Killzone is a series of first-person shooters exclusive to the PlayStation consoles, developed by Netherlands-based Guerrilla Games. The series is known for taking classic war movie tropes and visual aesthetics from many of the 20th century's most brutal conflicts (bothWorld Wars, Vietnam, The Gulf War, etc) and reconstructing them, wait for it, In Space.The first game is set in an era of space colonization where the Helghast Empire has recovered from its humiliating defeat in the First Helghan War, and launched a blitzkrieg against the outer Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (I.S.A.) colony planet Vekta. Vekta's orbital Strategic Defense platforms mysteriously fail during the initial assault, allowing the Helghast to land swarms of soldiers onto the surface, and catching the now outnumbered ISA forces completely by surprise.The player takes the role of one of four characters: Jan Templar, Shadow Marshall Luger, Rico Velasquez or Gregor Hakha, in an attempt to stop the Helghast from turning Vekta into a conquered province, as well as uncover the plot that threatens to destroy the ISA from within.Two months after the events of the first game, the Helghast campaign has been dealt a hefty blow by the death of General Joseph Lente and the elimination of the traitor within the ISA's ranks, but the ground war is far from over. The invaders still control large parts of the planet, and the ISA is slowly losing ground. The rules of war have been cast aside with the sadistic Helghast General Armin Metrac, selected personally by Emperor Scolar Visari himself, using brutal measures in order to seize the initiative. Returning as Jan Templar, players are sent on a covert operation to save hostages captured by Metrac, while ISA troops continue the fight for liberty.Two years after the Helghast invasion is defeated, the ISA launches a massive counter assault on the Helghast's homeworld of Helghan. The ISA's goal is to capture Emperor Visari, and bring the Helghast war machine to a halt once and for all. Templar has been promoted off the battlefield and now commands the expedition. Enter new protagonist Sergeant Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko, a battle-hardened veteran of the special forces unit Alpha Team. Sev leads his unit through hellish battlefields, fighting at times alongside the main ISA force.Deployed behind enemy lines, and tasked with securing the enemy capital of Pyrrhus (remind you of anything?), the team quickly discovers that the Helghast are a much more formidable when fighting for their homes. Not only have they adjusted to Helghan's hostile conditions, they have also harnessed the power of the freakish lightning storms that ravage the environment. A barren, unforgiving world, Helghan provides a ready defense with thick, acidic air, dust clouds, violent lightning storms and electric spiders. At first, the campaign proceeds smoothly, despite heavy resistance. However, the Helghast only deploy their full strength once the ISA is fully committed to the invasion. Using advanced technology and a surprise assault by the surviving Helghan fleet, the ISA expedition is all but destroyed. Storming Visari's palace with the survivors, series veteran Rico Velasquez executes Visari out of revenge, an action which only leads to the Helghans redoubling their efforts to exterminate the ISA.Killzone 3 begins exactly where the previous game left off, and is spent following the survivors of the ISA invasion trying to survive long enough to find a way off of the damn planet. Complicating matters, the Helghast are split between two factions following the death of Visari, one of which has no hesitation in using planet killer warheads to attack the ISA's distant founder, Earth. With billions of lives at stake, the ragged survivors fight for a way to return home, and ensure it remains standing.Killzone: Shadow Fall is set 30 years after the events of Killzone 3. The series returns to planet Vekta, where the Helghast have been given asylum after the catastrophic, but accidental destruction of Helghan at the end of the ISA's ill fated expedition. The Helghast naturally harbor deep hatred for the ISA for their loss, and a wave of devastating terrorist attacks threatens a new world war. Players will take control of Shadow Marshal Lucas Kellan; tasked in keeping the balance between the Vektans and Helghast, as both ISA and Helgan extremists position their forces to strike.So far the series includes:
Absent Aliens: No extraterrestrials here, despite being halfway through the millennium. The Helghast themselves are just descendants of a group/corporation of Vektan colonists, who rebelled against the Earth goverment with the intention to declare independence and keep the colonial property for themselves. For this, they were banished for their crimes to the neighbouring Death World planet of Helghan. There they underwent a bit of Hollywood Evolution due to the extreme climate and biochemical conditions of the atmosphere and became an offshoot/subspecies of regular humans. Helghan itself does have a variety of native Flora and Fauna, none of which is sentient.
Action Commands: Killzone 3 brings us the "brutal melee," triggered by pressing the melee button when approaching the enemy directly from either the front or back. Or if you're using the PS3 Move, you make a stabbing motion.
A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Helghast are a militaristic, xenophobic people bent on galactic domination. Notable in that their plan for domination revolves around starving billions of humans on Vekta and Earth, in order to repopulate these planets solely with Helghast. Hell, they even LOOK like Nazi's!
Commie Nazis: They include a number of design cues and ideologies from Soviet Russia as well. The villain of Shadow Fall is even a young radical who constantly spews anti-Capitalist rhetoric.
Anyone Can Die: Made prevalent in Killzone 2 when the plot calls for it.
All There in the Manual: The game's official website has a section detailing the backstory of the Helghast and the ISA. Mercenary takes it further and adds intel to be collected in the campaign.
Air-Vent Passageway: Killzone: Shadow Fall has these prominently featured in most levels of the campaign and even certain multiplayer maps.
And Now for Someone Completely Different: From Templar in 1 to Sev in 2 to Lucas in Shadow Fall. Of course, with Templar's importance, he wouldn't exactly be on the field. Mercenary allows the player to relieve the events of Killzone 2 through the perspective of Arran Danner.
And if the ending of Shadow Fall is any indication there might be yet another different lead for the sequel to that game.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Being a militant culture, Helghast promotion seems to be based significantly on personal martial skill (although ideological loyalty seems to be an even more important factor). On the ISA side, Captain Templar ends up being promoted to Colonel as well as Fleet Commander due to the copious amounts of asskicking he performs in the original Killzone and Killzone: Liberation.
Awesome, yet Impractical: The Jetpack in Killzone 3. Though it is obviously useful for flying around, you can't crouch while using it, and using it to fly leaves you open to enemy fire. The Jetpack does have a machine gun, but it's surprisingly weak, considering that it's supposed to be an LMG.
Badass Normal: ISA soldiers Jan Templar and especially Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko.
If you're still not convinced, there's one other scene in the game where Sev takes on three Capture Troopers by himself... without any weapons or special armor... using only his basic CQC skills... and still beats them!
Badass Beard: Sev and Rico both grow one in the third game. Danner sports a chin curtain.
Back-to-Back Badasses: Sev and Narville share a moment of this when dozens of Helghast surround and attack them in the Kaznan Jungle. They do a pretty good job defending themselves... until the Capture Troopers come.
Better to Die Than Be Killed: In KZ2, after being defeated, Colonel Radec and his men commit suicide so as not to become prisoners of the ISA.
Character Development: Rico in Killzone 3. Despite massively breaking it in the second game and still disobeying Narville's orders from time to time, he does learn to be more responsible in taking care of his men and ends up saving the lives of Jammer, Sev, and Narville (all in the same game!). He also apologizes about killing Visari and is shown to be a very competent leader to his Raiders.
Continuity Nod: When Saric threatens Lucas that one day, the people of New Helghan will march across the wall and take over the rest of Vekta, Lucas retorts that it will not be easy as the last time. This is in reference to the first game where the traitorous General Adams took over the SD Platform that allowed the Helghast fleet to easily slip through the defenses and nearly took over Vekta.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Anytime the UCA or UCN decides to intervene in a conflict with their full military might. Wars that colonies have fought over years are won by them in a matter of hours.
Cycle of Revenge: A nasty one. The Helghan monopoly revolted against Earth's attempts to tax it, so they were defeated in the first Extrasolar war. The Helghast leave their homes, reform as an Empire and strike back to take Vekta, and the ISA retaliates and invades Helghan. The Helghast prepare to exterminate Earth as a "final solution," only to have ISA sabotage result in the destruction of their world. Now two cultures with a history of hatred and bloodshed are sharing Vekta, and the situation is ready to explode.
Damn You, Muscle Memory!: A minor one in Killzone 3. In Killzone 2, when entering cover, you push up on the left analog stick to peek out. Zooming in with the right analog stick will be cancelled the moment you let go of the left analog stick. In Killzone 3, releasing pressure on the left stick does not cancel the zoom, leaving you exposed if you forget to toggle the zoom off.
Also, players switching from Call of Duty to Killzone 2 or 3 may find themselves performing a melee attack when they mean to zoom, and doing nothing when they try to crouch.
Death World: Helghan. Not the most horrible example of the trope, but it is still an incredibly harsh landscape that forced its colonists to pretty much evolve into another subspecies of human being to survive. Also, giant fucking spiders (which are the source of the petrusite the Helghast use as for very high end weaponry/fossil fuel), exploding mushrooms and man-made hazards such as irradiated petrusite everywhere.
Don't forget the plants which look like praying mantis blades which will strike out at you when you get too close to one of them.
Defiant to the End: In 2, "Without Authorisation from high command, those codes are going nowhere."
And then after he gets shot three times at point blank, Templar crawls to the main console, and shuts off the New Sun's altitude control thrusters, sending the ship diving into Tharsis refinery.
Determinator: Even after all the hardships they had to endure in the past, and having to lose their homeworld and being forced to settle on the planet of their enemies, the Helghast still continue to fight.
Disc One Nuke: In Killzone 1, both Luger and Rico have incredibly powerful default equipment. The secondary fire of Luger's SMG is a Sniper Pistol that is usually a one-hit-kill against anything less than the Elite Mooks and which can be used outside the A.I.'s effective range, while Rico's chaingun can easily mow down pretty much any enemy in the game other than vehicles.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: The First Extrasolar War, which is portrayed in comics throughout "Shadow Fall", resembles World War I with archaic-looking gasmasks over all the soldiers to protect from hazardous chemicals (Helghan's atmosphere), trench warfare, and the war ending with the losing side humiliated and saddled with losses (Germany's fines for damage caused by the war/The Helghast's retreat back to Helghan's with heavy surveillance). The conflict of "2" and "3" resembles World War II with the Helghast's swastika-like symbols and armbands, betrayals of leaders within the empire by fellow leaders, and the end of the conflict caused by using a devastating weapon that causes a huge amount of deaths and destroys the environment where it hit. "Shadow Fall" is a parallel for the Cold War, with a tense relationship between two nations due to the war they previously fought, scientists from both nations developing technology and weapons to outdo each other, and a secretly ongoing war that cannot be publicly acknoclowleged without risking the safety of the world.
That, and there's frequent mentions of Vekta's "energy security" in reference to the petrusite extracted from Helghan. Make of that what you will.
Downer Ending/Shaggy Dog Story: Killzone 2, oh so very much. To iterate: The team FINALLY makes it to Visari, and manages to kill Radec, the top General and Visiari's right hand man. Unfortunately, Visari pulls a Batman Gambit on Rico, and states that he will be martyrized in his death, sending the Helghast into a fury. Rico, broken over the deaths of his friends and comrades, ignores Sev's protests and kills him, basically ensuring that the Helghast will go apeshit. As Sev sits outside on the palace steps, a Helghast fleet flies into orbit, ready and willing to decimate the ISA forces still on the ground.Shit.
Killzone 3 for the entire population of the planet Helghan. First they suffered for years under a inhumane regime before being hit by a weapon designed to wipe out a planets population.
Also knowing the backstory it's clear that Vekta is going to face hard times as well thanks to their victory. Since without resources from Helghan the economy of Vekta will soon collapse.
The ending to Shadow Fall. Kellan manages to stop Stahl and Tyran from deploying the bioweapon only to be killed by Sinclair for having become a liability to his plans. Might be more of a Bittersweet Ending after all, as while everyone except Echo is dead, she assassinates Sinclair and avenges Kellan. A newspaper found in the final level implies that the Helghast and Vektan civilians, at least, are overcoming their differences, and the trophy description for earning the True Ending indicates that the assassination of Sinclair prevented the escalation of a new war.
Dragon Their Feet: For whatever reason, Visari chose to keep the bulk of his forces in reserve until after he was dead.
Dressing as the Enemy: Sev and Rico do this in Killzone 3 to infiltrate Stahl Arms and rescue Captain Narville.
Dungeon Bypass: In Shadow Fall, one sequence involves a hostage situation in an under-construction high-rise. The player has access to an ability that lets them see foes through those nice, thin plaster walls, and one of the first foes the player encounters wields a minigun.
Dying Moment of Awesome: In Killzone 2, Templar is killed by Colonel Radec on the bridge of the New Sun, but before he dies he successfully crashes the New Sun into Tharsis Refinery, cutting off power in Pyrrhus and the arc tower there.
A villain version comes from Visari in Killzone 2. The ending makes it pretty clear that his death only made matters worse.Thanks a lot Rico.
Dying Race: The Helghast have apparently become this during the time of Shadow Fall.
Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Sort of, with Killzone 3's ending, which, while not ending with the outright destruction of Helghan itself, ends with Stahl's own weapon being used on it, which is heavily implied to have wiped out virtually everyone on the planet.
Enemy Civil War: With Visari dead at the end of Killzone 2, in Killzone 3, Stahl and Orlock are competing with each other in order to become the new leader of the Helghast empire, which is a good thing for the protagonists (who just want to get off from planet Helghan) since the Helghast are just as busy sabotaging each other as they are killing the ISA remnants. Though the conflict is mostly brewing with the actual civil war beeing a short five minute fight between Orlock and Stahl after later destroyed most of the Helghast fleet.
Evil Albino: All Helghast are albino; those that aren't Bald of Evil have white hair. Played with, in the case of Hakha - he's introduced as someone not to be trusted and is visibly different from the other three members of the squad.
To elaborate: he's an exceedingly charismatic leader who comes to power after a singularly devastating and disastrous war for his nation, rules like a dictator (see what happens to "pro-human" dissidents) even though he is so popular he probably doesn't need to, who spends a decade or so building the nation back up into a militarist superpower with an exceedingly rascist (or Xenophobic) objective, who then starts a new war based on somewhat justifiable territorial claims. He certainly isn't a clear copy of Hitler (in many ways, Visari actually is what Hitler's followers thought/hoped he would be). However, another historical copy is perhaps (somewhat strangely) a darker copy of the American Revolution (perhaps Washington, Jefferson, etc get replaced by Lindenburg, Nye, etc).
However, he doesn't suck militarily like Hitler did, actually letting his military officers do their job without leashing them to his moods and whims. Compare Hitler's treatment of Alfred Jodl and Heinz Guderian to Visari's treatment of Radec and Metrac.
The Helghast submachine gun is an Uzi receiver with the magazine, grip and stock of a PP-19 Bizon.
On a simliar note, the ISA silenced smg in KZ 3 is a MP-7.
And the ISA M82 assault rifle is clearly based off the British SA 80 and the US M16, with an EoTech holographic sight (albeit with a green dot instead of a red reticle).
The standard UCN rifle, however, is not based off of an M16... it IS an M16.
Orlock is an Expy of Ludendorff. Yeah, the guy that commanded the German army in World War I. Find a picture in the other wiki, and you will be struck by the similar look.
Rico Velasquez, at least in the first game, is an expy of Vasquez from Aliens. An Ambiguously Brown, foul mouthed tough soldier who wields a huge machine assisted minigun? The only difference is gender.
The ISA are a loose expy of both NATO and the US Marines.
The giant wall separating the Vektans and Helghast refugees in Shadow Fall is a pretty clear reference to the Berlin Wall. The Black Hand, a Helghast terrorist group opposed to the current peace between their government and the ISA, is another reference to Operation Werwolf as well has the real life Black Hand which was responsible for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and thus the start of WWI.
Averted in one situation in the sequel. Despite how much he hated them, Rico spared the life of a Helghast engineer, although this might be because he was a civilian.
Also averted in Radec's case as he doesn't care about conquest or Helghast claims of human inferiority. And strangely, Visari has a couple of aversions by having Metrac and Radec as senior officers despite their "Shortcomings" (like Metrac looking almost human, and Radec's aforementioned lack of zeal for Visari's fascist idealolgy).
This could all hint towards Visari not really believing in his ideology. His daughter, which is briefly seen in the KZ 3 intro looks completly human, having no Helghast features at all.
Comfirmed in Shadowfall where she is implied to be only half-Helghast.
Rico nearly kills Hakha, a half-Helghan spy in the first game, due to this. While unarmed and left for dead after the Helghast found out he was a mole.
A Father to His Men: Captain Narville in Killzone 3 has this in spades. Unfortunately for him, Rico's Omniscient Morality License means that his gung-ho "do the hell whatever" approach always ends up being proven right, while Narville's much more conservative "follow orders" approach just keeps making him look bad.
Colonel Radec is a strange case of this. The Killzone Wiki has this to say about him: "It is almost as if he has willingly burned out any personality, education or characteristics that do not contribute in the swift and resolute execution of his duties."
Natko, whose only purpose in the story is to curse all the time.
The ISA is this in faction form. While the Helghast get scenery chewing leaders, especialy Visari and his rousing speeches, the ISA have next to no visible or hearable leaders, except for that spokesman briefly heared at the beginning of 2, giving the player no one to inspire them to fight for the ISA. Likewise while the Helghast have stylishly evil looking british storm troopers, the ISA has generic soldiers with various flavors of patriotic Americans.
On the flip side, the ISA have been reduced to this during the events of Killzone 3.
Final Solution: In Shadow Fall, the jackboot is on the other foot, as the VSA are secretly developing a genocide weapon that makes your skin fall off if you're Helghast. Video logs detailing experimentation on Helghast workers are not pleasant. This is apparently meant as a "deterrent," but some Vektans — like Sinclair — have other ideas.
Tagalong Kid: Private Hooper, who's often doing the odd jobs.
The Sixth Ranger: Natko, but only in co-op, since he doesn't even appear in single player.
Follow the Leader: Killzone 2's mech has exactly the same armament as Quake 4's, save for having four less missiles in the reloadable pod.
Foreshadowing: In the intro of Shadow Fall, Sinclair ruthlessly kills a downed Helghast who was already stunned. This foreshadows his extremism and tendency to go overboard which threaten to cause another Human-Helghast war near the end of the game.
For Massive Damage: The Killzone 2 and Killzone 3 Heavies have a oxygen cylinder than you have to riddle with holes in order to kill them, but to shoot THAT, first you have to hit them in the head to make them turn around.
Knife strikes (either by you or against you) generally mean instant death, as do melee attacks in general and straying within a sniper's sights for a fraction too long.
Played with during the battle with the MAWLR in 3. The objective of the fight is to shoot some incredibly obvious heatsinks that expose themselves every time it fires its main gun. After blowing them up, the MAWLR collapses. Here, you'd expect it magically explode from overheating. It only gets up and keeps firing while covered in flames. In the end, you resort to jumping onto a gunship and firing on everything you can see, including the bridge. Afterwards, the MAWLR collapses under literal massive damage.
Grey and Gray Morality: Let's face it— given the backstory, neither the ISA nor the Helghast are completely justified in their actions.
The Earth Government UCN, which commands the ISA, sold mining and passage rights of Alpha Centauri to the old Helghan Corporation who populated Vekta originally for a massive sum of money, but then later realized they gave the Helghan Corporation the power to legally seal off Earth from the rest of the colonies and began looking for a way to take it back. Helghan Corporation began blackmailing the UCN and ISA to enforce the original argement before deciding to force them to accept the status quo by military power, leading to them being beaten by the combined force of the ISA and UCN forces. As the result the company is dissolved and the UCN starts shipping in colonists from Earth while removing the rights of the original Helghan settlers. Enraged, a few million of them leave for the planet Helghan in the hopes of being free again and starting anew. Meanwhile the ISA secretly controls any communication between Vekta and Helghan, arresting anyone who still has connections to their friends now suffering on Helghan.
As for the Helghast, their long-held anger and resentment towards the Vektans made them do atrocious things. When they invaded Vekta, they massacred civilians,(including Sev's family) as well as soldiers! They also held zero regard for the lives of POWs, killing them on the spot and even subjecting some of them to horrifying military experiments. Sound familiar? To top it all off, Scolar Visari, the Helghast dictator, deliberately authorized the ''nuking of his own capital city, blatantly murdering many of his own men as well as the invading ISA there! Though that said, it's revealed that Visari did have much of the population evacuated prior to the ISA's invasion, explaining why said city seemed devoid of life.
So, in the end, both sides are flawed, destructive, and tyrannical in its own way.
Green Rocks: Petrusite, a literal glowing green rock native to Helgan. In Killzone 2 it's used to power Arc lightning cannons. It plays a fairly central role in Killzone 3's plot, while Stahl having weaponized it into beam weapons capable of making people explode into Ludicrous Gibs and super-nuclear warheads capable of one-shotting heavy cruisers.
Groin Attack: Possible as part of the Brutal Melee system in Killzone Mercenary.
In the first game, Rico's melee with his heavy machinegun would have him send the Helghast skyward by ramming the barrel up, between their legs, and then knock them out with a Rifle Butt when they land.
Ham-to-Ham Combat: Stahl and Orlock engage in this. They eventually take the "combat" part a bit literally.
Hand Cannon: In addition to the huge revolvers the ISA carry as sidearms, 3 adds a tri-barreled shotgun pistol.
Heavyworlder: The Helghast, technically, but they don't seem that much stronger than normal humans judging by how both Templar and Sev are still able to crack their bald skulls in with a well-aimed rifle butt.
But then again, consider that the petrusite they use to power everything is harvested from giant exploding spiders.
The Helghast are just humans who have adapted to Helghan's harsh environment not too long ago. While they were able to quickly adapt to be able to breathe there, increased strength as one would expect from a Heavyworlder would take some more time.
Which leads to a case of fridge logic. Sev can remove gatling guns and use them on foot. The only Helghast you will ever see doing something simliar is the Heavy with his Chaingun, a man in a powered armor who is pumped full with drugs. All that despite the fact that Vekta has a lower gravitation than Helghast.
Heroic Mime: The player characters in all three games do speak during cutscenes but are silent during actual gameplay.
Hypocrite: Like it or not: Visari. According to the novel, he furiously proclaimed to his people on how "the Vektans profit from their suffering", even though he himself profits from their suffering by taking over the petrusite industry and using the power source itself as a weapon.
Even worse, He boldly promises that he would "return power to the people", but instead, he only gives power to a few select members of the Helghast Senate, not because they deserved it, but because of their loyalty to Visari! On top of that, Visari made their positions hereditary, "effectively establishing a system of birthright and patrimony to be preserved in perpetuity. All would bow to Visari's chosen few—forever."
There is also his speech about how the Helghast are superior humans and that they should become the dominant species, which is one of his justifications for the war. In Shadowfall it's revealed his own daughter is half-Helghast.
Informed Attribute: We're told that the Sev in Killzone 2 is "an imperfect soldier in a perfect army". This is not exactly an accurate way to describe the Vektan task-force, which at one point simply watches an unknown weapon being deployed without even attempting to stop it.
Similarly, a big deal is made of Radec's sense of honor, but this really just amounts to his objecting to the things he has to do and then doing them regardless.
The environment on Helghan is supposed to be hazardous to human health, right? At no point in any of the Killzone games do the ISA characters suffer from any ill-effects of the planet's conditions. Hell, in Killzone 3, the ISA troops are stranded on the planet for six months, and none of them develop as much as a cough from the supposedly toxic atmosphere. Nor is any mention made of them receiving any drug treatments to combat such problems, it's apparently not an issue whatsoever.
The Helghast have been on the planet a long time. They probably terraformed it to suit the atmosphere at one point. They only wear the gas masks now as a symbol of pride, not because they need them anymore.
It Has Been an Honor: In Killzone 2, Templar's speech over the intercom when the New Sun has been boarded, slightly foreshadows what happens next.
Jet Pack: The jet pack troops in Liberation make a reapearance in Killzone 3, and offer the player the chance to go toe-to-toe with them whenever you find jet packs to do it with.
Kick the Dog: The military arm of the Helghast love to do these. In the first game intro we see them executing Helghast civilians on the street and mercilessly shooting unarmed dock workers in their invasion. In 2 we have Visari blowing up his own soldiers to take out a majority of the ISA forces. In 3 we have them performing horrible experiments on captured ISA soldiers. Also in each game we get at least one scene of them executing captured ISA soldiers on the spot.
Kill 'em All: In Shadow Fall, every single named character gets killed over the course of the game (including the protagonist). The only exceptions are Echo and Visari, who are presumably needed for the sequel, and the Helghast torturer, who just kind of disappears from the plot about halfway through.
While not as bleak for the protagonists, Killzone 3 cannot really be considered better or more hopeful than Killzone 2. The game even ends with the possible death of the majority of people on Helghan including what could be left of the ISA there.
Love Hurts: Templar and Luger's relationship in the first game. Hakha summed it up thusly:
"A special forces captain falls in love, he promises her the world, but she has other plans. Nine months later they meet again, except now the brave captain's sweetheart is a cold assassin; trained to kill, trained to think not feel, act not reflect."
Made of Explodium: Petrusite is described as "Highly unstable" and as such anything containing it or anything made of the stuff tends to explode when shot at.
Made of Iron: Every major enemy leader is able to absorb significantly more bullets than the regular grunts, even in cases where it really doesn't make any sense for them to be able to do so (such as Admiral Adams or even General Lente). General Metrac and Colonel Radec both take the cake, though, both being able to absorb more damage than an actual tank.
Magical Defibrillator: In 2 and 3 the player carries one and can use it to revive downed squadmates so they can get themselves shot again. It fires a beam of electricity, and, amusingly, if you just ignore an injured NPC they'll get up by themselves when the current engagement ends, despite the manual saying they won't.
The Man Behind the Man: The United Colonial Nations (UCN) which is essentialy Earth's government ruling over all colonies. They have the strongest military force in the Killzone universe and are using the local ISA forces as proxies to keep a tight controll over all colonies. ISA commanders and shadowmarshals are trained directly by the UCN's military, in order to ensure their loyality to Earth first. Despite being directly responsible for the entire conflict in all Killzone games, they are only passingly mentioned and never directly seen.
In Shadowfall they are also responcible for forcing Vekta's government into giving the survivors of Helghan half of their capital city without time of the locals to relocate peacefully, instead allowing the Helghast free hand to deport them with any force they like as seen in the intro.
Meaningful Name: The Helghast capital is named Pyrrhus, which is doubly fitting considering that the ISA loses most of their troops getting Visari and that Visari ends up nuking the city to get rid of the ISA. Neither tactic ends well.
Mini-Mecha: The EXO in Killzone 2 certainly fills the role, and is gangs of fun.
Mission Pack Sequel: Killzone 3 is essentially Killzone 2 with a new campaign; it uses the same engine (with improved graphics) and the weapons and enemies are the same with identical stats. The largest difference is there the reduction of the "weight lag" control system, making the controls much more responsive.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero/Leeroy Jenkins: Rico, twice in the Killzone 2. He didn't follow Sev's ambush plan on Radec around mid-game, resulting in Garza's death. He then killed Visari despite their mission being to arrest him and Visari's warnings of what would happen if they killed him, bringing a Helghast fleet down on the ISA remnants.
Rico's Leeroy Jenkins tendencies continue on in Killzone 3, mixed in with Attack! Attack! Attack!, as that's what he primarily has his Raiders do even when it seems like a bad idea. Somehow, it works, despite the fact that they should've all died after what he put them through. He is called on killing Visari early on.
Likewise the destruction of what seems to be most of Helghan's infrastructure and population. While it removes the Helghast as a threat to Vekta it also dooms the entire population of that planet as well. The backstory material makes it clear that Vektan economy and most of the space travel in Alpha Centauri completely depends resources comming from Helghan, which was the reason the ISA wanted to capture Visari and enforcer a regime change instead of destroying the Helghast society at large. With the mining sites destroyed and the population most likely dead, Vekta will suffer a massiv economic downfall.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At the end of Killzone 3Admiral Orlock tries to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on Chairman Stahl. How does Stahl respond? By using his advanced technology to destroy the entire Helghast fleet ! To top it off, during the final battle the heroes use one of Stahl's own petrusite warheads against his supercarrier while in Helgan's atmosphere. The resulting explosion consumes the entire surface of the planet! So, in a few hours Stahl pretty much accomplishes what the ISA spent years failing to do; removing the Helghast military as a threat to Vekta. Gee, thanks, you crazy Omnicidal Maniac you.
Not only that, Stahl's actions have also caused the surviving Helghast to seek refuge on Vekta, where they are forced to live with their hated foes.
Nintendo Hard: The games can and will try your patience, especially Liberation which was actually criticised in reviews for being really damn hard. The main games don't play around either, you're going to find lots of trial and error gameplay in certain levels. It's still noticeably easier and less cheap than, say, Resistance 2.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Stahl's actions result in Helghan being blown up (which the ISA end up taking the blame for), the ISA inexplicably (Presumably out of guilt over killing nearly a billion of their population) give the Helghast refugees half their own planet to live on. The two sides spent the next 30 years openly hating each other and secretly plotting to exterminate each other.
Novelization: There's actually a very well-written novel of Killzone 3 called Killzone: Ascendancy, written by Sam Bradbury. It adds a lot of depth and humanity to the main characters (particularly Sev) that we don't get to see in the games.
Odd Couple: Rico and Hakha, who get better as the game progressed. In the sequel, Garza and Natko.
Oh, Crap: What the ISA are thinking when the Helghast fleet arrives over Pyrrhus in Killzone 2.
Initial ISA response when the Platform Defense weapons failed.
The reaction of any player when on the receiving end of a Helghast rocket launcher in the first game's multiplayer, especially when in an enclosed room.
What Stahl was thinking when Sev and Rico fired a freaking nuke at his ship!
Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: The Helghast guns are all very boxy, with many being nothing more than a single, solid rectangle. The ISA guns, in contrast, are mostly based on modern, real-life NATO designs.
Overheating: The second game's mounted MG and quad AA guns both suffer from this, with the barrels glowing to indicate when they're hot.
Pyrrhic Victory: The ending of the second game. The Imperial Palace belongs to the ISA, but, counterpoint to their objective, Scolar Visari is dead, causing the Helghast to reveal all of the soldiers and weapons they'd been hiding to rip the ISA fleet apart. This leaves the ISA ground troops vulnerable, and the game ends with them preparing for what looks like a last stand as the Helghast ships rip the remnants of the ISA fleet apart.Fittingly, the enemy's capital is named Pyrrhus.
Race Lift: Rice goes from full Latino in the first game to black with Latino traces in the second.
Real Is Brown: In this case it's more of a sickly green or yellow or orange, or grey or red, depending on which level you're on. The first game was criticized for looking washed-out, so the second game has real is deliberately oversaturated brown instead.
You know it's bad when one of the selling points for the sequel is "It won't be completely brown."
Which it wasn't. It was brown and grey, with a few dashes of red and green.
Shadow Fall looks like it will avert this, with the gameplay demos showcasing plenty of vibrant colors. Justified in that Vekta's biosphere is no where near as bad as Helghan's
Renegade Splinter Faction: The Black Hand, a Helghast terrorist group composed of ex-military personnel who still bear a grudge against the ISA for the destruction of Helghan and seeks to rekindle hostilities with the Vektans, in contrast to the Helghast government on Vekta which is committed to maintaining the peace.
Retcon: The ISA became much less technologically advanced in the second and third games, replacing somewhat hi-tech body armor with an orange sweater, PAGST helmets, and modern-day vests, stripping down some of the weapons (such as making the ISA machine gun look less futuristic and removing its alt-fire, a rocket launcher) and making the ISA rely on unshielded, open-top dropships. According to background info, this is due to both a Helghast blockade restricting ISA supplies, and the UCN deliberately choking the ISA on equipment, so that if the ISA decides to rebel, they'll be crushed by the UCN's superior weaponry.
Revolvers Are Just Better: The ISA get highly accurate, highly damaging revolvers for the sequel. Although many players are quick to discard it in favor of the Helghast pistol, mostly due to ammo and fire rate issues. The background fluff states that the revolver was originally only for ceremonial purposes but the ISA had to switch from the semi-auto pistol back to the revolver due to the protacted Helghast blockade leading to equipment shortages.
They're useless in higher difficulties, taking anywhere from three to twelve shots (hope you like reloading) to kill a standard infantryman, while your opponent is quickly filling you with lead. The zoom-in feature is pretty short, so you have to have a big screen to snipe properly.
Scenery Porn: Some of the shots of Vekta City in Shadow Fall are absolutely gorgeous.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Sev in Killzone 3. He's generally a balancing factor to Rico and has no problem following Narville's orders, even if they seem counter-intuitive. Until the end, when he's fed-up with Narville's attitude towards orders and saving his own men.
In Shadow Fall, Kellan disobeys Sinclair's order to kill Echo, instead opting to work together with her to stop Stahl and Tyran.
Secondary Fire: The first game had these: The ISA assault rifle had a grenade launcher, the Helghast assault rifle had an underbarrel shotgun, the anti-tank gun in the multiplayer had double-tap, etc. Lost in the sequel to make way for the grenade button, which was in turned moved to accommodate the melee button ; the shotgun still has an alt-fire flashlight, though, since for some reason it entirely lacks a sight. The ISA rifle's grenade launcher becomes a flashlight [which doesn't actually do anything] and the Helghast rifle has its shotgun replaced with an enlarged handgrip under the barrel. They also switch from respectively having a circular reflex sight and a G36-style carry handle / sight combo [both unusable] to a real-life EOTech reflex sight and illuminated iron sight.
The coolest was probably the chain gun, which had an underslung rocket launcher.
And the Helghast rocket launcher's alt fire, which consisted of it firing all three tubes at once, For Massive Damage.
The feature makes a return in Shadow Fall. The pistol has a three-round burst, the LSR has a Charged Attack, and the Keyzer comes with either a grenade launcher or shotgun.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: In Killzone 3, you can survive noticeably less damage than in Killzone 2. This is balanced out by having your squadmates being able to revive you from "last stand" a total of 3 times before you die for real. However, being downed still counts as a death as far as the game's stat counter is concerned (not to mention being a blow to your ego), so your campaign stats will show a lot more deaths in Killzone 3 than Killzone 2.
General Adams: "There is never any pity, no mercy, for the traitor."
Colonel Hakha: "You try to compare us?... You made a choice, General, based on your own goals and morals. As did I. We may both seem traitors by our outside appearance, but that is where our common ground ends."
Also Rico to Visari in Killzone 2. Sev later admits he would have done the same with his fist if Visari wouldn't have shut up.
Heck, the invading ISA force on Helghan are even called the ISA Marines.
The Squad: The main characters in the first game and Alpha Squad in the sequel.
The Starscream: Chairman Stahl in Killzone 3 has his own private army, and is clearly operating with an agenda seperate from the rest of the Helghast leadership. The novelization of Killzone 3 makes it clear that Stahl secretly holds Visari and his heirs in contempt, considering them all hypocrites.
The Stinger: Halfway through the credits of Killzone 3, a small contingent of Helghast soldiers are seen patrolling some ruins when they stumble upon an escape pod, presumably piloted by Stahl, implying that a small number of Helghast may have survived their homeworld's destruction.
Storming the Castle: Done by both sides in Killzone 2. First by the Helghast against your flagship, the New Sun and the second time by you, when after calling an orbital bombardment on the lightning tower air defences, you storm Visari's palace, going through line after line of sandbag defences, emplacements, and artillery strikes (and this is just the palace courtyard) after rounding up all what remains of the ISA forces. And both levels are also insanely awesome.
You do it again in 3 when you attack the orbital elevator that gets you to the station closest to the Helghast fleet. It is also awesome.
Stylish Protection Gear: The Helghast uniform in the first game, they needed the gas masks and goggles as they were not used to the atmosphere on Vekta. But in the second game it's been upgraded into a symbol of pride as they used it as their military uniform in their home planet even though technically they wouldn't need it.
Suicide by Cop: Some theorize that Visari was coaxing Sev and Rico to kill him to spur the Helghast into crushing the ISA at the end of Killzone 2.
The third game has Jammer, the only woman in the entire game besides Visari's daughter, who only appears in the game's opening cinematic. Doesn't help that Jammer is treated like she had always been there, which enhances the feeling she was just added for the quota.
There is that female comms officer who Sev talks to when he and Rico kill two soldiers and take their place to infiltrate Stahl's facility.
You can also hear a female Helghast comm officer abord the Dropship after Sev got captured.
Tainted Veins: All Helghans. Showed up on the first human colonists.
Take Cover: The second and third games have a stick-to-cover mechanic, which form a core aspect of the gameplay. Shadow Fall uses the same system-except that you can't take cover behind any object higher than chest-height.
Tank Goodness: Colonel Cobar uses a tank against you in Liberation.
Debatable, since looking at him while he does it shows him tinkering with it rather than doing what he told Natko to do. It's probably more complex than that, but with the bleeding to death from his neck, he just gave the simplest trick and hoped the door's locks fail.
Throw the Dog a Bone: What Killzone Shadowfall does for the Helghast... from a story perspective, anyway. Granted, some may argue that considering that the Helghast have repeated Kick the Dog moments, it doesn't qualify, but oddly enough, that's why it does. It gets rid of said Kick the Dog moments, and shows the whole species in a more sympathetic light after years of fans pointing out that the Helghast have a rather tragic backstory. This even happens in the backstory, with the gift of half of Vekta to the Helghast likely being an in-universe reaction of "Oh, shit. We've gone too far."
If Luger lowers her voice, make sure that a) you're not within 50 feet of her, and b) you're not the object of her ire.
Radec: "Do not... toy with me." BANG!
Unique Enemy: In Killzone 2, only a handful of Elite Shock Troopers appear in the entire game, all in a single level. Killzone 3 has the similar in appearance and toughness Capture Troopers, who have a stronger presence throughout the game especially the later levels.
Unorthodox Reload: Helghast weaponry, most especially the pistol. Virtually ever piece of Helghast weaponry uses a drum or a cylinder to hold ammunition.
Vektans Can Breath on Helghan: When the I.S.A. forces counter-attack the Helghast and land forces on Helghan, they wear surprisingly little environmental gear, despite Helghan's well-known harsh atmosphere. Harsh enough that they should find it as difficult to breath there as the Helghasts do on other worlds (hence why they wore the iconic Helghast gas masks in their earlier invasion of Vekta.) The I.S.A. forces also deploy from capital ships hovering high in the Helghan atmosphere in open-topped Drop Ships at a level where the air would be thin and windchill a major factor. None of them show discomfort.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: SO much in part 2. You can set Higs ablaze with the Flamethrower, and smile as they shriek in agony. You can pin their heads to the wall with explosive nails. Or, perhaps best of all, you can shock the living shit out of them with the Lightning Gun. The noises they make from THAT will put a dopey grin on your face every time.
Waif-Fu: Subverted. In Killzone 3Action Girl Jammer tries to fight a Helghast soldier (and not even an Elite, just a basic Mook) in hand-to-hand with some spin-kicks, and gets pretty much owned. She's only saved by Mauve Shirt Hooper who takes out the Helghast mook with a much more direct rifle bash to the face. Jammer's much better with a gun or behind the wheel.
War for Fun and Profit: For the Earth megacorporations, the Fantastic Racism war between Vektans and Helghast is just a simple and efficient way of making money and power off people's suffering and covering it up in blood and dirt. The Vektans are all but enslaved to their dictator, convinced that they live in perestroika when they're just blindly worshiping their slave leaders. Said dictator is a massive hypocrite who arranges good trade in natural resources (Helghast are a mining people) in exchange for the megacorporations protecting his ass. The war itself ensures that nobody is looking at the megacorporations, while also fueling a demand for advanced military technology, which can easily be used to intimidate the civilian populace (as seen in Shadow Fall). For everyone else, it's death and suffering. So when a lone Vektan cold-shots the dictator of Helghan and the Helghast fanatics start using alien technology that the megacorporations underestimated, shit starts getting REAL.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Shadow Marshal Luger and Colonel Hakha aren't anywhere to be seen in the rest of the Killzone games. Supposedly, Hakha retired to Vekta, and Shadow Marshals tend to get shunted off to do non-battlefield stuff.
Curiously Hahka's actor, Sean Pertwee, portrays Radec in the sequel.
Natko, one of the member of The Squad in the second game, is completely absent from Killzone 3, serving only as the skin to the second player in co-op mode.
At the beginning of the third game, Rico touches a bunch of irradiated petrusite. It never becomes a problem later.
The surviving cast of Killzone 2 & 3 are never seen or mentioned in Shadow Fall. Given that they now share a planet with an entire race that's out to lynch them, it's likely they had to go into hiding for the rest of their lives.
And Radec might have seen Templar as one if this line is anything to go by.
Radec: "I'd rather we met in combat, like soldiers."
In the first game, General Adams tries this with Hakha, declaring them Not So Different. Hakha begs to differ.
You All Look Familiar: A huge criticism of the first game. There were a total of three enemy types - assault rifle, shotgun, and heavy gunner. Except for one level where you catch the Helghans off-guard at a temporary shelter and they're partially out of their combat gear, they're all the same. The sequel makes this better◊.
Zeerust: Killzone 2. Your weapons look like they belong in 2020, not two centuries later, and not even with any fancy attachments, as compared to the first game. There are no drop pods. the helghast switch from hovertanks to conventional ones (which are retrofitted/modified mining vehicles). There are no lasers, except for those in space. There isn't even any "netrocentric" crap, walking mecha suits, or UCAV, except for the Helghasts. This is especially evident in the ISA gear, where what was once heavy body armor and a metallic "collar" are now light vests, PAGST helmets, and an orange sweater.
The ISA is not the most powerful faction in the Killzone universe, that's the UCN back in the Sol system. The UCN intentionally restricts ultra advanced weapons to the ISA, to ensure even a full scale uprising by ALL of the colonies at once would be unable to defeat them. The ISA Intruder for example, the unarmored, unsafe drop vehicle, is literally a repurposed cargo lift with machineguns bolted to it.