Gears of War may be going the on-rails route with its Kinect iteration much to the dismay of gamers, but at one point another popular franchise was going to jump onboard the on-rails genre: Killzone. In an interview with Ars Technica, Guerrilla Games’ Tommy de Roos revealed that at one point the studio looked into doing a PlayStation Move centric version of Killzone that was entirely an on-rails shooter.
Guerrilla’s original plan to do an on-rails version of Killzone stemmed from when the studio first got their hands on PlayStation Move dev kits. As de Roos said “When we got the initial [Move] prototypes, we had no set plan on how to add motion control to Killzone. Being a first-party Sony studio, we had little experience in that area except for some small experiments with the SixAxis controller.”
Eventually the studio found out a way to utilize the PlayStation Move full on as gamers can play Killzone 3 with a PlayStation Move and a Nav Con. So why didn’t we see a more arcade style version of Killzone pop up in the form of an on-rails title? “Once we realized how much work that would be, since all encounters would have to be re-scripted, we decided against it,” said de Roos as to why the concept was scrapped.
Doing an on-rails version of Killzone may sound odd, but I think it could be interesting if Guerrilla had the time needed to plan such a thing. I think at times gamers under estimate how much time and planning is required for on-rails shooters, even those like Time Crisis, as the developers need to plan every scenario and make it stick out and in most cases top what gamers did a mere two minutes ago. The experiences Guerrilla crafted in the three Killzone games thus far have at times been heavily scripted, but the amount of work required for an on-rails game would probably rise ten-fold so I don’t blame Guerrilla for scrapping the concept at the time.
I’m happy with the game Guerrilla crafted in KZ2 and Killzone 3 looks amazing, but I actually wouldn’t mind trying out an on-rails version of Killzone. I think if Guerrilla tightened things up a bit and perhaps added something along the lines of a score/grading mechanic to encourage multiple playthroughs or co-op play, then the game could be good. As of now Guerrilla is working on a new IP and perhaps KZ4 in the near future so maybe in between those projects they can dish out a little on-rails Killzone side game, which I think would be perfect for the PSN.
So for my fellow ISA and Helghast lovers out there, do you think an on-rails version of Killzone would work or would such a thing take away too many things that the franchise is known for?