Being the PS4 free game of the month for PlayStation Plus members, this was one of the first titles since the PS4's monthly "freeleases" that piqued my interest. A side scrolling late '80s looking shooter? Sign me up! I wasn't sure what to expect from the game, but I was interested enough to give it a download.
Graphically, Mercenary Kings is very simple, and looks as if it were made almost thirty years ago. It's a clean looking game thanks to the HD quality though. There's a bit of blood and gore goodness, but I'd actually prefer more. There's a decent amount of variation between levels, and while the color palettes change and a few new enemies arrive, the gameplay truly doesn't change all that much, but more on that in a bit. Despite the simple graphics, there are occasional hiccups in online play, but they're few and far between, and hardly an issue.
The sound isn't much, and is about what you'd expect from a game with this look. There is a bit of voicing done in here, but mostly you'll be reading text on-screen. Simple and fine and good, but hardly the reason anybody would buy Mercenary Kings.
Mercenary Kings is a pretty simple game. It's a side scrolling shoot 'em up and collecting game. You'll find yourself picking up every bit of loot you can find to beef up your weapons and trying to come up with the best possible combination for your weapon of choice. While I probably wouldn't be too interested in this game if it were just single player, its redundant gameplay is easy to forgive and forget when you're playing with a friend, two, or three. Mercenary Kings has several ranks and missions to go through, probably thousands upon thousands of weapon combinations, and fairly memorable enemies, regardless of the fact that many later in the game are just reskinned versions of ones you've killed before. It's not a game that requires much more than pressing square and avoiding attacks, but it has a surprising bit of depth, and is an entertaining multiplayer experience.
+ Plenty of content, including a lot of guns, ranks, levels, and abilities.
- Not to be played for long periods of time due to its repetitiveness; not-so-great when playing alone.