Upon first unveiling the PlayStation Vita, Sony announced a handful of spin-off titles based on their most successful IPs – including the elusive Killzone Vita title. The game received a rebranding at this year’s Gamescom and is now titled Killzone: Mercenary. It also looks just as good as you’d expect.

Coming to the Vita in 2013, Killzone: Mercenary will be a first-person shooter in line with its console predecessors – as opposed to the isometric view of the PSP title Killzone: Liberation. The Brutal Melee system from Killzone 3 will once again make its return, as players will be able to swipe the screen to stab enemies in gruesome ways.

Unlike past titles which saw gamers play as the ISA forces, Mercenary follows the events of a third group of, well, mercenaries. The characters have no affiliation to either the ISA or Helghast, with the story placing players on both sides of the conflict. Mercenary will also offer a greater sense of freedom than in the console titles, allowing players to pick and choose their tactics and loadouts.

Killzone Mercenary Announcement Vita

As is to be expected from Guerilla Games, Killzone: Mercenary looks quite pretty. Of course, the it isn’t going to look as nice as the PS3 Killzone titles, but for a handheld game Mercenary is certainly pushing the bar. And with a few months to go until launch, we expect the graphics will be further improved.

Those who follow Sony closely may be surprised that Guerrilla Games is the one developing Killzone: Mercenary, especially after the publisher recruited various second and third party studios to work on Vita titles. However, gamers must remember that Cambridge Studio – the game’s developer back when it was Killzone Vita – was recently added to the Guerilla banner, making it likely that the game is still being handheld by the original development team. That means Guerilla probably has enough of a head count to continue work on their new IP – and Killzone 4.

We’ve had hints at a new Killzone announcement for quite some time now, and while some were hoping for Killzone 4, let’s not forget that it is rumored for a PS4 release. Even so, Mercenary has the potential to become a great Killzone experience – though we’re worried about the emphasis on touch controls. As we stated in our LittleBigPlanet Vita preview, touch controls work well when they’re implemented properly, and throwing in extensive screen wipes to do what a simple button press could is not good design. Though at this point, more Killzone is good news.

Killzone: Mercenary will release on the PS Vita in 2013.

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Source: PlayStation Blog