In the third part of this guide to the weapons of Killzone Mercenary, we’ll be covering what I like to refer to as “Riot Gear”; the combination of armor and grenades.
Armor is an important part of your loadout because it denotes how quickly, quietly, and safely you can move through a dangerous situation. Each of the six options for armor in the game fill meters based on those attributes, calling them Mobility, Noise Suppression and Protection. Four of the armor choices also include an extra bonus – which I’ll talk more about in their respective sections.
The first type of armor listed is also the most basic; Combat. This type of armor is balanced, offering average levels of mobility, noise suppression and protection. It has no extra bonus features and effectively costs nothing since you’ve already got it in your inventory when the game starts. Though not special, it’s a good choice for a well-rounded player; I had no issue not changing from it during my first play-through on Veteran.
The second type of armor available is called Mercenary. This type of armor offers slightly lower than average protection, balancing it out with slightly higher than average noise suppression. It still offers average mobility, but throws in the bonus of doubling the payment for your kills – this one’s for the assassin in the crowd.
The next type of armor is called Blast. as the name suggests, it’s suited for dealing with things exploding around you. Offering higher than average protection balanced with lower than average everything else; blast armor reduces the damage sustained from pretty much any type of attack. This is the armor for the guy who always gets blown up, or needs a bit of help staying alive in a one-on-one gunfight.
Ballistic armor is also another fairly self explanatory name, seeing as how it offers reduced impact from bullets – including headshots. It has maxed out protection levels with minimum levels of noise suppression and mobility, so it’s definitely not suited for sneak attacks. This armor is for the run-and-gun style of player who doesn’t mind moving a little slower.
Infiltrator armor maxes out your noise suppression and mobility while offering almost no protection, making it the armor of choice for the sniper. Snipers aren’t suppose to be seen or heard, but need to be highly mobile in case the need of a position change arises – and that’s exactly what you’re offered here.
The last type of the armor is my favourite for single player missions; it’s called Supply. This special type of armor offers average protection and slightly lower than average noise suppression and mobility. To counterbalance that, it allows your Vanguards to charge over time as well as giving you extra ammunition.
Like with weapons, there’s a type of armor for almost every situation – nothing more or less than what you might need. My personal favourites are the Mercenary armor and the Supply armor, which I use for stealth and run-and-gun type play respectively.
The grenades in Killzone Mercenary are the only weapon type they seemed to have skimped on. While they offer five types of grenade, one is simply a variant of another – really only leaving four different types. Along with those types, I thought there were two or three missing; but I’ll note my objections after I explain what we’re working with.
The first type of grenade is also the most basic; the M194 Frag. Frag stands for fragmentation – owing to their explosive nature. These grenades contain a charge that explodes, sending fragments of shrapnel into your enemies. They are timed and once the pin is pulled you only have seconds to toss it before it eviscerates you, the fuse being tiny. Some people like to “cook” their frags for a few seconds before tossing them, making them harder to avoid (though risking accidental suicide in the game).
The only variation in this list, the M133 Proximity Mine is actually a variation of the M194 Frag; offering the same deadly punch with none of the fuse or aiming. Proximity mines are used for two purposes; either protecting you from getting snuck up on, or as a distraction – and as such, isn’t suited for head-to-head usage (for which a frag or another tossable is preferred). They are placed and not thrown.
The M98 Flash grenade is made for distraction, not destruction. When tossed, it emits a blinding white light that makes it impossible for anyone observing its detonation to see anything. This is temporary, but gives the tosser (or any non-affected passer-by) an opportunity to open fire without being targeted directly.
The VC-G11 Gas grenade is a quiet method of taking down your enemy. When tossed, it releases a lethal combination of toxins and irritants in a puff of grey/green smoke. Those chemicals slowly nullify targets caught in the cloud, all without making a noise; it’s the choice grenade for any stealth mission or enclosed area.
Lastly, the STA-G2 Pyro grenade is a remotely detonated grenade, which is activated after tossing. The STA-G2 detonates in a thermite-infused flash over, fire engulfing its explosive radius and anyone near-by catching fire. Being that the fire doesn’t always kill immediately, it has a high chance of spreading through contact with afflicted enemies (read; guys on fire like to run around). I prefer to detonate this one before it hits the ground for maximum coverage.
Those five grenades aside, there were a few I thought the game could make good use of but didn’t appear. Those at Guerrilla Cambridge who’re reading should take heed; EMP (electromagnetic pulse) and acid grenades would’ve been great additions. Maybe next time?Aside from those two missed possibilities, I think the weapons of Killzone Mercenary cover all the bases quite well… especially in regard to Vanguards.
Speaking of which, that’ll be the title of the last segment of this article series; Vanguards – where we cover the special technology used to augment your first-person shooter experience.