|Developer(s): Guerrilla Games
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Release date(s): February 27, 2009
Genre(s): First-person shooter
Mode(s): Single-player, online multiplayer
Killzone 2 follows the events of Killzone and Killzone: Liberation, and is set entirely on the planet Helghan, the home world of the Helghast who invaded an Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) colony. Two years after the Helghast assault on Vekta, the ISA launched an assault on the enemy’s home world of Helghan. The ISA goal is to capture the Helghast leader, Emperor Scolar Visari, and bring the Helghast war machine to a halt. Players assume the role of Sergeant Tomas “Sev” Sevchenko, a battle-hardened veteran of the special forces unit the “Legion” assigned to Alpha team, who goes on a mission to take out the Helghast threat.
During the invasion of Helghan, Sev’s unit is deployed behind enemy lines to assist the main invasion force. Tasked with securing the enemy capital of Pyrrhus, Helghan’s first true city, the team quickly discovers that the Helghast are a more formidable enemy on their home planet. Not only are they well-adapted to Helghan’s hostile conditions, they have also harnessed the power of the freakish lightning storms that always occur on Helghan which they can now use against the ISA. A cold, barren, unforgiving world, Helghan provides a ready defense with thick, acidic air, dust clouds, and violent surgical lightning storms. Sev discovers his squad is not just fighting enemy forces—their fiercest opponent may be the planet itself.
In the prologue, the ISA has set up their fleet of Cruisers, including the New Sun, in the clouds of Helghan over the Helghast capital city, Pyrrhus, preparing for a final assault to take the city. Unable to get their capital ships close to the city and destroy it with bombardment due to Helghast anti-aircraft firepower, the ISA deploys an invasion force. The ISA’s troops, including Alpha Team (with the player character), are deployed in an attempt to capture the city. The invasion is seemingly successful until the Helghast activate their main defense system, a barrier of electric arc towers throughout the city, killing many ISA soldiers and crippling the first wave of the assault, reducing the ISA’s advance to a crawl; however, the fight between the ISA and Helghast continues with unmitigated ferocity as the slowly retreating Helghast desperately repel the ISA forces whose compelling advances seize Visari Square in one of the greatest battles ever.
Using an intact piece of an arc tower destroyed earlier in the campaign, scientist Evelyn Batton discovers that the arc towers are powered by an element called Petrusite, and large portions of the mysterious element are located around the Tharsis Refinery on the outskirts of Pyrrhus. The refinery is thought to be abandoned. Alpha Team is ordered to accompany Evelyn and travel to the outskirts of the city in an attempt to find a way to disable the towers.
During the mission, Sev and Rico depart from the team in order to activate a communications tower. Before the tower is activated, however, Garza, Natko and Evelyn are captured by Helghast. Eventually, Sev and Rico find their squad, only to see Colonel Mael Radec, a ruthless Helghast commander, interrogating the group in the hopes of obtaining the launch codes for the Helghast’s stolen set of ISA nuclear warheads. After the squad refuses to give information to Radec, he loses his patience and threatens to execute the group. While Sev, realizing the danger of rushing into the fray, waits and attempts to find a good location to ambush Radec’s unit, Rico’s impatience causes him to rush in, attempting to save the squad. Unfortunately, Garza is mortally wounded in the ensuing firefight, and Radec escapes. The only thing the squad can do is return to the New Sun before they are attacked again. Evelyn heads to the nearest communications tower to call for extraction. The squad is then attacked by more Helghast troops, but the group is able to fend off the attack. Unfortunately, when ISA support finally arrives, the injured Garza collapses and dies in Sev’s arms.
Back aboard the New Sun, Sev mourns for Garza; however, he is interrupted by a surprise Helghast counter-attack on the ISA fleet; initially ISA had established orbital control militarily but the Helghast breached them. All ships, including the New Sun, are boarded. In the assault, Colonel Radec reaches the bridge where he personally executes Evelyn and mortally wounds Fleet Commander Colonel Jan Templar. Before leaving, Radec steals the nuclear strike codes for the (previously stolen) nuclear weapons. Templar, in a final act of self-sacrifice, manages to deactivate the thrusters on the New Sun, sending it crashing onto Tharsis Refinery, destroying the city’s Petrusite defense grid.
With the defence grid down, the ISA advance and attempt to regroup near Visari’s palace in Pyrrhus and gain victory; however, a nuclear bomb is deliberately detonated within the city by the Helghast, destroying it, along with most of the ISA forces. With the fleet decimated, and the ISA ground campaign crippled by the blast, Alpha team and the last remaining ISA troops attack the palace of Scolar Visari, facing fanatical Helghast resistance as both forces engaged each other in a titanic struggle as the ISA’s decimated and crippled forces resiliently repel the Helghast into their palace in an epic duel.
The ISA troops manage to breach the palace and Sev and Rico try to fight their way to Visari’s throne room, but encounter Radec and his personal guard en route. Sev and Rico manage to eliminate Radec’s guard after a ferocious battle, but are then forced to battle Radec himself, who decides to deal with the two interlopers personally. Eventually, the two manage to severely injure Radec. He commits suicide to avoid capture.
Finally, Sev and Rico, still under orders to capture Scolar Visari and deliver him to the Vektan high command, find the Helghan leader waiting for them in his throne room. He tells Sev and Rico that the war is far from over and seemingly goads them to kill him, telling them that in death the Helghast will remember him as a martyr, and subsequently unleash terrible vengeance upon the remaining ISA forces; his survival is all that is keeping the Helghast “under control”.
Rico, determined to avenge Templar and Garza, the latter of whom died due to Rico’s own errors, and has left him wrought with guilt, falls for Visari’s provocation and guns the Helghan Emperor down. As Visari succumbs to his injuries, he mutters his last words: “The madness…begins.”
Worn from what he has been through and disillusioned with Rico’s execution of Visari, Sev leaves the palace and sits on the entrance steps. There, he sees an overwhelmingly giant fleet of Helghast ships, which were believed to be destroyed by the first ISA wave, initiating an assault on what is left of the ISA fleet and sees, first hand, the destruction Visari envisioned. They will later fight these Helghast in Killzone 3.