Capcom hires the right guns with Resident Evil Mercenaries multiplayer

Since the release of Resident Evil 4 in March of 2005, it seems little has gone right for Capcom–with the lackluster reception of Resident Evil 5, followed by last year’s Resident Evil 6 which came with many mixed reviews, resulting in a fairly quick price drop.  This is in addition to issues with other titles like Street Fighter, their fallout with game designer Keiji Inafune, and the consequential canceling of a few Mega Man games, even those that were almost finished.

Yet, in the wake of these many poor decisions, there is one facet of their games that they have gotten right: The inclusion of “The Mercenaries” multiplayer and 3DS game.

They took the stages, characters and weapons that existed in the games they were producing already and created a multiplayer mode in a series that had little to no multiplayer options. This worked, due to the fact that a major selling point of the later titles is the FPS gameplay and weapon customization.

Mercenaries isn’t reinventing the wheel, but making the wheel more practical. Capcom didn’t feel the need to copy and paste the multiplayer from other games. There is no team deathmatch or capture the flag. (Versus in Resident 5 has a more familiar multiplayer but the point I’m making is how, of the NEW things Capcom is doing, this is one they got correct.) It takes an already fun combat system and focuses on just shootin’ the bad guys.

I find this mode a lot of fun to play, with its high replay value and character and stage options. I think the Mercenaries mode adds a lot to a Resident Evil title. While it’s not a very deep game, being added only mostly to console games, it is still a strong selling point for those titles. I recommend it as a strong feature for those who may not care for the story, but just want a good shooter/action game.

I personally find myself playing Mercenaries on Resident Evil 4 & 5 until the early hours of the morning when I probably should be doing more math homework. I have a lot of fun unlocking and trying new characters, weapons, and stages, and trying to figure out the right combination of characters and weapons to use on certain stages.

For example, in the Village level of Resident Evil 4, I found that a shotgun worked well in taking down the villagers, while a chainsaw was good for gunning down the Ganado quickly. In Resident Evil 5, I found Jill to pretty nimble, and her high-capacity MP5 served me well. Her character-specific Px4 was quite powerful. A buddy of mine would run around using a shotgun/sniper rifle and assault rifle combo. The contrast worked well and we had little problems. It’s the wide array of options that Mercenaries gives the player that makes it so worthwhile. The way you can play the same levels over and over and with different outcomes ensures that you will never get bored.

I find the title, “Mercenaries,” to be very fitting as well. Yes, some of the characters are technically employed by agencies like the BSAA and the Secret Service. The likes of Leon, Jill and Chris have been far too involved in this post-Raccoon City mess to walk away from dealing with it, while people like Ada and HUNK are seemingly in this for the money.

While I do wish the game allotted for more background on some characters, Mercenaries is one of the few good ideas to come out of Capcom in recent memory.  If you still haven’t played any of the more recent Resident Evil titles, I really think you should. Four and Five are my favorites and the Mercenary mode adds a lot to it, and hopefully shows that all is not lost with Capcom.


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