Characters still feel sluggish and slow however, a flaw that has carried on over from previous Resident Evil games. While its understandable for a character such as Chris Redfield, who has packed on the muscles and now resembles the ideal rugby player, its odd when a person uses the more nimble and agile Sheva, who handles like a 18 wheeler truck instead of a gymnast.
Mercenaries retains its arcade style mechanics and fluid gameplay, giving players quick doses of zombie-blasting action, something that works well for the platform and for gamers on the move. Unfortunately, for the more dedicated fan, RE:M 3D is a rather short affair, lasting only a few short hours before its all over.
Co-op gameplay however, is a fun way to experience Mercenaries, and this is where the game shines. Missions can be tackled with a friend in either wireless or online mode, and will bring out the competitive spirit in anyone, as you each aim for the high score at the end of a round, while ganging up on infected enemies makes for some satisfying combo kills.
For the most part, The Mercenaries is visually impressive. Up close, the characters are beautifully detailed, while the enemies coming after you are almost on par with their console versions. They’re realistically animated and the 3D effects pop fantastically, especially when you’re finding yourself being chainsawed in half by a maniacal Majini. From a distance however, there are some flaws present. Characters are obviously not fully buffered, or are generally rendered incomplete, with their animation suffering accordingly.
But unless you’re actively looking for those faults, its nothing that will break a game. The action normally gets too thick for such analysis however, as you’ll be too busy trying to find a way to survive and accumulate the necessary points in order to progress.
The content here falls short in the end however. While The Mercenaries is a fun title to play, it just doesn’t provide a lot of content for players who are more interested in variety than chasing high scores and time limits. An achievement system is in place here, tempting players to finish a level under a strict set of criteria, but it comes off as a quick add-on that Capcom dangles in front of players in order to keep them playing.
Its the same Resident Evil gameplay that we’ve become familiar with over the last couple of years, but with some minor improvements such as strafing and 180 degree turns thrown in to keep combat fluid. Admittedly awkward to learn at first, the controls soon become easier thanks to some gentle tutorial levels.
Design and Presentation: 7.5/10
While fantastic up close, with some amazing visuals that really stand out thanks to the 3D effects, anything in the distance will suffer from neglect and several glitches. Not that you’ll notice it while you’re busy with a horde of pissed, infected people who want to see the what you look like on the inside. The sound quality is above average, but it doesn’t manage to convey how powerful weapons and environmental hazards, giving players a tinny pop sound instead of a big bang.
Its a rather short game, with little replay value tossed in haphazardly. However, find a friend or connect online, and you’ll have loads more fun than you would in the single-player campaign.
Its not the essential game to have on the 3DS, but it is one of the more impressive titles to own and show off, and is a welcome step towards giving the handheld a console a measure of credibility towards the hardcore crowd of gamers who aren’t interested in shovelware. If this is the first book in the 3DS catalogue of upcoming games, then the handheld just might have a strong library of titles in its future.
Last Updated: July 11, 2011