Review: Killzone Mercenary (PS Vita)

Killzone is a long-standing and popular game on the PS3, and it has an upcoming sequel exclusive to the PS4. This ‘in between’ offering feels exactly like that, an in between offering. It’s in between iterations of hardware, and it’s in between good and bad. Killzone Mercenary is familiar ground to the Killzone enthusiast, battling the Nazi-Stormtrooper-esque Higs on the alien future worlds with guns…

By Wayne Webb

Killzone is a long-standing and popular game on the PS3, and it has an upcoming sequel exclusive to the PS4. This ‘in between’ offering feels exactly like that, an in between offering. It’s in between iterations of hardware, and it’s in between good and bad.

Killzone Mercenary is familiar ground to the Killzone enthusiast, battling the Nazi-Stormtrooper-esque Higs on the alien future worlds with guns aplenty, ammo just lying about and hordes of suicidal enemies. The game is more of the same so if you are a fan of Killzone for the story then jump right in because you’ll get what you came for. The graphics on the small screen are highly detailed and beautifully rendered, though I noted that it became a little sluggish at times like explosions and to many enemies on screen at once. There’s a multiplayer option so you can take advantage of the Vita’s online and networking capabilities to fight other Killzone fans.

However, there are huge problems. My desire to go online and play is at an all-time low because the fun of FPS mayhem has been sucked out of this for me by the faults. The first is more an annoyance; in campaign mode there is no saving the game. Once you complete a mission the game auto saves. Like many people though I play on the Vita for convenience and portability, which is why I may only play in short bursts. The first campaign I had to play three times over because I got interrupted in my attempts to complete it and then the kids changed the card to play something else. When I finally got to finish it, and the save icon came up, it was well over ten minutes, which is far too long for no saving.

The touchscreen implementation continues to baffle and confound the Sony designers – it seems easy and natural on phones but in games it’s awful. I would routinely use the buttons instead of ‘letting go’ to tap the screen in game. And when you’re in the menus? Touchscreen only. More irritation and inconsistency in design. First person shooters on the handheld never feel right, and they twist the hands into uncomfortable positions as you play, but you also have to move the screen to see things at times, and that contradicts the motion of your hands, which always feel stretched, ungainly and too big to grip properly. It takes time to get used to it and irritated me from the get-go.

If you like/love Killzone then go ahead. If you are looking for the FPS that works on the Vita as well as a console? Think again, it may never happen with the way the controls are placed.

Pros: Beautiful Design, Multiplayer Options, Loads of non-stop Action.

Cons: Terrible Save Points, Touchscreen breaks flow, Uncomfortable to hold at first.

 

3 Shacks Out Of 5

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