Review: Killzone Mercenary

As a mercenary named Arran Danner, you go where the money is. Your client will give you the objective and then it’s up to you to get the job done. Every contract, every mission, every kill gets you paid. And paid well. But when a routine mission leaves you in the middle of a deadly power struggle for the life of a young boy, you begin to wonder if the cost of victory can be too high, no matter how big the pay cheque.


  • Graphics are some of the best seen on the Vita. Boasting stunning deatil with some stunning backdrops. Coupled with the lighting, The game can hold its head high as one of the best looking games so far.
  • Many control options are available to you and can be configured to your liking. Opt in or out of using motion sensors or using the rear touch pad. I suggest ramping the sensitivity of the stics up though so make sure to check the options before play.
  • Online leaderboard for friends and all of the world. You can filter it by multiplayer and single player.
  • Your rank is used and carried over for both single and multiplayer.
  • Every kill or objective or piece of ammo picked up, earns you cash and xp which is used for the in game shop.Bonus medals are in the game and are awarded to players for a variety of things. Actions such as x amount of kills with a certain gun, Run x amount of miles etc. Each medal has a bronze, silver and gold levels. Earning a medal nets you bonus cash and xp.
  •  The campaign is not a bad story and does a good job of explaining itself as it unfolds.
  • Intel is scattered all over the game and act as a bit of back story but more importantly, As your collectibles in game. Intel can be found, acquired through hacking consoles and by interrogating enemies in game.
  • Apart from the main campaign, Completed levels unlock 3 different themed objectives. Precision, covert and demolition. Basically you still play the level as usual but you have a new set of objectives that need to be done. They are much harder than the main game and vary from kill a certain amount of enemies with a certain gun, or kill a guy with a headshot or even use a particular ability on a vehicle. Every level unlocks these modes.
  • In game shop called the arms dealer can be accessed from the main menu, mp lobby or by special crates in game. Here you can buy new weapons, armour, grenades and abilities. The arms dealer is also where you go to simply change your loadout.
  • Each armour has its own set of attributes like mobility or noise as you would expect. But they also boast a unique perk to each of them, written down the bottom, You can see what you get. Earn extra cash, take less damage from grenades, move faster are the types of perk you can expect to see.
  • An ability can be purchased which have a huge cooldown feature on them. Go invisible, have a AI bot alert you to player locations, or rain bombs down from the sky. These are just a few of the abilities awaiting you to purchase.
  • Touchscreen is used for melee attacks and arming/disarming objectives and hacking. It works very well and no issues were found for input. For the melee attacks, Think what they did in Uncharted Golden Abyss and your on the same page.
  • Once learned the controls can be fluid at times. Make sure to tweak to your taste.
  • Online is 4v4 and uses the party chat app to enable players to squad up, join each others game and of course chat via voice.
  • Online has 3 game modes: free for all, team deathmatch and of course the classic mode warzone, where it ycles through 5 objectives.
  • There are 6 multiplayer maps and all of them arew huge and very well done. They have the same polish and visual impact as the single player.
  • Private matches can be created with all maps and game modes available to the host.
  • Respawns are random so it keeps it all balanced. Yes they may spawn behind you but chances are you will do the same later on.
  • Online still allows you to do everything you can in single player. This is important for things like interrogating, Performing this action online actually reveals your enemy players locations briefly on the mini map.
  • Pods will drop randomly all over the map, Hacking one of these will grant you a vanguard perk, which are the same abilities you can unlock and use in the single player.
  • You get a daily rank which displays a playing card next to your name. What this does is assess and rank your game progress from the previous days sessions. Having a higher card enables more bonuses, But your rank go go down aswel as up so being consistent helps.
  • Valour cards can be earnt in ingle and multiplayer. These cards earn you money and go a long way in determining your daily rank. Cards are earnt for kills/wins collecting intel etc.
  • Still has the killzone atmosphere and feel. Using all the familiar sound effects and voices, Veteran players will feel right at home.
  • Every level can be approached and completed in a multiple of ways. Go all out stealth or go Rambo. The game handles anything you throw at it and re acts differently every time.


  • Connecting to the online can be hassle for players with certain types of router. A general fix is to assign a static ip and go into DMZ. All a lot of unnecessary faffing. I had a few issues but a router reboot fixed it for me.
  • Pressing a button to pick up ammo is a complete pain in the arse. I get why they put it in (ish) but putting it on the triangle button is not very user friendly.
  • Online balancing/match making skill needs tweaking. Had a few games of 4 against 2 and 3 on 1.
  • Few screen judders and random character flip outs.
  • AI path finding and general behaviour is erratic through out. They either flank really well and attack as a pack, Or they just blindly run into gunfire or stay still.
  • The silenced guns dont work as well as they should. Firing a shot off by accident out of sight of enemies can still alert them. Destroying security cameras usually always result in an alert. Must be noted this isnt always the case but is quite common.
  • The easiest difficulty is just too easy. AI dont do much in the way of tactics, Its possible for the most part to just melee everyone.
  • Cannot skip level intro FMV’s. They are long and even if you previously finished the level, no skip option is available.
  • The campaign is criminally short. The main story took me just shy of 4 hours to finish on normal difficulty.
  • Has checkpoints in game but if you turn off or quit the game, You start back at the beginning.
  • The end of game boss is cheap and very cliche in its approach and execution.

In Summary, The game is a the best vita game to date. And in my opinion has lived up to the tagline “current gen games on the go”. They have made it all feel so Killzone that you sometimes forget your on a handheld. The graphics are so good, You cant help but smile. With epic set pieces and a booming soundtrack, The game will entertain you. The online despite having only 8 people in a game, Is still as much fun and engrossing as the PS3 version. The campaign is short, But doing the additional objectives and collecting the cards will keep you busy for many more hours to come. The game does make you wish that the Vita had clickable sticks. Long story short, This is the best shooter on Vita and so much fun to play. Veterans can expect the same level of immersion and fun as anything they have had on the consoles. Go buy it.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!