I was disappointed in Killzone Shadow Fall. There’s no two ways about it — the PS4 launch title felt unfinished, unbalanced and yet somehow still left me wanting more. If it had been a more complete package, some of its flaws might have been forgivable, which is why the new Intercept co-op DLC is right up my alley.
Intercept is Guerrilla Games’ take on the horde mode originally popularized by Gears of War 2. In this cooperative game mode, you and three teammates will have to capture and hold three Uplinks scattered across the map while fending off hostile forces. You can choose to play a quick match to 1,500 points, a regular match to 3,000 points or long match to 10,000 points depending on how much time you’re willing to invest.
As the match begins, your team will spawn inside a central base of operations which both serves as a fortification for when the battle gets out of control and the hub for banking your points.
The entire mode hinges on points, which you can collect by killing enemies, recapturing Uplinks and supporting your teammates. As the battle goes on, your points will be worth more, so it’s worth holding on to them as long as you can before heading back to base to bank them. But if you die before you bank your points — poof! — you’re back to square one.
Besides banking them, you can also use your points to give your team buffs or make your enemy’s life a whole lot more difficult. In order to do this, you’ll need to place a capacitor into the generator in your base. On the other hand, you’ll have to pull points out of your overall banked score if you end up having to respawn before one of your buddies can revive you. It’s all a very delicate balance.
There are four distinct classes to choose from: Assault, Marksman, Medic and Tactician. As you’d expect, each class has its strengths and weaknesses, but they all work best when they’re working together. A team that works even moderately well together is going to have way more fun than a group that can’t get its act together. Because you will die. Often, if you’re not careful.
The varied terrain of the 4 arena maps allows your team to take a tactical approach if they so choose, but the hyper-accurate AI and the lack of an adequate cover system means that more often than not you’ll be running into a firefight or running away from one. And although the maps are distinct, they’re too small to really let the environment (or the players) breath. The size of the maps fits the fast-paced nature of the mode, but a little more space could have the design team an opportunity to really mix it up.
The amount of content you’re getting for $10-20 isn’t exactly overwhelming, but it’s enough to warrant a purchase if you’ve been looking for a good reason to jump back into the game’s multiplayer.
I think the best thing I can say about Intercept is that if it had been included in the original release of Killzone Shadow Fall, I might have walked away with a more positive overall impression of the game.
You can download the Intercept DLC on the PlayStation Store as an add-on to your copy of Killzone Shadow Fall for $9.99 or as a standalone version (which doesn’t require the full game) for $19.99.