It's always a good thing when you ask a Nintendo rep, what they're showing off at an event, and they point to an attractive girl before saying "You see that girl over there, well strapped to her belt is a 3DS equipped with Resident Evil!". I immediately made my way over to said girl and asked for a quick go on the game, well what would you have done!
If you've played Resident Evil 5, you'll be familiar with the African Village level, which had been recreated for the part of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D that i was playing and it did look more or less the same. Stepping into Chris Redfield's shoes, I quickly looked over the environment, which allowed me to familiarise myself with the controls and demonstrated just how responsive the 3DS' thumb stick actually is. I also managed to check out the touch screen, which showed a map of level, and allowed me to select items, as well as quickly changing between weapons. Unfortunately, this was all put on hold when I heard the familiar groans of a couple of Majini!
The first two villagers slowly stumbled around a shack, which easily allowed me to line the first one up in my pistol's sights and pump him full of lead, before switching to the shotgun and disposing of his friend with a single loud blast. What I managed to gather from this is that there's a decent amount of blood and gore present in the game, which is something that we've come to expect from the Resident Evil series. Also, if you need to get out of tight situation, you can perform a quick 180 degree turn and scarper away, although I never really needed to do this.
Sadly, there only ever seemed to be one or two enemies on screen at a time, which meant that I never had any sense of being in danger and it made the combat ridiculously easy, especially when I was sporting my shotgun. As a result it plays like any other shooter, rather than stirring up a bit of panic in you. Another thing that I disliked was having to actively search for enemies, there were times when I stood still for fairly long periods of time without seeing any signs of an infected person, and I'd have to go searching for them to relieve my boredom!
One final thing that I noticed is that whilst Chris looks extremely good, the visuals used to bring his enemies and indeed the surroundings to life were very drab in comparison, which was a bit disappointing.
All in all, it seems to me that Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D would be enjoyable to carry around with you for a quick session on commutes into work, or indeed to relieve a bit of stress once you've left the office for the day, after all from what I saw it's a bit of a mindless shooter. However, I can see it becoming tedious relatively quickly and at this stage I'd be pretty disappointed if I had to pay full price for it!
Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D will be available to buy on 1st July.