The zombies take a back seat in Capcom’s Resident Evil Mercenaries VS…
Based on the Resident Evil 4 engine. Mercenaries VS is an online arena-based shooter, featuring some of the characters and enemies from the Resident Evil series. You can play as Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and of course nasty old Wesker.
You can play offline against AI opponents or partake in a spot of target practice. Both of which are a great way to refine your combat skills before a full online matchup. Logging in and registering online is a breeze and if you select Quick Match you can be in an online match within minutes. Games max out to four players and you can play in either team or free-for-all flavours.
Unlike multiplayer FPS’s out there, REMV isn’t just about taking out your opponents, you can also earn points by taking out the local undead riff-raff too. These added nasties really mix up the play, as they’ll happily creep up on you while you’re lining up for a shot on a human opponent. Enemies are in the RE4 flavour, so you’ll get those creepy looking villagers, complete with tentacled creatures bursting from their heads.
Should you get shot, or attacked, your points deplete. Likewise if you earn shots and kills, your points increase. Linked to your score is one of the coolest features of the game, and that’s the menace gauge. Once full, you can summon the famous chainsaw maniac from RE4. You know, the one with the hemp bag on his head. This creature will hunt down the other opponents, and slaughter them. Nice! Various weapons are available to you, and you can pick up new ones from chests dotted around the arenas. The rocket launcher is particularly awesome!
Each multiplayer session ends once the time has run out, and the player with the highest score wins. Your info is saved to your Gamecenter account, so you can keep track of your ranking and any achievements earned. You have the option of playing the same players again, or going back to a new quickmatch or set up one of your own from the three available maps. The three maps are a little limiting and get old pretty fast, however Capcom do promise updates, no doubt including some new maps and characters, but I’d expect these to be features that you’ll have to pay extra for.
If you have played Resident Evil 4 on iPhone and iPad then you’ll be right at home with the controls. Don’t expect twin stick options here though, it’s the usual move/stop/aim process of all RE games. In RE4, against the slow and cumbersome undead, this setup is fine. However, throw in some real players online, and it doesn’t quite cut the mustard. Too often you’ll come head to head in a wild west situation where you just stand there unloading on each other. Not being able to move quickly in aiming mode, makes the experience seem very clunky, despite the ability to dodge with a quick sidestep. Many bouts become more a game of aiming skill than anything, which while fun and challenging, doesn’t really compare to online shooters like Modern Combat, NOVA or the more superior zombie fest, Call of Duty: Zombies. You just don’t really feel like your in full control of your character.
Visually the game looks much like RE4 before it. It doesn’t look to take advantage of the iPhone 4 graphics, with grainy textures and jagged edges to geometry. But overall it looks good with that almost sepia style colour scheme giving everything a dark and moody feel.
Overall then, Resident Evil Mercenaries Vs, doesn’t come close to the best multi-player iOS shooters out there. It does have some great ideas, and you will have fun online. But the control scheme is outdated now, particularly on a touchscreen, which severely dampens the overall package.
Resident Evil Mercenaries Vs is out now for $2.99 (limited time launch sale price) Get it on the