Killzone: Mercenary Is PlayStation Vita’s First Legit FPS

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Killzone is one of Sony‘s flagship franchises, especially as far as first person shooters go. The shooter mechanics are precise, the cover system adds depth to the combat, the Helghast are a unique enemy, and the narrative even has it’s moments. Guerrilla Games have produced three in the series exclusive to the PlayStation 3, and Guerrilla Cambridge is heading up a fully optimized installment for the PlayStation VitaKillzone: Mercenary.

Mercenary will feature a full campaign and a competitive online multiplayer suite. Recently, Sony held sign ups for the multiplayer beta, and as the game comes ever closer to release, more and more previews are popping up. We recently shared a 27 minute video that covered the opening moments of the campaign. By all accounts Killzone: Mercenary is the real deal.

Sprint, slide, cover fire, use turrets, and destroy cover material protecting enemies. Guerrilla Cambridge has managed to retain all the key features that make Killzone a memorable shooter. Killzone: Mercenary features a true sandbox environment with multiple routes to exploit. Missions are broken up into zones making stealth a real option. The Helghast AI is typically in a passive patrol, or ‘non-alert’ state when beginning encounters. This gives you the ability to stealthily dispatch targets without raising alarms outright. Special Van Guard equipment offers players ‘kill-streak’ like awards. Instead of being available after a streak of kills, Van Guard is more like back-up equipment. Sky Fury lets you control an orbiting drone, letting you target and reign down explosives via the touch screen. Vulture Radar gives you X-Ray vision for targeting troops. Manty offers a stealth drone to fly around and stab people with. Ghost gives you cloaking capability. Karapace, offer added protection via an energy shield. Different equipment for different play styles.

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Mercenary’s campaign will offer a good amount of replay incentive as well. Hidden intel is strewn about the game begging to be found, and challenges are available to beef up difficulty on return playthroughs. A set of three alternate challenges will be available per level. One is chosen per session, each challenge requires something a bit different be it stealth, or action.

The multiplayer aspect has been, for the most part, under wraps. But we do know that there’s going to be loadout customization available for your character. Everything from primary and secondary weapons to equipment, armor, Van Guard items, and resupplies are available.

Preview-Killzone-Mercenary

Graphics and sound stand out as being nearly on par with their PlayStation 3 counterparts. The level of detail taken on environments, character models, and weaponry is off the charts as far as the Vita is concerned. Another impressive addition is (nearly) real time reflections, displaying decidedly superior lighting techniques.

Killzone: Mercenary is not only the first truly Vita optimized FPS, it may also be a system seller for gamers waiting for a mainstream release. The addition of a fully fledged multiplayer suite is also a motivating factor for people to get their hands around a Vita. We couldn’t be any more excited for the title, September 10th can’t get here fast enough.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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