Invasion: check. Generic military hero: check. Faceless cruel enemy: check. Overblown, testosterone-fueled dialogue: check. Killzone 2, Sony's forthcoming shooter, fills all the requirements of a typical first-person action game. So it's cliched and predictable, but does that necessarily mean it's bad? Not in this case.

Invasion: check. Generic military hero: check. Faceless cruel enemy: check. Overblown, testosterone-fueled dialogue: check.

Killzone 2, Sony's forthcoming shooter, fills all the requirements of a typical first-person action game. So it's cliched and predictable, but does that necessarily mean it's bad? Not in this case.

The Killzone franchise was touted as Sony's Halo-killer back in the PS2 era, and while the original game failed to dent the impact of Master Chief, it told a passable story about a planet of good humans fighting a hopeless war against the fascist Helghast.

Killzone 2 continues the tale with humanity invading Helghan, the homeworld of the black-armored foes, only to discover that the aliens aren't quite as vulnerable as assumed.

Breaking with the current trend, the game's single-player campaign is solo only, unlike the co-operative options in Halo or Gears of War or even the latest Call of Duty games.

Players take on the role of Sgt. Thomas Sevchenko, a member of ISA Special Forces Squad Alpha, a key unit sent to destroy the Helghast capital city. While you can't enjoy the tale with a buddy on the couch supporting you, Sevchenko is seldom alone during the eight-hour tale, as fellow squad members accompany him through cookie-cutter action scenes embellished with Michael Bay-style explosions.

Between run-and-gun assaults, stealthy infiltrations and target-removal objectives, Killzone 2 mixes things up enough to keep the game moving at a fairly enthralling pace. Exposition is minimal in this video game equivalent of a summer blockbuster.

What sets Killzone 2 above the cliches is the tangible sense that this is an unfolding tale. The story develops organically without overwhelming the gameplay, complementing the action while adding a few interesting twists and turns.

The graphics are some of the best executed on the PS3 so far. Deep, rich, high-def graphics match the realistic feel of the urban environments. Characters look human, and the weapons and props really shine.

The multiplayer component strays from the campaigns by taking a role-based team approach. Players in certain jobs must work together to overcome foes and capture locations as expected, but the ability to rank up for good performance and unlock new weapons will keep this game on systems for months to come. It rivals Call of Duty for sheer online shooter fun.