Resident Evil Village is a horror game, except when you’re playing it as an arcade shooter in its new mode – Mercenaries, where the franchise’s signature horror takes a back seat to pure mayhem.
Having finished RE Village recently, I was delighted by the inclusion of its ‘Mercenaries‘ mode, which unlocks upon the game’s completion. While most of the new Resident Evil game will have players scavenging supplies and taking extra care at every corner turn, mercenaries will have them moving quickly around the game’s various levels shooting monsters in the face and collecting power-ups. Yep, the new game mode turns Resident Evil into Doom, without the over-the-top destruction or the heavy metal music (sigh!).
Mercenaries is by no means a ‘new’ game mode for the franchise. Previous entries in the franchise like RE 3 (not the remake), RE4 and RE5 also included it, but it’s the first time we’ve seen the mode presented in first person. It’s also the first time that the mode has been included in a Resident Evil game since the PS4/Xbox 360 era.
In Mercenaries, players spawn right beside the friendly Duke and get a limited amount of in-game money to purchase weapons and/or ammo. After that, the round starts and the goal here is to rack up as many kills as possible within a certain time limit while collecting powerup orbs around the level. Upon hitting the given kill count, players have to run towards a predetermined area in order to proceed.
The next round starts the same, with players being able to upgrade weapons/buy more ammo from the Duke with the loot they gathered during the previous round. It’s simple enough at the start, but at higher levels can devolve into a horrifying mess as you encounter new and more powerful enemies more frequently. The key here, just like any arcade shooter, is to rack up kills in rapid succession for in-game currency, which can be spent on getting better (and faster) weapons for the next round.
The biggest detriment to Village’s Mercenaries mode is that everything feels sluggish. I get that Ethan Winters isn’t exactly Doomguy, but do I really need to see a 3-second animation every time he gets hit? Thankfully, the power-up orbs do add some nice bonuses, such as increased speed and weapon-specific damage. The mode isn’t exactly hard to play, and I only wish that it gets improved for its next iteration when the next Resident Evil game eventually comes out. Maybe we’ll get something similar to the penultimate mission in Village? You’ll have to play the game to find out.
Resident Evil Village is now out on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles and of course, PC for Rs. 4999. Check out our review of RE8 here.