Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Review
A Mission mode turned retail game.
The Resident Evil franchise is quite known for its wonderfully crafted survival horror gameplay. Although the series did move into a more of an action oriented direction, it still sports a large dedicated fan base. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is the first Resident Evil title on the Nintendo 3DS and is an expanded version of the Mercenaries mode featured in previous Resident Evil games. You basically choose from a variety of missions that need to be completed within the specified time limit. Although Capcom promised an expansive version of the mode with an online co-op option, the final product does not live up to what was been promised. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D disappoints with an extremely short set of missions, iffy frame rate drops, and very little end game content.
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D doesn’t really go into any explanation as to what the premise is, or have any story at all for that matter. It is what it is, a mission mode that was popular in the original series that is now a full-fledged game on its own. You start of by choosing one of the starting characters to play with such as Leon Kennedy and Jill Valentine. As you progress through the game’s missions you are able to unlock more characters to play as from the Resident Evil universe.
You will start off with a few introductory missions to settle you down with the controls. The controls felt pretty responsive on the 3DS and the button layout was exactly what you would expect from a Resident Evil game. The camera controls have been mapped to the right side of the touch screen and work quite well given the hardware. This kind of emulated a similar feeling to having an additional circle pad and was quite a smart use of the 3DS’s hardware capabilities.
Mercenaries 3D, however, suffers from tons of problems that could have otherwise made the title a lot more money worthy. The biggest glaring problem with the game is how limited the content is. When Capcom announced the game I didn’t really like the idea of a stand-alone version of a mode already included with every major Resident Evil title. My fears have become true as the game only offers 6 levels with each having 4-5 stages to complete. The stages are quite short themselves because of the imposed time limit that you need to complete the stage within. Although you can change characters to replay the stages, they and the overall feel of the game stay the same with little difference.
The other problem that plagues Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is its unstable frame rate. The game does look good for a handheld but has lots of slowdown and low resolution background textures that spoil the experience. The frame rate drops occur quite often but does not reach unbearable levels. The 3D effect didn’t feel significant in the game but it helped in adding depth and spacing to the environment of the game.
The game also includes local as well as online Co-op. While the local co-op works as well as the game does, online co-op usually has several issues plaguing it. Latency is the most significant one as there will be plenty of times where enemies pop up out of nowhere. Every now and then however you can get a stable connection that works well enough to render the game playable.
In a nutshell, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a disappointment. The game seems like a test project on the 3DS for Capcom with the end goal of checking how the engine works on the 3DS hardware. The game also comes with a short Resident Evil: Revelations demo which is interesting if you are looking forward to that game. Unless you really love the Mercenaries mode from the various Resident Evil games, then The Mercenaries 3D should not be a title on the top of your must buy list, or any other for that matter.