Part 1: Intro - The Story So Far
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 well 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 ). 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 soldiers 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.
such deadly. very mutant. wow.
Living proof there is not a damn 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.