Killzone Mercenary Release Date: Guerrilla Cambridge Sheds Some Light On The Upcoming PlayStation Vita FPS

By Juan G. Rodriguez , Updated Feb 05, 2013 02:22 PM EST

The PlayStation Vita needs triple-A blockbuster titles in-order to survive the onslaught of mobile gaming and Guerrilla Cambridge's upcoming first-person shooter Killzone: Mercenary looks like it could be a system seller.

In a recent interview with the PlayStation Blog, development lead Piers Jackson shed some light on the new game and explained where Mercenary sits in the Killzone timeline.

"Mercenary starts shortly after the beginning of Killzone 1," Jackson said. "We commence the game with the battle for Vekta in full flow - you actually start out in a destroyed Vektan city and the opening few levels are all about liberating the planet. We then transition into the Killzone 2 universe and the invasion into Pyrrhus. The story itself wraps up at some point in the Killzone 2 universe."

Jackson says that the game's graphics are comparable to the PlayStation 3's Killzone 3 and that the Vita is powerful system.

"In some regards we've tried not to shrink it at all - we've tried to get a full Killzone experience running on PS Vita," Jackson said. "The system is incredibly powerful - we've got graphics that are comparable to Killzone 3 running on a handheld."

He continued, "It's optimised in a lot of locations but the core AI system is based precisely on Killzone 3. We've had to replace a few of the audio and rendering systems but the back-end leading into them is pure Killzone engine architecture. We've also got certain things in the renderer that are unique to our system - we've added reflection mapping on the floor and particle systems can actually be lit as well."

Jackson says that fans of first-person shooter need not to worry about the handheld game's action sequences and big set pieces.

"We've got some pretty hefty set pieces in there. We have a halo drop, as you might have seen - that's a pretty epic way to open a mission," Jackson said. "We really don't skimp on set pieces. We blow up giant cruisers, we have flight sections - there are all sorts of big moments."

The designer also mentions that Mercenary will feature some light stealth elements. He explains, "We have light stealth in the game. If you're being quiet and using silenced weapons the AI will not pick up on you. If you kill a trooper and the body is left lying around and another enemy finds it, they'll come and hunt you down. We've extended the AI to cater for additional play-styles."

Although Killzone: Mercenary is the first game in the series to be developed outside of Guerrilla HQ, Jackson points out that a lot of the Guerilla Cambridge team have worked on previous titles in the franchise.

"It's worth pointing out that a good number of our art team have been working on previous Killzone titles so it's not like the franchise is entirely new to us," Jackson said. "When we embarked on Mercenary obviously we worked very closely with the guys in Amsterdam to maintain the continuity, and we've had a very tight relationship throughout the process. But it's been great. It's been a rush! It's a big project, and a very exciting one - it feels great to finally be showing this to people outside the studio."

Killzone: Mercenary will release in September for the PlayStation Vita. You can check out the game's trailer below and tell us what you think about the game in the comment section.

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