Saturday, March 24, 2012

Resident Evil 6 Mercenaries mode wishlist

With Resident Evil 6 launching this Fall, I’ve lately found myself spending a fair amount of time revisiting the Mercenaries modes in RE 4 and RE 5. While it was never a big selling point for me when I first picked up Resident Evil 4, Mercenaries mode has become one of my favorite bonus gametypes of any video game I’ve ever played. I love the intense, arcade-style time-sensitive play style, and I feel just about every one of the levels is designed quite well. Admittedly, I’m a bit partial to the characters available in RE 4, though I think as a whole the Mercenaries experience plays out much more smoothly in RE 5. There has been no confirmation as of yet if Resident Evil 6 will include a Mercenaries mode. But if the bonus game types that were included in Revelations and Operation Raccoon City are any indication, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that RE 6 will include something similar to Mercenaries mode.

So far, the reveal trailer has shown us the three main characters of Resident Evil 6, Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield, and one unnamed newcomer. Assuming Mercenaries mode is included, it’s a pretty obvious conclusion that each of these three will be playable in the aforementioned bonus game type. But who else might be thrown into the fight? Resident Evil 5 granted players some flexibility with different weapon loadouts and costumes for characters, but for the sake of this list, I’m only going to be focusing on the characters I think could make for strong additions to the Mercenaries roster.

Ada Wong - At the end of Resident Evil 4, Ada took off with the plagas sample to deliver it to Wesker. Now that Wesker is presumed dead following the events of RE 5, I think it’s safe to say that Ada will play some role in RE 6. It’s difficult to guess as to how directly involved with the events of RE 6 Ada will be, but frankly I was a bit surprised her name wasn’t even mentioned in RE 5.

In RE 4’s Mercenaries mode, Ada was fast and agile. She let her stilettos do the talking when it came to close-quarters attacks, and was granted a sniper rifle, TMP, pistol, and incendiary grenades. Ada was a character designed for players who were more concerned with being able to move around quickly and put some distance between themselves and the encroaching hordes of the infected. Why not bring that same style back for RE6 - I mean, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right?

Hunk - Probably the most difficult to master from the RE4 Mercenaries lineup, Hunk relied heavily on his TMP and grenades. I think the explosives-oriented character type is one that, when placed in the right hands, can produce some impressive results. I don’t think there needs to be much of a change from Hunk’s RE4 incarnation, though perhaps he could be granted use of a few of the trip mines from RE5.

Rebecca Chambers - Rebecca is another character that caters to a very specific crowd. She’s quite heavily stocked up on health supplies, while her default weaponry is rather basic. The approach with Rebecca is one that requires a lot of patience and well-placed shots. But again, she is one of those characters that, when placed in the right hands, can rack up significant combos.

Claire Redfield - Capcom has focused largely on three characters as the poster children for the Resident Evil franchise – Leon, Chris, and Jill. Jill’s role has become increasingly prominent through RE5 and Revelations. That said, I think Chris would be at too much of an advantage within the story mode to have Jill at his side the entire time. And it’s been a while since Claire got play time outside of the Chronicles games and most recently Operation Raccoon City. Claire’s inclusion would be in keeping with the likes of Barry Burton in RE5’s The Mercenaries Reunion, and might cater to some of the old-school fans, regardless of what her loadout is.

? - I don’t know which face to put with this last one. In RE4, Krauser was absolute power house for those who knew how to use him properly. In RE5, Tribal Sheva could prove to be a force to be reckoned with, a bow and grenade launcher in her arsenal. I could care less if their RE6 equivalent is granted use of an actual bow or not. But what I am concerned with a character that is something of a heavy-hitter. Someone whose loadout is limited to one or two weapons, but has one distinct means of attack that can spell imminent destruction for the infected. Now, I do feel the way Krauser was handled in RE4 proved a bit more balanced with the rest of the cast than Tribal Sheva did in RE5. And that has to do with the fact that his mutated red arm can only be used a few times per match. Whether this heavy-hitter’s most noteworthy attack is time-sensitive or activated after a set number of kills have been chained, the more careful planning is required when playing with such a character, the better.

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