August 23rd, today we see many big games such as Saints Row 4, The Bureau, and of course, Splinter Cell: Blacklist (It’s amazing by the way!). But to those of you who have PS+, you were able to snag yourselves an exclusive Beta to Guerilla Cambridge’s new handheld title; Killzone Mercenary. The Beta was released yesterday for the UK and Europe (whereas North America received it 2 weeks early by just signing up for the Beta). Luckily, everyone will be able to download the open Beta on August 27th.
I thought I would try it out seeing as I owned both PS+ and a VITA. I have been hoping for good things to come from this game but at the same time, I’ve been extremely hesitant in getting it as I personally find FPS on the VITA to be very difficult to play. The reason for this is due to a lack of utility for some of the controls and the analogue sticks not being as maneuverable as a consoles, making the gameplay sluggish and more slow-paced. I still gave Killzone Mercenary a chance and I was surprised. It delivers both high-end graphics (considering this was on a handheld device, I was shocked) and a fast-paced gameplay to keep you going. I’m never really welcome to the Touch operated controls on the VITA either but they were very simple, such as tapping an enemy up close to perform CQC while the enemy is able to quickly swipe the screen to counter-attack, so depending on if you run straight at an enemy or surprise him from behind, the outcome will be very different and I like this strategical fact. I was also able to figure out that double tapping the rear touchpad would result in a sprint so this was also a nice bonus since it didn’t force you to do long, constant swipes on the back to sprint.
Going into gameplay wise, the Beta only offers Multiplayer and as far as I can tell, there are 3 Multiplayer modes to choose from. However, I only played Warzone (since it’s the only one available to Beta players) which is a team-based match that will consist of 5 set objectives that your faction must complete. These can range from a standard team deathmatch (Bodycount) to Bounty Hunter that see’s you killing enemies and collecting valour cards they drop (a bit like kill confirmed from the CoD series except they’re useful), which brings me onto the Valour system.
When you kill an enemy, he will drop a card which represents a suit and number, just like a good old-fashioned, standard deck of playing cards. The higher the ranking of the enemy, the rarer the cards he/she shall drop. It is also possible to earn cards by playing on a daily basis, with the cards becoming rarer each day. My best guess is that by unlocking a full set, you will be rewarded with a big wad of XP or money, something along those lines. The character classes are unlocked in Multiplayer by advancing in rank, so expect to be playing as an under-powered Helgast for the first few promotions.
Single player is unavailable with the Beta so we will have to wait patiently for the game to be released before we can get our paws into that. We will see the protagonist take on optional contracts as a Mercenary and earn money to put towards weapons and armour. In the meantime, I recommend all you VITA owners to just get PS+ if you haven’t already (definitely worth it, by far) and get a head start on the Beta if you’re planning to buy Mercenary. The game will be available worldwide on September 10th. Now go Merc up in the Beta!
Written by Craig McGregor