• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Sep 10, 2013
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 86 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 86
  2. Negative: 0 out of 86
  1. Sep 4, 2013
    100
    After the disappointing Resistance: Burning Skies and the truly abysmal Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, the Vita finally has a top shooter, which listens to the name of Killzone: Mercenary. Guerrilla Cambridge hit it out of the park with this fantastic handheld experience. It looks and plays great, its levels are varied and challenging, and the online multiplayer is hugely entertaining. If you own a Vita, you should own this game.
  2. Sep 4, 2013
    100
    While Mercenary might not be the best shooter in the world, in its own field – as a handheld title – it’s almost perfect; there’s no other experience like this on a device as small as this. And, judging the game from that perspective, it’s an experience that will stick with you for a long time, much like GoldenEye, Call of Duty 4 and other revolutionary shooters have managed in the past, and one entirely worthy of its acclaim.
  3. 94
    The handheld FPS formula has finally been cracked, and not a moment too soon.
  4. Sep 10, 2013
    91
    With big budget games relatively few and far between on the PS Vita at the moment, even if you don't fancy yourself a FPS or Killzone fan, I would say that it's a game worth adding to your library. Now bring on Killzone: Shadow Fall.
  5. 90
    Exactly what many FPS players have been waiting for: A handheld shooter that’s faithful to the genre, offers plenty of content and playability, solid multiplayer and graphics better than any handheld has managed before. We’ll easily recommend this to all Vita owners.
  6. After adjusting the sensitivity slightly, the controls were absolutely perfect. Both the sticks and the movements onscreen feel very natural, so we were passing out headshots in a matter of seconds. Not just because we could, but because every shot was rewarded with some sweet XP. [September p.44]
  7. Sep 16, 2013
    90
    Killzone Mercenary is definitely the game that the PlayStation Vita needed and boasts the best first person shooter experience on a portable system. From exceptional graphics, almost flawless gameplay, Killzone Mercenary just gets better and better which each play as there's always something to find while you are playing.
  8. Sep 16, 2013
    90
    Killzone: Mercenary does absolutely nothing new, but the fact that does what it does with this quality on a portable console is something to praise.
  9. 90
    The definitive PS Vita shooter and a must-have for any Killzone fan.
  10. Sep 4, 2013
    90
    Killzone for PSVita keeps its promises and establishes itself as the first and most important title for the re-launch of the portable console.
  11. Sep 4, 2013
    90
    This may be the biggest production in the entire history of portable console games. Impressive technical aspects and a very polished AI, as well as lots of playability and a long playtime, both in single player mode and multiplayer mode.
  12. Sep 4, 2013
    90
    Spectacular visuals, weighty gunplay and a great single player campaign that is complemented perfectly by what we have seen of the multiplayer all combine to provide the triple-A title that the gaming commentariat have been clamouring for.
  13. Sep 4, 2013
    90
    Without any doubt, Killzone Mercenary is one of the best games available for PlayStation Vita. Controls, graphics and gameplay are top notch in this new release from Guerrilla Cambridge.
  14. Sep 4, 2013
    90
    An excellent adventure that is meant to get you quickly into the action and give you all of the amenities you would expect sitting at home in front of the big screen. The only modifications made to this adventure have been to ensure that it is all-action-all-the-time, and that is much appreciated when gaming on the go.
  15. Sep 4, 2013
    90
    Incredible to look at, to listen to, but most importantly to play, Sony should be pushing this one to the moon as a prime reason to own their excellent handheld.
  16. Oct 16, 2013
    88
    The best-looking handheld game ever made. [Issue#236, p.74]
  17. Sep 18, 2013
    88
    Has the essence of the console version, but not the explosive blockbuster enjoyment. [Nov 2013, p.70]
  18. Sep 5, 2013
    86
    Since it was launched, the PS Vita has been longing for a game like this. Not only Killzone: Mercenary a good FPS, but it is also a solid addition to the scarce lineup of games in this portable console. Leaving aside some problems with the running and covering controls, the game offers a pleasant experience that we can't really see happening on another console.
  19. Feb 21, 2014
    85
    As far as handheld shooters go, Killzone: Mercenary is undoubtedly the new gold standard and, quite frankly, makes a mockery out of its handheld peers.
  20. Sep 9, 2013
    85
    If you haven't played with your PS Vita for months, maybe Killzone Mercenary is the title you're waiting for. It's honestly one of the best games ever made on Sony' console, and the best since Soul Sacrifice. Impressive graphics, well-balanced gameplay, effective multiplayer mode: Guerilla's FPS will offer all they need to players suffering from a lack of sensations.
  21. Sep 6, 2013
    85
    The stunning graphics along with a decent single player campaign and a great multiplayer mode make Mercenary the best Vita game for this autumn.
  22. Sep 5, 2013
    85
    Killzone: Mercenary makes us believers in the FPS on a handheld. An excellent experience that is only held back by a lack of variety in the multiplayer and a touch too much playing it safe in single player. Certainly a top Vita game.
  23. Sep 4, 2013
    85
    On one hand, it’s a very by the numbers campaign based shooter that doesn’t reflect a whole lot onto the overall lore of the franchise. On the other, it’s a magnificent multiplayer game that’s easily the best offering on the Vita so far. Wherever your proclivities lie in terms of player with others will no doubt change your expectations, but I personally had a blast online with Mercenary, and I think most shooter fans will too.
  24. Sep 4, 2013
    85
    Killzone: Mercenary is the first FPS which is worth playing on a portable console. PS Vita is finally worth using now that you can take full advantage of its dual analogue sticks and powerful graphics.
  25. Sep 4, 2013
    85
    It's an outstanding shooter that offers a solid experience beyond the incredible graphics it shows on Vita. With this title, Guerrilla Games has proven that they are not "mercenaries".
  26. Oct 5, 2013
    84
    Killzone Mercenary is a competent FPS. Nothing more and certainly nothing less. Multiplayer modes are a bit anemic, though, and for only eight players. What's the problem here? [Oct 2013]
  27. Sep 16, 2013
    84
    Definitely the best and the most beautiful shooter on the Vita and should be in every collection.
  28. Sep 6, 2013
    84
    Guerrilla Cambridge did a great job in giving the Vita its best FPS game to date. They did this by approaching the Killzone franchise from a fresh angle, giving players a console-like FPS experience with the convenience of a handheld, and by adding layers of gameplay mechanics that encourage continued play.
  29. Sep 5, 2013
    84
    A seriously impressive game. It’s a little on the short side, and has a few little quirks all its own, but there’s no question that Guerilla Cambridge have delivered the goods. I still can’t quite believe the technical feats it accomplishes, to be perfectly honest.
  30. Sep 4, 2013
    84
    Using the same control scheme, the same mechanics, the same concept, and even the same engine as Killzone 3, Guerrilla gives the PS Vita one of its best titles to date. A powerful experience from the single player - maybe too short, buy replayability is on its side-, to the fun and robust multiplayer to the amazing graphics, Killzone: Mercenary is a must have for Helghast's fans, and for everybody who still believes in what the powerful Sony's handheld is capable of, which is a lot.
  31. Sep 4, 2013
    83
    The biggest compliment that I can lodge against Killzone: Mercenary is that is simply works. It’s a complete FPS-game that wouldn’t be misplaced on consoles and works excellently on the Vita thanks to the hardware’s features. Visually it’s stunning, but the game is a bit short and the touch controls do annoy slightly from time to time. The very entertaining multiplayer more than makes up for that though.
  32. Sep 26, 2013
    82
    Killzone: Mercenary is the shooter that Vita fans have been patiently craving: gorgeous visuals, reasonably tight controls, a surprisingly clever (if short) campaign, and a multiplayer element that will keep you coming back for more make it the complete package.
  33. Sep 12, 2013
    82
    Killzone: Mercenary proves that portable shooters can be great. It proves that even with a few shortcomings and flaws, some indigenous to the platform, many players will be more than satisfied with the purchase. Some gorgeous visuals, cracking effects, a cash-based system that emphasizes the “mercenary” part, tight and responsive control, and riveting multiplayer make this production shine.
  34. Nov 19, 2013
    80
    Overall, Killzone is indeed the best the Vita has to offer in regards to those itching for a good shooter, but there is still room for improvement overall, and I hope that Guerilla’s next effort eclipses this one.
  35. 80
    Nothing new but finally an action-packed shooter in exceptional fidelity for the PlayStation Vita. [Issue#234]
  36. Sep 17, 2013
    80
    The latest game in the Killzone franchise shows that a FPS game is welcome on the PlayStation Vita. The controls are magnificent and the graphics are beautiful for a Vita game. However, there’s nothing better than the Killzone games on the consoles.
  37. Sep 13, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary fills an important void in the PS Vita game library. Finally it has a great exclusive first person shooter.
  38. 80
    Killzone: Mercenary is a fairly good game, it is as simple as that. It a great title to show off how good games can look on the PS Vita, as well as how good one can play including the touch screen support. Sure, it’s not a true console experience, given a few control compromises and a few technical issues, but it is as close as I have come on the PS Vita, especially for an FPS.
  39. Sep 10, 2013
    80
    Killzone Mercenary is a technical masterpiece that also includes several original ideas for the series. The controls are sharp and the online component is promising. The fact that the artificial intelligence is quite bad and the campaign is rather short is easily compensated. For the foreseeable future Killzone Mercenary will constitute the absolute top of portable action games.
  40. Sep 10, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary could have stood to provide more content, but that which is on offer is all very well polished and plays almost impeccably on Sony's latest handheld venture.
  41. Sep 9, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary sets a new bar of quality for FPS on handheld. While there’s still room for improvement, the crisp visuals, aggressive action, and solid multiplayer make it an easy recommendation for players hungry for exclusive Vita content.
  42. Sep 5, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary meets the expectations: finally there’s a great shooter on the Vita that technically impresses, controls like you’d expect from a shooter on a console and goes a long way with its multiplayer. The quality of the single-player campaign isn’t as constant though.
  43. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary is still an enjoyable game, though the story and some gameplay elements are derivative. It's a beautiful port of the series, with the highest graphic fidelity of any game I've yet seen on the PS Vita. The multiplayer, especially, is fantastic, and adds a new layer to the game with the VAN-Guard.
  44. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Mercenary is a truly great shooter, one that was crafted with the hardcore shooter fan in mind. There’s a lot to love here -- even if its campaign is woefully short – from its deep Contracts mode to its engaging multiplayer functionality.
  45. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary fulfils many of the broken promises of previous Vita shooters by delivering an experience that replicates the best qualities of its home console predecessors, while taking the series along new avenues.
  46. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Probably the best first person shooter on Playstation Vita, despite some balancing problems and the small number of single player missions.
  47. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Killzone Mercenary is a more than competent shooter, but fails to provide anything that can make it a must-have for PS Vita.
  48. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary is the best first-person shooter on the Vita, even though that's not saying much. It feels great, looks outstanding, and has a hugely addictive online multiplayer mode.
  49. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Killzone: Mercenary is a more than capable shooter that looks and plays great on the Vita. It’s a shame that the single player campaign is so short and tackling the level challenges will only add so much campaign replayability. The story isn’t all that great but it does offer an interesting, if short lived, twist for the series.
  50. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Killzone Mercenary is the game PSVita expected. Visually stunning, it also offers an excellent gameplay, a good single player campaign and an interesting multiplayer mode. One of the best games on the Sony handheld console.
  51. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    The campaign is short, yes, but is built in a very intelligent way to be replayed on different occasions, and the multiplayer can be a major boost if it can capture a large enough and active enough community.
  52. 80
    This is the game that truly shows the potential of PS Vita. Besides stunning graphics, it also offers action-packed entertainment with a lot of replay value. Only bland multiplayer prevents this game from getting our highest grades.
  53. 80
    If you have been waiting for a good honest FPS on the Vita, this is it. In fact, there aren't many ways in which Killzone's debut on Sony's starving handheld could have been much better.
  54. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    Graphically astounding and packing some serious online firepower, this is the high-budget handheld hit that you’ve been waiting for.
  55. 80
    It’s not a game without its faults as friendly artificial intelligence can obstruct progress and I ran into a number of glitches throughout the campaign, but with an addictive multiplayer and some of the most creative ways in using the handheld’s technology, you’ll have a tough time finding another experience like this.
  56. Sep 4, 2013
    80
    It’s a polished shooter, and it’s undeniably fun to play. Still, set up against console shooters, it’s really nothing special. But as a portable game, it offers an unrivaled experience for anyone looking to get their FPS thrills away from their PC or TV.
  57. Sep 18, 2013
    79
    Technically and visually impressive, Killzone Mercenary is the game that'll make you believe that first-person shooters have a home on handhelds, even if it is derivative, sticking too close to its established genre tropes.
  58. Sep 5, 2013
    78
    The mobile killzone is not as refined as its stationary brethren. But it plays and looks well enough to make me start another one of its shortened missions.
  59. Oct 31, 2013
    77
    It’s a genuine handheld blockbuster, complete with cool scripted sequences, loud explosions, and surprisingly nice graphics for Vita’s not-so-top-notch hardware.
  60. Oct 31, 2013
    77
    Killzone Mercenary is the best FPS on the system and works well enough, even as batteries drain quickly and pinky fingers go numb. It does what it does honorably, unlike some of the Mercs you’ll find, but any way you look at it, be it by platform, or by genre, it sits between adequate and good, a tech demo that happens to be worth your time. Only evangelists will collect a full deck here.
  61. Sep 4, 2013
    77
    While the pure combat in Killzone: Mercenary is well-executed, the freedom of choice never comes to fruition, and it smacks of lost opportunity. Thankfully, its absence has no impact on the entertaining multiplayer modes which are worth returning to again and again.
  62. Sep 4, 2013
    75
    As a portable FPS Killzone Mercenaries feels good. It's clear, however, that in the shooting genre you can do much better.
  63. Oct 16, 2013
    70
    This game makes you forget you’re playing on a handheld – it’s a full-blown title with excellent graphics. Too bad enemies are sometimes incredibly stupid and checkpoints often frustratingly far from one another. [11/2013, p.85]
  64. Mercenary is a big budget FPS on a handheld, done as right as it can be, but it’s still not quite good enough. [November 2013, p80]
  65. Oct 2, 2013
    70
    As proof that shooters on a handheld can be good, Mercenary succeeds, but that's about the sum total of its accomplishments.
  66. Sep 23, 2013
    70
    It'll only disappoint if you're expecting something on PS3 scale. [Issue#139, p.109]
  67. Sep 23, 2013
    70
    Fans of the series will enjoy, while anyone who is looking for a handheld first-person shooter, well, you really have no choice in the matter, since as it stands, Killzone: Mercenary is the best first-person shooter you can buy for a handheld device, although, the competition isn’t exactly fierce.
  68. Sep 18, 2013
    70
    A standard but enjoyable shooter and one of the best-looking games on the Vita.
  69. Sep 16, 2013
    70
    I feel bad for saying this, but Mercenary makes me excited for Sony's recently announced PS Vita TV peripheral, which will allow many Vita games to be played on your big screen TV using a standard PlayStation 3 DualShock controller.
  70. Sep 16, 2013
    70
    With Mercenary, Vita owners who've waited nearly 19 months for an FPS to brag about can now cease holding their collective breaths. Despite some minor technical bumps in the road and the brevity of its main campaign, the game is a worthy chapter in the franchise, and a fine shooter in its own right.
  71. Sep 12, 2013
    70
    Killzone: Mercenary is sort of like an ambitious little brother, trying to fill his older brother's shoes – and in some ways he is able to do so. The result is a handheld shooter that looks and plays great, but it is far from perfect.
  72. 70
    As much as I was hoping (and, quite frankly, expecting) Killzone: Mercenary to be the perfect representation of a first-person shooter on the PlayStation Vita, it just isn’t. A sub-par single player campaign is only saved by the fast-paced and fun multiplayer.
  73. Impressive as some aspects of the level design and interface might be, Guerrilla hasn’t quite delivered the whole package. This isn’t going to be a massive system seller with wide, mainstream appeal. Still, one can’t discount that Killzone: Mercenary may well be the most playable handheld first-person shooter yet made. That’s no small accomplishment.
  74. Sep 4, 2013
    70
    Killzone Mercenary didn't wow us, but we can live with that. It's a good FPS that showcases the handheld's potential, and while it does little to push the series forward, it'll make a fine portable companion for players with itchy trigger fingers.
  75. Sep 4, 2013
    70
    A solid and visually impressive shooter, it never manages to feel essential - and clearly exists mostly because all first-party franchises are obliged to put in an appearance on a new console - but even as a relatively minor entry in its own series, it still sets a new benchmark for portable shooters.
  76. 70
    The real test for Mercenary is whether the game would stand out if it was released on a home console, but the answer to that is probably not. The nods to GoldenEye offer some deviance from the norm but overall Mercenary does too little to distinguish itself from the competition. That there is no competition on the PS Vita gives it something of a free pass, but it still seems more like a proof of concept than a standalone game.
  77. The closest Killzone Mercenary comes to having a thing is in its touch controls, and as satisfying as they are the marriage of console shooter and iOS game doesn’t elevate it into the realm of the exceptional.
  78. Sep 4, 2013
    70
    While it's hamstrung by flaky multiplayer functionality and a lack of new ideas, it is impressive just how well the first-person action of the Killzone franchise has translated to the Vita. As competent as it is, however, Killzone: Mercenary is teetering on the edge of being something truly great.
  79. Sep 4, 2013
    65
    The crowded control scheme, uninspired campaign, and limited multiplayer options are completely outclassed by most home-console shooters. If, however, you’re truly desperate to fill that gaping genre hole in your Vita’s library, you won’t have a totally miserable time here.
  80. Oct 3, 2013
    60
    It is a game that imitates what works from its console big brothers and does enough to also stand out on its own.
  81. Sep 10, 2013
    60
    Killzone: Mercenary resembles its console counterparts gunplay-wise, but its story is dull and difficulty spikes and other shenanigans sour the experience.
  82. Sep 4, 2013
    60
    Occasionally awkward controls and convoluted map design aside, it accomplishes the goal of seeming like a big, fun, explosion-packed, AAA shooter. But that's it.
  83. Sep 4, 2013
    60
    It is, in other words, a competent handheld version of Killzone, and those who bought a Vita on that promise will be amply satisfied. Others will squint, line up their sights on a speck in the middle distance, squeeze the trigger and hope for the popup confirming their aim was true, and wonder if this is really what handheld gaming should be.
  84. Sep 4, 2013
    60
    The fact Mercenary has such strong on-paper ideas only makes its lack of ambition even more disappointing. It’s a smart, fun shooter, with the exact structure needed to slim triple-A FPS down to pick-up-and-play portability, but it never comes through and capitalises on its potential.
  85. Sep 18, 2013
    55
    On the surface Killzone: Mercenary checks all the right boxes, with superb visuals and a robust online mode. Sadly the methodical controls and tacked-on campaign really drag down the experience.
  86. Sep 4, 2013
    55
    At its most basic, shooting guys in the face in Killzone: Mercenary can be enjoyable but never gives the player any credit in any other facet of the game. Not to mention a repetitive, uninspired mission structure and pocketfuls of missed opportunities, the campaign length coming in at just under four hours.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 364 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 103
  2. Negative: 2 out of 103
  1. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    Once again some of the critics are slating this game. One giving it a pathetic 55! What a moron. This game is epic reviews like that destroy the games chance and sales. I have finished the campaign except for the extra side missions and have been playing the multiplayer daily. The campaign is great just wish it was a bit longer but with the covert side missions adds extra playability. The graphics are superb the best on the vita by far it comes close to ps3 quality the multiplayer is great and addictive and I have not experienced any lag. All in all this is the best vita game and first person shooter on a handheld. Don't listen to some of these so called critics who probably aren't true gamers that are giving it ridiculously low scores. If your after great graphics controls gameplay and lots of replay you won't be disappointed. Full Review »
  2. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    As of the time I'm writing this the critic average is 78. The User average is 9.8. That is a HUGE difference. I bought own the game and I can say that it will NOT disappoint. Disregard the silly critic reviews that (STILL) compare Vita games to PS3 games. If PS3 games are not penalized for not being portable, Vita games shouldn't be penalized for not matching their console counterparts. It's simply unfair. Killzone Mercenary is the best PORTABLE First Person Shooter ever. Ever. It is also one of the most beautiful portable games ever made. Multiplayer is a blast. The campaign is a lot of fun. It's simply a top-tier, Triple-A title that shouldn't be missed. Period. Full Review »
  3. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    Simply the best AAA game on my Vita right now. The SP is packed with content like different objectives and hidden Intel, the AI is smart as ever, the MP is fast, fun and addictive and most of all, It looks, runs and feels just like KZ2/3. Full Review »