A franchise that started way back in 1996, that spawned the world’s most evil company, Umbrella Corp, 14 sequels and 8 films has been brought kicking and screaming to Nintendo’s latest handheld, but does it live up to the recent hype?
As the first third person shooter to take advantage of Nintendo’s new toy, Capcom have done a remarkable job of pulling together some great visuals and not trying to shoe-horn 3D or other elements of the 3Ds’ control mechanisms for the sake of it. If you are familiar with the last two console versions of Resident Evil then you will be right at home here. The controls have been mapped very nicely onto the 3DS with additional enhancements made through use of the touch screen to navigate what may have previously been some hefty menus, and inventory systems.
The visuals as with all 3DS titles to date take a slight drop in quality and frame-rate when 3D is turned on, but this is countered by some impressive explosions and a real sense of depth when looking over your character’s shoulder. It is worthy of note however that distant characters suffer from a noticeable drop in quality, with death animations akin to that of the 16-bit era, with enemies stumbling to the floor in 4 clear phases. This by no means breaks the experience, but it is something that Capcom have obviously had to do in order to produce such stunning near animations and textures.
The gameplay itself is very simple. You select a character, and thereby weapons and kit from the menu, select a level, and then try to beat the target time and score necessary to progress to the next level, where more enemies, complexity or reduced time is set upon you to complete similar tasks. This works really well for dip-in and out gameplay, but may leave some questioning why they paid the full price for a release that was previously a bonus feature in the last two outings.
As you progress your character will level up, unlocking new weapons, abilities and characters that can be used in a multitude of combinations to suit your style of play, which when combined in co-op can lead to some awesome team play.
The online component of REM3D is solid, however we frequently experienced laggy connections and an unbalanced team-mate selection system, where in the earlier rounds we were simply passengers as our team mates laid the zombie horde to waste. Local co-op does not suffer from the same frailties, and may be the better option.
REM3D is a great example of the capabilities of Nintendo’s hardware, and a brilliant first step toward bringing Nintendo back into the hearts and minds of the “hardcore” gamer. Gameplay is solid, and the controls good, and will offer great replay-ability till the launch of Revelations later this year. The menu system and level select are rather clunky given you have to back right out to select the next level, and the lack of formatting the cartridge completely may be annoying to those looking to buy pre-owned and play through themselves, but REM3D is a must for all Resi fans.
If you didn’t like Mercenaries on either of the last two titles this game is not going to change your mind about it, it will just make you more angry!