Killzone: Mercenary: Cash is King

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Killzone: Mercenary: Cash is King

Not long ago the US and European press got its first hands-on experiences with Killzone: Mercenary, Guerrilla Games Cambridge’s upcoming PS Vita shooter. Despite gracing Vita’s portable screen, the team behind Mercenary is hellbent on providing a full FPS experience with all the trimmings. Come September, you’ll get a full nine-mission story-driven campaign, an eight-player competitive multiplayer mode, and a collection of bonus challenge missions.

Watch our new video to get the inside story straight from Art Director Tom Jones.

Killzone: Mercenary: Cash is King

Much has already been said concerning Killzone: Mercenary’s graphical fidelity, but I’ll add my voice to the choir: This is one fine, fine-looking game. Because Mercenary runs on a modified version of the Killzone 3 rendering engine, you’ll see modern niceties such as volumetric lighting and smoke, high-res environment textures, gleaming metal and realistic-looking shadows. None of this would be out of place for a modern PS3 shooter, but portable gaming rarely sees this level of extreme graphical detail. Screenshots and internet videos only tell part of the story — just wait until you see this puppy in action on Vita’s 5’’ OLED screen.

Of course, the series’ bedrock shooting mechanics have made the leap fully intact thanks to PS Vita’s dual analog sticks. Actually, Mercenary’s refined damage model means that its weapons feel slightly more powerful, a satisfying tweak that enabled me to drop enemies a bit more quickly than in the PS3 games. Killzone 3’s savage melee attacks have also made the cut, and they benefit from PS Vita’s front touchscreen as you swipe one of several directions to gouge out eyes, break necks, and slit throats. Meanwhile, the rear touchpad takes over sprinting duties with a quick double tap.

Killzone Mercenary on PS Vita

The VAN-Guard is the most high-profile addition to Killzone’s lethal arsenal, and it adds new gameplay wrinkles to the campaign and multiplayer modes. The VAN-Guard is a wrist-mounted murder assistant that enables you to deploy a head-stabbing Mantis drone, guided Porcupine missiles, or a Sky Fury ion cannon bombardment with a tap or two on PS Vita’s front touchscreen. Because your VAN-Guard slowly recharges between uses, it doesn’t necessarily favor the most skilled players in a multiplayer match the way traditional Killstreaks can. Based on my time with multiplayer, I found it served as more of a leveling influence, keeping the rookies in the game and the most skilled players on their toes.

Money talks in Mercenary, and you’ll collect a bit every time you complete an objective, pick up an ammo clip, or slay an opponent — bonus cash for creative kills! Build up a large enough pool and you’ll be able to purchase new guns, VAN-Guard abilities, and armor mid-mission from crates left by a shady weapons dealer named Blackjack. And you’ll want every credit you can find: Based on what I experienced, Mercenary has the series’ biggest weapon loadout yet, from medium-range battle rifles and stealth SMGs, to shotguns, pistols and much more. What’s more, Mercenary’s large weapon loadout accommodates a wider variety of play styles than in past Killzone games, from stealthy sniping to close-range brawling.

Killzone Mercenary on PS Vita

Multiplayer is a definite focus for Mercenary, and Guerrilla Games Cambridge is upping the ante to keep the Killzone community playing long after the game’s September launch. The game will ship with three multiplayer modes — so far, only the venerable Team Deathmatch is confimed — and an integrated stat-tracking system will post your results to daily. There’s also a collection game built around Valor cards that you can loot from particularly tough multiplayer opponents; completing the full deck could earn you a slice of Internet fame.

Killzone: Mercenary assaults PS Vita on September 17th in North America. If you have questions on the gameplay, leave them in the comments!

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8 Author Replies

  • are there classes in multiplayer like in killzone 2 & 3? i hope so …

  • I absolutely LOVED KZ3 MP & Campaign… Seriously, the most underrated and thrashed by commentors this gen for me :(
    But gosh, it was SO good to me. I cannot wait for this game. I love my Vita and this will go nicely with my collection. All the new modes and features for this game have me super excited.
    Guerilla Games for the win!!!

  • OH!
    One more thing…
    … I just wanted to say:
    “Squid Sherman”
    You rock Sid. Keep up the awesome coverage.

  • I’d like to point out a few things to those complaining especially about only 4v4 online multplayer , making a game this good costs a lot of money and making it with more features and more players online at a time costs even more right ? it would mean bigger servers and more space taken from the limit on vita cards for the multiplayer modes , so you have a game costing more to make but it might have a smaller campaign with less other options ( perhaps fewer weapons or smaller online maps )
    The only way you’ll get the huge offline games combines with the more extensive online play is when two things happen ,1. more time passes so developers know how to squeeze the most out of the psvita ( it’s not like it’s been out 6 yrs and has 4th gen games yet like the ps3 ) and 2. more psvita’s are out there so developers know they will sell enough copies of a game that it’s worth spending more making that game .
    if you have a vita buy the games it has and be glad to have them , if you don’t then get a vita so the developers will spend more , they won’t make costly games until they know they;ll make a profit on them , that means more vita owners need to be out there to sell these games to

  • Was excited until I read “eight-player competitive multiplayer mode” Can the vita only support 8 players because even the other 2 shooters on their only support 8.

  • The maps will be small so 4v4 is fine. If you get too many players in these small maps, then it becomes a grenade spam fest and with small maps, there is only so much you can do to make good spawn points if there are too many players running around. Getting killed from behind within seconds of spawning because someone was already nearby really ruins a game.

    Sounds like a lot of you don’t like any real strategy in your online FPS games. You just want as many people as possible so it becomes a random clusterf**k where you can randomly throw a grenade anywhere in the map and it will probably kill someone because there are so many people. Those of you wondering why there is a 8 player limit in other genres on the Vita do have a point but in this game, the limit is fine.

  • Man this game is looking better and better.

  • Thanks for checking on the online multiplayer player count, Sid. I’m also baffled as to why every game so far has chosen 8 as the limit. I’d honestly just like to hear an official stance on the reasoning. Whether it’s a hardware limitation or what.

  • I hope that you plan to advertise this game well. Because it deserves it. And not some lame commercial that barely focuses on the game itself either.

  • question to the developers: what take away did you guys get from the Call of Duty Vita release? were those concerns considered and addressed here?

    I am excited for this game, but i cant take another FPS heartbreak on the Vita like CoD

  • Let me start by saying I loved the multiplayer in Killzone 2 and 3. I loved the Team Fortress 2-esque classes, I loved the chaotic feel of the matches, and I loved the way Warzone and Operations prioritized objectives and changed them up regularly mid-match. One thing that sets KZ apart from other shooters IMO is that your KDR doesn’t matter nearly as much as how you approach the objectives and use your class to it’s fullest.

    That being said, I’m a bit disappointed in what I’ve seen in KZ:M so far. The game looks great, but only four players on a team doesn’t leave much room for varied classes; KZ2 had seven classes and you could mix and match primary abilities with secondary abilities. KZ3 had five classes and you could choose to spend points on either new weapons or ability upgrades.

  • Damn, some really good volumetric smoke going on in there. Was not expecting that.

  • Hey! Don’t make it even easier to kill enemies as it was in KZ3. Most if not all weapons took 2-4 bullets- even the Helghast pistol only took three bullets!

    Set damage to 4-7 bullets for a kill, and there really needs to be a way to counter melee attacks with your own, ESPECIALLY in a multiplayer game. Hell, the first KZ3 trailer showed Helghast soldiers trying to attack Sev (with him deflecting the blow) then him sending the soldier flying…

  • Any plans for Downloadable content for this game? I feel that if there isn’t,this game will get boring quickly, because there is only so many times you could replay the same mission over and over. It doesn’t have to be something extremely over the top,it could just be something like an added horde mode.

  • The way I see it, the party chat on vita is up to 8 people, that’s probably the reason mp games are being limited to 8 players.

  • Well, those complaining, you ought to complain to the devs of PS3 games. Because 8v8 is pretty bad. We on PS3 seen 256 max, which was MAG. And a few games bringing in 32. Its mainly 8v8 on PS3, an actual game console, which is more powerful then the Vita. I am sure they can do more. You have to figure in the factor of fullness of a server. I’d rather have 4v4, and a quality game, rather then one that is buggy, with a bunch of people. The Killzone series has always been a good one. Maybe future game modes may enable more players. Give the props for atleast releasing a really well tailored shooter versus the others that came. Its still an early life of the Vita, games will get bigger and better.

  • 4V4 is a huge downgrade. So let’s be clear, your telling me my iPhone game(Modern combat 4) can play up to 6v6 with kill streaks and run 30 FPS and only be the size of 1/2 GB? and Killzone Mercenary can’t? By all means this is a PS vita fail. Overprice fraud of a device. Socom fire team bravo 3 was 8v8 with built in voice chat and 4 player co-op running on PSP and your telling me PS vita can’t do that? LMAO. I’m not a fanboy, I’m asking and stating legit questions and facts. PS vita will flop if Dev’s don’t support the vita.

  • Could you guys let us use the right stick for melee kills? Seems easy and fun to me.

  • my vita is going to take a beating with this game! I am a big killzone fan so yeah… VITA you better be ready for this!
    MY Vita: BRING IT!!!

  • I’ll buy my Vita when this drops or when tearaway …getting both

  • As far as PSP online count versus Vita online count, I have this little thought to stimulate the discussion. Both systems are wireless online play, no hardwire. Lower res games on the PSP had less game data to send over a wireless connection for gaming purposes. With the Vita, there is a much larger amount of data that has to be communicated over your internet connection during online play, especially with FPS games if you want to keep lag down. Sony probably took this into account when they created the Party app, and thus it is being used as a system limit for online play, in order to keep playability to a max and lag to a minimum.

    Also, just realized that this comes out at the beginning of my two-week vacation in September. I know what I’ll be playing now!

  • to those asking yourself why the 4v4 player limit its quite simple, bigger maps=more memory space, 4gb limit on game cartrige, 4gb cartriges have to get more space, these games need more than 4gigs they almost look like console game its quite obvious the more graphical advanced the games get, the more space required, and 4gigs is not enough, another thing is they dont want to comit to higher player servers cuz it cost money, and KM wont sell as much to “justify” that much players online, its basic buisness decisions people, nihilistic rep once answered via twiter of why the low player count, he simple responded “8vs8 on ps vita is very posible but like everything else it takes time and money” it basicly takes longer to make a 8vs8 multiplayer mode, and more money to sustain the servers, ps vita sales are rising recently but theres still only 4 million vitas out there meaning that a game for vita will prob sell just a couple of thosand copies since out of all those 4 million people, only a select few like a certain game,have the money,is waiting for a sale,buys used. i just wrote a single sentence with grammar errors and i dont care, english is not my language anyways

  • sid shuman, can you sprint by presing down on the d-pad or anything besides double tapping on the rear touchpad? will all the weapons from killzone 3 be available? does the game have better analog stick options then the rest of other vita titles? im saying like being able to fully customize the speed and accelaration of the camera so, basicly i can just do a litle tap on the analog stick and do a 180º spin?

  • Can we just have a full FPS game without the trimmings? Leave the inaccurate touch screen melee attack swipes at home and just let us simply push a button for a melee kill. I already played Uncharted Golden Abyss which did the same thing for its melee kills, and it was a worse game for it. Nothing sucked more than spending over 30 minutes fighting the final boss on crushing not because I was playing poorly, but because the inaccurate touch screen kept dropping my inputs or claiming I did them wrong despite being able to see that the fingerprint smear I had just left on my screen was showing the correct swipe. I want to play my games and enjoy them, not be angry with them because their non-traditional control methods that shouldn’t be in there in the first place don’t work and cause me to lose the game through no fault of my own.

  • Also, when are you guys going to correct the release date? It doesn’t matter if you had the 17th marked as your date. When Grand Theft Auto comes along and decides to release on the same day as you, you do the intelligent thing and you move your release to a different day. GTA V is going to cost you launch day/week sales for sure, and we all know how the gaming industry works: if a publisher doesn’t see the game selling tons of copies right at launch, they call it a failure, shelve the IP (which in this case would mean no future portable Killzone titles), and maybe close down the studio that made it too. And the hard fact of the matter is that no matter how much I may want to play Killzone Mercenary, when you’re launching on the same day as GTA V, I’m not going to buy Killzone because I know it’s just going to sit on a shelf for a few weeks while I play GTA. A lot of other gamers will feel the same way. You’re shooting yourselves in the foot by keeping this release date, and like always it won’t be the idiots in suits who made this poor decision who suffer for it, it will be the game developers and the gamers.

  • I’ll end up picking this up. I really loved the story and MP of KZ3 and this looks fantastic.

  • Ok well that is one game actually being made for the Vita. But where are the rest?

  • 4v4 isn’t low. It’s fine. Nothing worse than being trapped in match making forever because there aren’t 4,000 other people to join the over-inflated ranks of a simple match. Bleh.

  • Not a fan of fps games but this I surely want to have! Kudos to Guerrilla Games!

  • Do they have dlc for the future. If yes I’m buying it. please don’t screw up. I need a fps

  • *le sigh*

    When will both Sony and GG realize that we don’t care about this franchise or the mediocre shooting genre? Same old same old, play one PAAGG (play as a gun game), you have played ’em all.

    When the hell did gamers become alright with mediocrity? I am so disheartened with the apparent lack of quality in video games these days; it is so sad.

  • @81: Played one JRPG you’ve played them all. Same level of validity as your argument. Halo, Killzone, Borderlands. None of them play alike at all.

    Stop being ignorant. When did posers start talking for gamers? Shoo.

  • “@81: Played one JRPG you’ve played them all. Same level of validity as your argument. Halo, Killzone, Borderlands. None of them play alike at all.”

    Halo, KZ, Borderlands…hmmmm, they all have a first person perspective and you point a stupid gun at things and shoot, yeah…none of them play alike at all (SUPER SARCASM!!!!!)

    If you have played one JRPG you’ve played them all, then how come there are no JRPGs on PS3 that are like Final Fantasy 7-10 or Xenogears? I have been waiting almost 7 years for 1 proper turn based JRPG on the PlayStation brand, yet Sony failed, since they’re too focused on generic PAAGGs (play as a gun games). The last gen has been full of piss poor mediocrity with all these pewpewers. Plus all the Killzone games are all the same, plus they don’t kill Halo, or Clone of Dutiez.

  • @neuropunk

    If you haven’t found a “proper” JRPG on PlayStation then you’re either not really looking or your definition of “proper turn-based” is very strict and limited.

    I think you can find plenty on this list and those aren’t all.

  • I completely agree with mjc0961 that I would really, really love to have a melee option that isn’t touchscreen controlled. Especially for multiplayer. I won’t mind as much if they want to use gimmicky control schemes for the solo campaign and its relatively controlled atmosphere. But I really don’t want to have to use the touch screen AT ALL during the fast-paced, unpredictability of a multiplayer match. Please take this into consideration and let us remap the controls to avoid the touchscreen entirely.

  • The game looks great, and i dont mind that the MP is 4×4. Resistance: Burning Skies had one of the most fun MP and it was 4×4. So i´m looking foward for this game.

  • kinda bothered by the non-expression of the dude getting stabbed – sure its fine for the helghan since they’re masked but for the ISA looking dudes, the just have this blank stare when getting stabbed. no closed-eyes-of-grimace? at 03:09 for example

  • they need to release this game earlier ..

  • Oh. yeah, I’d prefer not to have to swipe at all for melee either. I’ve heard some hands-on say that you have to push a button before you even get the swipe prompt. Which means, it’s a redundant feature that shouldn’t exist.

  • Wow this looks so sweet! Not excited for all the hate that will come. Some peoples expectations are way to high.

  • Now I can take the ISA everywhere with me to destroy some Helghast!

  • i love killzone and own all 4 so far. i would like to see some kind of integration with my killzone 3 online stats as on killzone 3 i cannot gain any more xp online as i am maxed out. for the noobs killzone liberation (psp) and 1/2/3 are on the ps3.

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