Capcom have confirmed that The Mercenaries won’t be returning in the remake of RE3 and will be replaced by Resistance as an additional mode. Resident Evil: Resistance was originally revealed before the remake of RE3 as an online game where 4 players worked to escape a series of traps and monsters while a fifth player spawned the dangers that would ensnare them. Since then Resistance has been confirmed to be part of the RE3 remake, an online mode to give it extra replayability once the main campaign is over.
But here’s the thing, that’s completely different to Mercenaries mode, which in the original RE3 was a casual but single player experience. Mercs mode has been a staple of mainline Resi games since its inception in RE3, appearing again in RE4, 5 and 6. It however wasn’t included in RE7. Mercs mode itself was similar to Battle mode, something the original Japanese version of RE2 had, as did Code Veronica. Mercs mode would also be adapted and called Raid mode in the RE: Revelations games.
It seems a shame that Mercs mode won’t be returning in the remake of the game that started it. It’s a little bit like if the Resident Evil 2 remake had omitted Hunk the 4th survivor. They even included Tofu so it’s surprising RE3 won’t be including Mercs mode this time around. The original Mercs mode in RE3 on the PS1 was called; The Mercenaries – Operation Mad Jackal.
It saw the player choose from Carlos, Nikolai or Mikhail and run a timed gauntlet made up of locations from the game while fending off enemies. Every time the player killed a zombie or another monster, they earned more seconds to the clock, allowing them more time to complete the mode. Oh, and did we mention you were stalked by Nemesis the whole time? Think how fun this could have been on modern hardware.
The player was also able to rescue characters from the main game for bigger rewards which ramped up the tension. Do you go for it and risk running out of time? Is it a waste of ammo? How far behind me is that hulking rocket launcher equipped Tyrant? Each playable character had different guns. Some were armed with rocket launchers while others only had a knife. If you remember the PS1 Resident Evil knife, you’ll remember how it was less than useless.
In later games, starting with RE4, Mercs mode was altered to make it more of an arena than a gauntlet, but the principle remained the same. Capcom also kept the name as a nice nod to RE3. We loved Hunk’s mode in the RE2 remake, so it’s hard to not be disappointed by the omission of Mercs mode from the RE3 remake. We hope Resistance is worth it, adding some online elements to Mercs mode may have worked just as well. RE5 and 6 had these and if we’re being fair, this worked rather well.
Ultimately, we believe this is Capcom flogging a dead horse with its multiplayer modes. Something we’ve spoken about extensively here. The company is obsessed with getting online Resi right and refuses to quit trying despite repeated failures. They struck gold with the Outbreak games on the PS2 but have since struggled to replicate it. Instead we’ve had dull coop in RE5 and 6, the awful Operation Racoon City and the absolutely woeful Umbrella Corp. We really hope Resistance isn’t the next in a line of multiplayer embarrassments for Resident Evil.
On the plus side Capcom are absolutely nailing their single player experiences, RE7 the remake of RE2 were excellent and we can’t wait to play the main campaign in the RE3 remake. Just a shame the Mercs won’t be suiting up again.