To call the Nintendo 3DS’ lineup of games “suspect” is being generous. The 3D console offers a handful of decent games, but there has yet to be a single great original title designed solely for the system that really makes playing it fun. So when a new Resident Evil game was announced, people took notice. Unfortunately, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is basically just a mini-game that costs $40.
If you played “The Mercenaries” mini-game on previous Resident Evil titles, then you know what to expect. You are put in a scenario where you must survive waves of enemies. It is a fun mini-game, but that is all it was, and that is all it remains. Within 20 minutes of playing, you will have seen almost everything RE:TM3D has to offer. The gameplay is fun and the 3DS does a solid job with the graphics, but the missions get old fast. You play through six sections, each with a handful of missions types, and as you progress you unlock eight characters in total, each with one variant costume that you can also unlock. But that’s it. There is no real story, and besides the addition of skill slotting — a new addition that allows you to select three out of thirty perks — there really isn’t much progression to the game either.
But if you were obsessed with the previous Mercenaries games — and there were plenty of people that were – -the gameplay is actually fairly solid, and it is easy and satisfying to pull off headshots or long range snipes while maneuvering through levels based on Resident Evil 4 and 5. The touchscreen makes inventory and navigation a simple task, and taking on waves of enemies as the clock winds down is tense and exciting.
The addition of a co-op both online and locally is nice, but there are some loading screens you will come across during matches that make it seem like a grudging addition, and not something Capcom really cared about. When it works, it is fun though.
“The Mercenaries” is one of the best mini-games available, but on its own it lacks anything resembling depth and becomes a superficial experience. The technical side — the graphics, sound and gameplay — are all very good, but there just isn’t enough here to justify the full price tag.
Score: 7 out of 10
(This game was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS on a copy provided by Capcom)