Killzone: Mercenary (PlayStation Vita) review

Killer franchise gets the handheld treatment

Sony Computer Entertainment Killzone: Mercenary
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Amazing graphics for a handheld game
  • Feels and plays like a proper Killzone game

Cons

  • Touch controls break up the flow of gameplay
  • Single player campaign is somewhat on the short side

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?