Resident Evil: The Mercenaries will ship this coming Spring for the 3DS, and will allow players to duke it out in a combination of the Mercenary Modes found in Residentil Evil 4 and 5. In this versus style, free-for-all extravaganza, gamers will be able to play as some of the more prominent characters in the RE series such Chris and Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine and even Hunk, as they compete, or team up with friends from around the world via WiFi connectivity, in maps taken from the fourth and fifth installments in the franchise. Of course, the very idea of this, coupled with the handheld’s 3D technology, had fans frothing at the mouth – until today when Capcom announced that The Mercenaries will allow players to shoot while on the move. That’s right, what’s become a staple for the series has now been taken out for for a more fluid experience, and fanboys feel as if the very implementation of this idea ruins what makes Resident Evil, well, Resident Evil.
Resident Evil has been a series built upon the survival horror mentality, and has purposefully implemented gameplay mechanics that hammer home a deep sense of fear and anxiety. One of the ways Capcom has accomplished this is by making players remain idle while shooting enemies. For mainstream gamers, having to stand still to shoot their gun seems more of a deterrent than a positive contributing factor the game’s flow, but for those who really understand the meaning and value behind of this mechanic, know that the idle-shooting is what adds to the game’s overall sense of tension and franticness. There’s nothing more frightening than having to make the split-second decision to pull out your gun in the midst of a zombie horde and try to lay waste to the undead bastards knowing very well that you may get tackled from behind, or running for your life until you find a spot that can allow you the time you need to pop off a couple rounds safely.
But, with Capcom allowing players to shoot on the move, some fans are outraged that the sense of tension the series is known for will completely evaporate. And while I agree with them in a sense, I can’t help but think that Capcom has done this in order to streamline Mercenaries’ portable gameplay. Handheld gaming has always been more about pick-up-and-play than anything, which is why I can understand this decision, though I’m not entirely sold on it quite yet. Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see how this all pans out – who knows, it could make things far more frightening. Then again, it could feel like you’re playing WET, and let’s be honest, no one wants to play that game again.