Killzone: Mercenary (PlayStation Vita) review
Killer franchise gets the handheld treatment
- Amazing graphics for a handheld game
- Feels and plays like a proper Killzone game
- Touch controls break up the flow of gameplay
- Single player campaign is somewhat on the short side
Killzone: Mercenary is a highly enjoyable first person shooter that thankfully does justice to the franchise. The only thing that stops the game from being perfect is the unnecessary touch controls.
Price$ 54.00 (AUD)
After getting off to a mediocre start on PlayStation 2, the Killzone franchise gained a new lease of life on the PlayStation 3 when 2009’s Killzone 2 was released. Since then, the first person shooter franchise has become a key PlayStation property, and now Sony is bring the experience to its Vita handheld. After the disappointing release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, Killzone: Mercenary has as much to prove now as Killzone 2 once did on PlayStation 3.
Killer for hire
The storytelling in the Killzone series has mostly been forgettable, often being relegated to the background in favour of action and carnage. Killzone: Mercenary is not much different in this regard, but this time around you don’t play as an ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance) soldier fighting the Helghast. Instead, you take on the role of mercenary Arran Danner, hence the game’s title. As a killer for hire, Danner has no loyalties beyond getting paid, which enables him to work for either the ISA and Helghast at various points in the single player campaign. This simple mechanic puts a fresh spin on the ISA versus Helghast dynamic that has been a hallmark of the series.
Instead of using a proprietary engine for Killzone: Mercenary, the developers have integrated a modified version of the Killzone 3 engine from PlayStation 3 for the handheld game. This not only makes the game look amazing, it also ensures that it feels like a Killzone game as well. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and LittleBigPlanet PS Vita have so far been the most visually impressive titles on the handheld, but Killzone: Mercenary takes it to a new level both in graphics and scope. The environments, character models and weapons look great, and the physics engine ensures that all of the action looks good in motion as well.
Look but don’t touch
There’s much to like with Killzone: Mercenary, but a few issues mar an otherwise great first person shooter experience. The game makes use of the touch screen for various functions, such as switching weapons and picking up ammunition. The latter is a gameplay mechanic, as the player has the option to either pick up the ammunition or visit a Blackjack (tm) weapons kiosk to buy ammunition or purchase new weapons. Using the touch screen for either function feels a bit awkward, and as a result interrupts the game experience. Weapon switching assigned to a physical button would have been preferable, as would have ammunition being picked up automatically.
Despite these minor niggles, and the fact that the single player can be completed within a few hours, Killzone: Mercenary is an enjoyable first person shooter that should be in the game collection of every PlayStation Vita owner.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- The Nintendo Switch is a radical mash-up of consoles and gaming handhelds
- Halo Wars 2 hands-on preview: Blitz mode's thrilling twists could trigger an RTS revival
- The Xbox One's first email app is here, and it's not Outlook
- This week in games: Tyranny snags a release date, polygonal Lara Croft returns
- Steam's adding support for Sony's DualShock 4 PlayStation controller
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCApplication Support AnalystVIC
- CCContract Junior Programmer (PC LAN Support) 161028/JP/203Asia
- FTEnterprise ArchitectNSW
- FTGateway ManagerACT
- CCSystem & Network EngineerVIC
- CCContract Junior Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/XML) 161018/JP/922Asia
- CCContract Junior Programmer (Internet/ Intranet) 161025/JP/vhaAsia
- CCPOS EngineerNSW
- CCSAP Release & Deployment ManagerNSW
- CCTest Engineer - .NETNSW
- CCProgram ManagerACT
- CCProject SchedulerVIC
- CCSystems Engineer - NetApp, Exchange, ADNSW
- FTProgram SchedulerNSW
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL) 161018/AP/812Asia
- FTUX Design LeadNSW
- CCSenior Security AnalystVIC
- FTSenior MS Dynamics CRM ConsultantSA
- FTDevOps EngineerVIC
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistVIC
- FTProduct ManagerVIC
- CCWebpage Designer - Canberra RoleNSW