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 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- How Thunderbolt 3 won the port wars
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 360: Great for the Galaxy S8, not so much for the iPhone
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop review
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTTelecommunications Provisioning LeadQLD
- CCOracle CCB DesignerVIC
- FTJunior - Mid Level Technical Customer SupportQLD
- FTLead Senior Systems Engineer | 90 - 120K + Super|VIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- CCVDI EngineerACT
- TPSenior .Net DeveloperSA
- FTSenior .NET DevelopersSA
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- FTService Desk Analyst Level 2 SupportQLD
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- CCNetwork Security Engineer - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- TPEOI - Developers and Tester (APS)ACT
- FTPractise Manager - SecurityVIC
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FT.NET DeveloperWA
- TPPrimary Support Officer (Level 1)VIC
- FTSystem Engineer - VMWare, UCS, NetAppVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- CCChange AnalystNSW