Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D [Review]

Jessica Weimar
July 5th, 2011


It’s tough to begin writing about something that disappointed me so much.  It’s hard to find the words to describe a game that failed in all the worst ways, especially when it is an entry in one’s favorite franchise.  Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is perhaps a prime example of why the Resident Evil series should have ended at Resident Evil 5.  Mercenaries is a testament to the fact that Capcom ran out of ideas for this former bonus mode, and lacked the time to deliver a full-fledged RE experience this early in the life cycle of the 3DS. The result is something that just does not feel like a full game.  It instead feels as though it should either have been an arcade title or an add-on bundled with the upcoming Resident Evil: Revelations.

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a slight expansion on the “Mercenaries” modes from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.  The point of the game is to kill all of the enemies on the level within the time limit.  Enemies are basically in line with what was in those games.  This game excels in graphics, but that is about it.  The levels are faithfully recreated in all of their glory, and the 3D adds a nice touch.  The environments are pulled straight from other RE games; enemies are the same, as well as player characters.  You would think this would mean that the game is awesome, right? Wrong.


One of my biggest gripes is that the controls are really tank-like — they’re so bad that even fans of the classic Resident Evil titles will put off by them.  Aiming is an interesting process, and it is only made harder by the fact that you are playing on the 3DS’s tiny screen.  Your character moves pretty slow, which is a problem since this is a time based game.  The deliberate, plodding pace of characters has worked for the series in past, but it hamstrings you here because you’re racing against the clock. Fumbling to try and aim your weapon is difficult as well, because it seems like the actual response time is a little off.  Despite all of that being stacked against you, enemies still go down fairly easily; in fact, a little too easily if you ask me.

The only real threat in this game is time.   Oftentimes, you will not be able to find all of the enemies by the time that the timer runs out, mostly because both you and your foes are move so ungodly slow.  Enemies will usually lackadaisically lurk towards you or stand in place until you come near them, where they will run towards you.  For some reason they won’t actually attack you for quite a while, and you can usually just run away and shoot them to bits from a safe distance.

There are a good number of characters to unlock, as well as skills.  Buying skills uses the points you earn from doing well on the missions.  And as you’re likely already aware, you basically have no choice but to continue, as there is no restarting this game.  The save file can not be deleted for some bizarre reason, so forget about beginning a new game.  You can replay the same missions over and over again, though.  Unfortunately, this grows tiresome as the combat is pretty repetitive and, after a few plays, is just plain boring.

My obsessive need to collect all of the Resident Evil titles is the only justification I have for continuing to own this game.  Although it is certainly not the worst game in the world, it just doesn’t feel like a full Resident Evil release.  I would suggest that you skip it over and holdout hope that Revelations ends up being the handheld zombie-slaying experience that series fans deserve.

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Capcom Tose Co. Ltd
Level environments are faithful to their console counterparts, as are the characters. The only problem is the lackluster 3D. At times your character will almost blur while you are moving and it can be quite dizzying.
Sound effects and music are decent, and appropriate for the game. There is nothing special about them, however. The garbled orders that are shouted out at you in the beginning of a mission are a little hard on the ears, even when you know they are not supposed to sound perfectly clear.
Your character controls like a tank, and aiming is hard to pull off because the controls feel a little out-of-whack. Luckily, enemies rarely seem to attack you, so I guess that works out.
Game Play
At first, this seems like a solid time-based shooting experience. But give it a few missions, and you will start to grow tired of how repetitive it is. Enemies do not really react that well, and most of the time you have to hunt them down because of the extreme amount of time it takes them to reach you on their own. Time will often run out before you kill them, not because you lack the skill to do so, but because of how ridiculously slow everyone moves.
Despite my griping, this game was actually fun for the first few missions. Sadly, I grew tired of it pretty fast, because there was nothing drawing me in but unlocking characters and weapons. Expect to experience the same thing if you pick this one up.


Jessica is clearly a fan of video games, or she wouldn't be writing for this site. She attends college and like most other staff on the site, has a day job that she despises. She spends most of her free time playing games with her boyfriend.

Specialty: Survival Horror