Although both games possess a washed-out military look, there are key differences between the war-torn America of Resistance 2 and perpetual darkness of Killzone 2. Distinctions between the two games make each experience unique, particularly in the face of so many shooters. Resistance 2 manages to do this by reworking American history. Chimera forces move from Europe to a United States still deep in a depression. Sepia tones characterise a nation tired of economic woes and weary from defending its coasts from invasion. Hale's mission to preserve American freedom is urgent – do or die. Humanity's bleak outlook can easily be felt in the visuals.
A good argument can be made for Killzone having survived an onslaught of harsh criticisms thanks to a gritty visual style. Practically devoid of colour, the graphics instil a sense of hopelessness and desperation. It's uncomfortably believable, as is its story. The plight of human colonists transforming into hideously deformed figures on the toxic planet Helghan creates a moral dilemma – do you feel sorry for these outcasts or hatred for their vengeful campaign to dominate humanity? This is a serious shooter, one that carries a heavy weight not felt in Resistance.
Edge: Killzone 2
Aiming less for exacting realism and more a believable science-fiction fantasy, Killzone 2 gains the edge with a dark, brooding style. No other game captures the same brooding look and feel.
Shooters usually don't focus much on developing a main character, yet both the Resistance and Killzone series have invested heavily in their protagonists. We know very little about Sergeant Nathan Hale aside from how he unwittingly became the centrepiece of humanity's war against the Chimera in the original Resistance. His role becomes even more important in the sequel where his battle against the Chimera turns internal. After becoming infected with the Chimera virus, Hale turned from ordinary American GI to a bad ass super fighter thanks to an innate viral resistance. Too bad it also made him incredibly creepy, giving him eerie glowing eyes to complement his super strength.
Killzone 2 ditches the hero from the first game for a new interest: Sev. A Special Forces operative in the Vektan army, Sev leads the initial assault on the Helghan homeworld. His stylish faux-hawk makes him appealing to the hipster crowd, though whether it bolsters his command charisma remains to be seen. Unlike Hale who'd rather shut his mouth and shoot, Sev is keen on chatting with his fellow soldiers. Early footage from Killzone 2 shows brief chatter between Sev and company as they descend into the Helghan capital.
Edge: Killzone 2
Sev definitely gets the nod here, but only because Hale is a freak with those glowing eyes. Never trust a man infected with an unknown virus and glowing eyes.