The Mercenaries is perhaps Resident Evil’s most beloved bonus content, debuting in Nemesis back in 1999. The mode became widely popular with its appearance in the original Resident Evil 4, so it’s no wonder that Capcom has brought it back for the recent remake. The feature returns as free DLC, which arrives today on all platforms.
For anyone who hasn’t played Mercenaries, it involves trying to get as many points as possible by killing waves of enemies within a time limit. Stages, each based on one of Resident Evil 4‘s areas, are littered with items and power-ups as you fight off overwhelming hordes. In addition to protagonist Leon, fan-favourites Luis Serra, Jack Krauser, and H.U.N.K. are playable. Each one has their own set of weapons and a unique ‘Mayhem Mode’, a new feature that lets you unleash powerful attacks.
Unfortunately, there appears to be a lack of Ada Wong and Albert Wesker, both prominent figures in the original RE4‘s Mercenaries mode. There’s hope, though, that they will be added with the release of Separate Ways DLC, which is allegedly on the way. Some may suspect that Capcom is holding off on making these characters playable until then, but that’s speculation at this stage.
The Mercenaries update also brings with it a new form of microtransaction: the Weapon Exclusive Upgrade Ticket. These tickets feature in the main game, allowing Leon to unlock any of his weapon’s exclusive upgrades without unlocking all the other ones first. These new microtransactions will give struggling players a leg-up, but will require the use of real-world cash.
This isn’t too dissimilar from previous Resident Evil microtransactions, which often let you unlock items through payments. It’s important to note that, unlike those unlocks, these bonus tickets cannot be earned by playing the game. That being said, Resident Evil 4 and its new Mercenaries mode are entirely single-player affairs, which should lessen the sting of this inclusion for anyone who’s not a fan of additional costs.
With rave reviews and some of the highest sales in the series’ history, Resident Evil 4 is an undeniable hit for Capcom, and the release of The Mercenaries will no-doubt propel those successes to new heights. You can watch the trailer for the new mode below.