Not a must-buy for Vita. Vita is a must buy for this.

User Rating: 9 | Killzone: Mercenary VITA
Finally it's here. Hopefully we won't ever have to hear the "there are no good games for the Vita" rhetoric.

On day one there was a 1.1 GB patch that seemed to have fixed some performance issues. Couldn't tell the difference honestly.

The graphics are outstanding. The smoke, the explosions, the vistas, the weapon detail, the lightning effects, etc. Unfortunately you only cast a shadow in some places and your character is mute.

The controls are tight although they have an inbuilt auto-aim system. As far as being responsive, well, remember than you move mostly slowly and realistically (unless you wear the infiltration suit) and that it takes a couple of seconds to swap weapons in killzone, so this isn't a fast-paced shooter.

The game takes place during the events of the second game. The story is quite good, well "Killzone good". It's gritty, brutal, is lacking humor and is sort of "manly" for the lack of a better word. It only starts to pick up after the third mission though. I was always sympathetic to the Helghast populace. I've always viewed them the oppressed working class who had to crawl through the sea of mud, piss and sweat to get where they are. They still speak with that weird British nasal dialect. Only this time the devs decided to combine their naziesque appearance and give some of them Slavic names. Don't see any reasoning behind that. There is also a small number of Helghan civilians this time around. Regardless, this game finally allows you to play on the Higs' side!

You earn money through missions, special tasks, executions, challenges and use that to buy gear/weapons. If you want to swap gear or weapons that you have already purchased you pay a small fee - to keep you earning I guess.

If you crave the old-school KZ 2/KZ 3 experience without the HUD, the pop-ups, and the map, (the cross-hair) then you can turn all of that off. Needless to say, I found the SP experience much more enjoyable and hard-core as a result. I only wish they had that "Untouchable" achievement they had in KZ2 - beat the entire game without dying. If you play multiplayer then you need your entire HUD on. It's pretty much essential.

Very few FPS games are able to nail the concept of FPS warfare so well, and we have had so many of those. Each and every fire-fight is dynamic, intense and brutal. The satisfaction of slaying a squad of the smart enemy Helghan AI is unparalleled. The melee kills never get old however you still need to use the screen directions to execute your foe depending on his position/pose/standing. That forces you to divert your right thumb quite often. Not only that, you need to press the triangle to activate it if you disable the touch screen option. In multiplayer that often means death because you need to be able to face your enemy while doing so.

It was demonstrated a couple of years ago somewhere that Killzone's enemy AI was the most advanced FPS AI of all time. Thankfully, that still holds up. They take cover, blind-fire, call for back up, throw grenades, retreat, flank, communicate. Except the Helghan visibility is somewhat reduced when you sneak around knifing everyone. There are so many ways to complete a mission. Especially after you beat them for the first time.

The levels are spacious most of the time and provide ample room for flanking. Part of the reason why they are spacious is because some of them reoccur in the multiplayer. For instance, you may want to beat a level or complete a contract by getting the lightest armor, getting the invisibility vanguard perk as well as get the silenced primary and secondary weapons. The enemy won't ever hear you run. If you want to be a slow-moving cumbersome bullet sponge then you can do that as well and the enemy will hear you walk and react accordingly. Every suit has its perks: more $ earned, more ammo, protection from fire/gas/grenades/bullets.

The hacking takes a while to get used to and often requires both hands (that's what she said) but it's kind of taxing on your attention and your short-term memory abilities. It's kind of like that game that some parents play with their kids. The parents lay a whole bunch of items on the table, have the child look at them and attempt to memorize some of them. The child walks out of the room while the parents take out one item. The child is then supposed to guess which one is missing and so on.

The multiplayer is extremely addicting, you got deathmatch, team deathmatch and objective based matches (the longest ones). You may incapacitate your foe and interrogate him for the enemy troop locations. Each and every weapon feels unique. Each map forces you to play with a different load-out depending on whether its a vertical/corridor/open terrain. The vanguard perks are very fun to use, you have killer drones, recon drones, shield, invisibility cloak, auto-aimed rockets, air strikes, etc.

I honestly can't think of any negatives that this game has aside from some texture popping (which is gradual, not sudden), the fact that your superiors are always barking orders at you over the radio in SP and that is pretty much it. I've had one bug where I had to restart the chapter because the doors wouldn't open.

P.S. Can you believe this game costs $ 40 while COD:Declassified cost $ 50 at launch?