Killzone Mercenary: “When you review it you’re going to write it’s the definitive FPS for PS Vita”

Killzone Mercenary PS Vita screens

[Check out all the Killzone: Mercenary screens here.]

Guerrilla Games has its sights firmly set on Killzone Mercenary being the seminal shooter for Vita. That’s according to the studio’s managing director Hermen Hulst, who told us in an interview: “I’m going to be happy when come September, you review the game, you’re going to write that this is the definitive FPS for the PS Vita…It’s not so much scores and numbers, but that’s the tone I’m hoping for.”

Killzone Mercenary: PS Vita’s definitive FPS

The answer came in response to a question asking what the studio would consider a success for Mercenary, given the considerable sales and fanbase of previous Killzones. “If you said that this is what the platform was capable of,” he continues,  “and you’ve squeezed the maximum out of it and this is the shooter that you would want to play on the platform, then I’m happy.”

Killzone Mercenary PS Vita screensWell, that’s certainly fighting talk. But Hulst has every reason to set his expectations high – I’ve seen Mercenary. I’ve shot Helghan with the Vita’s twin sticks. I’ve stabbed deep into Hig armpits with a swipe of its touch screen.

And most tellingly, I’ve enjoyed consecutive rounds of online deathmatch without a) blaming the handheld for my paltry kills:deaths, b) dropping it in an RSI-induced spasm or c) staying aware that I was even playing on a Vita. Simply, it felt like Killzone.

Visually, it achieves a level of detail that comes really damn close to Killzone 3. You know, the PS3 game. Textures aren’t quite as detailed when you get the old tech-geek magnifying glass out, but in motion, with a squad of Higs closing in on you (and, inevitably, a red barrel going boom) you could be forgiven for forgetting what platform you’re playing on.

Hulst explains that Vita has “roughly the same processing power as PS3,” after all, and Guerrilla Amsterdam teamed up with its Cambridge studio to transfer the formidable Killzone 3 engine into Vita, and with that in mind it seems perfectly reasonable to hope the game looks like it’s working the Vita to its maximum.

“That desire and that ambition statement has driven our design decisions, it’s driven our art project plan, it’s driven the length of the development cycle frankly,” says Hulst. “It’s taken a little while for us to be here, we’re not there at launch clearly – but that’s overriding everything.” We’ll get to find out if Hulst gets his wish in September, when Killzone Mercenary releases for PS Vita.

Killzone Mercenary PS Vita screens