Killzone: Mercenary was a very highly anticipated game. Many thought that this would be THE must have Vita game, and that this game would bring console-quality handheld games to true reality. Well, those people were right. Mercenary is outstanding offering by Guerilla Cambridge. Read on for our full review of this ESSENTIAL PS Vita title…

Arran Danner is the protagonist of Killzone: Mercenary, however, don’t be fooled into assuming that this is another Killzone game where we battle against only the Helghast… Danner works for both sides, but never reveals his true allegiance. You will find yourself unpredictably changing sides from ISA to Helghast and back; anywhere that will fund you wish cash basically. This helps to keep the game fresh throughout its outstanding (albeit short) campaign.

Unfortunately, the main campaign clocks in from 5-9 hours, depending on the lengths you go to to make sure you collect everything. This is quite a short campaign, however, there is a fleshed-out online multiplayer mode included in the game (with more content to be added), so, there is certainly value in the purchase. Everything about the campaign is perfect; the characters are well developed, the graphics are phenomenal and the enjoyment is immense. Killzone: Mercenary is a must-play if you own a Playstation Vita.

One of the nice things that Guerilla Cambridge (who have done a spectacular job in taking over the series from the main Guerilla team I might add) featured in the game is a mode selection option for each of the nine missions. These ops (covert, precision, demolition) each allow you to take on the campaign missions from a different perspective, with added extra objectives. If you utilise these features, you can extend the 5-9 hours far beyond that, and, with the amount of enjoyment we got from playing each mission, you will want to replay them!

Guerilla Cambridge did a fantastic job in bringing the series to the PS Vita. Everything within the Vita game has been devoted the same time, care and attention to detail that any home console entry in the series would be afforded. The team has succeeded in exactly replicating the feeling and atmosphere of Killzone on the Vita, which is very impressive considering this is their first time working on a full Killzone title. They have well developed their own style of gameplay, but, at the same time, seamlessly included those crucial Killzone roots which make it feel like a true new entry in the series.

The game pushes the Vita to its limits, and the results are astonishing. The graphical quality of the game is so good, that it compares to high end Playstation 3 games. Everything is rendered in high quality, weapons are realistically designed, explosions are amazing to behold and the atmosphere is beautiful. I was extremely surprised at what Cambridge studios were able to do with the Vita when I launched the game for the first time. After playing ten minutes of the game, I was hooked. I usually am not the biggest fan of FPS single-player campaigns, but Mercenary is different. Mercenary’s campaign is so good, its worth playing by all gamers. I enjoyed it more than any other FPS campaign in recent memory.

While some people have complained that some actions in the game are missing due to the lack of L2/R2 triggers on the PS Vita, I think the system works perfectly as-is. ADS and fire commands are, of course, mapped to L and R buttons, however, grenades and equipment are mapped to buttons on the touch screen due to lack of a second pair of back-buttons. Personally, I feel this control system works perfectly, and it was actually very easy and comfortable to use throughout my playing the campaign.

Three multiplayer modes are currently present on Killzone Mercenary; MERCENARY WARFARE, GUERILLA WARFARE & WARZONE. The first is the equivalent of free-for-all in standard FPS shooters, while the second corresponds to team deathmatch. The latter is Mercenary’s objective gameplay mode. Each of the modes are extremely fun to play, and, again, Mercenary delivers a console-quality online FPS multiplayer experience through a handheld device. It is certainly an impressive feat by the development team.

Killzone: Mercenary is the best handheld FPS ever released; nothing even comes close to matching its quality. The game is extremely enjoyable to play, has astonishing graphical presentation, outstanding sound effects and a great online multiplayer mode. This is THE MUST HAVE PLAYSTATION VITA TITLE!