There’s not much to say about Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D other than it takes the best bits from the mercenaries bonus game from both Resident Evil 4 and 5 and put them into one convenient package.
The typical game play of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D sees your character surviving against a horde of infected foes for a limited amount of time while trying to rack up the highest score. If you’re feeling brave and want more of a challenge, then there are several time bonuses dotted around each of the maps that allow you to extend the time you can play for, with minor time increases for each melee kill.
In the 3DS version of mercenaries there are several missions to complete, while the game play is the same as it is for the typical style of play, these missions have objectives to complete. The first level of missions is the tutorial set which allows you to get to grip with the controls, get more challenging as the missions progress taking you through body count missions and boss battles. Those of you who have played Resident Evil 4 and 5 should know what to expect from these bosses, those of you who haven’t, be prepared for a challenge.
Those of you who just want to play mercenaries as it was intended, will have to play through the other mission sets and unlock the EX missions. The key to getting the highest scores in these missions is to keep your kill chain going for as long as possible and make use of the score bonuses hidden around the map which grant the player with a score multiplier for a limited amount of time. The more enemies you kill in this mode the higher chances that you’ll encounter the area bosses, if you’re lucky and manage to defeat them you’ll earn yourself a nice score bonus but you’ll also increase your chances of encountering them in higher quantities. Be prepared.
Mercenaries plays similarly to Resident Evil 5 with the ability to resuscitate yourself is back, the controls are largely similar, but with one key difference which is the ability to move while aiming by holding “L”. Although, I have noticed that while you are resuscitating your character you can be around a group of enemies for quite some time before one of them attacks in some cases. If Nintendo would release a patch for this game to enable use of the circle pad pro then, in my opinion, the game would be massively improved. Not only would the console be more comfortable to hold since it fleshes out the handheld to feel like a console controller but the inclusion of a second circle pad makes the game play, at least in the case of Resident Evil Revelations, feel much faster; so one can only assume it would bring the same perks to Mercenaries.
The game is quite comfortable to play thanks to the controls, as they’ve been optimized well, making it easy to play, since you can select weapons and heal yourself using the touch screen. Regardless, if you’ve played mercenaries before or not, you should have no trouble getting to grips with this game and becoming a pro in no time. Unfortunately, if you’re like me and have large hands, they will get extremely sore pretty quickly on the tiny device largely exacerbated by the speed you’re required to play if you want to get to the top of the leader board. So, if you are planning on playing this game, I’d recommend you do so on the XL, since it’s not compatible with the circle pad pro.
The graphics, in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D hold up quite nicely especially as a game on a handheld device. However, the number of enemies on screen is reduced, which is to be expected from a handheld. But despite that, the experience of mercenaries isn’t gone because you can still feel overwhelmed by hordes of zombies at times. Where I am disappointed with the game is in the sound. It is as though the sound that’s used in the game has been recorded off screen from the console versions.
The Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D comes with five levels of missions to complete, level one being the tutorial set. Once you have completed these missions you then unlock “EX” missions which would be your typical mercenaries’ survival game mode. While these modes seem like a good idea they actually feel lacking. For example, it only took me between five to ten minutes to complete each one, which I believe it was more to do with hardware limitations than anything else. If you’re someone who likes to play with a partner and count on backup to keep you out of trouble, then you’ll be glad to know that the game has a co-op mode that supports both local and internet play, which holds up well and doesn’t appear to have any frame rate drops or lag but you can expect a more intense battle.
Keeping in line with other mercenaries outings there are also a number of extra characters to play as, each with their own weapon set. For those of you who still don’t know much about this game there’s a special guest character that hasn’t appeared in the action style Resident Evil before available to unlock and use, I won’t spoil it by mentioning names. There are also skills to unlock that can change the tide of battle to your favour. On top of that there are 50 medals to unlock which should keep any avid player busy for a while.
Overall I would say this game is a 3 out of 5, not bad but certainly could’ve been better. If you’re looking for something to fill that handheld sized void with Resident Evil then, I’d recommend getting Resident Evil Revelations instead. Mercenaries might not be included with that, but once you’ve tried the games’ raid mode you won’t miss it.
*If you plan on getting this game used, then please note that it’s not possible to erase any of the saved data on the card.*