Killzone Mercenary Art Director: “Our Ultimate Aim is to Make the Best Looking FPS” Ever on a Handheld

As you probably noticed in the Killzone: Mercenary gameplay video that debuted recently, the upcoming FPS looks amazing on the PlayStation Vita and manages to stand pretty close to both Killzone 2 and Killzone 3 in the graphics department.

In an interview with, Art Director on Killzone: Mercenary, Thomas Jones (whose previous work includes Killzone 1 and 2), was asked how he was able to match the visual style of the console games:

A large part of it is due to the fact we’re using the Killzone 3 engine. This has allowed us to utilise a lot of the post-processing and lighting effects that are synonymous with the visual style. With regards to the content, particularly our new environments, there’s been a big effort to make sure it feels grounded and fits Killzone’s “hard sci-fi” look. We look at real life objects and settings as the basis for everything we create. Despite being a futuristic world, it’s still important that everything makes some sort of structural or mechanical sense. I think it’s this attention to detail that stops things getting too fantastical, and helps create a more immersive, gritty and believable world.

Tom then talked about if he was able to achieve everything he wanted to with Mercenary:

Honestly, I’d be lying if I said we’ve achieved everything that I wanted to, but I think that’s part and parcel of wanting to push the tech and graphics to their limits. It’s important to be always looking for more, whether it’s bigger explosions, more particle effects, or just more content! Ultimately though, when I take a step back I think we can be really proud of what we have achieved so far with the tech. Our ultimate aim is to make the best looking FPS that there has ever been on a handheld. It’s a high target to set ourselves, but I believe we are getting close to where we want to be.

The next question focused on what the biggest challenge during development was, as well as what he was most proud of:

For me the challenge was following the previous games. I was very mindful of this game being perceived as a low quality port or the ‘little brother’ of the franchise. It was extremely important to me that it could stand proudly next to Killzone 2 and Killzone 3. Seeing the very positive public reaction, particularly those likening it to a PS3 game, has been very satisfying.

Does Killzone: Mercenary seem like the best looking FPS ever on a handheld to you? Let us know in the comments below.