|System: PS Vita|
|Dev: Guerrilla Cambridge|
|Release: September 10, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 544p|
To add to the gameplay, the visual and audio aspects of Killzone: Mercenary are spot-on. This is easily the best-looking game on the Vita, seamlessly integrating polished gameplay environments with beautifully rendered backdrops and tying it all together with console-quality character animations. The level introductions range from simple insertions, to being air-dropped via glider-suit into sprawling battlefields of epic scale. The visuals never miss a beat, no matter how crazy the environment gets, which is a testament to both the power of the Vita and the developer’s attention to detail. For the handheld market, and the Vita specifically, this game is as close to visually perfect as I have seen on Sony’s handheld.
As with the graphical abilities of Killzone: Mercenary, the audio delivers something truly special to the handheld market–console quality. The orchestral score is engaging, enemies are voiced as they coordinate movement, and ambient noise, such as bullet ricochets, explosions, and aircraft fly-overs, round out this buffet for your ears. If you want to really experience it right, use a high-quality headset. The sound was what truly made me forget I was playing a handheld, and the headset completed the illusion.
Killzone: Mercenary could be the first step for Sony to finally secure its footing in this round of the handheld wars. Since the FPS genre isn’t something that the 3DS can really compete in, due to the lack of buttons and a second analog stick, the Vita could hash out a fanbase solely on FPS titles alone.
If you have a Vita and are an FPS fan, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not playing this game. The handheld FPS formula has finally been cracked, and not a moment too soon. I just hope this is the beginning of a growing trend and not just a flash in the pan. I don’t presume to know which it will turn out to be, but at least I can play Killzone: Mercenary until we find out.
Date: September 4, 2013