Part 11: Epilogue - Challenge Games & Multiplayer
And so, long after its relevance has expired (unless youre reading this on the LP Archive, in which case hello loyal reader/viewer!), we arrive at last in the post/extra-game section of Killzone: Liberation. Ye grande olde interregnum of Killzones.
Id intended for this to be a video update, but a number of factors precluded that outcome, namely guest commentator scheduling issues, Liberations graveyard of a multiplayer scene, the fact that it would have been a dead boring affair even with voiced commentary, and of course my general lack of fucks about Killzone now that 2 and Liberation are finished and 3 is stuck in a Real Life Things holding pattern.
So lets begin by poking around the Options screen from the top menu of the game. The first thing thats of interest to us is the Characters option.
This is where you can check out the various characters you have unlocked for use in Multiplayer online and customize them to your liking. And by that I mean pallet swap them to a barely distinguishable degree. On the top of roster for each side we have Templar for the ISA and Metrac for the Helghast.
Whoever appears on this screen will change depending on who you select on either side and what colours you choose to field them in. When you go online and pick either ISA or Helghast as your team, the characters you have chosen here will be the ones you will be playing as.
In terms of team colours, each side has three to choose from. For the ISA there is Green, Brown, and Beige. Earth tones, people! Browns and beige! And mother of pearl! Everyone's gonna be wearing earth tones 'cause they live on a planet. While the Helghast have Gray, Blue, and White. Because theyre all about death.
Lets look at everyones models, NOW WITH ANIMATED GIFS AND SHIT
Templar is unlocked by default.
Rico is also available from the start of the game.
As is the generic ISA grunt.
Evelyn is unlocked by completing Chapter 4, Mission 4 (the finale of the base game) on Normal difficulty.
Stratson is unlocked by winning 100 (non-consecutive) Multiplayer games in either Ad-hoc or Infrastructure mode.
Stratson is pretty much the hardest character to unlock for Killzone: Liberation and is, dare I say, probably actually impossible to unlock now that Sony is slowly suffocating the PSPs residual multiplayer support apparatus to death and how Liberations multiplayer is already effectively dead.
Plus, who the fuck has time to not only play, but win 100 multiplayer matches in fucking Killzone: Liberation?
The only reason Im able to show off Stratson (or anything, really) for this update is because I downloaded a perfect 100% game save file from GameFAQs. So congratulations, ChenYuhsin, if youre reading this, you saved Killzone: Liberation!
Heff Milcher is unlocked right from the start as well. And I dunno, I just find it warmly amusing that Guerrilla went and gave the obese non-combatant character the biggest fuck-off non-special weapon they could for his character select image.
Its also a nice bit of misdirection too, because if you go through this menu first, youd probably think that Milcher plays some awesome an important role in Liberation given how hes sporting a gun that normally only Rico totes around. And Ricos a certified badass, right?
And then you play the game and Guerillas all like
Luger also has a few hurdles you need to clear to unlock her for Multiplayer. You need to download and beat the Chapter 5 DLC on any difficulty, and then get gold medals on all of Chapter 5s Challenge missions.
Ergo, Luger isnt playable in Multiplayer if you just have the base game of Liberation, you need Chapter 5. And shes not the only one this applies to.
To unlock Hakha for Multiplayer you also need to beat the entire game (including Chapter 5) in co-op mode on any difficulty. Which means that just be dint of doing this LP I would have unlocked Hakha for my save file if I was playing a fresh save.
Moving on to the Helghast, we start with good old General Metrac. He of fell screaming to his death riddled with bullets while bombs exploded and buildings collapsed around him fame.
Metrac is unlocked once you beat the game on Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties. So hes not as tough to get as Stratson, but still pretty time-consuming to unlock.
Metrac is also the only character who sports the colour red on his model. Just a fun thing to point out
The generic Helgoon Trooper is unlocked right from the start.
As is the Helghast Shock Trooper, aka the trenchcoat guys.
The Helghast Sniper is also available at the start of the game.
The Helghast Commando (the shotgun-wielding Elite troopers) is unlocked by completing Chapters 1-4 in co-op mode on any difficulty.
The Helghast Grenadier, also known as the knife-wielding Rambo wannabes from the console Killzones is also available from a fresh new game file.
The Helghast Specialist, the elite troopers with either the sub machine guns or pistols, is unlocked by winning 10 Multiplayer games through Ad-hoc or Infrastructure mode.
And lastly, good old mad dog Colonel Cobar is unlocked by finishing Chapter 4, Mission 4 on Hard difficulty.
An important thing to point out (even though it has no real bearing on Multiplayer any more anyway) is that these character models are just skins. They are not like the multiplayer classes seen in later Killzone games which have actual unique abilities, stats, and playstyles.
Every Multiplayer character plays exactly the same.
Lets explore the games menus a little deeper, shall we. Here we have our audio and text language settings. And as you can see, Guerrilla packed quite a few language choices into the game. Of course, it makes sense when you think about it, though. Guerrilla Games is a Dutch developer, after all. They more than anyone would have a European market in mind when creating games, given that theyre a European dev. Hence why we get options for French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Polish audio and subtitles in addition to English, as well as well as an extra option for Dutch subtitles over the previously mentioned languages.
Please do not be like some people I know and pick a random language youre not familiar with to play on because someone else goads you into it.
It will not end well for you.
The only thing to note under the Sound option is the Jukebox feature down at the very bottom. The Jukebox is unlocked by completing Chapter 2, Mission 4 on Normal difficulty and contains the entire Killzone: Liberation soundtrack composed by our boy Joris de Man.
We also can check our statistics on how weve done through the game and what rewards we have and havent unlocked.
As you can clearly see old ChenYuhsin was fucking amaze-balls at this game. Holy shit.
You get statistics for all three game modes, Single Player, Co-Op, and Multiplayer.
You can also see what weapons youve unlocked. Lit weapons are unlocked, faded weapons (not pictured) are still locked down. You unlock weapons by buying them from the pre-level store with the Vektan dollars you pick up throughout the game. Remember, the Flamethrower and Rocket Launcher are enemy-only weapons unless you have the Chapter 5 DLC.
The golden weapon icons signify the V2 or Version 2 of each weapon. These are weapons with upgraded stats which are unlocked automatically when you clear a certain VD threshold (and have that weapon in question purchased already).
And here are the various abilities I mentioned earlier that you can unlock.
I covered the point amounts from the Challenge games needed to unlock each of these abilities back in the Chapter 2 update.
Then we get into Online Rewards. These are all mostly moot now because Liberations achievement tracking feature has been taken off the PlayStation Network, but Guerrilla, the incredibly conscientious developer that they are, went and posted them all online in a downloadable Zip file for everyone to enjoy free of charge.
Ive been seeding stuff like the wallpapers, concept art, and propaganda one-sheets throughout the various updates. The only stuff that didnt survive the PSN purge was the In-Depth Character Profiles. Which is kind of a huge loss from a Lore standpoint, given how surprisingly lore-based the franchise actually is.
I honestly dont know what was in these profiles and if these will ever be recovered, or if even Guerrilla has copies of them themselves to disseminate online at any point anyway
And lastly for this section, we have our character unlocks.
Now lets go take a quick look at what we missed the first time around by me being the Co-Op guest to Blind Sallys host game: the level-select map and menu!
Once you clear a chapter or level, you can go back at any point and replay that stage on an ad-hoc basis. The game shows you a handy map of Southern Vekta that more-or-less lines up with the drawn map included on the reverse of Liberations case cover.
Completed chapters are denoted by ISA logos over their area of interest. Incomplete or locked down chapters are denoted by the Helghast logo.
Case in point.
Chapter 1 New Threat
Each chapter has a submenu that shows you each stage which you can then pick and load at your leisure if you feel so inclined. It also moves the camera around the map and highlights the specific area of Southern Vekta where that stage occurs. The chapter select menu shows the entire area where each chapter takes place.
Chapter 2 Trail of Deception
Chapter 3 Revenge of Metrac
Chapter 4 Fate of the Heroes
Chapter 5 Root of Evil (DLC)
At the start of each selected stage, youre given the option of picking what unlocked weapon you want to use as your default weapon. Like Blind Sally said, once youve beaten the game once and unlocked most of the weapons, particularly the more broken ones, you can come back and easily cheese through the game by picking something like the Scylla Cerberus or the Rocket Launcher as your default starting weapon.
You can also select your various passive or active abilities that you want to play the level with if youve unlocked them.
Youre limited to 5 abilities at a time, so its not like you can just load up everything at once and T-1000 your way through the game or what not.
For example, heres what a full slate of more-or-less balanced upgrades will look like.
Again, Im taking the Scylla into the first stage of the game with infinite ammo to break the game over my knee. Note that the Scylla already has infinite ammo by default, this just means that its pretty much impossible to overheat it now.
You also get to see all the loading slates that dont show up in Co-Op which I edited into the chapter posts anyway.
And thus begins the assault of Jan Templar: Unstoppable Force. I also have the 200% Health option on for this mission, so Jans health bar is green instead of white now.
I also have the fast C4/trigger action upgrade on. So planting bombs is a cinch. And, as you can see, when you take damage with 200% health, eventually the green bar will be winnowed away leaving on the white bar in its place.
A word of warning though: the extra health bar is non-replenishable. Once its been blown through, it is gone and no medpack or syringe is going to bring it back until you go into the next level. Its basically a cushion to give you a little extra leeway when playing, not a shield.
Also, in certain cutscenes, Jan will actually wield the weapon hes fielded with. In this case, the rocket launcher!
Because sometimes, you just absolutely need to take a triple-barreled rocket launcher with you on a stealth infiltration mission.
So long, Helgoon!
Now lets take a look at the oft-mentioned Challenge Games mode.
Each chapter has a set of Challenge missions attached to it which you can use to gain points and unlock abilities.
Each of the 5 chapters has 6 Challenge missions, which are scored on a number of mission-specific criteria and then assigned a rank of Gold, Silver, or Bronze depending on your performance in them.
As you can see, there are quite a few games modes to keep things interesting, and I will be covering them in whatever order I feel like.
First up is the Target Practice game. This one is probably the easiest of the challenge games (on its face), because its the most similar to how Liberation plays 90% of the time anyway.
Youre placed in an arena and have to shoot various Helghast-shaped targets that pop up around the ring.
Shooting a high enough number of targets in the allotted time will net you a medal. Though just like they are in the regular game, the Helghast targets are a little difficult to take down in one single hit of fire from your rifle at times. So that makes this task a little harder than it should be in theory.
Its still fairly doable and aceable with practice.
To spice things up, you also have green civilian or Dont Shoot targets as well to test your trigger discipline. These ones are shaped like a cowering Evelyn Batton and will deduct serious points from your score should you shoot one by accident.
And thats actually a real possibility, because Liberations otherwise generous lock-on mechanic becomes a double-edged sword here, as it will also auto-lock on to the green targets if youre close enough to them at the time.
And on the rare occasion, a special red target depicting Cobar will pop up. Red targets are worth extra points, but are difficult to score a kill on because they appear very rarely and only stay up for about half the time as the white targets.
Still, I got a silver on my first ever try at it. So, again, it can be done.
Next up is the Base Defend challenge.
This one, as you can tell immediately is a retread of the Chapter 2 boss battle where we had to defend the Helghast frigate from being scuttled in order to protect the intelligence data on it.
Each chapter has its own version of the base defense challenge, I just picked the Chapter 2 one because I wanted to show up at least one challenge mission from each stage and because the Chapter 2 one was already familiar to us.
You also get Rico as an NPC squad mate to help make this a little easier on you.
Once again, youve got three objective markers to defend: the missile battery, radar dish, and communications tower. If you let a Helghast trooper get near one of them, they will plant a C4 charge on them and destroy them.
Each defense point corresponds to a medal rank.
If a defense point is lost, you lose one medal. Getting through the challenge with all three points intact nets you a gold, 2 points standing gets you a silver, and 1 point remaining gets you a bronze. If all three defense points are lost, you fail the mission.
You also fail if you die.
Heres an oddball one: Spider Mine Catch.
Youre placed in essentially a pit with three Spider mines. There are three cages lining the arena.
You need to herd each mine into one of the cages before time runs out.
It seems easy. All you need to do is get in behind an open cage and just kite the mine in behind you.
BUT! As you can also see, the area where youd go get in position to lure the mine is also guarded by rotating laser trip mines, which will very quickly kill you if you dont time it exactly right.
The Spider mines themselves will ALSO kill you if you let them get too close to you in the process of herding them around the arena.
The whole thing is one big Caligula-esque death trap.
That said, if youre quick and lucky its usually the easiest challenge mode to get a gold in based off how fast the little bastards scurry around behind you.
Then we have Target Run. This is a combination of Target Practice and a running race.
You are given the task of trying to clear a linear maze in before the timer runs out, but these shooting gallery targets will also appear to block your path.
Shooting them will add time to your countdown and help you clear the maze. This is probably the most blatantly arcade-y of the challenge levels so far. Each kill will give you 3 extra seconds on the clock.
The green Evelyn targets will also pop up. If you shoot them you will lose a punishing 10 seconds from your time.
Mele kills also work against the target Helghast and can be done without breaking step. Theyre almost essential to getting through a challenge like this.
To be honest though, Target Runs were my least favorite challenge mode and were consistently the hardest mode to try and beat.
Representing Chapter 5 is the C4 Course.
The C4 Course is the opposite of the Base Defend challenge. This time, youre attacking a set of 3 key points.
Though youre on your own for this one. You dont get a Rico to help you this time.
The objective here is to lay a C4 charge at three of these tripod-like things. You might remember them from the original Killzone as that games multiplayer strategic points. They made a return here and in the Multiplayer mode.
Its a fairly simple path to victory: kill the points defenders, plant the C4, dodge the explosion, repeat.
Just dont get caught in the explosion like an idiotJESUS! Look at that rebar impalement!!
And lastly for the Challenges, its the Object Course.
This one is a run-and-gun collectable scoop up one.
There are five crates around the area with briefcases hidden inside them. You need to find them and collect all five cases before either time runs out, or you die.
For this mission, youre given everyones favorite micro-warcrime machine, the poison-pellet ISA shotgun. Which, might I say, makes this type of mission a bitch because you need to be right up next to a Helghast grunt to do any real damage to them with the shotgun, and by the time you get to within effective range, they will have already handily provided you with several new forward-facing anuses with their helpful bullets.
That said, the shotgun IS disturbingly good at scoring double-tap execution kills on fallen Helghast
Once all five briefcases are secure, the mission is over. Whether you killed any of the Helghast or just avoided them and made a run for the cases is irrelevant to your final score. Only your speed at collecting the cases matters.
I did adequate.
And finally, we enter the Dead Zone. Multiplayer.
PSP Multiplayer was already kind of a joke to begin with and I am not going to lie, even in Liberations heyday, it was pretty pitiful.
Dont anyone hold their breath now
So if you host a game rather than join one already in progress, you can pick your game name. The game just assigned my dummy game the name Gryphon for some reason. Its probably one of several generated game names.
You can also pick from a variety of game modes which I will cover in the next image. You can choose any weapon you have unlocked on your save file as your default weapon, and one of two stages, the trenches from Chapter 1 or a unique map that came with the Chapter 5 DLC called Prison. Only players who both had the Chapter 5 DLC could play Prison together. Everyone else was locked down to Trenches.
Im actually kind of surprised there wasnt more maps available, but eh, whatever, no one played Killzone: Liberation for its multiplayer anyway.
There are 4 multiplayer match types to choose from:
Death Match Single-person teams compete for the most kills.
Death Match Duel A 1v1 special match type included with the DLC.
Capture the Flag Take a flag object from the enemy base and return it your own for points.
Assault One team assaults a strategic point with C4 charges while the other team tries to defend said point from being destroyed.
Basically, its a retread of the game modes we saw in the infamous Multiplayer Safari fiasco from Killzone 1.
As you can see, Killzone: Liberations multiplayer has been liberated from anyone actually playing it.
This is the primary reason I didnt want to show this off in video format, because theres nothing to show off. Its a literal and figurative wasteland.
Too bad, really, but lets end this one on a high note: Evelyn Batton firing a Scylla chaingun with reckless abandon. Because, lets face it, after all the crap she went through in Liberation, she kind of deserves to just let loose a little and fire off a big fucking (full auto) gun in the middle of a deserted field.
Shes getting her Sarah Palin on.
Fun fact: in my recording session for the footage for this update, this is the moment where the game actually crashed on me. What youre seeing there is actually the last few moments of usable footage from Lets Play Killzone: Liberation.
Evelyn Batton firing a Scylla hog wild into the air was apparently just too much for my poor PSP and the vacant corner of the PlayStation Network I was on to handle.
And really, I cant think of a more appropriate image to end this LP on than that.
Please let me out, I want to go home.
So for now though, to hell with Killzone. Its going to a little while longer until all the pieces fall into place for Killzone 3 and Killzone: Shadow Fall, so I figured I would do something different just to shake things up in the meanwhile.
Instead, Ive decided to LP a game (or few) thats as dear to my heart as Killzone is to Blind Sallys. This ones been a while in coming, I will say that much.
Same killing. Higher zone.