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.