New PS4 and Steam Sidescroller Mercenary Kings Designed by Paul Robertson!

Tribute Games is working on a new retro 2d title, Mercenary Kings, for release on Sony’s PS4 and Valve’s Steam service. The game is a run and gun shooter that will feature 4 player co-op gameplay and a deep weapons crafting system. The character sprites and animation are being done by the great Paul Robertson, so it oozes pixel style.

Most folks first witnessed Paul Robertson’s pixel art genius when his Kings of Power 4 Billion Percent video went viral years ago (if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it now). This led to Paul working on the art for several games, most notably the Scott Pilgrim side scrolling brawler that came out in 2010. His work takes the 16 bit sprites of yesteryear and injects an irreverence, humor, and outright strangeness into them. He’s garnered quite the cult following over the years.

But Mercenary Kings is certainly not a piece of style over substance. The new indy title sports a weapons customization system that rivals many graphically intense, big budget 3D shooters as well as 4 player split screen co-op.

From the Playstation Blog announcement:

What really makes Mercenary Kings stand out is the depth of its crafting system. While you’re on missions, defeating enemies and completing objectives will reward you with loot. This loot can be used to craft new gun parts and combine them to fit your play style! Want to put a shotgun barrel on that sniper rifle receiver? Why not!? Each gun is split up in five (receiver, magazine, stock, sight and barrel) with a selection of ammo types. We have over 300 gun parts already in the game so the possibilities are endless.

Enough rambling about customization. The game really starts to shine when you play with friends. A lot of people ask us why we went with split screen over forcing everyone in one screen. With our mission system, we quickly realized we wanted to give players the freedom to split up, and tackle various objectives separately and then possibly meet back up to take on the bigger main objective. Since our levels aren’t linear and bosses don’t necessarily always appear at the same spot, it’s a good idea to split up to find where the boss appeared this time and meet back up once found and take him down together!

While “retro, indy, 2D sidescroller with a nifty art style” is in danger of becoming as tired a trope as “veiny necked dude in power suit kills stuff”, Mercenary Kings manages to do something new. It looks great and, more importantly, it looks like it’ll a blast to play.

Be on the look out for Mercenary Kings on the PS4 and Steam, and be sure to check out the trailer below!

[Via: Playstation Blog]

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