“That’s it!?” followed by “Eh, OK.” followed by “That’s it!?”
10:33PM on July 2nd, 2011 may possibly mark the time and date at which point, after 19 hours and 37 minutes of game time, I put down Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and never picked it up again. I unlocked the final level, I beat it, and I honestly no longer have any desire to play the game be it online or off. While I did have some fun with the title, the sad fact of the matter is that the severe lack of content is so extreme that I actually feel embarrassed for Capcom for putting this out as a retail title. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s start at the beginning.
When Capcom first announced Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D I was intrigued. The idea of expanding the Mercenaries mode from RE4 and RE5 held a lot of promise. The concept is so basic that one would think that it would be easy to expand the bonus mode into a full fledged title. For those who don’t know, the Mercenaries mode basically lets players choose some character from the Resident Evil franchise and pits them against an onslaught of zombie hordes for some period of time while players try to get the high score. So to take this basic concept and expand it into a full game, the possibilities are nearly endless. To start off with, one could just throw every Resident Evil character into the game as playable, and one could take some time and utilize not only the levels present in the previous Mercenaries modes, but also make some new levels based on areas from the older titles. Entire new gameplay modes could be crafted for this definitive Mercenaries experience, and if you just put some customization in there as well so that, say, players could make a game type in level x featuring such-and-such array of RE baddies with time limit y and maximum kill count z, the replayability would be endless. And then throw in a giant inventory of weapons to select from and let players arm their favorite characters in a fashion that matches their play style, and on top of that have an indepth skill system, and you have a summer blockbuster on your hands, especially with some sweet online co-op.
Unfortunately, the above does not remotely represent what Capcom did with Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. No, Capcom got Tose, that little developer everyone outsources to, to simply port a few levels from the RE4 and RE5 games (nine of them to be exact, some of them shrunk down), make about 30 missions (including something like 8 training missions) in these levels, and throw in 8 characters, each with a specific weapon combination, and viola, that’s the game. That’s it. Well, OK, there are skills to be unlocked and developed, and then the 8 characters (only one of which has never appeared in a previous Mercenaries mode) have alternate costumes that can be unlocked. And there are achievements, though I still don’t get the purpose of achievements where no system is in place to keep a tally across your games. And the funny thing is, there are only two types of missions: ones that involve waves (of which there are two) and ones that don’t. “Well the point is that you just play for score!” cry the fans, but what’s the point of playing for score if there aren’t any leaderboards? And on top of that, the best scores are, by design, obtained in co-op, but there’s no way to even see who you got that score with afterwards on your own leaderboard. And then, there’s no way to communicate with the folks you come across online, nor is there anyway to contact them afterwards to play again. So you’ll have a great run with some player, and once you guys are done you both get shot out of the game and will potentially never come across each other again. Or if you do, you probably won’t remember them because you only see their nickname briefly before the mission begins.
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