If you are a casual or hardcore gamer there is little doubt in my mind that you haven’t heard of Killzone 2. Guerrilla Games, Sony and Deutsch have been hard at work to elevate the perception of the Killzone franchise from its mediocre debut.
The cinematics initially drew me into the continuation of the epic war between the ISA and the Helghast. After reviewing the gameplay, my mouse was pushed a few pixels closer to the buy button. However, it wasn’t until I learned the latest commercial, “Behind the Bullet” (directed by Loni Peristere of Zoic Studios) was entirely produced using the game’s engine on the PS3, that I was sold.
When it comes to marketing games, CGI cinematics serve their purpose to generate excitement. However, all too often gamers are let down when they see or get a chance to demo gameplay. The beauty of the “Behind the Bullet” spot is that the rendering farm has been removed from the picture. It communicates the story while revealing the actual look and feel of the gameplay in a single thirty second spot. No smoke and mirrors; what you see is what you get.
The commercial brings you up front and center, delivering a breath holding experience from a moment in Helghan time via a true representation of in-game graphics, effects, and sound. In the heart of combat the camera emerges from the eye of a battle hardened ISA soldier. He squeezes off several rounds as the camera pulls back to follow the bullet on a path of destiny. Riding the bullets rift, the camera moves to several unique vantage points, taking us on a journey across the bloodied battlefield to reveal the awesome power of the game’s engine and the incredible work done by the Guerrilla crew. From eye to eye the bullet rests. Hark the raven…
Just when you think the fun is over, that’s not it. An interactive version of the commercial first came to my attention via Scott Steinberg on the PlayStation blog. On the PlayStation Network you will find one of the coolest features to come along with a promotional download yet. Guerrilla puts you in control of the camera. You can adjust the camera angle to fly through the core of exploding debris, slow the action down to a creep and gaze upon the extraordinary detail or blast into overdrive to maximize the bullet’s impact. My favorite part was adjusting the camera angle to see how the bullet affected the blood red light emanating from the Helghan eyes. You can even utilize debug mode to toggle the lighting, post effects, bump maps, and shininess of reflective materials. Another cool highlight is that you can turn on commentary from the Director – Loni Peristere, the Art Director – Jan Bart van Beek and the Lead Tech Artist – Paulus Bannink, for valuable insight on the making of…definitely worth a listen.
Art Director’s Commentary:
Lead Tech Artist Commentary: