There is no good or evil. Just money.
FPS games on handheld devices do not have a great reputation, will Killzone help change that? Or will it just fall in with the rest? Not only does this game have something to prove about handheld FPS, but it also has to live up to the Killzone name. So how does the latest title in the series fare? Let us see in this preview of Killzone: Mercenary.
Killzone Mercenary throws players into the boots of a paid contractor or gun for hire. You don’t take sides, it’s all about the money and you’ll see yourself working for either the ISA or the vicious Helghast. You’re pretty much a badass whose only goal is to get rich or die tryin’ – 50 Cent.
Dropping into Killzone Mercenary, you’ll notice straight up that the graphics are impressive. Mercenary really utilizes the Vita’s highly powered hardware to not only create great looking textures, but also manage to create dynamic shadows, wall platters, bullet holes and a great draw distance. It’s probably the best I’ve seen on this system – close to console like quality.
Another aspect that surprised me was the how well the controls were executed. The control scheme itself is familiar with anybody who has ever played a console FPS, L is to aim, R is to shoot and the face buttons are various actions. Mercenary also utilizes the touch screen really well giving you functions such as swap weapons, throw grenades, playing the hacking mini-game and firing the missiles at targets that you touch on screen. The melee requires the use of the touch screen to execute. As fun as they are the first few times you swipe the screen to use melee, you soon realize that the melee system is just a swipe version of the Quick Time Events system that we have seen so many times over. All in all, the touch controls feel comfortable and integrated and not at all gimmicky.
The A.I however can use some work, I found that hiding behind a solid object forces them to go to you where they can easily be dispatched by melee one by one. When in open fights however, they can hide behind cover and blind fire and I have yet to find an enemy that is pretty much a bullet sponge, which is always a plus in my books.
Although running and gunning will drop your enemies, utilizing precision proves to be a more beneficial method of dispatching enemies. Not only will it let you live longer, but it will also net you in more cash. Headshots, multi-kills and environmental kills rake in more cash than just the normal point and shoot style of play. Cash is used to purchase better/different equipment to better increase your survivability, stomping power and letting you choose your play style. Melee kills and silenced weapons let you utilize a more sneak based play style while sacrificing the pure stomping power of a louder weapon set.
Asides from a few lag points and FPS drops, this preview build is very well put together showcasing the bread and butter of the latest Killzone title. Guerrilla Cambridge’s Killzone: Mercenary is shaping up to be a killer shooter title on the Vita. It’s about time we get to hear the screams of Helghast scum again while we commute to work.
Killzone: Mercenary arrives on the PlayStation Vita on 4th September 2013 in Australia. This article was written using a preview code provided by PlayStation Australia. *Note: The preview was an early build of the game and does not represent the final product. Screenshots taken using the in-built Vita capture tool.