Killzone: Shadow Fall is the ‘big’ PS4 exclusive title available on the system at launch. The series is well known to Playstation fans, having been extremely popular and well received in the past. Shadow Fall is a first person shooter game which attempts to reach the same level as Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, but does it succeed? Read our review to find out more about the highly anticipated title.

To warn you immediately, if you came to this review looking to hear that Shadow Fall has a deep, engaging story, I am sorry to say that Shadow Fall isn’t really going to offer this, however, it doesn’t really need it. The story can be weak at times, and doesn’t offer anything particularly exciting or unique. The main focus of the game is the gameplay, which the team has truly done a superb job with.

You begin as a boy named Lucas, who is forced to flee with his father. Unfortunately, very soon after starting, Lucas’ father dies and a commander takes over the care of him. Years pass quickly as the early life of Lucas is quickly explained in short cutscenes. It can be a little hard to follow, as it is done so rapidly. Ten to fifteen minutes in, you are finished chapter one and have seen around 25 years pass. In the end, Lucas becomes a ‘Shadow Marshal’ under the guidance of this commander, and goes to take on the Helghast.

Following this, there isn’t much of a plot throughout the game. The lines between good and evil are blurred in the game, and it is difficult to tell who the good and bad groups are. I suppose this is more of the central theme of the game, and it doesn’t really have a ‘story’, per say. You will spend most of the game shooting, and don’t expect a huge ‘wow’ ending, because the ending to the ‘story’ isn’t anything special.

What is special, however, is the gameplay. Guerrilla has once again delivered the fantastic controls and realism in terms of weapons that they are well-known for. Each gun is crafted meticulously, and each have a very polished, high quality texture attached to them. You can well a weight to the gun as you are running, something which is difficult to do correctly, but Guerrilla have managed to implement it perfectly.

One of the best things about the game is the level design. Levels are far more open, and have multiple ways to get to each objective, in many cases. It makes the game feel less like a linear FPS campaign, which, in turn, freshens it up a bit, particularly in comparison to other first person shooters, which haven’t changed much in terms of campaign gameplay. The levels look phenomenal too, with one of the best lighting engines I have seen on next-gen being employed for Shadow Fall. The levels are gorgeous, from the character models, right down to the design of the terrain, everything looks outstanding. The backgrounds and water design are further highlights, which overall just bring the game up to a great standard of polish, bringing it up around the top of the leaderboard in next-gen graphics (thus far).

Other than the gameplay and graphical improvements, nothing much else of note has been added. As we said, there is a lack of story and depth in characters, however, you will likely be having so much fun in the game’s stunning locations, that you won’t even notice anyway! Hopefully, the game will drive forward the movement away from linear first person shooter campaigns, and we can see a transition towards a design close to open-world (large areas with multiple waypoints to the objective).

The astonishing graphical quality (really, we can’t stress enough how good the graphics are) and reliable, fun and realistic gameplay are enough to make Killzone: Shadow Fall highly worth a purchase for those who adopted the Playstation 4 this early after release. It is a fantastic title which offers a great leap forward from current-gen counterparts, and that is before we even talk about the multiplayer offerings.

Multiplayer is a much bigger focus in Shadow Fall than ever before, and the development team really have pulled out all the stops to make this as close to the quality of the big first person shooters as they possibly could. The elements such as graphics and gameplay in the single player campaign all still impress in multiplayer, with the realistic, weighty guns and stunning map design both being present. The multiplayer is a little more slow-paced than Killzone 3, making it a little more enjoyable (in my opinion, anyway).

You will be able to play a variety of popular game modes in the multiplayer (Warzone) section of the game, including deathmatch, domination and other objectively based modes. One of the nice features is the fact all weapons present in the multiplayer component of the game are unlocked from the get-go, meaning you will not have to rank up to unlock them. You will, however, have to rank up to be able to improve those weapons with attachments, and to add scopes. The class system is basic, with just ASSAULT, SUPPORT AND RECON classes, with great customisation available. This makes the system simple, yet effective.

Overall, Shadow Fall is a game which is a must-play for any player who has a Playstation 4 already. The single player and multiplayer both excel in terms of gameplay and graphics, and while the game might lack in story, you probably will not notice anyway. The campaign is very fun to play, and the multiplayer will have you hooked for hours. It is a fantastic launch exclusive, which really has us leaping into the next generation of gaming.