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E3 2013 | Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Demo You Didn’t See

Recently I had the benefit of seeing a behind closed doors demo of Killzone: Shadow Fall at E3. Developers at Guerrilla games walked us through a level only shown briefly in one of the trailers and dove into a few new features previously unseen. Like much of the behind-closed-doors-demos at the show, there were no camera allowed, so all I can do is gush about every last detail I saw. Don’t hate me.

The level was a lush forest, very different from the futuristic city scape they’ve opted to show in many of their other demonstrations. Our host picked up the controller and started showing off a few new features, like a pocket-sized, flying robot that follows you around everywhere unlocking doors, scouting ahead, and much, much more. This new bite-sized machine features a fully automatic assault rifle used to help you dispatch enemies the old fashion way. However, it can help you take a more tactical approach as well.

Little Buddy

Little Buddy

The device is capable of spawning a semi-permeable shield allowing you to shoot outward, while at the same time preventing enemies from shooting in. Pretty handy when you’re close to death (as our tour guide was a few times laughing nervously about how it wasn’t on god mode). Your robot pal can also freeze enemies in place allowing you to concentrate on others first knowing the ones you froze aren’t going anywhere. You can order you’re new best friend around the entire level, much like commanding your squad in Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon, adding a new strategic element to the game.

As well as these more tactical options, the developers also showed off a few new stealth features. Using the grapple cannon, players will be able to zip line from platform to platform at their leisure high above the ground in order to get a drop on their unsuspecting enemies (not too dissimilar from the Arkham series). When advantageously placed over an enemy, you can easily drop down and stick a knife right where they don’t want it. You can also use the grapple cannon to zip behind snipers allowing you to take them out quickly and quietly. The developers did this with quite a few enemies to show that it’s a viable (and fun) option for players if they choose to be more sneaky.

The City from the Press Conference

The City from the Press Conference

And, if you’re a fan of a good old murderous rampage, Shadow Fall will easily accommodate your desires. Controls seem tight this time around which is a definite step up from some of the slushy controls of the previous games making for accurately fast combat. Our guide was mowing down baddies with a high powered machine gun and a chargeable electric shock cannon that dropped foes in one shot (it was as sweet as it sounds).

This of course is all supported by gorgeous visuals. Shadow Fall takes place on the ISA home planet from the original title in the series. This makes for more varied environments and colors giving Guerrilla a chance to really show off their eye candy. They made sure we took special note that every detail we saw miles off into the distance of the environment was fully detailed geometry, and not cheap flat backdrops. And just like that, the demo was over leaving us all wanting more. Looking good, Guerrilla. Looking good.

Little David Galanter grew up in Orange County, CA loving videogames and anything else that repelled girls. After getting his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts, David decided to start contributing his soft silky words to the world via online media. He currently owns a website with a weekly podcast ( and is a reviewer for Default Prime!

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