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Killzone: Mercenary Review

Killzone: Mercenary Review

We’ve had a few attempts at a strong FPS game on the Vita so far, from some rather prominent franchises, but while those ended up being rather poor examples of the Vita’s capabilities. Killzone: Mercenary however, is being developed by Guerrilla Cambridge. They are known for creating MediEvil and ended up doing the supposedly impossible task of making a great FPS on the Vita.

Killzone: Mercenary takes place after the events of the original Killzone, but there are also parts that take place during Killzone 2 and Killzone 3.Sadly if anyone was expecting everything to cross over in any major way, then they will be sorely disappointed. There are a few core moments that appear, but aside from that, it’s a pretty separate affair. That being said, the story Mercenary has to tell is a very simple one that keeps you going throughout 9 missions set on both Vekta and Helghan.

You play as Arran Danner, a Mercenary from Vekta. Danner’s journey is an interesting one, even if it is a little predictable. When Mercenary was first announced it showed Danner taking missions for both sides of the war and this would be a very interesting aspect to tell Killzone’s story. While the Helghast have always seemed like the bad guys, at first both sides are equally wrong for their actions during and before this war.

Sadly Mercenary has you fighting for the ISA for about 70 percent of the game, but when you do get to fight for the other side it is very interesting seeing how the soldiers you were slaughtering just a few hours ago react to being your ally. Still the majority of Mercenary’s story is completely throw away in terms memorable story elements or even character, but does a great job at offering a fun new take to the world of Killzone.

The gameplay in Mercenary is what will keep you coming back and if you loved playing Killzone on console then you will feel right at home with the Vita version. The controls will instantly seem familiar and the use of touch controls is optional for everything except two sections of the combat. Once you start up a melee attack, you have to swipe your finger in a direction the game tells you to pull off a brutal attack. Lastly, to hack a terminal you have to tap matching symbols to match up with what the machine has.

Similar to many other titles on the Vita that offer the option for touch or button input, the touch-only sections really stand out as annoyances. While they are simple to execute, they really take you out of the gameplay.

After getting past the forced touch control sections, Mercenary nails almost every other feeling of a first-person shooter. The aiming feels tight with both analog sticks and even brings the feature to fine tune your aiming with the system’s accelerometer. Almost any way you like to play FPS’s can work with Mercenary, besides clicking the left stick to sprint and/or clicking the right stick the look down your iron sights. While pressing L looks down the sights, you have two options for running. You can double tap the rear touch pad, but that ended up feeling very awkward as you had to hold it to keep running. The better choice is just tapping circle and while this is tied to the crouch button, it never messed up when I was getting in and out of cover.

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