Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Hands-On

We rack up zombie kills in Spain and Africa, in this globe-trotting, challenge-based Resident Evil for the 3DS.

As sampled at the Nintendo 3DS showcase event in Amsterdam, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D takes the competitive, points-based, timed Mercenaries mode from Resident Evil 4 and 5 and fleshes it out as a full 3DS title.

Who's Making It: Capcom. Who else? (The House of Redfield has a second announced Resident Evil 3DS game in the works, though it wasn't playable here at the European showcase event: Resident Evil Revelations, which looks to be a more "traditional" story-based Resi title.)

What It Looks Like: Between the textures in the two maps we played on (Spain and Africa, a la Resident Evil 4 and 5 respectively) and the detailed character models (the pattern on the back of Claire's jacket, for instance), Mercenaries 3D impresses visually, quite apart from the 3D effect. This is one of the games that really sells the 3DS's graphical capabilities, upgraded over that of its 2D predecessor. Character animations are likewise impressive, as are occasional spectacles--such as the fiery explosion of the inevitable red barrel.

How It Uses 3D: As a third-person game with an over-the-shoulder view for shooting, Mercenaries 3D puts your chosen character into the foreground--though, thankfully, the pop-out effect isn't off-putting. The 3D is at its most obvious with a scoped weapon when you switch into its zoomed view; the scope really stands up off of the screen.

What You Do: You pick a character, of which there were four in our demo: Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, Hunk, and Jack Krauser. Each has a different weapon loadout--Krauser came equipped with a bow and arrow as his main weapon, for instance. Then, with that character, you kill as many enemies as possible, facing off against robed, skull-masked baddies in the Spanish level and African Majini in the other.

As in the earlier games' Mercenaries mode, you are up against the clock as well as against the bad guys--are we still calling them zombies?--as you navigate the smallish maps. Killing a number of enemies in a row adds time to the clock, as does collecting (that is, punching) large red bonus crystals scattered around the level. Familiar item pickups such as healing herbs, ammo, and grenades appear as well. These, along with your weapons, are selectable by tapping your inventory menu on the lower screen.

The demo at the Amsterdam showcase was single-player, though Capcom has also promised cooperative play over a Wi-Fi connection.

How It Plays: The controls will feel quickly familiar to those who have played the recent Resident Evil games. It's stop-and-shoot rather than run-and-gun, with the usual over-the-shoulder aiming view. The circle pad is for movement, with a combination of face button and right shoulder for entering aim mode and firing, with the face buttons otherwise variously employed for collecting items, bashing bonus time crystals, shaking off zombies, jumping down from a roof, and the like. It's a touch fiddly at first, but only as much as, say, Resident Evil 5 was after a long break from playing 4.

The maps are strongly reminiscent of the Mercenaries maps in the earlier games, with staircases to climb and ledges to leap down from as you lead the slow-moving enemies on a merry chase. The key, as ever, is to keep moving, not let yourself get surrounded, and think strategically about extending your time for as long as possible to maximise your score.

What We Say: It's a technical accomplishment--one of the most visually striking games for the 3DS available to play here at the European showcase. It looks--and quickly feels--impressively close to Mercenaries mode in the home console games. Those hankering for a slice of overblown Resident Evil drama will have to wait for Revelations, as there's no plot to be had here.

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Discussion

75 comments
eliebaz
eliebaz

always been a fan of resident evil, hoping this one is going to be as amazing as the rest i can almost imagine the blood of zombies squirting in 3D wow its going to be awesome

Gothic-360
Gothic-360

well this was just a gamemode.. if they are charging full price(of a portable game) the game must have a lot of extras compared to RE5/4 versions, larger maps, more characters, a lot more maps..

WeskerTeam
WeskerTeam

This will be awesome. Perfect game to be a quick pick-up and play. If it has lots of characters, maps, guns, and an online mode then its sold.

metalkid9
metalkid9

she forgot to mention that you can aim while moving.

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

i don't like the design of the ds, it just feels wrong to play games with it. If they stopped with the 2 screens it would be ok, but now another 5 years or more games comin out for a 2 screen hendheld otherwise it would make sense to emulate it, but with 2 screens there will be just to much games which are all not really enjoyable as they could.

UmbrellaIncsSpy
UmbrellaIncsSpy

I really wish it wasn't just on 3DS. Its another system you gatta go out to buy in order to keep up with Resident Evil :[

FPS1337
FPS1337

Well I really liked it in RE5 and RE4, and with co-op it's nice. It looks great, I'm hoping it has plenty of content though.

EvtheMan
EvtheMan

uh no, L4D is not an exclusive, it's a PC game that was ported to the 360. The PC version offers free content, free updates and custom maps, there is a DLC that you must buy, but the overall value on PC is twice as good as it is on 360. Saying that, L4D is owned by Valve, they can do whatever the hell they want with their game, it isn't owned by microsoft and if L4D comes to 3DS then it comes to 3DS, it's not microsofts call.

AvatarMan96
AvatarMan96

@ileadufollow Too bad L4D is a 360 exclusive :(

ileadufollow
ileadufollow

this reminds me of left for dead, they should make a game for 3ds

therickmu25
therickmu25

An ad-on game mode that got old quick sold as a full priced game? No thanks.

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

So....they're basically marketing a multiplayer tack-on from RE4/5 as a full game? At least it looks pretty. Count me out.

jangjoo
jangjoo

This game will be great.

larkurt
larkurt

THIS GAME WILL BE AWESOME :d

maxwell97
maxwell97

@p3anut, @tom_110584: Sleep mode works well, but my understanding is that the 3DS will have a feature more similar to auto-resume on the PSPGo. So, you can switch out of a game to listen to music or whatever, then switch back to where you left off in the game. It's awesome on the Go, I'm glad they're implementing this on the 3DS.

The_Azoth
The_Azoth

arf arf, new tech new views :P

icekids
icekids

@Mr_Great_Dane thanks,,,have a good day :)

Mr_Great_Dane
Mr_Great_Dane

@icekids -I like u speek from free mind. but i def. don´t agree. PsP and Ds is two completly different things. It´s like to compare a cow to a horse. what u choose is what kind of experience u want... Have a nice Gamer-Day, dude : )

Mr_Great_Dane
Mr_Great_Dane

@xmootoo95 -maybe u are then 9/10 people, who don´t use DS mobile... In the home: consols with a good big screen, outside: the mobil [consol], But if u dont have the money, i understand why.. Take care, dude.. Have a nice gamer-day : )

p3anut
p3anut

@tom_110584 It does consume battery but only a little, not a lot. I've left my DS on sleep mode for a whole day and on the next day it was still on green.

Putty121
Putty121

Mercenaries and Mercenaries Reunion absolutely made RE5 for me. I've spent probably 150 hours with it; by comparison, I barely played the campaign (probably 40 hours or more with the expansions, hardly a small time investment). This game really makes me interested in the 3DS. I haven't been big on handhelds since I was younger, but this might break my routine.

tom_110584
tom_110584

@p3anut thanks for that information. i'm new to playing on the DS so didn't know that. does sleep mode consume battery life at all?

xmootoo95
xmootoo95

@tom_110584 The PSP is a failure compared to the 3DS, I'm sorry. I bought that piece of crap, played it for like 3 weeks and never played it again.

xmootoo95
xmootoo95

@Mr_Great_Dane Honestly I could care less about the bloody battery, 9/10 times I'm using my DS it's plugged in or theres a charger and a wall output at my disposal.

p3anut
p3anut

@tom_110584 Im not sure what auto-resume does on the PSP because I don't have one but it sounds like sleep mode. The DS has sleep mode option which you can just close the DS without powering down the DS and open it up whenever and continue playing the game.

tom_110584
tom_110584

i think PSP2 is going to pwn the 3DS. i mean, is the 3DS even going to have an auto-resume function like the current PSP does? it makes a huge difference to portable gaming, and is one of the major reasons that i favour PSP over DS.

icekids
icekids

Looks terribles,,,,PSP2 the best :P

singhellotaku
singhellotaku

Man this is a launch game if I've ever seen one, 10%substance 90% tech demo.

Little_Socrates
Little_Socrates

So this sounds like what I would actually want out of a Resident Evil handheld. It sounds like it controls well, too, which is probably the most exciting idea proposed here.

thetravman
thetravman

I'm still looking forward to the story based game involving Chris' AND Leon's universe. I'm sick of them being in the same situation and yet they never see each other. -.-

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

Resident Evil lost its cool when they took away limited ammo, ZOMBIES...like...real Zombies and awesome monsters and, the Survival Horror aspect. Im tired of this alien parasite/action game crap. Give me a dark scary game with decaying Zombies and monsters and limited ammo.

h3LL_ZinKy69
h3LL_ZinKy69

@AngelCage-2 your forgetting about resident evil revelations.

Biigboss
Biigboss

right now, amazon.com and the capcom store has a few 3DS titles prices at $39.99

JayLani90
JayLani90

how much are the 3ds games anyway??

Foxdies
Foxdies

oh god VIDEO's please...written reviews are so outdated, want to see the game in action during a hands on, review or whatever.. ontopic this and mgs are pretty much the only games ive seen so far that i would be interested in

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

Again? Really??? Will i pay a full game price, for a minigame that i have already played???? come on Capcom RE4 was awesome but we have already played the hell out of the mercenaries mode. A 3D makeup isn't enough for me to pay $50 on a minigame!

RocSeanD
RocSeanD

Is this going to be part of resident Evil: Revelations?

King_Dodongo
King_Dodongo

Day one. Dunno what the hell Sony is going to do.

MaxMouse
MaxMouse

A bad way to show off the power of the 3DS if what they did was ripped the mercenary mode out of Re4 and 5...

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

This game set-aside, I think Capcom needs to shelve this crap for about 8 good years. Then bring it back with a vengeance. OR, do a complete revamp. I mean BRAN new characters. Scrap the whole premise, close the story already about Umbrella. I mean total reboot. Like Batman Begins style reboot. More serious, less wanker boss characters. Run and gun survival horror stuff. RE still has it's own style that is not mimicked by others, would be nice to see a hardcore RE title they way I envision it. Think almost something like Dead Space meets Resident Evil with a dash of silent hill.

AmongShadows
AmongShadows

Thank you Capcom for destroying Resident Evil.

SociopathicBox
SociopathicBox

@Alucard_Prime $300 +. Im probably gonna buy the 3DS... but not at launch, other things to do I guess.