Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Preview -- A New Dimension of HorrorBy Harold Goldberg - Posted Jan 19, 2011
It’s understandable that every game maker would want to have their keystone franchise on the Nintendo 3DS, at least in the first few months of release. After all, the system has buzz and most likely will sell big time. Yet I’m not sure that Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D was the right choice for Capcom.
From what I saw at the Nintendo event, there’s indeed some there there. But it just isn’t quite enough.
The great news is that the third person survival horror game looks nearly as good as a console game. Close-up, the creatures look gruesome. The levels, of which there will eventually be perhaps two dozen, are made from the worlds of Resident Evil 4 and 5.
The Mercenaries series in the console games doesn’t care much about story and mood. In the console games, Mercenaries is kind of a gift. You have to finish the main game before unlocking the mode. It allows you to shoot and shoot and shoot. With the 3DS, it right there, no unlocking necessary.
With plot not even an afterthought, the game asks you to care about getting into the killing groove. The lunking creeps you must slay are both fearsome and life-like. Headshots splatter everywhere in the beautiful elegance of 3D horror. Aiming and shooting, however, takes a bit of getting used to with the new controls.
You are in the foreground. The baddies come up to you from in front and, often shockingly, from behind. You never want them to encircle you, but four or more eventually do, even if you keep checking behind you. Stalwart, you twist away and keep on your trek. Slow down for too long and it’s sayonara. They’ll choke the living daylights out of you.
Kill one and you’ll find ammo or healing herbs in its wake. Unfortunately, you can’t just walk into them to retrieve them. You have to press a button to pick them up.
The timed aspect of Mercenaries can be exciting as can finding red crystals to increase the time you have to kill. Annihilating a bunch of baddies at a time also adds precious seconds for shooting. It’s sometimes fun to traverse a map that a character like Ada Wong in RE4 has never tread upon. Kind of like, Hey, Ada, lemme show you this, baby. And it’s always a kick to use Redfield’s rifle, which sends these undead geeks flying backwards into fences and barns. Finally, by using the bumpers, you can move and shoot at the same time.
For a more alluring, story-rife Resident Evil in 3D, you’ll have to wait a while. Resident Evil Revelations is still in the alpha stage and won’t be viewable for a few months. Until then, you can shoot a bunch of undead folks in time trials with Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. And you’ll be able to do it with a pal in online multiplayer – from wherever you are in the world.