Who says there’s never anything surprising in Game of the Year lists? For this year’s best shooter, the TSA staff’s collective hive mind has chosen to celebrate a PlayStation Vita game that we were warning you was going to be brilliant since June when we played it at E3, Killzone: Mercenary.
This was a very close category, with just over one per cent separating the winner from second place.
In that second place was the much loved BioShock Infinite. Irrational’s third BioShock game was perhaps not as strong in its shooting mechanics as some others in the category but it had an engaging story and a well-realised world.
In third place was the PlayStation 4’s flagship launch shooter, Killzone Shadow Fall. With stunning visuals and some great level design later in the game, Shadow Fall was a great game to launch with the PS4 and it cemented the series’ importance to the PlayStation family.
That was, of course, further indicated by the winner of this category. I first played Mercenary in a hot, quite dark press room at E3. I grasped the tethered Vita with a degree of trepidation, having played a number of fairly weak shooters on Vita. Within seconds, I was awash with relief. Mercenary was not only good to look at, smooth and crisp. It was also great fun to play, with some useful implementation of the Vita’s touchscreen and a smart core design that broke it up into manageable, commute-friendly chunks.
Killzone Mercenary is TheSixthAxis’ Shooter of the Year 2013.