Wednesday 2 October 2013

Killzone: Mercenary

“A technically impressive handheld needs technically impressive games and the wait for PlayStation Vita owners is over with the release of Killzone: Mercenary. A thoroughly impressive feat that mirrors home console counterparts, this is absolutely a first-person shooter you must play. “

Finally the PlayStation Vita’s hardware and controller layout had been implemented to a very high standard. Killzone: Mercenary’s first-person action is thrilling, fast-paced and makes full use of the PlayStation Vita’s capabilities. The Vita’s dual joystick layout once again paves the way for effective FPS on the handheld machine with the controls being smooth and easy to handle.

Killzone: Mercenary’s campaign is spread across nine different missions with each stage optionally having different criteria set for completion under the context of Precision, Covert and Demolition contracts. Those of you who played Golden Eye or Perfect Dark will recall this campaign lay out and boy does it greatly increase Killzone’s replay value.

Killzone: Mercenary also boasts a very comprehensive and engaging load-out and perk system (VAN-guards). The former is thoroughly entertaining but the latter while fun, can unbalance the game, especially in online multiplayer. Speaking of multiplayer, it’s another impressive feat at how much fun the online content is. Spread across a variety of different maps and game modes it’s still not quite comparable to home console online gameplay but still fantastic considering it’s on a portable device. 

Obviously in comparison to Killzone 3 there are certain differences but that’s not to say Killzone: Mercenary isn’t thoroughly impressive for a handheld title. In fact it resembles the home console titles in almost every department, just a few technical cuts had to be made to support the full package. So expect the graphics and sound quality to be just shy of PlayStation 3 standards and the multiplayer lacks certain content you’d expect from a fully-fledged online experience, mainly in the amount of players limited to each game.

Killzone: Mercenary also cleverly plays off the shoot and reward system that’s so effective in games like Call of Duty. Instead of rewarding exp. Points, you earn financial reward for pretty much everything you do here. As a result it becomes addictive quickly and it’s hard to put the game down. 

With the PlayStation Vita clearly in Sony’s future plans it seems worthwhile investing in the machine (or the newer slim model that was announced last week) and top titles like Killzone: Mercenary. It’s fair to say that the Vita still hasn’t quite found its feet with AAA titles but Killzone: Mercenary is absolutely a step in the right direction. 

Gameplay: 8
Presentation: 7
Replay Value: 7
Verdict: 7.5

Igor Kharin.

Killzone: Mercenary at CeX

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