Thursday, 22 August 2013

Killzone: Mercenary - Open Multiplayer Beta - Impressions

Available today for PlayStation Plus subscribers is the first glimpse and Guerrilla Cambridge's Vita exclusive, Killzone: Mercenary. The Beta allows for players to get to grips with the multiplayer of Killzone: Mercenary. One mode is available, Warzone and one map, Shoreline.

Warzone is a great idea for a multiplayer mode. Splitting players into two teams of four and then face off over five missions. These missions offer a combination of Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag in one game.

The movement is steady and the aiming is a bit on the heavy side, but it works. Over the matches that I have played tonight, I found myself getting good scores and some impressive kills. Much better than I fare with Call of Duty and Battlefield, which can turn into respawn bloodbath. The map on offer is large with plenty of areas for cover, with a great balance of indoor and outdoor sections. There are close range corridors and great opportunities for long range sniping.

Kills earn you cash, stylish kills (like a melee kill or long range kill) earns you a bonus. The cash you earn can be used to upgrade your load out with new weapons, armour and equipment from Black Jacks, the games friendly arms dealer. Controls are standard FPS  fare, with the only main difference is melee attacks which are initiated with the triangle button and then a follow up touch screen gesture. This works very well and doesn't seem to intrusive or disrupt to flow of the match.

So gameplay wise all is good, but the how does it look? Is it up to the hype and have Guerilla Cambridge been able to create the full home console Killzone experience on the Vita? The answer from what I have seen of the beat is simple, yes they have! The graphics are amazing and there is so much going on in the map. Waves crash over the sea wall, blue lightning arcs off panels in a cave and light from the sun glares down. I didn't actually think that the Vita was capable of this kind of detail. Everything moves at solid pace with no slowdown at all. This delivers the promise that Vita originally promised and has made Killzone: Mercenary a day one purchase for me.

If you are a PS Plus subscriber and haven't downloaded the beta yet, go do it now! You won't regret it. If you are not a member of PS Plus yet (shame on you!), you can download the beta on the 28th August, in just 7 days time. It is also worth pointing out that all cash and rank earned in the beta carries over to the full game.

Killzone: Mercenary is released exclusively on PS Vita on 6th September 2013.

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