Mercenary Kings is the next pixel-packing beauty from the Wizorb team

Tribute Games reveals Mercenary Kings, a side-scrolling shoot 'em up.

Wizorb developer Tribute Games has revealed its next project, Mercenary Kings, a mission-based, side-scrolling run-and-gun shooter with a weapon crafting system and, of course, very pretty sprites.

If the look of the 16-bit style shoot 'em up seems familiar, Mercenary Kings comes from some of the highly talented folks involved in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game: game designer Jonathan Lavigne and animator Paul Robertson.

Tribute Games founder Lavigne says the game is planned for release on the PC "for sure" starting in 2013, with an Xbox 360 version "probably" in the works. Other platforms, including the PlayStation 3 and Vita, are under consideration.

Lavigne tells Polygon that Mercenary Kings has been in the works for some time, but that his previous games Ninja Senki and Wizorb needed to get out the door before Tribute could focus on developing the game full-time. Currently, Tribute Games is about two months into full-time development, with the game in a prototype stage.

Mercenary Kings is still a work in progress, Lavigne says, and that the game's design doc is "far from being done." He added that the scope of Mercenary Kings is bigger than that of his most recent title Wizorb.

"The missions of the game will make the story progress and will allow players to gather materials to craft weapon parts," wrote in an e-mail. "The player can then build a weapon that fits his play style and/or the situation met in his next mission (in a similar fashion to Monster Hunter)."

"The crafting system is core to the game, but isn't the goal of the game," Lavigne explained to Polygon. "It's rather a means for the player to become more effective depending on the situation. However, I'm sure that players who love to collect every items in a game will have fun crafting all weapon parts."

On the Tribute Games blog, Lavigne intimated that Mercenary Kings would feature a cooperative multiplayer component, but also cautioned that "a lot might still change."

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