! Jan has two votes in his favour :allears: (out of 78) :negative:.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013


That's Doctor Who, jackass :mad:

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013






We begin Killzone: Liberation proper, immediately thrown into the action with little time to prepare. It's par for the course for a PSP game, really, as they don't have the same amount of resources to set up things with big sweeping cutscenes like the other Killzone games do. The majority of the cutscenes are done in-engine, though Guerrilla takes the care to make sure that Liberation is as close to a fully voiced, story-driven experience as its console cousins.

Liberation is the shortest of all the Killzone games, clocking in at between 2 to 3 hours total, including storyline DLC missions. There's five chapters, though only four of them shipped with the game. Guerrilla added the fifth chapter as free DLC to serve as a proper ending for the game and to tie it directly to the upcoming Killzone 2. Though I'll discuss how and why Chapter 5 came into being once we get to it. In terms of pacing, each chapter has four stages which usually take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete, in addition to 30 skill-testing minigames which can be played independent of the single player campaign.

The game was very much designed to be a mobile-friendly title, allowing you to sit down and play a couple of missions on say a lunch break, or a bus ride and still make decent headway through the game in a relatively short time period.



Before we begin the game proper, we get a series of title cards designed to both catch you up on what you might have missed if you didn't play (or were lost in a boredom-induced haze for most of) Killzone 1, and to set the stage for what is about to unfold here in Killzone: Liberation.















STAGE 1: COUNTER-ATTACK



We begin the game back in the shoes of our hero and all-around "good solider", Captain Jan Templar. Though the other members of our original Killzone 1 quartet will appear in the game (after a fashion), Jan is the only one who is still a playable character, at least in the straight single player mode.



Our over-all objective for this mission is fairly simple: Metrac's forces have cornered a trio of ISA VIPs in the southern Vektan city of Rayhoven. And it's up to Templar and his platoon to fight their way into the captured ISA base and free them before Metrac and Cobar can torture vital intel out of them, or simply execute them.

The three VIPs we're after are ISA General Dwight Stratson, nuclear munitions expert Dr. Evelyn Batton, and Vektan Defense Minister Heff Milcher.

Why Metrac considers them such valuable hostages is something we won't be learning until much later.



Templar is joined directly for this mission by ISA Colonial Intelligence Col. Gregor Hakha, the half-Helghast solider who helped him route Generals Lente and Adams two months ago.

...If you're playing co-op that is; more on that in a little bit.



Also joining us, in spirit, is Shadow Marshall Luger, the ISA Black Ops agent who also helped Jan defeat Lente and Adams' conspiracy in northern Vekta.



Like she says in-game, Luger is going to be our eye in the sky mission control for the majority of Liberation. Our mission objectives and mission-critical updates will be relayed directly to us by Luger. If Killzone: Liberation is the series' take on Metal Gear: Solid, then Luger is going to be our Roy Campbell for the game.



The primary objective of the first stage of Chapter 1 will be to meet up with Rico, who's gone on ahead of us to do what he does best: murder Helghast and swear an ungodly amount.



Liberation also does a curtailed version of the "history of 20th century wars" thing that Killzone 1 also did. Our first stage is very reminiscent of the first stage of Killzone 1, which was the trenches of World War I Europe.



Now before you start going :byodood: OH GOD EVERYTHING'S lovely AND BROWN AGAIN!, just hear us out, the game's colour pallet does even out quite a bit once we clear the first few stages.

Though I will admit, the game is not putting its best foot forward by so forcefully reminding you of the shittier parts of Killzone 1, but take my word for it please, :siren::siren::siren:THIS IS A GOOD KILLZONE GAME!:siren::siren::siren:



Cutscenes in Liberation are done in-engine using the same models that appear in-game, so they're all low-detail and have very limited articulation. The saving grace of things is that cutscenes in Liberation and usually short and to the point.

Though for a PSP game, the in-engine cutscenes don't look that bad. It's not Crisis Core or Birth By Sleep-level stuff, but it's not trying to be.



So at the end of the first stage we reunite with Rico, and just like that, in a very loose sense, the band is back together again.

And true to form for Rico, the first line, nay, the first word he utters in Liberation is a curse word. Welcome back to the fight, Corporal Velasquez. :patriot:

STAGE 2: RETREAT



Templar promptly conscripts Rico to aide him in his new mission, and Rico is more than happy to join him, as after the events of Killzone 1, Rico has come to worship the ground Templar walks on as a fellow solider.

A lot of people on Vekta have, actually, as the ISA has used his triumph over Lente and Adams as a massive PR cudgel, to the point where the general populace has come to regard Templar as the "ultimate ISA solider", according to the Killzone: Liberation manual.



Another thing you will notice in short order when playing co-op is that Hakha will disappear in cutscenes and reappear once gameplay resumes. That means that, canonically, Jan will be doing everything in this game by himself, and Hakha's involvement in the plot of the Killzone franchise officially ends with Killzone 1.

Playing co-op is the only way to get Hakha to appear in the single player campaign. You can unlock Hakha for multiplayer by beating the game (including the Chapter 5 DLC) on any difficulty in co-op mode.



Though, this being Killzone, we can't go that long without Rico loving something up in some way...



So Stage 2 of Chapter 1 ends with Rico and Templar being separated once more by a conveniently closing floogate.



You said it, Rico.



This is ultimately a blessing in disguise for the player, however, because it puts to end the defacto escort mission we've been under for this stage with regard to Rico, which I'll cover momentarily.



So now Rico's gonna go off on his own and look for a place to rendezvous with Templar further down the enemy lines, leaving Templar and Hakha to make his own way to the Helghast stronghold and rescue Stratson, Batton, and Milcher.



In Killzone 2 and Killzone 3, the term "Hig" becomes widely used as a racial slur / military slang designation for Helghast soldiers, such as the terms "Kraut", "Ivan", and "Charlie" were used by US Army soldiers to describe German, Soviet, and Vietcong soldiers. We touch on its use in the Killzone 2 videos, but it has its origins here in Liberation, of all places.

The ISA tactical abbreviation for Helghast army units is HGH, for Helghast, obviously. The inset map which lines the reverse of Liberation's hardcopy cover uses the abbreviation in reference to Helghast troop movements. ISA soldiers subsequently adopted the term as an acronym and phoneticized it into the word "Hig", which they then used as a slur/descriptor for Helghast soldiers in general.

So that's where it comes from. It's still probably racist though.



Killzone: Liberation plays as a top-down shooter similar to the original PlayStation 1 Metal Gear: Solid.



For the purposes of this LP, Sally and I are playing Liberation in co-op mode. As I said before, playing co-op is the only way to to get Hakha to appear in the game. Co-op games can be hosted over the Internet via the PSP's Ad Hoc Wifi mode. Both players will need a copy of the game either in digital or physical format, and will need a copy of the DLC (if one has it and the other doesn't, the games won't connect). One player will act as the Host for the game, sharing their saved game file with the guest, while the second player will act as the co-op partner.

The host of the game will play as Templar, while the guest player will play as Hakha. Blind Sally hosted our playthrough for the LP on his PSP Go, so he is Templar, I recorded the game off my PSP 3000, so that's why the camera is following me as Hakha.

Also, Blind Sally has a PSP Go. :dogbutton:

The name "Ouroboros", which will be appearing throughout the game, is Sally's local PSP nickname. My nickname is blank because I'd recently formatted my PSP to put custom firmware on it :ssh:, otherwise it would normally be "Sparrow".



This probably isn't one of the best screens to be using to show stuff off, but it's not the action on screen I want to highlight, it's the UI portions.

On the bottom of the screen you've got your basic information bar. From left to right, you have: your available syringes, your health bar, current clip ammo, clip:ammo totals, currently equipped weapon, available grenades, and available C4 sticks.

Up at the top of the screen, your co-op partner is highlighted by a green icon over their head which follows them around the level as long as they're on your screen. You will also see both a colour-coded health bar over their head and a numerical representation of their health. It's important you keep an eye on your partner's health, because if they die, you will have to revive them with a syringe, otherwise you run the risk of failing the mission if you both die.



Being a PSP game, Liberation's controls are a little clunky and obtuse by default, but once you get the hang of how it plays compared to Killzone 1, things smooth out considerably.

You maneuver your character around the stage using the analog stick. You also aim with this stick by moving Templar or Hakha around in a circle. Pointing them in the general direction of an enemy will auto-lock on to them. Pressing the square button will fire your equipped weapon. Triangle reloads your weapon. X preforms actions at specific points. Holding the L shoulder button will allow you to strafe in a lateral line. Double tapping L will execute a combat roll. Tapping the R shoulder button will duck you behind cover. And Holding R and Square will allow you to shoot from behind cover.

The direction you're aiming is denoted by a laser sight on each character's weapon. Templar's sight laser is yellow, Hakha's is red.

Enemy health is also denoted by a red bar over their heads on the screen, as seen on the extreme left. Only enemies whom you are directly targeting will have their health bars visible and highlighted.

Enemies at the start of the game will only have about a quarter of their health bars filled in, meaning they usually go down in about one or two shots. Bosses and enemies near the end of the game will have more complete or even full health bars.



These grey-green boxes located all across the game are supply crates. When you walk up to them you'll be given an action prompt, denoted by the grey box icon over Hakha's head here.



Pressing X will open up the crate's menu. Just beware though, THIS DOES NOT PAUSE THE GAME, so you're gonna want to make sure things are relatively calm before you explore a crate's content. In single player mode, the action slows down to about 10% speed while you're looking through a crate to give you time to rifle through its contents, whereas in co-op, the game will not slow down at all while you're examining a crate.

Each crate has three options: Weapons, Items, and Explosives. Though it's very rare that a crate will have all three available, usually only presenting a combination of one or two. This crate in particular only has the Items option available.



Under the Items screen, you can see a pair of items used to heal yourself and your co-op partner. Health will heal about 25% of your health per unit, while Syringes are used to revive a fallen co-op partner or guest NPC like Rico.



The Weapons screen will give you a choice of available weapons, telling you what the weapon is, how much ammo it has on it, and who manufactures it. Here we have the choice of equipping the ISA M82 assault rifle, but since we already have it equipped, selecting it merely takes how ever much ammo we can from it into our current ammo supply.

When you actually choose to swap weaponry, your old weapon will usually be deposited into the chest in the new weapon's place, allowing you to swap back to it if you decide you don't like the new one.

Certain enemies will also drop weapons in the field and you can swap out your current weapon for it by using the appropriate action prompt when over the weapon.

Enemies will also drop boxes of universal ammo denoted on screen as grey boxes. I didn't get any screencaps of them, but we pick up our share of them in the video.



Pressing the O or Circle button will bring up your grenade throwing arc, denoted by an arc of yellow dots in front of your character. Pressing Circle again will throw the grenade, while holding Circle will cook the grenade before throwing it like you can in the console Killzones.

Pressing the Square button will cancel you out of grenade mode.



Approaching an enemy directly will give you a melee attack prompt, denoted by the fist icon over the enemy's head. Pressing the Square button on this prompt will knock the enemy to their feet, allowing you to score an easy kill on them with your gun.



Just be careful when you do this, however, because the enemy WILL hit you back if you mess it and knock you flat on your rear instead. When you're knocked down, you will be stunlocked for a few seconds and then need to press the X button again at the Get Up prompt to get back on your feet.



Liberation also has stage hazards which you can take advantage of at times, like these big red flammable barrels.



Shooting at them will cause them to explode, killing or injuring any nearby Helghast in a massive fireball.



Mountable turrets also make a return appearance... from like that one part of Killzone 1 where we had JamieTheD on for.



When you walk up to one, a turret mount prompt should appear over your head. Pressing the X button will let you climb in the turret's gunner's chair and take control over it. The turret is swiveled left and right with the L and R shoulder bumpers. Pressing Square fires the turret, which has infinite ammo, like all turrets in Killzone games. However, the turret also has a temperature limit, and will overheat and seize up if you lay on the Square button too hard.

The turret's temperature gauge can be seen in the lower right hand part of the screen.



Another recurring element of Killzone: Liberation is its C4 mechanic.



Occasionally, you will come across a wall or obstacle that needs to be cleared with explosive force. The game will usually prompt you with a voiced reminder, and you will need to find a stick of C4 from a nearby crate or use one of the ones you have in your inventory already. C4 points are denoted by a rotating yellow circle on the ground, which you then need to walk up to and press the X button when the prompt appears.



Your character will then take a few seconds to set the charges, and then will have a few seconds to rush to a safe distance, usually only a couple of meters, before the charges automatically detonate.



The result is a now clear path. If you have an NPC like Rico in your squad at the time, they will step up and set the C4 charges for you if you hang back for a moment or two. This is a good mechanic for conserving your own supply of C4 for later stages.



And speaking of Cpl. Shitlord, he is our AI-controlled NPC squadmate for the second stage of the level. Any NPC squadmate will be denoted by the green health bar hovering over their heads. Some NPCs, like Rico, will supplement your firepower, others meanwhile, like Evelyn will tend to be a detriment you have to babysit to make sure they don't die, because if they do you fail the mission and have to start over again from the nearest checkpoint.



At the end of each stage you get a handy summary screen like the ones from the original Killzone, only bereft of Joris De Man's back-patting victory theme, which I have handily edited back into the videos. So you're welcome.



Our returning champions...



This will be the last time we see and hear all four members of our original squad from Killzone 1 together in the same game.

Captain Jan Templar returns as our main hero, now voiced by Nigel Whitmey, who takes over from Kal Webber from Killzone 1. Whitmey has a decently long list of bit parts in movies, TV shows, miniseries, and video games to his name such as Saving Private Ryan, Doctor Who, 24: Live Another Day, The 10th Kingdom, Crysis 3, FarCry 3, Alien: Isolation, and--most ironically--Killzone 2, where he is not voicing Jan Templar. Like Kal Weber before him and Qarie Marshall after him, this is Whitmey's first and last time vocing Templar in the Killzone franchise. In the Chapter 5 DLC for Killzone: Liberation, Templar is yet again voiced by a new, this time uncredited voice actor as well.

There isn't much new to say about Templar for this part of Liberation as a character, at least, other than he's just doing the only thing he knows what to do at this point: be a soldier. Jan is not the kind of guy who retires and takes a promotion or a desk job with the mission half completed. He hops right back into the trenches (literally, in this case) to see the mission completed 100% and the Helghast driven off of Vekta forever. Sure, he takes that promotion in Killzone 2, but only because it allows him to continue playing the role of Captain Hero in a much more expanded capacity.

Colonel Gregor Hakha joins Templar as our co-op character, appearing only in gameplay when Jan is alone with his thoughts on the battlefield, and then disappearing again once he is forced to interact with other live human beings. It is our tongue-in-cheek theory then that the Hakha who appears in Liberation is actually a PTSD hallucination Templar is having which accompanies him throughout the battlefield. The "real" Hakha is probably off somewhere coordinating additional Colonial Intelligence ops, or still being debriefed by EarthGov and the ISA after that extended deep cover mission we essentially extracted him from in Killzone 1. Hakha never appears again in a Killzone game after this point, though he is namechecked and referenced on and off in other games. Hakha is voiced by Robbie Stevens in Liberation (the same actor who voices the Helghast grunts :eng101:), taking over for Sean Pertwee. Pertwee will be returning to the series in another role in Killzone 2, however.

Fish Noise posted:

Now incorporate the co-op leashing and Hakha's only line being "HELP ME" into your PTSD hallucination analysis.

Oh yeah, like Fish Noise points out, PTSD Co-Op Ghost Hakha is tethered to Templar via an invisible leash in-game so he cannot leave him behind for any reason, no doubt symbolizing how Templar is either unable or unwilling to leave the ghosts of his past behind, and the only voiced dialog Hakha has in Liberation are various cries for help when he falls or is near death, symbolizing in Templar's tortured psyche all the cries of anguish of the colleagues he couldn't save, like Sanchez and General Vaughton, echoing through his mind in the hellish throes of battle.

So thanks for that, Fish Noise...

Shadow Marshall Luger (real name unknown) also returns, though she's off the field for the majority of the game, instead fulfilling the role of Mission Control for Jan and Hallucinatory Hakha. Their relationship has stabilized significantly since Killzone 1, now that the shock of Luger being a thing in his life again has worn off of Templar. They're back to being amicable platonic comrades in arms without a hint of romantic awkwardness between them. ...I'm serious, they don't give two shits about each other any more. That said, Luger still values Jan as a friend and ally and will eventually be joining him on the field to supplement his numbers as things turn dire for all involved. Much like Hakha, this is the final outing for Luger and her voice actress Jennifer Taylor Lawrence for the Killzone franchise.

And finally, we also have Sergeant Rico Velasquez back with us. As surly and Helghast-hating as always, Rico would follow Jan straight into the worst of hells with a smile on his face if it meant he could kill Helghast and make Jan proud of him. And he's going to get his chance to do... well... one of those things in Liberation. Again, there's not much to say about Rico at the moment, although as the plot moves on he will be getting some of the heaviest character development of the quartet, setting certain events yet to happen in Killzone 2 up rather obviously. Rico is once again voiced by Tom Clarke Hill in Liberation, and though Rico will be a near-permanent fixture of the squad into Killzones 2 and 3, this is Clarke Hill's last outing as Rico in the series.



Returning weapons:

A quick note on these weapons, since we've seen them before.
  • The Helghast StA-52 LAR is a full-auto light assault rifle specialized for short-to-mid range engagements. Because there is no secondary fire in Liberation, the StA-52 has lost it's underslung Pup shotgun capability.
  • The ISA M82-G is the mainstay of the ISA ground assault forces. While it has greater accuracy over the StA-52, it's rate of fire and ammo capacity are lower. It has also lost the underslung grenade launcher from Killzone 1.
  • The ISA M194 Fragmentation Grenade is still a grenade. :toot:

We're not going to see much in the way of variety of gameplay styles with weaponry until the newer arms start showing up in the coming levels. Be patient. More guns are coming.


M224-A2 Tyrant

The Tyrant is the brand new ISA large machine gun brought in to answer the StA-3 Stova LMG, and is now standard equipment on all ISA heavy forces. Its weight has been decrased and it has lost the underslung rocket launcher of the M224-A1 LMG to improve its portability without sacrificing firepower. Rico will be using this gun as his default weapon throughout his time in Liberation, leaving his trademark M224-A3 HSW from Killzone 1 behind, for better or worse.


C4 Plastic Explosive Block

C4 in Killzone: Liberation is more of a gameplay mechanic than an actual weapon, used to clear out various obstacles from the way of your squad in the game. In Killzone 2, however, C4 is weaponized in multiplayer by both ISA and Helghast Saboteurs.


NOT ACTUALLY EAW-25/4 Chimera Heavy Weapons Platform*

Used by the Helghast as an anti-air superiority weapon, the Chimera AA platorm uses liquid hydrogen circulated through helical channels along the four 25 mm barrels to keep from overheating, allowing the heavy weapons platform to maintain a continuous, high-rate fire without risk of damage to its assembly. They do however have a nasty habit of being commandeered by ISA forces and turned on the ground troops whose job it was to man and maintain them.

* The turrets which are manable in Killzone: Liberation are NOT actually Chimeras, but a different type of turret entirely, which has no article on it on the Killzone Wiki or the in the Liberation manual. Actual Chimeras will be appearing later in-game, however...

And that's it for Chapter 1, Stages 1 & 2 of Killzone: Liberation.



CONCEPT ART

Helghast Shocktrooper

PROPAGANDA

"Rats in the shadows" (Helghast POV)


"Never Surrender!" (ISA POV)

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 13:08 on Nov 10, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

SelenicMartian posted:

"...best grenade physics and ragdoll animations I've ever seen..."
Two seconds later a dead Helghast jumps and does a mid-air split.

Most of the time. At least the Killzone engine has the good humour to just drop everything and do the wackiest thing possible whenever it comes to a calculation impasse like that. It at least knows how to put on a show.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

SelenicMartian posted:

Regarding the "multiple Visari Squares" talk: The USSR left after itself at least one Lenin Street and maybe a Lenin Square in almost every city.

Will the drones get as creepy as this?

They'll be giant-sized Half-Life 2 Manhacks. With guns.

As for Visari Square(s), to me it seems indicative of the cult of personality that's sprung up around Visari, like you mentioned with Lenin. Everyone wants to claim their own piece of their beloved Autarch, even if its just naming the concrete block with the drain in the middle everyone gathers to piss into after him.

We'll be seeing the actual Visari Square, the one out in front of the Autarchy Palace, a little further down the line. And I can assure you, that Visari Square is not a shithole like this one is.


Seeing Rico that joyous about anything (even killing Helghast) is existentially terrifying to me. :stare:

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

NGDBSS posted:

This seems like small potatoes compared to what Level-5 did with the White Knight Chronicles games.

This is just my opinion on the matter, so don't take it as fact, but I think White Knight Chronicles slipping into Development Hell for four years kind of saved Level-5's bacon on that front, because by the time it saw a release, all the buzz surrounding it had evaporated thanks to Level-5 going radio silent on it until a few months prior to it going gold. By that point, the trailer that wowed everyone (which turned out to be completely fake) had largely been forgotten about and most of the gaming press's reaction to its re-unveiling was along the lines of "oh, well, I guess that still exists then... *goes back to talking about Valkiya Chronicles/Grand Theft Auto IV/Mass Effect/Uncharted/Uncharted 2/InFamous/Killzone 2/Final Fantasy XIII/Versus XIII/Speculation on what's up with The Last Guardian still*" and the like.

Much like Level-5 itself, when it came time for their to be an audience reaction for White Knight Chronicles, that reaction was a resounding :effort:

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 09:30 on Mar 20, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013




After being separated from Rico, Templar and Hallucinatory Hakha press into the occupied ISA firebase to rescue the three VIPs from the Helghast clutches. Upon his rescue, General Dwight Stratson informs Cpt. Templar that the ISA was forced to abandon the base’s arms cache when the Helghast attacked and could not seal its access elevator in time. Stratson orders Templar and Hakha to head to the ammo cache and destroy the elevator before the Helghast can steal any more weapons from ISA custody.



STAGE 3: EVACUATION



Stage 3 of Chapter 1 opens with a shot of a statue out in front of the main ISA base in Rayhoven. It’s, ostensibly, a statue depicting an angel, but it’s not a particularly comforting visage, is it? Could this be the Angel of Death, maybe? The way its wings are wrapped around it, it makes it look very Grim Reaper like.

Who puts a statue of the Angel of Death out in front of a military base? That’s just overly morbid.

What’s more, this is one of the few pieces of Vektan artwork that we ever get to glimpse in the original generation Killzone games. Everything else we’ve seen up till this point has been either commercial advertisements (see: the mall in Killzone 1, Chapter 3), or military B-roll photographs dressed up as artwork (see: ISA HQ in Vekta City from Killzone 1, Chapter 2).

And what’s Guerrilla’s statement about art?



Just more grist for the mill of war. Everything burns in the fires of conflict: food, water, shelter, civilization, even thought and expression are all casualties of conflict.

Then again, good on you Helghast goons for blowing that loving creepy looking thing up. It gave me the willies.



We also get to see the stratification in the Helghast ranks up close thanks to Liberation’s janky cutscene engine, as a Helghast Rifleman (trenchcoat) comes out to greet Templar and Hakha alongside a Helghast Infantryman.



Once the base’s helipad has been secured, the ISA Airforce manages to get a MEDEVAC VTOL dropshop into the base in preparation for Batton, Milcher, and Stratson’s extraction. A similar dropship deposited Templar and Hakha onto the battlefield on the Rayhoven outskirts at the start of Stage 1 of this chapter.



Our first evacuee from the base is Dr. Evelyn Batton, ISA nuclear munitions expert and developer of the Red Dust high-yield, low-fallout tactical nuclear weapon.

Batton is unarmed and only has 56 starting health, because while she’s weapons-trained and a fairly good shot, she’s also unarmored, not combat trained, and injured to boot. You need to guide her back to the ISA dropship on the landing pad.

Luckily, Evelyn’s AI will follow fairly close to you, and will duck behind cover should things get dicey. There’s also relatively little/fairly weak Helghast between her hiding spot and the helipad, so the game at least eases you into your escort mission for this stage.



Once you get her to the dropship, she climbs aboard to safety and informs you of where you’ll find your second evacuee, Heff Milcher.



Milcher’s up second. He has 65 health, despite being overweight and even less combat-versed then Evelyn. The tradeoff here is the Helghast response to your escorting him to the helipad is also stepped up.

On the one hand, Milcher’s kind of a self-important rear end, but on the other hand, he is right that his survival is a matter of national security. Because if he dies, Vekta loses its defense minister AND its political compass on whether or not to deploy Red Dust on the Helghast.

His death could prompt the Vektan parliament to deploy the nukes purely out of revenge, so we kind of want to avoid that if we can.



As Milcher boards the dropship, he tells us where we’ll find our final VIP: General Stratson. Stratson’s holed up in the base’s communications bunker in the north west sector.



When we free Stratson, he comes out both with a full 100 health AND wielding an ISA M3 revolver piston.

Being an ISA general, Stratson is the only one of our three VIPs who’s anywhere near fit for combat, even if he is only using essentially a backup sidearm.



That said, Stratson knows how to kick his fair share of rear end. And because he’s the strongest of your escort subjects, the amount and strength of the Helghast resistance you face between the comms bunker and the helipad will be at its heaviest now.



But mowing down infinite numbers of Helghast grunts is just all in a day’s work for Jan Templar and his imaginary soul-soothing simulacrum of Gregor Hakha.



Just because we’ve rescued the hostages doesn’t mean our job’s done, however. Gen. Stratson imparts a follow up mission on Jan before boarding the dropship.



We’ve got to head to the base’s ammo cache and seal the access elevator to it to prevent the Helghast from looting it (…or so we’re told).



Yeah, because that would just put everyone up poo poo creek, wouldn’t it, Dwight?



So Captain Hero and his PSTD Ghost Hakha head out for the ammo dump while Stratson, Batton, and Milcher fly out to more secure territory on the MEDEVAC dropship.

STAGE 4: SABOTAGE



The northern half the base has clearly suffered the brunt of the Helghast assault, as whole chunks of it are already crumbling away after a heavy opening bombardment.



The Helghast are dug in pretty deep, but luckly they’ve left one of their tanks undefended, so Jan and Hakha comendeer it to get to the ammo cache a little easier than they would on foot.



Unfortunately, the base’s anti-tank defenses make reaching the ammo cache in the armor impossible, so from here they have to go on foot.



Which REALLY sucks because the Helghast have their own tank waiting for them at the supply elevator.

This will be our first boss fight, which I will cover more in the Gameplay section.



With the tank dealt with, and the support cables holding the elevator in place severed, the Rayhoven Base ammo cache is cut off from the Helghast now.





…Or wide open to the Helghast now. Take your pick. :shrug:

Fun fact: if you kill the tank the way Luger tells you to (see: Gameplay), the tank will fall into the shaft with the elevator. So we kind of hosed that up here.

Oh well.



With his mission accomplished, Jan and Hakha heads for the catwalk overlooking the ravine to find a way to rendezvous with Rico, who’s still looking for that other way around that drat locked gate.



Jan action climbs down the rope…



And oh hey Rico, what’s up? I don’t know how or why Rico managed to score a boat, or how he was able to find exactly where Jan was right in time to come puttering up with it for Jan to drop into, but he did.

Maybe Luger’s linked up with Rico too and she’s only relaying information directly to Jan and Rico separately and not bothering to co-ordinate between her assets directly. I dunno.

Luger’s a lovely Intel Officer, is what I’m saying.



And so Jan and Rico and Hakha ride off down the river together into Chapter 2. And I bet absolutely nothing is going to go catastrophically wrong for them there. Especially not with Rico being in a boat again.




Stages 3 and 4 of Chapter 1 introduce us to a few new elements of Liberation’s gameplay, primarily vehicles. But for now, let’s stick to matters on the ground.



For starters, Liberation starts getting a little more obvious with its cover spots. Before, there was the occasional concrete block or dirt mound to hide behind out in the field. Now that we’re in close quarters in a firebase, we’ve got full on sandbags and barricades to help us out. This is where Guerrilla just beats you over the head with USE THESE FOR COVER, STUPID! :byodood:



I point this out in the video, but I misidentified the turrets you can hop into in Liberation in the previous post as Helghast Chimera AA gun platforms. I was wrong, and I just want to point out that these right here are the actual Chimera gun platforms which return from Killzone 1.

Note their distinctive dark grey colouring and quad-barrel design.

Sadly, Chimera’s aren’t commandeerable like they were in KZ1, and can only be destroyed in Liberation with heavy weapons fire or grenades or C4.



C4 isn’t the only high explosive you can use to clear barricades or open paths us.



In this stage, we also find timed mines, which can be laid out just like C4. Once you plant the mine, you have 4 seconds to run or roll to safety before it explodes.



Also returning from Killzone 1 Helghast tripwire mines. Their unique property in the first game was that Hakha could pass through their tripwires unharmed due to his Helghast DNA. But because Hakha technically doesn’t exist in this game, Liberation treats the co-op partner as a second Templar and the mines will explode if you cross their tripwire.

Though I suppose you could write it off as the Metrac’s forces field modifying their mines to disable their DNA screeners to countermand Hakha’s advantage now that they know he’s an active enemy combatant.



Approaching the charge will give you a little wrench prompt over your head and when you press and hold the action button, your character will crouch down for a few seconds and begin disarming the mine. If you stop pressing the button at any point prior to the mine’s deactivation, you’ll need to start the whole process over again.



In Stage 4, we begin encountering Helghast snipers. They’re easily spotted thanks to their long sighting laser on their rifles. They’re quite easy to avoid being hit by and they can’t shoot through cover, but it you do take a sniper shot it’ll shave like half of your health off in one blow, and if you’re anywhere under like 55% health, it’s a one-shot kill.

A good practice in co-op is for one player to rope-a-dope the sniper by running between cover spots and drawing their attention while the other player flanks them and picks them off before they can get a shot off on their partner.



Liberation also introduces gameplay elevators to the Killzone franchise—though correct me if I’m wrong please because Killzone 1 was too much of a desaturated blur for me to remember if there were actual working elevators in it.

And no, that one tram on the SD platform doesn’t count as an elevator. :colbert:



Elevators are simple: push button, get on, wait till it stops, get off. If you can’t use one of these, you shouldn’t be allowed out in public.



Now here’s something I KNOW is a brand new gameplay element: DRIVABLE VEHICLES!

Liberation allows you to climb behind the wheel of several types of vehicles, starting with the Helghast hover tank.

Anything drivable vehicle will be denoted by the steering wheel icon that appears over your character’s head.



In co-op mode, vehicles are broken down into driver and gunner. Whoever enters the vehicle first will be its driver, and the second player will then be its gunner. You can see the gun icon hovering over Hallucinatory Hakha’s head there prompting me to get in and take over the turret.





In co-op mode, the turret on whatever you’re driving operate independent of the vehicle, meaning you can swivel it in the complete opposite direction and take out enemies as you drive away.

The tank is steered with the analog stick. X accelerates the tank, and Triangle slows it down. The L and R shoulder buttons swivel the turret around left and right in a 360° arc. Pressing both L and R together centres the turret ahead at 0°. Square fires the tank’s main gun, and holding Circle fires its machine gun.

The tank also has infinite ammo, but limited health, and if the tank is destroyed while you’re in it, you die.

In co-op mode, the tank’s controls are split between the Driver and Gunner, with each taking half of the control scheme for themself.





The tank can drive over just about anything, including concrete barriers. When driving the tank barriers will suddenly show a blue health bar, meaning they can either be destroyed with about two shells, or by just ploughing the front end of the tank into them like so.

You can also run over enemies on foot Goldeneye-style, leading to some horrific one-hit crush kills.



You’ll also encounter the occasional enemy tank, just to make it so that you’re not trampling everyone into dust on your way to victory.



Enemy tanks also have a health bar to whittle down, but right now they go down in about two or three hits from the main turret. At the moment, your own tank happens to be a little more durable than the rest of Metrac’s tank forces, but that’ll even out the further we progress into the game.



Whenever you come to a gate, one of you will have to hop out of the tank and activate the switch to open it.

Best practice in co-op is to let the driver flip the switch so that at least you’re not leaving the tank undefended if more enemies show up, but Blind Sally’s a greedy tank hog and desperately clung to that driver’s seat even though I didn’t want to take it, so I’m forced to get out and flip the switch for him.



And then we’re back under way.



Each chapter of Liberation is usually capped off with a boss fight of some kind. Here, we have to face down another Helghast tank, only on foot because we can’t take the tank into the boss arena with us.



At the start of the fight, Luger lays out your principle objective, and your most effective strategy for beating the tank: blow up the elevator winch assemblies and drop the tank into the ammo dump along with the platform.



But there are multiple ways to kill a tank in a Killzone game, however, and Guerrilla did see fit to pepper the boss arena and its runup corridor with rocket launchers.



So the tank goes down in about three hits anyway.

Blind Sally posted:

As an aside, if you really want to, you can kill the tank with just a machine gun. However, it takes forever, and is basically suicide.



But killing the tank is only one part of the objective for this boss fight, so enemies will keep spawning until you take out three of the platform’s winch towers.



And for that, you’re still going to need your rocket launcher.



Shooting the scaffolding around the towers will sever the elevator cables, and will drop both the platform, and the tank, if it’s on it at the time, into the pit, thus winning the boss fight and clearing Chapter 1 completely.



And now to introduce our three ISA VIPs.

These three individuals are key to the ISA’s impending counter-attack on Metrac's forces on Vekta, namely the decision of whether or not to use nuclear weapons in their retaliatory strike.

They are, in the order of their rescue by Templar and Hakha:


Voiced by Larissa Murraym, who has voiced characters in several anime OVAs like X, Battle Angel, and Appleseed, among other things.

Dr. Evelyn Batton is one of the ISA’s preeminent nuclear munitions experts. She is the head of the Red Dust project, which created the Red Dust warhead—a high-yield, low-fallout bomb designed to devastate an enemy capital without irradiating the landscape to allow for easy capture and occupation of the ruins.

Dr. Batton is boasted to be among the brightest minds not just on Vekta, but in the entire ISA nation of colonies. Her work is stated to be years, if not decades, ahead of her contemporaries on other ISA colonies.

General Stratson has brought her to Rayhoven to win her support for using Red Dust on Metrac’s forces in Southern Vekta in order to break the Helghast invasion of the planet decisively.

As you’ve already seen in our concurrent run of Killzone 2, Evelyn goes on to play a key role in the events of that game as well.


Voiced by Peter Marinker, who has voiced characters in The Witcher, Dark Souls I & II, and Risen 3, among other games, and has appeared in films such as Event Horizon, Love Actually, Judge Dredd (the lovely Stallone one, not the asweome Karl Urban one), and United 93.

There’s no good images or artwork of Heff Milcher available, so here’s a picture of Fat Drew Carey. Because that’s pretty much what Milcher looks like. You can see a scan of the tiny piece of artwork he has next to his character profile in the Liberation manual at the end of this post, if that’ll help things though.

Milcher is Vekta’s defense minister, and is about the closest we get to seeing the upper echelons of Vekta’s/The ISA’s/EarthGov’s civilian leadership, at least in the early Killzone games. As Minister of Defense, Milcher’s vote in favor of using nuclear weapons on the Helghast on Vekta would carry considerable weight with the Vektan Parliament and Prime Minister. He is also, essentially, the boss of all our protagonist characters so far.


Voiced by Vince Marcello, who’s only credits are literally Stratson, and an uncredited character in the game Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis.

General Dwight Stratson is the commander of ISA military operations in Southern Vekta. He is the ISA’s analog to Armin Metrac in Liberation, essentially. His plan for forcing the Helghast off of Vekta is to deploy Dr. Batton’s Red Dust warhead against Metrac and Lente’s remaining forces gathered in the south.

His plan faces fierce opposition in the Vektan parliament, as no one else in power either in the civilian or military branches is willing to resort to use of nuclear weaponry on their home soil to fend off an invader, even if the warheads in question have been designed to minimize the long-term radiological damage that have made use of such weaponry a taboo among the ISA colonial states. To foster support for his plan, he has invited Dr. Evelyn Batton and Defense Minister Heff Milcher to Rayhoven in the hopes of winning them over to his side. Stratson believes that having Red Dust’s own creator and the top civilian overseer of the military backing him will ease the government’s reluctance to deploy the bombs.

Stratson is a Vektan native who joined the ISA military at a young age and rose steadily to the rank of general and was a contemporary of fellow general Stuart Adams. Unlike General Vaughton, who Jan Templar looked up to like a father, Templar has no emotional loyalty to Stratson beyond a professional level. It’s a relationship made doubly tense by Adams’ betrayal, which has shaken Jan’s faith in the higher ups in ISA military command.

Curiously, over the past few weeks, Stratson’s direct subordinates, chiefs of staff, and other high-ranking ISA officials in Southern Vekta have been assassinated by Metrac’s forces in a coordinated series of strikes carried out with seemingly uncanny precision.




Red Dust

Evelyn Batton's 40 megaton* brainchild. The Red Dust bomb is a tactical nuclear fission weapon claimed by Dr. Batton and her development team to produce near zero radioactive fallout, allowing it to be used against an enemy city or fortification to break local resistance and leave the potential insertion site for ISA clean up detachments clear of any harmful radioactivity.

The debate currently raging in the Vektan parliament is over whether or not to detonate a Red Dust bomb on the Helghast massing in Southern Vekta. General Dwight Stratson, commander of ISA forces in Southern Vekta, favors the device's deployment, but has met strong opposition within the ISA's military and civilian leadership due to Red Dust's still-experimental nature and doubts over whether or not it is as fallout neutral as Batton and her team claim it to be.

* Not Red Dust's actual explosive yield.




M3 Revolver

The standard-issue ISA six-shot .357 magnum revolver, and predecessor to the enhanced ISA M4 Revolver seen in Killzone 2. This sidearm had largely been relegated to ceremonial duties, though the protracted blockade of Vekta facilitated its reintroduction into the ISA’s arsenal. ISA gunsmiths and sergeants-at-arms have performed a number of field modifications to their M3s to improve their functionary in combat, such as adding tritium sights and a double-action trigger.


IvP-18 Tropov Machine Pistol

While technically the same model as the original IvP-18 pistol (manufactured by the Helghast Iven and Petrom arms corporation), the version wielded by Metrac’s soliders has been heavily modified into a sub-machine gun, boasting a burst fire mode, increased ammo capacity, and a barrel-mounted hand grip for increased stability when firing.


StA-52 SLAR

The Stahl Arms SLAR (Sniper/Light Assault Rifle) sniper rifle makes it return from Killzone 1, also wielded by the snipers of Metrac’s army. Much like how it is in the original game, it’s a very powerful but hard to wield properly weapon. It suffers greatly from a slow rate of fire and a limited magazine capacity.


BLR-06 HADRA MRL

The Brown Industries BLR-06 HADRA MRL (Multiple Rocket Launcher) is the heaviest possible weapon in the Helghast’s infantry arsenal. Designed to devastate enemy armor, it is capable of firing up to three rockets in rapid succession from its triple barreled 66mm launch tubes.

There’s one extra-narrative thing to note about the BLR-06, and that’s that it wasn’t initially available in the retail version of Killzone: Liberation. It and the VC1 Flamethrower were included along with the free Chapter 5 DLC released shortly after Liberation went on sale in 2006.




Helghast Heavy Hover Tank

A heavier version of the Light Hover Tank, the Heavy Hover Tank is the main mobile artillery muscle of the Helghast Third Army. Heavy Hover Tanks come equipped with a machine gun and a 152mm M81 smoothbore gun-launcher main turret and possess armour stronger than anything the ISA has to meet it with in their arsenal. The only effective way to bring down a Heavy Hover Tank is by using a Helghast BLR-06 rocket against it.


ISA VTOL Jump Jet & Gunship

The ISA VTOL (Vertical Take-Off & Landing) dropship is the ISA’s primary fast-action deployment and close air support vehicle of choice. There are two versions seen in Killzone: Liberation, the dropship variety, seen in Chapter 1, which has a single nose-mounted machine gun, and the heavy weapons gunship variety which will be showing up later in Chapter 3, which comes equipped with a pair of side-mounted heavy missile launchers.

The VTOL is eventually replaced with the ISA Intruder, due to the Intruder’s lower production cost, smaller airframe, faster manufacturing turnaround time, and slightly increased capacity to actually stay in the air :v:.





Behold: the only existing extra-game image of Heff Milcher.

CONCEPT ART


Helghast Shocktrooper, ver. 2


ISA VTOL

WALLPAPER

"Death has many faces. Evil has only one."

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 13:22 on Nov 10, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Calax posted:

Honestly I wish I could see your analysis of Shadow Fall. I've played most of it, but it ditched so much of the original games that with a minor tweak it could be set in its own world. They should have gone a lot farther with the East/West Germany schtick they had going on.

At this point, it's kind of a matter of which one of us breaks and impulse buys a PS4 first. Because at this point there's not enough (decent) games out for it to justify my purchasing one. Maybe after Final Fantasy XV comes out and after a decent price drop I might pick one up, or if I can find a decent used one or maybe even lease to own one, but definitely not before that. But for now, Shadow Fall is off the table.

We might do Mercenary, but that's still a huge maybe.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Man Whore posted:

Does earth have a united single government or is it just like the united nations having power over space exploration and the resulting colonies?

The Killzone Wiki (which is cropped from officially published material) describes the UCN as a coalition of the wealthiest nations left on Earth who survived World War III. Probably America, China, Russia, England, Germany, India, Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Canada, and Mexico. So if it's not a planet-wide government it's at least a planetary majority government. A "got mine, gently caress you"-style government, from the sound of it because there's a lot of talk on the wiki about the United Colonial Army strongarming weaker nations on Earth and elsewhere in the galaxy into compliance with its directives.

Because Earth is basically a non-one-dimensional, non-Stupid Evil version the Capitol from The Hunger Games: it's a resource-depleted Taker State feeding off the wealth and resources of its colonies just to survive and is still kowtowed to because its the Cradle of Humanity and is the de facto capital of human civilization. Oh, and its huge loving navy. If you start talking poo poo about Earth, get ready to have an entire fleet of UCA battlecruisers jump into orbit over your podunk planet in about a month to "U WOT M8?!" you into submission.

That's a big reason as to why the Helghast broke all ties with Earth the second they landed on Helghan.

The ISA exists as a subsidiary to the UCN. It's a collection of local independent governments out in the various colony system peppered across the galaxy who all fly the same flag and co-ordinate with one another on a surface level, but all exist functionally apart from one another and are only directly answerable to the UCN back on Earth.

That's why when the ISA attacks Helghan in Killzone 2, it's not the entire ISA invading Helghan, just the Vektan branch of it, though other colonies might have kicked in a little support here and there to bolster Vekta's numbers. Because remember, Narville came all the way from Earth to join in on the invasion simply because he missed out on the counterattack on Vekta due to an off-world deployment on The Capital World.



EDIT: I liken it to the Earth-Mars situation in Armored Core 2. In AC2, EarthGov's still licking its wounds and patching itself after recovering from World War III and a century of corporatocracy, so its focused on getting poo poo on Earth nailed down. Meanwhile, people are flocking to Mars in the millions to get off of Shithole Earth and start a new life there, leading to second golden era for the corporations on lawless Mars, which everyone on both Earth and Mars agrees is a Bad Thing. So rather than stretch itself too thin and directly helicopter parent Mars, EarthGov literally contracts rule of the planet over to the LCC, a subsidiary firm that tries to be half corporation, half government, which promptly collapses because nobody takes it seriously as either. Thus EarthGov has to step in at the end of the game and put its boot on Mars to calm all the poo poo down.


...Which means everything on Earth goes back to being a shitshow in Armored Core 2: Another Age because EarthGov's torn between keeping Earth from falling back into ruin and keeping Mars from turning back into the Wild West again.

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 09:12 on Mar 26, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013




Chapter 2 of Liberation is a soft retread of the bullshit seawall chapter from Killzone 1. Though like everything else related to this game, Liberation manages to improve on its presentation greatly so it's not an utter bag of poo poo this time around. :toot:

This chapter is a straight 30-ish minute run through in a single video because Chapter 2 is the odd duck among Killzone: Liberation's five chapters in that its four stages have a wonky pacing to them, where one is fairly short and the other three were rather long. So there was no good place in this video to make a cut. The good news, however, is that as of the end of this video we are now officially halfway through Liberation already. Well, the base game of Liberation, at least. Chapter 5 adds another four stages and ~45 minutes worth of gameplay to the game.

But we're essentially 2/5's of the way there now.





Chapter 2 of Liberation takes us through Rayhoven's local ISA Navy installation and its attached oil rig platform.

There isn't that much happening in Chapter 2 storywise, it's really all about setting up for developments just on the horizon.

STAGE 1: APPROACH



So while we start the mission with Rico, we quickly ditch him again so Templar can storm the beachead alone with Hakha.



Our route takes it up along the beach, which is loaded with rotating trigger trip mines...

STAGE 2: DIVERSION



Through the naval docks...

STAGE 3: ASSAULT



And the Helghast controlled oil rig. On the rig, Luger orders Templar and Hakha to sabotage the pumps to cut the Helghast off from a vital supply of fuel for their operation here in Southern Vekta while leaving the rig's infrastructure intact for when the ISA main force comes along behind them and secures it after the Helghast bug out.







Rico, meanwhile, has made it to the main harbour and is waiting for us up there.



When we arrive in the harbour, a Helghast boat emerges from the fog and pulls up to the docks.



Think about that one for a moment, please. Helghast. ... Boat. On Vekta. This is not just the case of the Helghast hijacking a Vektan boat and appropriating it for their own purposes. This boat is flying Helghast colours, meaning that Metrac specifically brought it and who knows how many other boats just like it to Vekta from Helghan, ON STARSHIPS! Starships which sort of render that whole navy thing kind of useless, because they CAN FLY!

This is a universe where anti-gravity technology exists. Helghast cruisers are capable of atmospheric flight. We've seen that in Killzone 1 and in Killzones 2 and 3.

Metrac had, if not many, then at least one frigate sized trimaran naval vessel loaded into a starship, transported that ship in a cargo bay 1.67 billion KM from Alpha Centauri A to Alpha Centauri B, then made planetfall with it, and dropped in in the ocean, and for what? Like I posit in the video, the only way this makes any sense is if it's just an ego trip for Visari and the Helghast army just to claim they have complete dominion over all frontiers of creation: land, sea, air, and space.

I mean, yeah, the Vektans have their own navy, but it's for planetary defense purposes. IT'S ALREADY ON VEKTA! AND, the Helghast can simply blow up Vektan naval ships with impunity by using their loving STARSHIPS! And I know we see other Helghast naval vessels in Killzone 1, but they're small troop transports and fast attack skiffs that could easily fit into the cargo bays of Helghast starcruisers, not captal-class vessels. It makes NO loving SENSE :byodood:

Helghast boats are dumb.



Anyway, the frigate pulls in to dock, and its rear ports open...



And... Uuuhh...



Okaaaaaay... So the left port opens up, and Metrac and Cobar just materialize through the closed right port for no good reason. Oh PSP cutscenes. :allears: You can tell Guerrilla put a lot of work into all the non-gameplay related areas of Killzone: Liberation, can't you?



But ANYWAY! This right his is the major development of this chapter, tucked away in a kind of boring, uneventful slough otherwise: there's ANOTHER traitor in the ISA's midst, it would seem. Someone who Metrac is convinced can be made to co-operate with the Helghast completely and turn over the Vektan leadership and the VIPs from the previous chapter to their custody.



Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Cobar...



Templar, Hakha, and Rico then take up positions on the dock after Metrac and Cobar enter the base, intent on sealing them inside and capturing them.



However, it's at this point where Templar learns that the dropship carrying Batton, Milcher, and Stratson has been shot down in the swamps outside of Rayhoven, and the VIPs are in jeopardy once again. So Templar has to bug out with Hakha, and head for the swamps to re-rescue the VIPs from the crash site, and leave Rico and his team to deal with Metrac and Cobar by himself.

Jan is putting his faith and trust in Rico to do the right thing and not gently caress everything up for everyone. Let's see how well that turns out...



:ironicat:



...what?

STAGE 4: BREAKOUT



Luger points out there's a hovercraft in the harbour which will make getting through the swamps to the dropship easier for Templar and Hakha.





So they swipe it and ride off into the sunset to the tune of this.









E-YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!



Chapter 2 introduces a couple of new elements to the game, some which are carried over into other chapters, some of which are one-time only affairs, though all of them pretty much only appears in Liberation itself.



The big new addition, or the most prominent for this chapter is the introduction of Spider Mines.



These Helghast-manufactured land mines sit dug in to the surface of a battlefield until their proximity sensor is triggered, at which point they will get up and run towards the closest target on their three legs.



Though when I say "closest target", I literally mean the closest warm body it detects. Spider Mines have no IFF differentiators, so they will more often than not end up chasing down and killing the closest Helghast soldier than they ever will you.



Tricking Spider Mines into killing Helgoons is alarmingly easy in Liberation and can be done in a number of ways, from simply shooting the mine and letting it run into a crowd of approaching Helghast, or just getting the mine's attention, then rope-a-doping it into blowing up a Helghast grunt by luring it right into them. ...Or just waiting around for a Helghast to trip one simply by following its pre-programmed idle patrol route through the stage. Because that's a thing that happens in Liberation.

It is one of the dumbest, most counter-productive weapons in the Killzone franchise, and for that we thank it heartily.



They're also persistant little fuckers, capable of swimming :stonk:



...And climbing up walls to get to their targets. You'll be able to tell when a Spider Mine is active because it will beep incessantly and make its share of noise as it clatters around on its three little legs trying to blow you up. It only has 7 health, so you can shoot it and blow it up with a few hits from any weapon in your arsenal, though you're more likely to get blown up by it that way, so its better if you just try to steer it into killing a Helghast for you instead.



Chapter 2 also introduces Helghast Communications Officers.



This is where the game starts aping Metal Gear: Solid a little more fully. Comms officers are denoted by the big green lights on their bulky radios and their flashlight eyes. They create an optional stealth element in Liberation, where you can either sneak past them, or quickly kill them...



Because if they call for backup, you will be swamped with Helghast troops almost instantaneously.



Another thing Chapter 2 introduces, at least more integrally to the game is environmental hazards. For example, on the oil rig there are certain exhaust vents you need to deactivate in order to proceed, lest you be immolated by a chamber of fire...




And of course, Killer Steam too. There's Killer Steam in just about every action video game.







Helghast Dog enemies also make their debut in Chapter 2. Previously seen in the intro to Liberation, the Helghast sick their K9 units on Templar and Hakha, and they're probably even tougher to take down than the actual Helghast themselves. The only saving grace of them is that they're melee only enemies, so if you can take them down before they get to you, you shouldn't even take a lick of damage from them.



Blind Sally also tries out the ISA shotgun in this level, since most of it is close quarters corridor combat, especially on the rig itself. The shotgun is a very short range, but very high powered weapon. You practically need to be at point blank range for a shot to hit its target, let along hit with its full power, but when it does its a near one-shot kill on most standard Helgoons.



And at the end of chapter we have a boss battle of sorts. Chapter 2's boss battle is a little unconventional compared to the boss fights later in the game. It's a tower defense boss battle. Your job is to defend this Helghast frigate from a Helghast demo team coming into blow it up with C4 and scuttle whatever intel the ISA might be able to glean out of its captured computers.



There's about three rounds to the fight, and you've got three points of interest you need to defend: the missile battery, the radar dish, and the communications tower. You can win the fight with one of the three still standing, but if all three emplacements are destroyed by the Helghast, it's game over, try again.





The Vektan Dollar

Okay, this one technically falls into "gameplay", but it's also a piece of Vektan culture, so whatever. The Vektan Dollar (VD) is the mode of currency exchanged on Vekta for goods and services, analogous to the American Dollar (USD) and other such currencies. The Vektan economy is built on the strength of its dollar and it, assumably, has a variable exchange rate with the currencies of Earth and the other ISA and UCA colonies elsewhere in the Milky Way. So far there's no known Helghan analog to the Vektan Dollar, though one would assume one exists in the Killzone universe.

In the multiplayer mode of Killzone: Shadow Fall, Vektan Dollars are replaced by Valor points, which is where the above symbol originates from. Valor in these games is earned in online multiplayer matches, and is spendable toward upgrades for weapons and character classes, which we will no doubt be covering once we reach the multiplayer modes for each of these games. Killzone: Mercenary later introduces Valor Cards, which can be traded in for spendable Vektan cash to buy additional weapons or items. Killzones 2 and 3 also use Valor points in their online ranking systems, though their versions of Valor can't be spent on items.

You don't see any of them in this run through, because Blind Sally's collected them all, but there are usually briefcases hidden around each stage containing caches of Vektan dollars which you can then buy upgrades, weapons, and cheats with in a store feature that would normally pop up between stages.

There is a total of $88,000 VD across Chapters 1-4, plus an additional $12,000 in the Chapter 5 DLC for a grand total of $100,000 VD.

The breakdown of Vektan dollars across the game's stages is thus:

  • Chapter 1 Stage 1: $8000
  • Chapter 1 Stage 2: $8000
  • Chapter 1 Stage 3: $4000
  • Chapter 1 Stage 4: $5000

  • Chapter 2 Stage 1: $7000
  • Chapter 2 Stage 2: $6000
  • Chapter 2 Stage 3: $7000
  • Chapter 2 Stage 4: $6000

  • Chapter 3 Stage 1: $7000
  • Chapter 3 Stage 2: $5000
  • Chapter 3 Stage 3: $6000
  • Chapter 3 Stage 4: $5000

  • Chapter 4 Stage 1: $4000
  • Chapter 4 Stage 2: $3000
  • Chapter 4 Stage 3: $4000
  • Chapter 4 Stage 4: $3000

  • Chapter 5 Stage 1: $3000
  • Chapter 5 Stage 2: $4000
  • Chapter 5 Stage 3: $3000
  • Chapter 5 Stage 4: $2000

In addition to Vektan Dollars, you can also earn points in Challenge Mission which are unlocked as you clear each chapter. Challenge Missions are timed skill testing minigames. Earning completing each of these minigames will earn you either a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medal for that mission, and a certain number of points. There are six Challenge Missions per chapter for a total of 30. Earning a Gold on each of the 30 Challenge Missions (including the ones that come with the Chapter 5 DLC) will unlock certain bonuses which I will cover in the Epilogue at the end of the LP.

The points you amass over the game are also spendable on upgrades in Liberation. Here's what you can spend points on and how much each upgrade is worth.

  • 150% Health - 300
  • 200% Co-Op Partner Health - 510 (CHAPTER 5 REQUIRED)
  • 2x C4 Placement Speed - 100
  • Carry 3 Grenades - 20
  • Carry 3 Smoke grenades - 140
  • Carry 3 Syringes - 60
  • Carry 4 Pressure Mines - 220
  • Unlimited Ammo - 480
  • 2x Melee Damage - 260
  • 3x Melee Damage - 540 (CHAPTER 5 REQUIRED)
  • Five Ability Slots - 600 (CHAPTER 5 REQUIRED)
  • 2x Trip Mines Disarm Speed - 180 Points
  • 150% Co-Op Partner Health - 340 Points





Spider Mines

Jorhan Stahl's walking troll on his fellow Helghast. Actually, there's no manufacturer listed for the spider mines, though if I had to put real money down on it, I'd wager that Stahl Arms was behind them, because an autonomous target-seeking mine with no IFF system that's far more likely to result in friendly fire casualties purely by accident is something that Stahl would find endlessly amusing, the Malcolm McDowelly motherfucker.

As mentioned earlier, Spider Mines will track and pursue the closest available target when armed, friend or foe, through any manner of terrain, including through water, and subsequently detonate an antipersonnel charge within 1 meter of its target, resulting in fatal injuries from a combination of a close-proximity concussive shockwave, 3rd degree burns from the explosion, and sever shrapnel damage.

The Killzone Wiki suggests that these mines are a homage to the similarly named Spider Mines from StarCraft. In SC, Spider Mines are laid by the Vulture jetbike unit, and lay buried under terrain until an enemy approaches, at which point they spring up and immediately run towards them, exploding and causing great damage to them. Though, unlike the Helghast mines, Confederate Spider Mines do indeed have an IFF differentiator so they don't go blowing up marines randomly like these little bastards do.



M13 Semi-Auto Shotgun

Known as the "Lucky Strike" by ISA soliders. The M13 is manufactured by the ISA and is the semi-automatic variant of the LS13 pump action shotgun. The M13 fires scattershot bursts of toxic pellets at an enemy designed to inflict illness and eventually death on a wounded enemy should they survive the initial blast. A single shot is capable of immobilizing most Helghast soldiers, allowing for a second killshot before they can recover.

However, M13s suffer from a long reload time, leaving the operator vulnerable in the case of a miss. The M13 is one of the few ISA manufactured weapons used by the Helghast on the battlefield. The two most likely theories on why the Helghast seem to wield them in higher numbers to ISA soldiers is that either the Helghast have picked them off of fallen ISA soldiers, or the Helghast have purchased M13s and LS13s in significant quantities from mercenary organizations, who would then ship them to Helghan for a hefty profit.





ISA Hovercraft

An amphibious vehicle used by the ISA in combat situations on land, sea, or in dense marshland. ISA Hovercrafts are moderately armoured, but highly maneuverable and capable of speeds outpacing any Helghast ground assault vehicle. They are equipped with a roof-mounted machine gun turret and rocket launcher.



Helghast Naval Frigate

I don't even...






This Helgoon heavy weapons "expert" blows his rear end up with his own rocket launcher, but firing it into a wall two feet in front of his face.














Also, I don't know what they call that on Vekta, but everywhere else in the galaxy, I'm pretty sure intentionally using poisonous bullets is called A LEGIT loving WAR CRIME!!!

CONCEPT ART

General Armin Metrac

WALLPAPER

Metrac and Cobar


Metrac and Cobar, ver. 2 - Also note how Cobar is looking directly at the viewer in both images. Creepy.

PROPAGANDA

"Driving them back" (Helghast POV)

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 13:23 on Nov 10, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

That's the thing about Killzone as a franchise, it eases you into the war crimes, starting with background ones like literally-in-the-Liberation-paper-manual-I-can-even-show-you-a-scan-for-proof bit about shotguns firing like Polonium-212 laced pellets, so that by the time we get to certain other things, you can then look back and notice that you didn't just start with the war crimes right there... You've been doing them all along. :devil:

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

:tvtropes:SciFi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale:tvtropes:

Really though, I think whoever wrote the manual accidentally added a pair of extra zeros or dropped an M. Because the flamethrower wielding heavies in KZ2 and 3 have 20L backpacks, while the flamethrowers you get in the series have 2L Coke bottle sized tanks.

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 23:45 on Mar 28, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Fish Noise posted:

Now incorporate the co-op leashing and Hakha's only line being "HELP ME" into your PTSD hallucination analysis.

I've gone back and added that a bit highlighting these points to Hakha's profile in the 1-1 update, by the way.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

I really hate triple posting like this, but hey, guess what's a war crime according to the Geneva Convention?

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Neruz posted:

To be honest I wouldn't be at all surprised if the writers never even bothered to think about the actual physics involved.

I mean as far as I can tell they never even bother to explain how FTL works in the Killzone universe. Or if there is any FTL or what.

I'm assuming there is indeed FTL of some kind at work here, because The UCA / ISA has colonies in other systems besides Alpha Centauri A & B, and even traveling at relativistic speeds between them would be insanely unfeasible. Just getting from Sol to Alpha Centauri would take four and a half years at the speed of light, and Killzone 1 sure as hell didn't take four years (though it loving felt like it).

If I had to guess, I'd say there was some kind of quantum tunneling FTL going on, like warp drive was Star Trek, or hyperspace from Star Wars or Homeworld, or shockspace from Dead Space, a slow straight line, as opposed to the Battlestar Galactica space folding "boop, you're there" kind. Because that's the only way I can sort of rationalize the Earth fleet taking as long as it did to get from Earth to Vekta. So at the very least, FTL is implied by the the very nature of the series' universe.

The opening to Killzone 2 really muddies the waters unintentionally by being all artsy with its cinematography. The distance between Alpha Centauri A, where Helghan is, and Alpha Centauri B, where Vekta is is close enough that FTL isn't really necessary, and you could complete the trip in weeks or months with a decent set of powerful sublight engines. Though one thing I did like seeing in the opening cutscene was attention to conservation of momentum (Newton's first law) while out in space.

The ISA cruisers only use their engines to accelerate to their cruising velocity, and then "glide" to Helghan because there's no friction to slow them down and necessitate the continuous use of engines for forward momentum like you see in a lot of other science fiction properties. The only time their engines fire up again is to either conduct formational maneuvers or to brake in preparation for entry into Helghan's atmosphere. ...Before the ARC Cannons blast them out of the sky that is.

There is heavy reference to cryogenic stasis on starships in the early days of extrasolar expansion on the Killzone Wiki, however, so I'm assuming whatever FTL tech came along well after Vekta and Helghan were settled.

Rick_Hunter posted:

So do you (Blind Sally/Nine Gear) have something against ADS'ing? Or is it not that strong in this game?

I can assure you, once we get to Killzone 3, you'll be seeing a ton of down-sight aiming. Sally's play style is a lot more kinetic and on the fly, while I tend to stick to cover and don't move until I either clear the area or am forced to abandon it, ADS'ing enemies more frequently the farther away from me they are. I'm trying to vary things up a little bit just so its not a boring slough, but we'll see how things go once we finally get there.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Praise be to Fedule for our new thread title :woop:

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013



Merry Christmas from the Helghast Third Army. You WILL sing on-key, or you will be summarily executed.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Blind Sally posted:

god damnit deviantart.

period, end sentence.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Yeah that's all sorts of hosed up.

:nms: Warning to others: view the full version at your peril.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Gargamel Gibson posted:

Are we going to get an answer to the question posed in the thread title? Why is Sevchenko?

Because the alternative is Rico...

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Crigit posted:

Out of curiousity, how do you imagine power is being transported between planets? Canada can export electricity to the United States because they are connected to the same electrical grid. How exactly is Helghan supposed to be getting the power they sell to other planets without sending them the source of the power? Gigantic shipments of batteries?

In all sincerity, probably yes. We saw in the workcamp village that Petrusite can be packaged in containers. The various corporations on Helghan which still deal with the UCA probably package or incorporate Petrusite in some sort of propriety or otherwise specialized form or format. The stuff we're seeing on Helghan itself are probably Petrusite products stripped of all the features or blackboxes which the UCA or ISA or EarthGov demanded be attached to their versions.

Or so I figure, at least.

EDIT: The Killzone Wiki also says this is the first time the ISA has encountered weaponized Petrusite as well. So that explains our "heroes"'s befuddlement over it in the game a little better too.

E2: removed Wiki link because it accidentally contains spoilers. :nyoron:

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 07:17 on Apr 25, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013




A few quick notes on this video, 1) I was sick with a sore throat at the time of this recording, so you might hear me coughing or clearing my throat a lot during it, or a few instances where I straight up mute my desk mic to cover up that stuff. I tried to cut as much of it out as I possibly could, though. And 2) I was (attempting) to upload another video at the time of this recording, which introduced about a five second delay between mine and Sally's audio over Skype. I've tried to edit that out in post, but if it sounds like we're talking over one another, we actually weren't.

So this is the start of the third chapter of Killzone: Liberation, somewhat puzzlingly titled "Revenge of Metrac", because, well, Metrac doesn't show up in Chapter 3, nor does he really do anything worthy of being called "revenge." Cobar on the other hand, weeeeeeeell poo poo...

Templar and Hakha race through the swamps of the Reag River and the Redavni Plains to reach the crash site of the ISA dropship that was thought to be carrying General Stratson, Dr. Batton, and Minister Milcher to safety.





STAGE 1: RECONNAISSANCE



Just as with Chapter 2, we begin Chapter 3 in an aquatic vehicle. So heeeeey, you remember that shittyass swamp level we randomly and kinda what-the-fuckedly grabbed DStecks to comment over? The one that broke the Killzone 1 LP into the shambling mess of hot garbage that I to this day remain surprised we actually finished?



Yeah...

Well, at least we have a loving boat this time.



A boat with a rocket launcher!



Boom! Eat it Helgoons!



Though in the midst of all this excitement, we appear to have attracted the attention of Col. Cobar, who's just randomly there in the swamps, I guess...



Cobar has been set up as Liberation's Heavy, the big bad motherfucker who's there to put the hurt on our protagonists. And while he's not really going to get much of a chance to do that directly in this video, all signs point to a confrontation between him and Templar and Hakha looming on the horizon.

For now though, we're going to have to contend with his personal retinue of soldiers who are lying in wait to stop Templar and Hakha from reaching the crashed ISA evac dropship.



Luger radios in at the start of the first stage to let Jan know the status of the dropship. Its distress beacon has been activated, so there's hope that at least someone is still alive at the crash site. Though this means that if the ISA are picking up the beacon, then the Helghast almost certainly are too, so time is of the essence, and they're already well-entrenched in the swaps as it is.



We also get a little more plot intrigue happening. Metrac knew precise details about a supposedly secret meeting between key personnel in the Vekta's upper command and research echelons.

All signs seem to be pointing to yet another mole Vekta's central command structure... But who could it be? Unlike in Killzone 1, where the game drat near comes out and plants a neon sign on the head of its turncoat, Liberation holds its traitor cards a little closer to its chest this time around.

STAGE 2: AMBUSH



Well, when you title your level that...



After making it out of the swamp in one piece, Templar and Hakha are ambushed by Cobar's men in the foothills overlooking the Redavni Plains.



This isn't looking good for Captain Hero and his faithful PTSD hallucination.





But wait! What's this!



Why it's everyone's favorite space racist war criminal ignoramus psychopath shitfuck guy(?), Rico!



Jan quickly realizes, after being caught in one of Cobar's cunning traps, that they might just be walking into one of Cobar's cunning traps. I say "cunning" half-sarcastically, of course. There's very little cunning about Cobar. He's a blunt instrument, a thresher of human lives.



In a twisted sort of sense, Tendon Cobar is the Helghast's very own Rico Velasquez, two men of unnervingly similar talents, tactical persuasions, and political outlooks, only pointed in opposite directions. Both men are fervent patriots to their nations and the ideals they believe them to embody. If you asked either one of them what they were at their core, each would most likely tell you they were a Loyal Son of Vekta/Helghan. Cobar believes that Visari can do no wrong and any action the Helghast take in defense of their homeland is justified. Rico believes that the ISA can do no wrong and any action taken in the defense of Vekta against the Helghast is justified in the end, though his faith in his superiors has been shaken a little by the defection and fall of General Adams.

Both men are skilled at doing really only one thing well: killing. Neither has time for subtleties like politics or diplomacy. Rico just wants to shoot Helghast with his big giant gun, and Cobar wants to crush the Vektans with Metrac's big giant army. And each man believes his opposing "species" is sub-human in a variety of ways, and thus is permitted to be slaughtered in ways that their own kind would never be. They each see their side in a position of racial privilege over the other.

The only real difference between the two of them (outside of a troubled argument on the morality or lack thereof of each man) is where each man has ended up in their respective militaries. Both Rico and Cobar entered the army from positions of poverty, the difference between them being, however, that Cobar's skills were recognized and encouraged and he was promoted to an officer's position as a result, while Rico's skills were shunned and ignored and he has languished as a relatively low-ranked non-commissioned officer, in charge of only small platoons of men at the most rather than the entire army branch Cobar commands as head of the Colonial Guard and Metrac's second.

This, of course, is a reflection of the ISA and Helghast's institutional moral philosophies in action. The ISA, holding itself up to be an alleged force for moral good in the universe, promotes men and women who share its publicly espoused values: honor, restraint, heroism, respect, all that jazz; qualities men like Jan Templar, a man on the cusp of a promotion into a command rank himself (seen in Killzone 2) embodies naturally. Templar is raised up, while Rico, a man with a hair trigger attitude, who often times has to be restrained by others rather than show restraint himself, an uncouth loudmouth who says things that would get him punched or shot by even the most level-headed of cohorts, who enjoys watching his enemies die by his actions, is held back and kept a faceless cog in its war machine. A vital part of the system, but not one worthy of public adulation or commanding authority over other people (in large numbers).

Cobar, is the opposite case. Metrac recognized those same qualities, the lack of restraint and respect for others lives, the willingness to kill anyone he perceived to be wrong, a man with no filter between his twisted brain and his snarling mouth, the human bulldozer attitude and the religious devotion to Visari, and placed him a position of power and command over others where he could express these qualities more freely and subsequently influence others with these qualities, either to emulate them themselves, or to simply be crushed by them to make room for those who would emulate them better.

It's such a shame Rico is such an un-self-reflexive character and that he never comes to the realization himself, because the irony is...


He'd have made one drat good Helghast.



Oh, poo poo, what? The plot's still happening? Well then.



This leads us into the second stage, which is navigating the ravines and gulches to get to the crash site finally.



And as trio duo heads out, the next wave of Cobar's forces happen upon them and immediately open fire.



Templar, Hakha, and Rico return fire, but standing their ground and engaging in an open firefight here is an untenable option, so they're gonna have to run and gun this one all the way to the dropship.

I'll cover this part of the game in the Gameplay section further down.



Templar and co. eventually make it to the crash site, and well, it's a horror show.



drat, that is a lot of blood for a T-Rated game. Killzone: Liberation doesn't gently caress around, does it? Oh, and Stratson, Batton, and Milcher have been kidnapped again.

Can I start calling Evelyn "Killzone's Princess Cisna" now? Because the number of times she is or will be kidnapped across various Killzone games is starting to creep into the territory of the LP Subform's resident holder of the "Most Times Kidnapped In A Single Video Game" Award, and if there's one thing we all know about Princess Cisna, it's that she will broker no rival.



Rico volunteers to look for some medicals supplies to stabilize the pilot while Jan radios in for a MEDEVAC for the MEDEVAC.

Yo dawg...



So while Jan and Hakha stand guard over the crash site, Rico heads off into the foothills...



To never be seen again until the Chapter 5 DLC, wherein I finally get to unveil this:



soon



And now: GAMEPLAY!



Stage 1 of Chapter 3 is a vehicle section, specifically a hovercraft vehicle section, which was teased to us at the end of Chapter 2. The game wastes little time in giving you full control over the ISA Hovercraft.

The hovercraft controls exactly like the Helghast tank does, with the same features being split between players in co-op mode. The only difference being that the hovercraft has a little more play in its movement and tends to be a little harder to steer and stop thanks to its nature as a hovercraft. So good on Guerrilla for not making it a 1:1 clone of the tank with a different model.

Being a hovercraft, it can, of course, maneuver through both land and water, though only along the set corridor of the level. Again, to Guerrilla's credit, they really tightened up the swamp level compared to the open, samey, mess it was in Killzone 1 where you could get lost in it very easily.



Throughout the level are pop up waterborne mines. These mines are heavily armored and will explode if the hovercraft gets within a certain distance of them doing major, possibly even catastrophic damage to the hovercraft. They take a fair amount of time to take down thanks to the low armor-piercing ability of the hovercraft's machine gun and slow reload rate of its rocket launcher.

The mines themselves are no serious threat to you. Both the turrets have enough range to take them out safely. What they ARE, however, is obstacles meant to impede your progress and open you up to ambushes from Helghast troops positioned on the shores. The game tries to trick you into destroying the mines first when you should really be focusing on the rocket troopers who pop up to ambush you.



Which of course will lead to...



Yeah, we lose the hovercraft fairly early in Stage 1 and have to do the rest of the level on foot from there.



gently caress Jan, now I'm getting PTSD flashbacks. Only my PTSD ghost isn't taking the form of DStecks...

Though one decent part about going through this level is that the mines are now 100% harmless to us unless you like literally bump into one, so they can be skirted around without missing a step now.



It's also time to show off some new-ish guns. First up is the M3 Revolver previously modeled by General Stratson, now getting a bit of gameplay feature time by me.

I wasn't a big fan of the revolver, having essentially picked it up by accident and then, as you see in the video, hastily ditching it. It had decent attack power to it, but it's small clip and long reload time didn't do it for me, so I went back to the assault rifle in short order.



Sally, meanwhile, begins channeling his inner Gale Hawthorne Daryl Dixon and whips out the crossbow for the first time in Liberation. The crossbow is a little bit of an OP weapon in Liberation, hence why it never appears again in any other Killzone games after this. As you can tell it's kind of borrowing heavily from the depleted uranium crossbow from Half-Life, Half-Life 2, and Black Mesa.

Note the Helgoon on the extreme right of the screenshot, hit by the arrow just shot from the crossbow.



Now note the huge gently caress off explosion where he was just standing (the even bigger explosion to the left was triggered by a grenade blowing up a gas drum, BTW). Yes, the crossbow fires explosive tipped arrows which can, if not instantly kill many Helghast, then definitely knock them down to critical health in one shot.



:golf:



Stage 2 introduces something that's not seen all that often in the early Killzones, yet will start to become a little more popular in Killzone 2 and Killzone 3: infinitely spawning enemy scripts!

Yes, I said this was gonna be a run-and-gun battle, and I meant it. The Helghast will send an infinite wave of soldiers down the side of the mountain, so trying to hold your position and kill all of them is suicide. What's more, they start coming in larger numbers the longer you hold out there to try and force you into retreating just in case you didn't get the message the first twenty times the game tries to tell you.

The Helgoons are quite slow at descending the mountain behind you, so you can easily turn round and pick off the two or three troopers who manage to catch up with you to give you a little more breathing room to get further down the slope before more finally catch up with you.



This area of the game also introduces the Helghast Pyro. You can't really see him because he's obscured in his own fireball and smoke cloud, though you should be able to make out his health bar over his head.



Like Sally points out in the video, Pyros in Liberation are more puzzles than they are enemies. They very rarely turn their flamethrowers on you directly, instead opting to ignite entire parts of the path ahead of you to block or divert your progress.



For your initial encounter with them, however, you're merely shown what their role in Liberation is, and you're given both ample room to outmaneuver them, and a clear shot at taking them down. When they start appearing later in the game, Guerrilla won't be as generous with your chances against them.



And finally, raising the bridge across the ravine halts the Infinite March of the Helgoon Horde. Now, all you have to worry about are the ones in front of you between you and the dropship.


And that's it for gameplay for Chapter 3, Stages 1 & 2. There wasn't really that much new to cover here, but that's going to change in short order coming up in 3 & 4. :getin:




Crossbow

A markedly antiquated weapon compared to the more refined projectile weaponry employed in the Second Extra-Solar War, but no less deadly than its "modern" descendants. Crossbows have found their way onto the battlefields of Southern Vekta thanks their versatility and low maintenance requirements. They can be fitted to fire anything from improved arrows to specifically manufactured bolts with explosive or incendiary tips and are by and large silent weapons, providing a decisive advantage for missions where stealth is a primary requirement.


VC1 Flamethrower

Manufactured by the Visari Corporation, the VC1 Flamethrower (also called the VC-1) is the galaxy's paramount flamethrower of choice. When you want to ensure you enemies die a horrific, agonizing death and emit screams that will haunt you in the quiet hours of your life till your dying day, think Visari Corporation! The #1 name in horrific death by immolation!

Wielded by Helghast pyro troopers, the VC1 is powered by a mixture of low-octane gasoline and an unidentified additive which the Killzone Wiki describes as being "native to Helghan." And no, before you say it, it's not Petrucite. The VC1 fires a liquified Napalm-like flaming substance outwards in an arc up to 30 feet away, allowing soldiers to light whole patches of ground or platoons of enemies aflame to bar enemy progress or quickly neutralize oncoming threats.

It shares a real world inspiration from the German Maschinengewehr (MG) 42 machine gun chassis, and from the flamethrower wielded by the protagonist of Ridley Scott's Alien, Ellen Ripley, during the film's final act.

Liberation's manual hilariously claims that the VC1 has a 200 Liter fuel tank on it to "retain portability". As former Killzone 1 guest commentator chitoryu12 points out, this right here is what an actual 200L fuel drum looks like:



"Portability" my rear end...



CONCEPT ART

Swamp docks, sketch


Swamp docks, final


Colonel Cobar, sketch

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 13:35 on Nov 10, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Fish Noise posted:

Nah, you use psychology. Put it on its side, tell Natko that the contacts are the controls he needs to operate to help Doctor ScienceLady with something, then stand back and wait for him to punch an electrode in frustration.

This is why Natko disappears in Killzone 3, folks.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

chitoryu12 posted:

So back in the day (read: 2011-2012) I was very heavily invested in amateur action film makers on YouTube like Freddie Wong, Corridor Digital, and Pwnisher. I just remembered that Pwnisher actually made a Killzone 2 fan film! Here it is, in all its shakycam glory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ4FGm9Fwvg

That's pretty cool, but they lose points for using the O instead of 0 with the Capture It font to get the proper Killzone title typeface. Accuracy people, Jesus. :colbert:



^^^^ Those ain't no loving O's mate.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013




We arrive at last to the big plot twist chapter in Killzone: Liberation's plot. Many shocking (or not-so-shocking, if you've been watching the Killzone 2 videos concurrent with these ones) developments await us in the very near future.



STAGE 3: CATASTROPHE

Well, when you call it that...



We begin Stage 3 right from where we left off from Stage 2, with Templar and Hakha guarding the wounded ISA dropship pilot while Rico scrounges up whatever form of medical aid his cartoonishly small brain can envision.



But this being Killzone shenanigans begin to unfurl themselves, and it looks like we've got another bunker miniboss section on our hands simmilar to the Helghast frigate from the end of chapter 2. So now we need to defend the pilot and the dropship for a set time limit until Rico returns with--



CRIKEY! ...Oooor Jan will just let the guy get sniped like that. Nice job, Jan! :thumbsup:



Well, at least we don't have to defend his stupid rear end any more. All we need to do is hold out long enough for Rico to get--



Uhh...





You know what? gently caress it! You can have the drat dropship. I don't want it any more. gently caress Rico, I'm going home!



Um, yeah, Luger, I hate to break this to you, but that's not a dropship any more. That's 5,000 new soda cans in waiting once a scrapper comes by here and hauls this thing away to a recycling yard.



Templar and Hakha strike out to look for Rico in the Redavni foothils, but they suddenly begin encountering heavy radio interference, which Luger surmises is what's probably keeping Rico from from contacting the rest of the team himself.

At the end of the stage, however, we get :siren::siren:MAJOR PLOT DEVELOPMENTS!!!:siren::siren: If you don't want to be spoiled on anything, it's best to watch the video first before continuing.







Okay, here we go...












Eventually, Templar and Hakha happen across Fat Drew Carey Heff Milcher, aaaand, he's not looking too good...





We also meet Cobar. Though we've seen him a few times in the LP so far, this is his and Templar's first face-to-face meeting. Cobar takes the opportunity to get in a little evil gloating and smug jackassery on Templar, because he won't have many more chances to do so in the near future, if you catch my drift. And, really, if you've played The Last Story or watched DaVinci's Demons for any reasonable length of time, you should know that no one does "smug jackassery" quite like Blake Ritson.



So after Cobar tortured Milcher to death, Vektan high command acquiesced to Metrac's heretofore unknown (to us grunts on the ground, anyway) demands, which of course were...



Exactly. So for now the ISA has halted their advance on Metrac's remaining Southern Vektan strongholds in a bid to buy time to work out another means of rescuing the two (allegedly) surviving hostages, Dr. Batton and General Stratson alive. Because given what we know about Cobar already, if he's sadistic enough to torture Milcher to death just to send a message to the Vektan government, he doesn't need much prompting or a reason to kill Batton or Stratson either.



So we appear to have reached an impasse, as Metrac is banking on Jan being the Honourable Hero and abiding by the terms of this new deal worked out in some committee room somewhere beyond his purview.



And just to show off what an Evil Monster Cobar is, he kicks Milcher's corpse over the embankment so it lands at Templar's feet, as if to say "this is your fault, Jan, not mine. Heff Milcher died because you couldn't leave well enough alone."



JAN SMASH!



...Oh. Okay.



Yeeeeeah. Keep this line in mind. You're gonna find it will have an unspoken resonance across literally the rest of the Killzone franchise right up to Shadow Fall. In the here-and-now, however, it gives us another peek into Cobar's twisted mindframe. Cobar has little concern for politics, culture, or image.

Metrac knows full well that given Templar's status as a modern day Vektan folk hero, killing him will almost certainly cost him what's left of this invasion, and could very well spur the Vektans to launch a counter attack on Helghan out of revenge, or at least launch one faster than they would have otherwise. A dead Templar would become a symbol, a rallying cry around which the ISA could shore up flagging support and a political weapon that could be used against the Helghast to great effect. A cursory look at modern day military and cultural martyrs and the causes they've inspired can show you how powerfully the voice of a dead, silenced, or infringed person can echo; Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard, Pat Tillman, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Malala Yousafzai, Benazir Bhutto, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and sadly many many more like them, they have become symbols which are now indellible parts of a boarder culture thanks to their deaths, imprisonment, or persecution.

Cobar understands this in concept, but willfully ignores it in favor of following his more primal, immediate, and destructive urges. If he kills Templar, then Templar is no longer a problem for him... it's just that now he's a problem for every single Helghan citizen.


STAGE 4: PURSUIT



That said, Metrac apparently underestimated Templar's tenacity and his need to be a villain-vanquishing hero, so Cobar is eventually cornered at an ISA bunker in the Dedavni Plains.



Which means, of course, it's boss fight time!



...Wait, didn't Cobar have a giant walking tank with him the last we we--




:stonk: OHFUCKOHSHITOHGOD



"Tank wins, every time!" - Troy Baker, Saints Row The Third



We also learn what has befallen Rico in the half hour since we sent him out to find a medpack you should literally be able to trip over thanks to their ubiquity on Helghast-dominated battlefields and now. He's been capture by Metrac as well. :toot:

So now Metrac is holding Batton, Stratson, and Rico hostage, and if Cobar gets away from this encounter, you can be drat well sure Rico is going to be the first one he tortures to death given both his relative expandability and his closeness to Templar, Hakha, and Luger.

Oh no, not Rico! We can't let him kill our friend ally subordinate toady squire meatsack ...uuh Rico!



Luckily, we won't be fighting Cobar alone this time, as the ISA Airforce shows up with it's one heavy assault dropship to put the hurt on Cobar's Spider Tank.



Well, that ain't going anywhere now, AND we've got the dropship hovering overhead to lay down close air support cover fire against the Spider Tank to ensure this fight goes--



Nah, I'm loving with you, Cobar shoots it down in retaliation. God, it is just NOT a good day to be an ISA dropship pilot today.

For more on the Spider Tank boss fight, check out the Gameplay section further down.



Despite the odds, Templar and Hakha manage to defeat Cobar's Spider Tank.





However, the good colonel is still raring to go for another round, despite surviving a series of internal explosions that would have most assuredly killed a lesser man.



Jan realizes that Cobar's in no condition to put up any kind of fight any more, so he moves right on to the battlefield interrogation, demanding to know where Rico, Evelyn, and Stratson are being held. After all, he's Captain Hero, and he's gonna try to mount a rescue of them one way or another, ISA-brokered cease-fire be damned.





:vince: AGAIN?! Are you making GBS threads ME?! What the hell is it with the ISA and getting betrayed from within. I think CTU on 24 has more loyal operatives than the ISA does at this point.

But anyway, Cobar drops the Second Traitor bomb on Templar, even though the player has known about it since late Chapter 2 thanks to Metrac's monologing. And once again, there is no strategy involved here, he's not thinking of the intelligence consequences of revealing this kind of information, he's simply trying to wound Templar emotionally and demoralize him. This is a man operating purely on a volatile mix of adrenaline and spite. Who knows that else he'll let slip now.



So of course, Jan's interested in keeping him alive and keeping him talking, as, from an actionable intelligence standpoint, Tendon Cobar just made himself the most important man on Vekta by shooting his big modulated mouth off.



Oh, and the hits keep coming. Though we don't learn the full context of this slip till later, Cobar also just revealed that the Helghast now have Batton's Red Dust bomb too. A few more minor details need to fall into place yet, but as of right now, the stage for everything that happens in Killzone 2 is pretty much 100% set.

Though as you can tell by the big red blood spurt emanating out of his chest and the fact that his last line ends on an emdash, Cobar just got capped from behind before he could elaborate on either of the revelations he just dropped on Templar and Hakha.

And just who shot him?



Why it's General Stratson, alive and well and conveniently not kidnapped any more!



Yes, by killing him before he can name names and detail details. Thank you for your highly convenient action in silencing a potential source of intel on who within the ISA military command has betrayed Vekta to Visari.



We here in the ISA prefer to kill our enemies the old fashioned way: from behind at a distance while they're monologing.



Jan, however, takes Stratson conveniently freeing himself, finding a weapon, and executing a man who just proved himself a vital source of revelatory tactical information completely in stride. All in a day's work for Jan Templar.

Jesus Jan, open your eyes! This is like Leonard-level "missing critical, obvious details to your detriment" stuff.



And then the chapter ends with yet another ISA dropship swooping in to take Templar and Stratson out of the combat zone.


...You know, given the track record these things have had lately for staying in the air, I think I'm just gonna walk back to base, if that's alright with you guys.






For Stage 3, we get our first real obvious departure in the level design over Killzone 1. We're now in a more arboreal area and hopping between rocky outcroppings between steep chasms.

This, of course, is all set up for, wait for it...




JETPACKS! :rock:

Yes, yes indeed, we now have (temporary) access to the most badass and not-at-all-potentially-horrifically-leathal form of powered transportation in the known universe.

I mean, there is nothing that could possibly go wrong with a jetpack, right?


Image c/o: Rigged Death Trap

To get through this level, you need to equip an utilize a Helghast SL-06 Personal Jet Propulsion Pack, the precursor to the jetpack that will be appearing later down the road in Killzone 3. The jetpack controls similarly to the one from Shadows of the Empire, it has ostensibly infinite fuel, when it's resting however. When in flight, you've got about a ten to fifteen second window of thrust which you have to maintain by holding down the X button. The jetpack's fuel is denoted by the yellow bar that appears over your health bar for the duration of your time equipped with it. While not in use, the jetpack will quickly recharge itself back to full power. While in flight, you can propel yourself in any direction you want by using the analog thumbstick.

The jetpack will also overwrite whatever weapon you have equipped when you acquire it, and the only way to de-equip it is to either swap it out for another weapon in a supply crate or end the level with it equipped (it will be forcibly removed by the game at the start of Stage 4). That said, the jetpack has its own built in weapons system which you can use while you have it equipped. It comes equipped with a modified StA-3 Stova Light Machine Gun with infinite ammo, meaning the jetpack is OP as gently caress and it's incredibly obvious now why you only get it for one quarter of one chapter of a five chapter video game.



Stage 4 sees up back on solid ground and going through a forested area in our pursuit of Cobar and his walking tankzilla.



The only notable thing to highlight in this section is the return of our favorite Liberation baddie, the Helghast Pyro. Now featuring: and actually visible Helghast Pyro.

Pyros don't show up in Liberation all too often, but when they do they're easily denoted by their bright yellow fuel tanks on their back, the long barrel of their flamethrowers and THE FACT THAT EVERYTHING AROUND THEM IS ON FIRE AAAAAAAAAAA:supaburn:



This jackass is a de facto puzzle miniboss to keep us from entering the base. As we cover in the video, he will light every possible entry gap into the base on fire to bar your path until you manage to kill him. He's also twice as fast you are, so trying to out flank him by making a run for a far off, unlit gap before he can get to it is literally impossible. Watch the video. We try it. This guy is like Sonic the Hedgehog. It's unnatural.

And then, just to make sure you come away from this encounter despising Helghast Pyros, the game throws a second identical puzzle trap at you in the base's inner garrison, though thankfully the inner Pyro is easier to defeat than the one guarding the outer garrison.



Beyond that, the main objective of Stage 4 is to sabotage the two Helghast Chimera AA guns preventing the ISA air forces from landing and retaking the facility. Blowing both of them up with C4 will open up the boss arena where you then have to fight Cobar's Spider Tank.



And oh god, His Tank Is Fight!

Despite being crippled by the ISA heavy weapons dropship in the cinematic, Cobar is still able to force the tank to limp around the battlefield on its crippled leg. At the very least, it's still capable of turning along a 180° arc to try and hit you wherever you run or hide in the arena. It also has its share of heavy weaponry which it will cycle through, including its forward-mounted chain gun, rocket-propelled grenade launcher, missile launcher, and multi-grenade mortars.

To make matters worse, much of the cover in the arena is destroyable, and the Spider Tank has enough firepower to eventually winnow away every last bit of cover between you and it if you drag the fight out for too long. The only saving grace of the matter is that each bit of cover will have a health or ammo power up inside it which is released when the cover is destroyed.



The key to winning this fight is to take out each of the tank's weapons systems. And to do that, there are Rocket Launchers littered around the arena (if you have the Chapter 5 DLC, at least, and seeing as how it's free, why wouldn't you?).

Once you destroy the weapons, you then need to take out the tank's chasis, but by that point it's almost totally defenseless.



I say "almost", of course, because it also can spawn Spider Mines, and unlike the ones that show up normally in Liberation, these ones don't have any enemies around them to accidentally home in on and have a shorter trigger timer, so they will mess you up almost guaranteed.

But enough of that, let's get to the post-script!





RIP in peace Fat Drew Carey. I always liked you better than Thin Drew Carey.



Give Jirall my regards when you meet him in Hell, fuckface!





Air Trooper

Spotted very briefly in Liberation Helghast air troopers provide top cover for regular infantry soldiers thanks to their specially equipped personal jet propulsion systems. After witnessing the dismal failure of the Sentry Bot in General Lente's campaign, Armin Metrac opted to use good old fashioned manned air support to cover his troops instead. He brought with him numerous Stahl Arms SL-06 test type jetpacks, as well as specially trained soldiers to operate them. Though as you can see in the picture, the air troopers themselves are very lightly armored and go down with minimal effort when met head-on in the air.




Helghast Spider Tank

A combination tank and walker mobile weapons platform. The Spider Tank is a small scale cousin to the gargantuan MAWLR mobile weapons platform manufactured by Stahl Arms. It has an entire suite of heavy weaponry equipped on it including a swivel-mounted chain gun, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, missile launchers, and frag grenade mortars.

Colonel Tendon Cobar chose one such tank to be his personal armored transport vehicle for the duration of his operations on Vekta.

No other information on this vehicle type exists, unfortunately.



Spider Tank concept art c/o Miguel Angel Martinez:



Official artwork of Tendon Cobar:





gently caress literature :colbert:

CONCEPT ART

Tendon Cobar, the "White Death"


Cliffside hanger


"The General doesn't like making martyrs. I'm not so fussy." - Templar confronts Cobar


Cobar's Spider Tank, sketch


Spider Tank, final


ISA VTOL under construction

PROPAGANDA


"Liberty in your hands... OR THEIRS?" (ISA POV)


"Heroic Helghast rescue survivors from crashed Vektan dropship" (Helghast POV) - It's neat to see that the Helghast have their own FOX News able to comically spin events in a pro-Helghast fashion.


"Vekta Today" (ISA POV) - There's a lot of neat little details to unpack in this one, notably how people don't think the betrayal of a general like Stuart Adams will ever happen a second time in a row, and how--OH NO! Poor Milcher! He was about to retire too! :doom:COBAAAAAAAAAAR!!!:doom:

Also the "Combat Helmets - Are they really necessary?" headline is a recurring cameo in in-universe Killzone published material. It appears as a bullet point on the ticker underneath the broadcast of Visari's address in the opening of Killzone 2.

WALLPAPER

Dr. Batton is kidnapped

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 06:40 on Nov 27, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Kerris posted:

RIP dropship pilots 1 & 2.

Does the Spider Tank make a return in other Killzone games?

Sadly, no. Though something relatively similar to it called the MAWLR shows up in Killzone 3.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Daniel Jackson will always be James Spader's least-creepiest roll.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013




As we enter the home stretch for Killzone: Liberation, Sally and I will joined for the rest of the LP by our good Internet Friend CJacobs. CJacobs, you might remember, previously joined us for Chapter 9 of Killzone 1, as well as the majority of Killzone 2 not commented on by Lazyfire. Sally and I have also joined CJacobs (and fellow Killzone 1 and Killzone 2 guest commentator JamieTheD) for the majority of Dead Space 3. He's also done some really sweet LPs of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 with Skippy Granola, and Spec Ops: The Line (where I and my esteemed goon colleagues Faerie Fortune, poorlywrittennovel, Tyty, FPZero, ddinkins and Mersenne make his life a living hell during the FUBAR Mode bonus stream!).

This first video of Chapter 4 sees us whisked off to the last Helghast stronghold in Southern Vekta, their fortress and airfield in the Adlez Montains south of the Redavni Plains. We have two objectives ahead of us: locate and rescue both Rico and Evelyn Batton, and capture Armin Metrac and get him to reveal the identity of his ISA mole.





STAGE 1: INFILTRATION



First up, the stage names of this chapter all have –tion suffixes to them. I don’t know if this is just a coincidence or if it’s someone at Guerrilla being funny, but regardless, we’ll see the payoff to this naming scheme in the next update.

And second off, oh poo poo we’re starting this stage on yet another rickety ISA Dropship. You know, after the disaster showing they put in last chapter, I can suddenly see why Vekta expedited the deployment of the Intruders for Killzone 2.



Templar and Hakha are being joined for this mission by someone new, it seems.



Actually, it’s someone we’re already very familiar with. Why, it’s Luger! :woop: Yay Luger! You and Hakha were the best non-General Anime parts of Killzone 1.

Chapter 4 is Luger’s first, and ultimately last physical appearance in Killzone: Liberation. You can play as her in multiplayer though, but you’ll have to unlock her first. To do so requires the Chapter 5 DLC, which you then need to beat on any difficulty level, and then score Gold Medals in each of the DLC’s 6 Challenge Mission minigames, which I touch on the updated Chapter 2 and will cover more in-depth in the Epilogue update.

Beyond that, we also learn that Luger is a redhead, apparently. Well, more dark aburn, really, but the point remains, we now have a complete picture of what Luger looks like as a woman. Ironically, however, while she exposes her hair, she covers up her face in Liberation, even though we’ve already seen it in Killzone 1 (and made fun of its wacky proportions). …Aaaand we still don’t know whether or not Luger is her real name or a codename or whether it’s her first or last name if it’s the former.

To this day, “Shadow Marshal Luger” remains one of the enduring mysteries of the Killzone franchise, and I’m actually kind of surprised that Guerrilla never published any supplementary material designed to flesh out her character like they have with just about every other character in the franchise. Perhaps it was intentional on Guerrilla’s part, as Luger is a black ops operative, after all. Literally the only tangible link between her and the audience is Templar. He’s the only person who knows anything about her having dated her in the past, and we’re gonna see how they part company for good in short order.

Blind Sally and Neruz had this to add about the portrayal of Luger's face, or lack thereof, in the Killzone franchise:

Blind Sally posted:

I find the design changes for Luger kinda lame. She's joining us on a SNOW level. Why would she suddenly decide to wear less of her mask? At the very least, she'd want a toque or something. I mean, I understand the changes. With the camera zoomed out, Luger dressed entirely in black, with no ISA orange highlights, might be confused for a Helghast soldier. But why not give her some other visual qualifier? Adding some ISA orange isn't going to hurt. Giving Luger a ponytail reminds me of giving Ms Pac-Man a bow--it's because their both girls.

The red hair bit is funny, though. Considering people believe red hair is going to go extinct in a hundred years or so, it's nice to see that's not true in the Killzone universe.

Neruz posted:

The mask problem again! Sometimes I feel like we will still be asking this exact same question "Why did this character take off their mask" a century from now and a century from now filmmakers and designers and whatnot will still be responding with "Because otherwise you can't tell who they are!" And they will still be wrong.

For some reason people in the business of making movies, tv shows and video games have a gigantic taboo against having major characters faces obscured in any way for any significant length of time, if at all. It was frankly a minor miracle that Iron Man spent as much time wearing his mask as he did in the movies and even then they felt they had to constantly cut to showing Stark's face inside the suit and the faceplate is still repeatedly ripped off. If you ask directors and artists and whatnot why they keep doing this they will always give you the same answer; 'Viewers need to be able to see a human face to connect with the character, no face, no emotional connection' but there is a fair amount of evidence that this is not actually true.


So yeah, the reason she takes her mask off is so you can identify her more easily. The fact that exactly the same result could be achieved by just giving the mask some unique and distinctive paint or something similar never seems to occur to developers.



So just because she’s joining Templar and Hakha in the flesh for this mission doesn’t mean she’s slacking off on her Exposition Fairy duties. She informs us that the base we’re infiltrating was thrown together by the Helghast months ago, meaning that they’ve been working on this place since Day 1 of the invasion. The totality of Killzone 1 spanned a single month (August 2357), and Liberation takes place two months after that (October 2357), leaving us roughly three months out from beginning of the Second Extra-Solar War.

Secondly, the ISA apparently didn’t even know this place existed until just recently (we can thank our carefully positioned mole for that one), and Luger was only able to triangulate its position by monitoring transmissions between Cobar’s spider tank and Metrac here at the base.

And thirdly, we’ve found out that this is where the Helghast are storing the Red Dust bombs they stole from Rayhoven. So it looks like everything’s lining up for a nice neat Action Movie Finale. We’ll get the girl, save our best friend, defeat the villain, and recover the stolen nukes in one fell swoop, preferably while flying away from a giant fireball in a sweet rear end jet plane.

…Or we would, if this wasn’t Killzone.




But because this IS Killzone we get to see the one thing nobody really cared about seeing in the first game again: Jan being kind of a dick to Luger.

I should also point out, that this comes at the end of the first stage, so we've already been through about ten minutes worth of Luger being awesome and helping us out to get this far. So, no, Jan is not immediately sending her away like it kind of looks like he is when you go from the last screenshot to this one.





Actually, he’s cutting her loose to protect her. Ever the gentleman, eh Jan? Hey, what about Hakha’s court-marshal? Did you ever stop and think about tha—oh right, you can’t court-marshal a hallucination.
My mistake.

We also learn here that this little excursion to save Rico and Evelyn is being done off the books, so to speak, most likely so as not to tip off the ISA mole who we still totally have NO idea what-so-ever who they are. Am I right? I mean, NOBODY has guessed who the mole is yet, right?

Riiight?

That being said, I’m pretty sure Luger can beat the rap for this one. I mean, the bar for court-marshaling a Shadow Marshal over anything has got to be ludicrously high given how they’re the ISA’s top in-field operatives and are responsible for all sorts of black ops and wetwork poo poo that would get ISA regulars a next-day appointment with the firing squad if done openly, don’t you think?



Still, Luger protests.



And Jan comes back with probably the most unnecessary :iceburn: in the entire franchise. And, is it just me, or does this line seem to imply that after all their relationship ups and down and all the angst Luger’s recruitment into the Shadow Marshals and her focus on her career over him caused for him, it was ultimately Jan who dumped her, not the other way around like we’ve been led to believe by the first game?

So yeah, way to be a needless dick and bring up a rather dark part of both of your lives for no reason, Jan. Still, if nothing else this shows that after everything they’ve been through over the course of Killzone 1 and now Liberation, Jan is now finally 100% over Luger.

Taking down Adams helped him find closure.

Taking down Metrac will help him finally move on.



But Luger isn’t about to take that lying down. For you see, Luger is an Action Heroine, and she too has her own reasons for finding Rico… which we never really learn of.

I want to be snide and chalk this one up to “because friendship :ranbowdash:”. Seriously though, I think she’s doing this rescue mission more for Templar’s benefit than she is Rico’s. Luger never really struck me as having warmed up to Rico over the course of the first game, but she knows Jan well enough to realize what a solider and a friend like Rico would mean to Jan in the midst of a war where he’s been betrayed by men and fate more times than he probably should have over the span of about three months.

STAGE 2: REVELATION



Stage 2 begins with our first sighting of Rico since the middle of Chapter 3. …Forgive the terrible PSP-quality video passed through several layers to visual screwery look to the image. Trust me, that’s him in the very centre.



See! Look, there’s Rico! And he’s with Metrac too. How convenient. Metrac’s carting him around the base openly and in handcuffs while simultaneous exposi-gloating to him as villains of his Shakespearean stature tend to do.

Here, he’s letting us in on a plot detail that will inform the back half of this chapter; Stratson’s ordered an airstrike on the Adlez fortress to take out both the Red Dust nukes and Metrac’s forces in one blow. Rico and Evelyn have already been written off as casualties of war, it would seem.



Rico has a surprisingly philosophical take on being hung out to dry by his superiors. It’s a surprising moment of situational insight from a man who once literally said, and I’m quoting here:





The sad part is, Metrac actually has the moral high ground here. Despite whatever damage the Helghast are currently doing to Vekta, nuking an entire hemisphere of a planet—regardless of how “tactical” these tactical nukes really are—would do more crippling damage than anything the Helghast could be capable of inflicting themselves.

Ya know, it’s almost like Straston’s plan is designed to intentionally cripple the Vektans and further inflame the Helghast socially and politically.

I wonder why that is?



Oh and then Metrac goes and immediately loses said moral high ground by revealing he’s torturing Evelyn.

Nice work, jackass. :thumbsup:



So under pain of torture, Evelyn has spilled the secrets of Stratson’s plan to Metrac… plans Metrac already knew thanks to his mole in ISA command, but I guess wringing the info out of Batton provides the mole with a measure of plausible deniability.

Oh, and it also makes Metrac look like a huge rear end in a top hat to the audience. But moreover on that, the REAL thing Metrac is trying to torture out of Evelyn are the detonation codes for Red Dust so that the Helghast can use it against the Vektans instead! MWAHAHAHA!!!

…The gently caress was I saying about “moral high ground” again?



Yes, especially you, Armin.



And now we begin a subplot that will stretch well into Chapter 5 of Liberation and the ramifications of which we will be feeling up to closing seconds of Killzone 3: The Temptation, Fall, and Condemnation of Rico Velasquez.

Metrac has made the fateful offer: join me, and together we can end this destructive conflict. The question now is, will Rico listen to him, and why the hell would he even?



And as Metrac leads Rico away, the big steel doors slam shut on Evelyn’s torture chamber again as she pleads with her Helghan interrogators for mercy.



For all the poo poo I give Killzone 1, I will at least grant it this: at least it didn’t have (overt) torture in it.



When Jan happens upon her at the end of the level, she’s in a very bad way. Even more so if all that blood is actually hers :stonk:.



“I’m Jan Templar, I’m here to rescue you… again.”

...Also, where the gently caress did you go, Evelyn?

Ah, good old PSP "what is this 'Effort' you speak of?" cutscenes. :allears:



Aaaaah, she’s lost like three people’s worth of blood there, Jan. I don’t think she’s what you’d call “okay.”



But Jan has no time for the old “I was just repeatedly electrocuted in various unspeakable places on my body” excuse, and drags our fair Dr. Batton up and out of the torture chair.



To Evelyn’s credit, she’s no distressed damsel when push comes to shove. She springs right up and is on the move again, ready to be of as much help as a delirious, malnourished, scared, and pain-wracked non-combatant can be to Jan and Hakha's two one-man army.



Interesting piece of continuity here: Evelyn hasn’t officially met Rico yet and doesn’t even know his name, yet by the time Killzone 2 rolls around, Evelyn and Rico will be on a first-name basis and have roughly the same working relationship as him and Luger once did.



And with that, Evelyn gives us or final destination for the base game of Killzone: Liberation, the Adlez Base airfield.


And that’s it for plot for this update. Despite this stage being called “revelations,” the doozy reveals don’t actually come until Stages 3 & 4.

But when they get here, ooh boy… they needed to make a free DLC fifth chapter for the game to explain what the gently caress just happened.



Somehow I still have more nitty gritty gameplay mechanics to explain about this game despite it being 3/4's over now. Thanks, Luger Obama!



So yeah, the biggest and most notable addition to this update is that Luger joins us as our AI partner for all of Stage 1 and most of Stage 2. She has a full 100 HP like the player characters do for this stage and wields the explosive-tipped crossbow during gameplay... yet, as Blind Sally points out, she appears holding the ISA M82 Assault Rifle in cutscenes. Go figure.



Also, here’s more of Guerrilla being as detail-oriented as ever: all the Helgoons patrolling Metrac’s snow base have white uniforms rather than gray ones. Though, really, all the game is doing it taking advantage of its multiplayer team colouring system, which allows you to customize your multiplayer character in a variety of pallets including, you guessed it, white.



Luger’s also got a couple of token NPC prompt points which show off some of her old school Killzone 1 abilities. Here you can see a switch atop this gate rampart which will open this gate here. We can’t get to it, but because Luger is still the Stealth Character stereotype from the first game, she can climb up her Action Rope and activate the switch for Templar and Hakha on the player’s prompting.



Fission Accomplooshed.



And then, because this is a Killzone game in snow level, Luger just randomly decides to run into the floor. That's her health bar there hovering over the concrete in center frame, BTW.



What happened here was a wonderful three-way disastrofuck of Killzone Physics™, Luger missing a programming flag to recognize the ramp as a walkable surface, and the game checkpoint saving right there as she runs into the level geometry leading to the hilarious Benny Hill sequence seen in the video of us trying and failing to coax her out of the floor.

gently caress Killzone.



Eventually, once her collision detection parameters start working properly again, you can have her climb up to this catwalk and have her systematically shut off these comically oversized pistons the Helghast have set up right in the middle of an otherwise vital thoroughfare in the middle of their base.



And just like Evelyn, Luger isn’t about to take Jan being a brickheaded goob lying down, so she storms into the base after him and Hakha to ensure his rescue mission succeeds.



Though this does have the unintentional effect of nullifying Jan’s (admittedly quite dickish) one moment of agency in their relationship (as seen by us the audience, at least), by having her come in and go “no it’s not over, sorry.”

Now, more than ever, it’s easy to see that Luger was the decision maker in her and Templar’s relationship. Either way it doesn’t really matter anymore, as by this point Killzone is officially done with hokey Soap Opera Relationship Drama.

…Until we get to Malcolm McDowell and Ray Winstone’s amazeballs hatemance in Killzone 3.



Stage 1 doesn’t have that much notable to say about it other than the Giant Pistons of gently caress Physics. But Stage 2 has a few more notable setpieces.

First up, another fortress defense miniboss sequence.



Luger holes up in the communications bunker to try and hack her way into opening up the prison compound of the base. Meanwhile, Metrac’s forces proceed to throw as many men as they can at Templar and Hakha to try and overwhelm them and kill Luger before she can force the doors open.

The good part about this bit is that there’s a wide open area for you (and your co-op partner) to flank Helgoons as they try to storm up to the bunker, and there’s only one way into the bunker and one route to the entrance. So at least you’re not having to play whack-a-mole with Helghast troopers like you did on Metrac’s frigate from Chapter 2.



Once you clear that miniboss, Luger takes her leave of you for good. She’ll still keep you up to date with intel over the radio, but for all intents and purposes, we have officially seen the last of Shadow Marshal Luger in the Killzone franchise.




Also open-air prison cells in a frigid climate filled with ISA POW corpses who have clearly been tortured to death or left to die of exposure. Way to commit ALL the war crimes there, Metrac. :thumbsup:

You did it! :toot:



We also get our requisite mid-chapter miniboss at the end of Stage 2, the Helghast “…I don’t even know what the gently caress that thing is”.



This guy is the Helghast Supreme Trooper, a precursor to the Helghast Heavies encountered in Killzones 2 and 3.

The Supreme Trooper, as the name implies, is a genetically and mechanically enhanced, steroid and psychotropically augmented super solider pretty much custom designed to carry various Helghast heavy weaponry. Their armor is purported to be bulletproof and thanks to the cocktail of mind-altering drugs flowing through their veins, they also feel no pain.

Because today is brought to you by the letter F for “that’s really hosed up!”

This guy is, mercifully, the only Supreme Trooper in Liberation.



As you can see, he wields a VnS-10B Scylla “Cerberus” Chaingun, which has infinite ammo and a blisteringly high rate of fire, and does enough damage to eventually winnow away cover positions, not unlike Cobar’s Spider Tank was able to one update prior.



In single player, you need to lure him out of his spawn cradle and get him to chase you around this little one-way loop that surrounds the platform. The idea being that you would use your speed to eventually lap the slower Supreme Trooper and then shoot him in the back where he’s most weakest.

All in all, a major pain and an appropriately challenging penultimate boss battle for the game.



In Co-Op, however, this guy is a little easier to deal with…



Because there’s two of you together, you can take turns rope-a-doping him, confusing his targeting strings to effectively trap him on the platform, as he will run directly at the closest target. Meaning one player can draw the Heavy’s attention and duck in and out of cover while the other player can rough him up with near impunity.



The Heavy has over 700 HP, yet I don’t think this fight lasts longer than two minutes.



Bang.



Also, near the end of the level, I pick up the Scylla Cerberus for myself out of a chest. The Scylla is actually unavailable to the player in the base game of Liberation and will only be unlocked for use if you download and use the Chapter 5 DLC, which you can get for free anyway.



The Scylla has infinite ammo in-game, though it does have a relatively quick overheat window limiting you mainly to short burst firing of it. If you let it go for longer than about 10 seconds, you’re liable to overheat the gun and be subjected to a rather lengthy cooldown period leaving you vulnerable before you can fire again.





And thus we arrive at another curtain call for a Killzone mainstay. Like I mentioned earlier in the update, there's virtually zero supplementary information available on Luger, at least which hasn't already been covered in any of Blind Sally's other updates for Killzones 1 & 2 so far. The Killzone Wiki claims that in the months following Liberation, once the Helghast were expunged from Vekta completely, Luger was assigned to another deep cover mission by Shadow Marshal HQ, one that took her out of contact with Jan and Rico completely, and she effectively disappeared from public life and recorded history alike. During the debate over Vekta's response to the Helghast invasion, Hakha fronted the proposal to the Vektan Parliament that Luger be sent to Helghan to assassinate Visari covertly and end the larger war before it even began with a decapitation strike.

His proposal was declined in favor of the invasion seen in Killzone 2, with the rationale being that the ISA wanted to capture Visari alive and place him on trial for his crimes against both the Vektan and Helghan peoples, which an assassination strike would preclude.

...Allegedly, anyway. The Killzone Wiki doesn't cite any source for this info so it might just be made up garbage. And you know what, for a character with as many gray areas to her personal history as Luger has, I think a hearty "I don't honestly know" is about the most appropriate thing you can say about her in this case. :allears:

Farewell, fair maiden of the shadows. You don't want to see what's coming next anyway...




VnS-10B Scylla Chaingun (Cerberus)

It’s nicknamed the “bullet hose” by Helghast soldiers. That should tell you everything you need to know about this beast. A joint venture by Visari Corporation and Stahl Arms (as implied by the VnS designation on its model number), the VnS-10B Scylla Cerberus is a stripped down and portable version of the standard VnS-10 Scylla mounted turret chaingun.

The VnS-10B and its Helghast Heavy operators are feared by ISA soldiers for its sheer destructive firepower. However, the weapon has a few key weaknesses, namely its weight and tendency to overheat, meaning that few non-Heavy soldiers are able to wield a VnS-10B effectively, and those that can risk damaging the weapon itself by misfiring it accidentally.





Helghast Supreme Trooper

Clad in a rig of quasi-power armour and wielding the massive VnS-10 Scylla Cerberus chaingun and a massive servo-actuated claw, the Helghast Supreme Troopers are General Armin Metrac's personal bodyguards and only appear on battlefields where Metrac is present as well. Their armour and armament is so strong they are purported to be walking tanks.




WALLPAPER

Metract and his troops

























































soon

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 08:00 on Nov 12, 2015

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Well, Iron Man (and Batman, and Spider-Man for that matter) can get away with it because for the most part that character is the suit/mask as much as they are the character behind it.

I'll add these replies to the analysis section of the update when I get home from work, BTW.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

I'm working on writing up the 4-2 update right now, but I've also updated the 4-1 post with information on the Helghst Supreme Trooper, which I originally misidentified as a Helghast Heavy. I've also updated the Intro post with a line about Colonel Vyktor Kratek, a character from Killzone: Mercenary who was retconned into also being on Vekta under Metrac's command during Liberation.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013




Templar, Hakha, and Evelyn head for the Adlez Base airstrip in a desperate bid to rescue Rico from Helghast custody and neutralize General Metrac before the ISA Airforce arrives to bomb the base into rubble.

STAGE 3: CONFRONTATION



We begin with a sweet pan through the base which reveals, somewhat humorously, that the Helghast utilize the same universal hazard symbols we’re familiar with today, showing that they’ve at least survived into the 2300’s.



You can see here the symbols for Flammable and Explosive materials, which would make sense to post around a military airbase which would be positively soaked in flammable and explosive material (jet fuel and munitions).





Evelyn reveals an understated but key detail which lays the groundwork for a major turning point in the plot of Killzone 2: she gave the Helghast the wrong detonation codes for Red Dust. So at the very least, the Helghast can’t use the warheads immediately.

This also has the unintended side effect of making Evelyn Batton one of the most important people in the Alpha Centauri binary system to the Helghast from this moment on.



But first thing’s first: we’ve got a boss fight coming up soon, so we need to find somewhere to stow Evelyn while we go after Metrac.



Unfortunately, while the Helghast might be incapable of using tactics and cover properly, they aren’t deaf, and can hear Evelyn and Jan talking at normal volume while crouching behind a bin just 10 feet away.





So now it’s time to fight.



Later on in the level, we eventually find a Helghast fighter jet parked on the tarmac. Hmmm. This seems like a great place to hide a combat-averse nuclear munitions engineer.

Yep. We’re going full Episode I on this one…



…Unless, you know, someone comes along and sees her in the cockpit, but whatever, Jan.





Evelyn and Jan share a touching little 90’s action movie bonding moment before Jan heads off to face Metrac.





I feel like The Touch by Stan Bush should be playing at this point just to complete the action hero tableau, because now Jan and Hakha are going to mow through about a hundred Helgoons to confront Metrac two one on one.



Templar sends the plane down into the hanger via the elevator just to make sure Evelyn’s completely safe in case the ISA squadron arrives early and mistakes her for an enemy target.





So we get a brief preview of Evelyn’s role coming up in Chapter 5, namely that she’ll be our replacement Luger for reasons of “I don’t think they could get Luger’s voice actor back for Chapter 5 :shrug:



At the end of the stage, we come to the end of the airfield, and find a pair of Helghast Overlord dropships on the landing pad.



One of them takes off as the camera flies towards the soon-to-be boss arena to focus on the approaching Templar and Hakha.





: Templar!
: One shall stand, one shall fall.
: Why throw away your life so recklessly?
: That’s a question you should ask yourself, Metrac.
: NO! I’ll crush you with my bare hands big fuckoff chaingun!



Hey, Hakha’s there too… allegedly.



Metrac orders the dropship with Rico aboard, who seems to be sitting there awfully quietly and contently for someone who hates the Helghast as much as Rico does, to take off and head for parts unknown.



Plans that you would have no idea what they entailed if you didn’t download the Chapter 5 DLC.



I dunno, what do you think, thread? Because to me it looks like Rico might have actually taken up Metrac’s “join me and blah blah blah” offer from the end of Stage 1 of Chapter 4. In which case, it’s time to debut…



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is time for Rico Velasquez’s Big Goddamn List of War Crimes, wherein we shall catalogue all the various potential war crimes committed or alleged to have been committed by one ISA Sgt. Rico Velasquez over the course of the Killzone franchise.

This list shall be a recurring feature of this LP from this point onward and is only garuenteed to grow by leaps and bounds the further we head into Chapter 5, Killzone 2, and Killzone 3.

So, let’s begin with the basics:

  • Dereliction of Duty
  • Threatening a Superior Officer – I’m retroactively including his little tussles with Hakha over the course of KZ1 just for posterity’s sake.
  • Assaulting a Superior Officer - Ditto.
  • Providing Intelligence to the Enemy – Who knows what Rico told the Helghast while he was being tortured.
  • High Treason against the ISA – Or so it seems to appear.
  • Aiding and Abetting Enemies of the ISA
  • Collaboration with Enemies of the ISA

Entries on this list shall be crossed off upon presentation of exculpatory evidence, but never expunged completely.

Because Rico, that’s why.





It’s a pity that this is the last we really see of Metrac before we kill him, because as you’ll see by watching the video, Metrac is as much of a glorious ham as Adams was in Killzone 1. His pre-fight back and forth with Templar here is just dripping with contempt. You can really tell that this is a man who utterly despises everything Templar stands for as a person and as a soldier.



We also get a brief up close glimpse of Metrac’s gun, a unique weapon as far as Killzone games go. Usually Killzone games try to shy away from the concept of the “unusable enemy-only weapon”, preferring to operate under the veneer of realism that anyone in real life can pick up any weapon they have the strength to hold and start firing it regardless of who made it.

The closest analog I can find to it is Rico’s M224-A3 HSW hip-mounted chaingun from Killzone 1 in terms of its appearance, firepower, and secondary fire capabilities, but I’ll cover just what it’s capable of in the gameplay section coming up.



And now at long last it’s time for the duel we’ve all been waiting for since the moment the game began: Templar vs. Metrac.

Our two military titans begin with a spray of mutual cinematic “that didn’t count” gunfire as Metrac makes a dash for high cover.



One asskicking, coming right up!





And after a long and brutal battle covered in the Gameplay section, Metrac lies mortally wounded.



Templar, however, still wants answers from him before he lands the final blow. I wonder how responsive Metrac is going to be to Jan’s demands?



Answer? Not very.



However, before Metrac can explain anything, bombs begin exploding all around, ripping the airbase apart. The ISA Airforce has arrived, and at probably the worst possible time if we were hoping to wring any last tidbits out of Metrac before he flames out (quite literally, it seems).







Because Liberation is still clinging to the 90’s action movie vestiges of Killzone 1, Metrac makes one last futile, rage-fueled charge at Templar across the gap between them.



…Which becomes a literal gap as the bombs dislodge the outcropping he was standing on from the main base portion where Templar is.











And for all his poetic and melodramatic flair, and his smug air of superiority, in the end Metrac is left with nothing but frothing rage as he impotently roars and runs towards his foe in a last ditch effort to at the very least make sure Templar dies with him.





HOLY gently caress! This is amazing!



And Jan gets his Action Hero Climax One-Liner in for the game…



And ventilates Metrac mid-jump.



SWEET JESUS!!!



Oh, it’s such a shame that Liberation wound up on the PSP of all places, because I’m pretty sure that Metrac has hands down the single most awesome death of any of Killzone’s numerous antagonists.

Lente got shot in the crotch by his former second, Adams got crushed to death by a falling beam, Metrac OUTRUNS A FIREBALL, LEAPS ACROSS A CHASM FROM A COLLAPSING PLATFORM, TRIES TO LAND A DEATHBLOW ON TEMPLAR WITH HIS BARE HANDS, AND THEN GETS SHOT IN MID-AIR AND FALLS SCREAMING TO HIS DEATH!



This. This right here is Shakespearean.




[Exeunt Pursued by Bullets]

Good night, sweet prince, my flights of angels sing thee to thy rest… assuming they can find your body in the rubble.



Thus Jan ends Stage 3 looking over his handiwork, probably taking a moment to spit on Metrac’s fallen corpse for all the horrors he has wrought in such a brief time period.



STAGE 4: LIBERATION

Hey, that’s the title of the game! D’aaaw, I see what you did there Guerrilla.

See what I mean about there being a payoff to each of these stage names having a –tion suffix?

So Stage 4, the final stage of the base game of Liberation begins with the ISA bombing the airbase.



…With Templar right in the middle of everything.



INCOMING!



:ohdear:





So just because Metrac’s dead and done with, that doesn’t mean that Liberation is over with by any reasonable stretch. We’ve still got to get out of here alive and then we’re going to have to deal with the fallout from what just happened a few minutes ago.

Chapter 4 Stage 4 is the most run-and-gun-y of Liberation’s stages. Your objective is to survive the bombing and make it back to the Helghast plane to escape.



Finally, Templar and Hakha make it back to the hanger, and are all set to escape with Evelyn.



Templar climbs into the cockpit with her. Hakha’s left behind in the rubble just off screen because there’s only two seats in the plane, and Hakha isn’t Action Protagonist material, so he doesn’t get priority.



I’d say this would be the point where Jan has completed his healing process and that now that Metrac and Cobar are both defeated, he no longer needs his Hallucinatory Hakha companion anymore and is therefore leaving him behind for good in the ruins to move on with his life… But then we’ve still got Chapter 5 ahead of us, so no Templar still needs to hang on to Ghost Hakha for a little wile longer.



Don’t worry though, Guerrilla’s working on a quick-fix DLC chapter though!



Also, good old PSP Cutscenes™; the camera is clipping through the jet’s body to get this angle.



You better call Kenny Loggins… because you’re in the Danger Zone.



I feel the need.



The need for SPEED!



Are they gonna make it?



Well they both appear in Killzone 2, so OF COURSE they make it.



WOOOO!! TALK TO ME GOOSE!



And so Templar and Batton get away clean from the base. There’s only one last thing to take care of.



I said something about “flying away from an explosion”, didn’t I?



POW!





The ISA squadron drops the big bombs on the base and triggers the base’s weapons cache to blow, causing catastrophic damage.

Unfortunately, as we’re going to learn in Chapter 5, the Red Dust nukes have already been moved off-planet from Adlez Base and are on their way to Helghan at this very moment.



Luckily, the ISA fighters don’t immediately blow the escaping Helghan plane out of the sky, and realize that Templar and Batton are aboard it. The squadron’s commander, Kota, introduces himself as his planes form up into escort formation around the fighter.





Kota also informs Templar that the plot of Killzone 2 is about to ramp up; Vekta is about to go on the offensive against the Helghast and are preparing a plan to put boots on Helghan for the first time since the end of the First Extra-Solar War.



Templar, for his part, is completely on board with this idea. Of course, we’re going to see this first hand in Killzone 2, where Templar accepts a promotion from Captain all the way up to Colonel and command over the cruiser ISSC New Sun… but that’s all yet to come from the perspective of Liberation in the here and now.



And finally, at the end of the stage, Luger radios in to make contact with Templar one last time. She informs him that she was able to intercept a Helghast radio transmission detailing where the Helghast have taken Rico… and that Templar is not going to like it.

This right here is the last we see and hear of Luger in the Killzone franchise.



This is also the point where the base game of Liberation ends. If we didn’t have the Chapter 5 DLC, the game’s credits would start rolling right here. To the people who only played the base game of Liberation and then went into Killzone 2, there was quite a lot of confusion bred as a result of this ending.

There’s still a considerable gap between Rico flying off on that Overlord, seemingly defected to the Helghast, and when he shows up on the New Sun at the start of Killzone 2 seemingly forgiven and back at the tip of the spear for the ISA’s counterattack on Helghan.

So then, is Liberation just non-canon in Killzone’s storyline? Well, no, of course not. Killzone doesn’t do non-canon. …When it comes to its games, anyway. And elements explicitly set up in Liberation will be paid off across 2 and 3, not to mention Metrac is visually referenced in 2, 3, and Mercenary. So Liberation canonically happened. It just needs the Chapter 5 DLC to make it fit into the broader Killzone canon 100%.

And that’s exactly what we’re going to tackle next time.






So for the first part of Stage 3, we’ve still got Evelyn as our AI escort companion. Because she’s been tortured, Evelyn only has 56 maximum health. She also has no weapon on her. Yes, Templar could have easily found her a pistol to defend herself, but we simply assume that at this point in the Killzone storyline, Evelyn hasn’t had any weapons training yet.

Her kidnapping and torture presumably changes this, because the next time we see her in person as an ally, in Suljeva Villiage on Helghan, she’s packing an M4 Revolver and seems to be decently proficient with it. No doubt the result of a hasty round of weapons training between her rescue at the end of Liberation and her assignment to the New Sun under Templar born out of the trauma of being kidnapped and tortured and wanting to take preventative measures to ensure that that either never happens again, or that she at least goes down fighting next time.



Although Adlez Base is clogged with hover tanks like the one we got to drive in Chapter 1, none of them are actually drivable in-game, meaning they’re just obstacles and cover here.



And this is pretty much Evelyn’s role in Stage 3, cowering in fear and crying for help. I suppose it’s to be expected, I mean she is a non-combatant who was just TORTURED and is now in the middle of an active combat zone while Templar and Hakha are annihilating enemy troops all around her, but really, do you have whine about it this much?

Again though, by the time Killzone 2 rolls around, Evelyn will be a little more comfortable in active combat situations than she is here, so at least it shows character development across multiple games.



When you get to the airstrip itself, Evelyn is actually the one who suggests hiding in the fighter cockpit.



It’s at this point that a Helghast pilot emerges from this spawn point and makes a run for the plane.



You need to take him out before he makes to the plane, otherwise he will hop into it and fly away with it, netting you a game over.



From there, the path to the plane itself is guarded by a trio of rotating laser trip mines. You’ll need to take out all three of them because they’re pretty much purpose-placed to blow up Evelyn, whose AI doesn’t have the finesse to thread the needle around the laser tripwires like you or your potential co-op partner normally could.



One more piece of bullshit unfurls as we can’t unlock the cockpit without a keycard. And where is said keycard which we’ve never had to use before in game up till this point?



Oh yeah, the pilot has it. It’s that green blob down in the lower right of the screenshot.



With the cockpit unlocked, Evelyn climbs on in and it’s time to go smoke Metrac.



So Metrac is our boss battle for Chapter 4, the final boss of the base game and penultimate boss of the complete game.

Metrac has 560 health on Trooper (aka Normal difficulty), and has multiple stages to him. This first stage has him separated from you by a gap in the architecture.

In this first stage, Metrac will mostly hide behind cover and pop up to alternate between firing his chaingun and its secondary fire.



Which is a scatter shot of frag grenades.





After winnowing his health down a bit, a gangplank to the next part of the arena will extend. Metrac will run off and you’ll have to chase him down.



The same thing happens again, only this time there’s more obstacles between you and Metrac making it harder to get line-of-sight hits in on him. This isn’t much of a problem for Metrac himself, mind you, because he can still hit you by arcing his grenades over cover.



For the third stage of the fight, Metrac leads you to a more open arena where he then hops into a turret and begins firing its main gun at you.

While Metrac is in the turret, he cannot be damaged himself, though the turret can eventually be destroyed.



Don’t quote me on this, but I think you can also disable the turret temporarily by shooting out both the generators with the big obvious glowing orange lights on them on either side of it.



Regardless, with the turret destroyed, the fight enters its final stage, where it’s just you alone with Metrac and within spitting distance of him now.



And not to brag or anything, but when it comes down to it, I’m the one who lands the killshot on Metrac.



With Metrac dead, Stage 4 is a game of “outrun the slow moving fireball.” This is the Escape From Ganon’s Castle portion of Ocarina of Time part of the game.



The really sucky thing about Stage 4 is that all those bombs that are dropping around you are active stage hazards. That means than you will take damage if one drops near enough to you and you get caught in its explosion, and they can very easily kill you if you dawdle in one place for too long.



Like so. You have very limited warning as to where a bomb is going to land. Usually you will see the shell falling on screen, and by that point it’s too late.

Bombs will drop in random patterns with no indication of their blast radius, so they will fall behind you and in front of you. So you need to both run like mad not get blown up AND be cautious and deliberate so as not to get blown up.

Thanks for that Killzone: Liberation.



The really neat part of Stage 4, however, is that it reuses Stage 3’s level but with obvious damage and destruction physics at play, so even though you’re backtracking for literally the entire last 10 minutes of the game, it never really feels like you are.



Eventually though, we make it back to the plane, and after hitting the switch to raise the flight elevator back to launch position, we also take out the last Helgoon of the base game of Liberation on our way out the door.

From here, it’s onward and upward to Chapter 5.




Oh boy, do we have some developments for this update.



With the death of General Armin Metrac, the Helghast invasion of Vekta is effectively over. Metrac was their last flag officer on-planet, and although the Helghast still have a deep cover turncoat in the Vektans’ midst, Scolar Visari orders the general withdrawal of all Helghast assets from Vekta now that the Red Dust bombs are securely in Helghan custody.

Command of the retreating Helghast forces now falls to Colonel Vyktor Kratek, the highest ranking remaining Helghast officer on Vekta following Metrac’s death. Upon completion of his operations in Diotrem City east of Adlez Base, Kratek returns to Helghan to help prepare for the inevitable ISA counter attack, and we might actually see him in action in the future if we decide to LP Killzone: Mercenary.



Rico Velasquez is now the most wanted man on Vekta after his apparent defection to the Helghast for as-yet unknown reasons.



Along with General Stratson, Evelyn Batton was successfully rescued from the Helghast by Captain Templar. Though she gave the Helghast falsified detonation codes for the Red Dust bomb in the hopes of delaying a possible mass-casualty event through their use, she knows that the Helghast will eventually try to reverse engineer or brute force the bombs’ detonation sequencer to overcome this imposition.

From here, she will join Templar’s retinue of operatives and accompany his strike force to Helghan to help them locate, retrieve, and disarm any Red Dust bombs still on the Helghast capital world.



Jan Templar is not about to take Rico’s apparent defection lying down. With the last piece of intel Luger provided to him before slipping back into the shadows for good, Jan prepares to track the last remaining Helghast detachment to Sedah City on the west coast of Southern Vekta and find Rico, and, god willing, clear the dumb son of a bitch’s name before he gets himself executed for treason.



ISA fighter pilot, occasional Jedi Knight, and professional Joe Biden impersonator, Commander Kota briefly appears at the end of Chapter 4 to escort Templar and Evelyn back to Rayhoven… after almost accidentally blowing them both up.

Oops.



Gregor Hakha is still retired from active duty, like he has been since the end of Killzone 1.

When Templar recounted the events of Chapters 1-4 of Liberation and Hakha’s alleged role in them to him via video chat, Hakha abruptly hung up on him.




Bodyguard

Seen primarily in Stages 1 & 2 of Chapter 4, the Helghast Bodyguard trooper resembles a riot control officer with their large transparent shields and stun batons. They are large, bulky, and slow, but also heavily armored. They have the highest amount of health of all non-boss enemies in Killzone: Liberation, and their stun batons can kill in two hits. Thanks to their shields, they are invulnerable from the front and either need to be outflanked by a co-op player, or damaged from behind with a well-placed grenade throw.





Helghast Overlord Dropship

Analogous to the ISA VTOL dropship, the Helghast Overlord is the primary rapid troop deployment platform of the Helghast military. Capable of vertical take offs and landings and hovering, an Overlord can enter a battlefield, deploy a compliment of Helghast soldiers and leave without ever touching down.

Its two swivel mounted VnS-10 Scylla machine guns allow the Overlord to also function as an anti-personnel gunship and provide top cover for disembarking Helghast soldiers entering a battlefield. Its heavy armor renders it near impervious to small arms fire, and its six Petrusite capacitors allow it to remain in the air for an almost uncalculable time before ever needing refueling.


Helghast Strike Fighter

Official designation unknown. This craft is the Helghast’s new model adjustable wing air superiority strike fighter. Little is officially known about this craft, although it does appear to support a 35mm autocannon and missile launcher capabilities and is propelled by three Petrusite-powered thrusters at the immediate rear of the plane.



ISA Fighter/Bomber Aircraft

A fixed wing strike craft utilized by the ISA Airforce as a rapid action bomber platform aircraft. Thus far it has only been seen in action during the strike on the Helghast Adlez Mountain Airbase.

Armament and capabilities currently unknown.




A Note on Vyktor Kratek



Now, a lot of you might be wondering “who the hell is this guy that got randomly name-dropped in the post for this chapter if he doesn’t appear anywhere in Liberation itself and my god is that a stupid looking outfit he’s wearing, is he literally some kind of cartoon character or something?” And first of all, wow that’s a mouthful, and second of all, good question Implied Audience!

Colonel Vyktor Kratek is a character who appears in the PlayStation Vita exclusive Killzone: Mercenary, the current gen spiritual successor to Killzone: Liberation. Mercenary begins in the waning hours of Liberation and then fast forwards to take place mostly concurrent with Killzone 2. And in it, Kratek serves as a major antagonist for the majority of the game.

I’m adding this in here because of his retconned connection to Liberation. Kratek is a combination of Evelyn Batton and Tendon Cobar, a genius weapons designer (though of the biological, not nuclear kind) and a vicious mid-level Helghast officer. While Cobar oversaw the invasion of Rayhoven, and our as-yet-unrevealed ISA mole oversaw the invasion of Sedah, Kratek was tasked by General Metrac with securing the third of Southern Vekta’s three major cities: Diortem.

While in Diortem, he captured and attempted to execute one of the ISA’s top commanders in Southern Vekta, Admiral Alex Grey, who we also learn in Mercenary was the commander of the ISA’s disastrous first wave of the invasion of Helghan before Templar’s battle group arrived.

Without making this too much into a Mercenary derail, after Metrac was killed by Templar, as we just see happen in Chapter 4, Kratek and his men hastily pack up shop in Diortem and hightail it back to Helghan to make life miserable for Mercenary protagonist Arran Danner and the rest of the Phantom Talon PMC which Danner works for.




And now, a bunch of Metrac-related artwork from Liberation in celebration of his glorious death:









CONCEPT ART

General Arin Metrac... Space Pope?


Adlez airbase, sketch


Adlez airbase and prison complex


Helghast Fighter, sketch


Helghast Fighter, cockpit

WALLPAPER

General Armin Metrac on the march

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 14:14 on Nov 10, 2015

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nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Blind Sally posted:

Just to extend the Mercenary derail a bit, I'd like to add that Admiral Grey is a total badass.



Just a clarifying edit: I misstated that Grey was tortured by Kratek in Mercenary when she indeed wasn't. I've updated the 4-2 post to reflect that.

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