Guerrilla Cambridge on Killzone Mercenary: “We’ve got Graphics That are Comparable to Killzone 3 Running on a Handheld”

Last week was a big one for Killzone: Mercenary. Not only did we learn about the release date and get a trailer with lots of gameplay, the developers also responded to the GTA V September 17th launch, and Anthony also had the chance to check the game out and post his thoughts.

This week, the PS Blog talked to Piers Jackson of Guerrilla Cambridge, asking him if it was difficult putting a console experience onto the PlayStation Vita:

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. The system is incredibly powerful – we’ve got graphics that are comparable to Killzone 3 running on a handheld.

He was then asked about getting the Killzone engine to work on the PS Vita:

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.

There may be a few areas we’ve had to tone back a bit, but we’re pretty convinced that we’ve come up with something that touches most of the technical features from the main Killzone engine.

When it comes to the missions, Piers detailed how they encourage you to replay them:

When you first get to a level, there’s a standard play-through mode. Once you’ve completed that you’ll unlock three challenge modes – Covert, Precision and Demolition. Each challenge mode will dictate that you need to play the level in a different way. You may have gone in guns blazing first time, but if you take the Covert challenge you’ll need to be much more stealthy – you can fail it if you get detected.

Precision is usually about accuracy and how you’re taking out the enemy – headshots, melee kills, interrogations. There can also be a timed element to it. We also have gun challenges in there as well, so you may have to play the mission using a certain weapon.

Demolition is largely about exploding things, as you might expect! You’ll have additional requirements in the mission that you’ll need to destroy.

The interview then continued to ask what gameplay mechanics fans can expect:

The shop is the biggest one for us really – the fact that you can go into a level kitted out however you want. You can then purchase new weapons as you go, to tailor the experience as you see fit.

Stealth is another big one – 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.

Those are the big ones, but obviously the melee system now uses the touch interface. And outside of the core mechanics, I think the fact that we’re showing the Killzone universe from a different angle will appeal to core fans as they get to see the universe in a different light.

Finally, Piers talked about the set pieces found within Mercenary:

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! 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 more I hear about Killzone: Mercenary, the more I want it and can’t wait for September 17th. Do you feel the same? Let us know in the comments below.