Killzone: Shadow Fall has a few big ticket features in its multiplayer mode. The most significant is probably that all character classes, weapons and abilities are unlocked right from the beginning. According to game director Steven ter Heide, developer Guerrilla Games set out to make sure that all players could log into Shadow Fall's multplayer and start having fun immediately.
The game still features the sort of progression system we've come to expect from most modern shooters, but it focuses on unlocking weapon attachments and ability upgrades. Rather than slowly doling out an arsenal of deadly weapons and perks, players will earn things like scopes, flashlight attachments and different ammunition types.
Player freedom is also emphasized in Warzone, Shadow Fall's multiplayer mode. As in previous Killzone games, a Warzone match is basically a mash-up of several traditional multiplayer game types. These are doled out periodically during the match, and you never know what might be coming up next. One moment, you'll be fighting to defend multiple control points, and the next you'll have to plant explosive charges on key targets.
Killzone: Shadow Fall's Warzones are different, however, because players will be able customize nearly everything about them. In Shadow Fall, players can set up custom Warzones however they like, setting specific rules and deciding which objective types will be in rotation. There are loads of options to tinker with, allowing players to enable or disable specific abilities and weapons. Beyond that, you can assign different options to each team to build asymmetrical game types. You can even create custom leaderboards that track stats relevant to your Warzone.
Player-created Warzones will be a central part of growing Shadow Fall's online community. After you've created a Warzone, it's automatically shared on PlayStation Network, allowing other players to try it out. Guerrilla Games will also be looking for the best creations, which will be highlighted and featured on PSN. Shadow Fall will ship with several "recommended" Warzones, but the hope is that, eventually, the community will essentially be in charge of the direction that multplayer takes.
In terms of gameplay, Warzone offers up three different classes, the sneaky Scout, the guns-out Assault and the helpful Support. I preferred the support, who is able help the team out by summoning teammate-reviving drones or placing down defensive turrets, among other things. The turret was particularly handy when the Warzone switched to an objective that required my team to plant charges on targets and wait for them to detonate before moving on. The fluid nature of a Warzone's changing objectives really keeps you on your toes, and a new objective can change the momentum of a match. My team, for example, struggled with a beacon delivery objective, but handled territory defense much better.
Killzone: Shadow Fall will ship with 10 maps when it launches alongside the PlayStation 4, and all future maps will be free, said ter Heide. There will also be expansion packs, however, and these will be premium, paid content. The expansion packs will include "new features to play with" and "more options for people to customize and create their Warzones," said ter Heide.
Only time will tell what the Killzone community will do with Shadow Fall's Warzones, but the prospect of so much original, player-created content is definitely enticing (it's certainly worked gangbusters for the Halo series). Assuming players really latch onto Warzones, new PlayStation 4 owners should have plenty to do come November.