Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D [Available only for 3DS]
ESRB Rating: M
Release Date: June 28th, 2011
Parent Talk: Resident Evil features copious blood and gore, and some profanity. However, this series entry is not like the others. The core Resident Evil games focus on scares, but this 3DS-exclusive action game is about racking up as many kills as possible. While not appropriate for children, RETM 3D should be fine for teens and older.
Plays Like: RETM 3D is a retail rendition of the Mercenaries mini-mode from Resident Evils 4 and 5. Rather than throw you into in a story-driven scenario, Mercenaries 3D is about shooting every zombie in sight.
Review Basis: Completed all missions with Chris, HUNK, and Wesker; unlocked all characters; unlocked half of the skills; acquired over half the medals.
Fast-paced action. The Mercenaries 3D is a fun action title. It’s shallow and barebones, but hard to put down. There isn’t much content to help the game last, but it does make for a fun afternoon. There are dozens of levels to tackle that cover a range of locations from the Resident Evil franchise (specifically 4/5). Players must race to eliminate all enemies within the time limit in this addictive third-person shooter. The mechanics are taken directly out of the contemporary RE games, albeit with some adjustments. The game is satisfying to play in short bursts and ideal for casual pick-up-and-play.
+ Solid controls. The aiming and movement handle like RE4/5. Because the 3DS has only one analog stick, dual-analog action is impossible, but the design works well regardless. Moving with the circle pad is easy and intuitive, and there are subtle refinements to the familiar gameplay. You can finally move while healing or re-loading, and it’s possible to move and shoot simultaneously thanks to clever use of the left shoulder button. It’s not nearly as seamless as dual-analog though. Gyroscopic aiming may have been a better idea.
+ Touch-screen integration. Guns can be swapped with a quick tap of the touch-screen, making re-equipping characters a breeze. Nice, large touch-screen icons also make the menus easy to navigate, though they’re a little bare.
+ Detailed graphics. Mercenaries 3D boasts some of the best visuals on the 3DS yet thanks to impressive character models and faithfully-recreated environments from the RE franchise.
+ Revelations demo. Capcom included a short, yet promising glimpse of the next 3DS Resident Evil game.
+ Co-op. Shooting zombies with friends, either locally or online, is always fun. It’s mindless, but enjoyable.
+ Skills, medals, characters, and costumes. While the game lacks depth, the developers clearly tried to improve the Mercenaries formula. There are eight playable characters, each with his/her own unique weapon set. Players can set additional skills to characters, change costumes, and hunt for high scores and medals (akin to achievements).
– Shallow. There isn’t enough content to justify the full price. The game is fun, but would be better suited as a download because of its quick pick-up-and-play nature. No main campaign or story results in a dry experience. If Capcom wanted to avoid crafting a story, they could have at least offered more levels, characters, guns, and goodies to entice. What about stages, characters, and costumes from RE-RE3, or additional boss enemies like Nemesis? Perhaps an extra unlockable game, like the DS’s Deadly Silence?
Slowdown and pop-in. The graphics are detailed, but the frame rate is inconsistent, and enemies sometimes pop in out of nowhere. From the included demo alone, it’s clear that Revelations will be superior to Mercenaries.
Though RETM 3D is fun and addictive, the price is too high. RE enthusiasts should approach it with caution or wait for a price drop before checking it out. Skipping it in favor of Revelations isn’t a bad idea either.