As the PlayStation Vita’s (PS Vita) library continues to mature, one genre remains lacking: first-person shooters. Two previous titles — “Resistance: Burning Skies” and “Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified” — failed to live up to critical and commercial expectations. From what was demoed at a recent PlayStation event, “Killzone Mercenary” is shaping up as the definitive first-person experience on the platform.
The latest entry into the Killzone franchise, “Killzone Mercenary” continues the series’ reputation of jaw-dropping graphical power. Developer Guerrilla Games, which has crafted the previous entries in the series, has done a remarkable job pushing the PS Vita to another visual benchmark, leveraging the Vita’s power to faithfully recreate the world veterans to the series have grown accustomed to. From the familiar color palate to the distinct weighty feel of the controls, “Mercenary” is Killzone through and through.
Speaking of the controls, like with most Vita titles there’s a bit of a learning curve. Acclimating yourself to the sensitivity of the Vita’s dual analog sticks can take a little time, but once you get a feel for it, “Mercenary’s” shooting mechanic becomes very familiar. But, like other Vita titles, adjustments had to be made for other combat mechanics. Pulling off stealth takedowns are mapped to the touch screen. Mimicking the onscreen cues will trigger vicious melee animations. Grenades and Vanguards are also controlled by touch-screen input.
The latter are special tactical items that can cause havoc to your enemies. Some of these items are the Matis Drone, which is a player-controlled drone that can stealthly kill enemies, the Sky Fire, which is a remote-controlled air strike that you control by tapping on the screen, and the Porcupine, which is a rocket launcher that is also controlled by the touch screen. The Porcupine was set by default during my play through and was a blast (no pun intended) to use because of the…