Gamers face fierce combat on a hostile planet in Killzone 2, a new first-person shooter game for the PlayStation 3 (PS3). Released last week, Killzone 2 was created by Dutch developer Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game follows the events of the original Killzone, released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, and its 2006 sequel for the PlayStation Portable, Killzone: Liberation. Players take on the role of battle-hardened Sergeant Tomas 'Sev' Sevchenko, a member of elite special forces unit Alpha Squad. Sevchenko's team is part of an invasion of the Helghast Empire on its home world of Helghan. The unit fights for the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance, which protects member-planets of the United Colonial Nations. The military strike is in retaliation for the Helghast's attack and occupation of the colonial planet Vekta two years earlier, the storyline of which is featured in the previous Killzone titles. Alpha Squad is deployed behind enemy lines, taking on the Helghast in 10 intense missions to secure the capital city of Pyrrhus and capture their leader, Emperor Scolar Visari. But Sevchenko's team discovers that there's more to waging war in Helghan than fighting well-armed enemies; they must also learn new skills to survive the hostile environment as the Helghast have harnessed elemental forces such as lightning to use as weapons. Gameplay is sharp and straightforward; the PS3's left analogue stick handles direction control for a player's gun, while the right shoulder button is for firing the weapon. Sevchenko carries a knife, grenades, a rifle and a handgun with unlimited ammunition. There is also the occasional tank and anti-aircraft gun, which stops gameplay from getting too repetitive. Character animations are incredibly life-like, the artificial intelligence of enemy forces and Sevchenko's squadron is highly advanced. There is also dynamic sound and music, cinematic special effects, detailed environments and a striking graphical style that is unique to the Killzone franchise. Examples of the game's gritty realism are found in the cut scenes - short video clips that inform players of their next mission. Gamers will find the single-player campaigns easier than the multiplayer mode, where up to 32 players can participate. Whether you're a novice or veteran gamer, this mode will have you playing Killzone 2 repeatedly. Pros: Intense action, immersive battle experience and easy-to-learn controls. Cons: Solo campaigns are less challenging than the multiplayer mode.