Cloned from the Mercenaries mode in the console versions of Resident Evil 5, the iphone offering Resident Evil Mercenaries Vs might be intended as a stopgap promotional maneuver to satisfy fans until Mercenaries 3D arrives on 3DS in June. But it's good enough to be worthwhile on its own. It's essentially a big deathmatch mode done up with Resident Evil's engine - and though it's a little light on selectable characters and levels - there's still plenty of fun to be had, especially if you've got a few friends with iPhones and the app as well.
Multiplayer is clearly the emphasis here, though CPU opponents can ably step in for human players if you’re alone, but in the mood for some team-based and free-for-all rounds. The goal, of course, is to simply sink your opponents as many times as possible within the time limit -- though the twist is slow-moving and chainsaw-toting zombies interfere with the mission. Why the human forces are running around killing one another is unclear, so it most likely is classified. Who knows? This was the series that unironically introduced the phrase "Jill sandwich" to the lexicon, so it's probably best not to ask too many questions.
Combat is clunky in that intentionally characteristic Resident Evil fashion, with shooting or stabbing being completely impossible while walking. The upshot is your opponents have this handicap as well, and it actually makes the roving zombies welcome visitors to a match, because they can inadvertently help you double-team someone you've cornered. There's still a bit of a learning curve with the touch screen, but that same lurching creepiness inherent to the series shines through in these bite-sized matches perfectly.
Apr 28, 2011
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