Who needs a story when there is evil to vanquish?
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a strange beast. There are so many points about the game that make it simply unappealing, yet there are still reasons to play and aspects of the game that will have Resi fans grinning all the way through to the impressive looking Resident Evil: Revelations. But is this really a game that the non-fans will enjoy?
Perhaps the thing that stands out most in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is the absense of anything new. The entire game is based upon the Mercenaries modes from Resident Evil 4 and 5. With a complete void where a story should be, the player is challenged to work through five levels, each of which is split into missions. Each mission will see the player chasing the all important high score, either by killing as many enemies as possible within a time limit or eliminating all of the enemies before the clock runs down.
All of the action takes place in a third-person perspective, with the player beginning by choosing one of the available mercenaries. The mercenaries in question consist of characters from the other Resident Evil games, with some available from the get go and others waiting on the sidelines until unlocked by the player for performing well in the missions. Each of the different characters come with different weapons and the player can even unlock new outfits, further adding to the unlockables. As if the characters and outfits were not enough for the player to work towards unlocking, there are also a number of bonuses that can be applied to the players’ character, allowing a level of customisation.
The maps offered up are, once more, recycled from the earlier Resident Evil games. Whilst I applaud the fan service that has been made by Capcom up to this point, something new would have been nice. Still, the maps are all good and it’s not like players will have time for site seeing if they are really trying to complete the missions within the time limit. It is at this point that I should mention that graphically the game looks very impressive. Capcom have made good use of the 3DS’ capabilities, although the limitations of the screen size do limit the scope of the players viewpoint. It should also be mentioned that the 3D effect is actually quite good, although by no means essential to the games enjoyment.
Revolving as it does around getting a high score, players are able to increase their scoring by taking down enemies, all of which are once again recycled from previous games, in quick succession. Also helping towards the high score are the occasional time increases that can be found in some of the missions, taking the edge off of the rapidly decreasing time limit. It is this time limit that makes the game so frustrating. Although the ability to move whilst in aiming mode has been included in Mercenaries 3D, the reality is that the game still involves a move or shoot mechanic for the most part, which can slow the action down. Add into this the number of enemies that the player may have to dispatch within a given level, and the fact that quite often these enemies need to be sought out, and the result is a damn difficult game, especially in the later levels. If you are the sort of person who does not like repeating levels, this is likely not the game for you.
Which would be a shame as the controls have translated to the 3DS incredibly well, possibly the best I have found thus far in a 3DS action game. The right shoulder button puts the player into aiming mode, which is in first-person perspective, and the Y button is used to shoot. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Something else included with the game that improves it no end is the co-op multiplayer. Teaming up with a buddy to take on the missions is not only a lot of fun, but is flawless in it’s execution, even including the ability to share health packs.
But although there are many, many things to collect and the drive to increase your score is high, most players will become bored before they manage to unlock everything. With an incredibly limited number of maps and only 30 timed missions making up the entire game, Mercenaries 3D feels incomplete or half done, which I guess is a hazard of trying to turn a bonus mode into a full-priced game.
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D doesn’t really do anything wrong, it is just hard to see it as a full game. Resident Evil fans will likely wet themselves at this slice of their favorite game series, but it is only a slice, not a full portion, and offers nothing that they would not have seen before. For the non-fans I would say that the game is fun, but the interest will be short-lived and the player will likely find themselves discarding the game before too long for something more “complete”.