PlayStation Universe

Resident Evil 6: how to master The Mercenaries

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on 30 October 2012

Resident Evil’s Mercenaries Mode is quickly becoming one of the most addictive and rewarding extras in modern videogames. Ever since its inception in 1999’s Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, the trigger-happy mini-game has grown from a one-map mad dash to a feature-filled spin-off uniting familiar faces past and present. Indeed, a testament to its popularity can be seen in the fact Capcom even gave the game its own standalone, boxed release in The Mercenaries 3D on Nintendo 3DS.

With Resident Evil 6 once again incorporating its own spin on the classic mini-game, thought it would be handy to compile a list of quick tips on how to get the best out of your chosen character and nab that shiny ‘S’ rank regardless of your skill level. We’ve spent hours on The Mercenaries since getting our paws on RE6, and have unlocked all characters and yes, even made an S rank. And according to Capcom’s PR blurb, you’re a god if you manage to get a C or higher.

See below on how to become a Mercenaries Master.

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Time first, shoot later

Before you can rake in those insane combos, you’ll need to get some decent time on the clock. While you can receive bonus seconds by dispatching foes with physical attacks, the only way to really get a decent time bonus is by smashing the time crystals dotted around. Do this first of all, before you even think about engaging your enemies. Get to know the level, spend time running around all over the place hunting high and low for time. Once this is accomplished and you have the layout and time crystal locations firmly embedded in your gaming consciousness, restart and hit all the time crystals. This ensures you won’t have to worry about collecting any later on in the middle of a battle, and allows you to focus 100% on eliminating the legions of zombies and/or J’avo baying for your blood. Oh, and don’t forget the Combo Team bonuses.

Melee kills are your best friend

While it’s easy to give in to your itchy trigger finger and unleash uncoordinated lead upon your foes, The Mercenaries will quickly teach you to take advantage of your physical attacks. This means shooting foes in a weak point, i.e. the head, and following up with an instant-kill melee attack. This not only dispatches your foe, but more importantly saves ammunition and nets you a +5 second time bonus to boot. Standard foes such as zombies and regular J’avo are highly susceptible to these attacks; simply run up to them, shoot them in the head, and hit R1 in close proximity. Of course, bigger enemies won’t fall foul to these attacks as much as their regular counterparts, but by the time they show up you should have amassed a meaty score. We’ve racked up 70+ combos by getting punchy with zombies before having to worry about eliminating the tougher enemies. Make no mistake; melee kills are instrumental in netting not only precious extra seconds, but accumulating a high score.

Know your weapons

One thing you need to keep in mind is using the right tool for the job. This means using a pistol, machine gun (single-shot not auto-mode) or knife to stun enemies to follow-up with a melee attack, and saving Shotguns, Magnums and Rifles for bigger enemies. Ammo is scarce, so you’ll want to horde as much as possible for when that hulking Whopper or slippery Blood Shots start to rock up later on. Simple stuff really, but it’s easy to get carried away when you’re swarmed by zombies and feel like the only way out is to blast them with a Shotgun.

Find a good spawn point

All maps, be it Urban Chaos or Mining the Depths, feature a specific location where enemies will congregate. This allows you to effectively stay in the immediate vicinity and rack in the kills, requiring little to no hunting on your part – which wastes time and could cost you your combo chain. However, if you familiarize yourself with the hot zone, then you shouldn’t have any problem accumulating an impressive chain. This won’t last forever, of course; there is generally a lull from time to time in the number of foes converging on your position, so you’ll probably have to hunt about a bit (for example, on Urban Chaos, you’ll typically get civilian zombies, cop zombies, zombie dogs in quick succession, then there’s a small gap before the next wave – marked by fire officers and zombified BSAA grunts – arrives). The point is, if you know where your adversaries will gather en mass, you’ll be raking it in.

Mix your herbs early

Little things like preparing health pills should be second nature, but you’d be surprised how many times you can get carried away with blasting, only to realize you’re on low health and aching for a pill – only you haven’t made any yet. As such, make sure you hunt for all available healing items on a map as you hunt for time crystals, and make the pills before you get started with killing. This will save your bacon later and you won’t have to faff around concocting health pills or wasting time hunting for a First-Aid Spray if you already have them prepared.

Needless to say, if you are working with a partner then you’ll have to work extra hard to secure the higher-end rankers, but with a buddy helping you out, it shouldn’t be a problem. Our record is a 129 combo, which netted us an S rank at just over 500,000 on the ‘Urban Chaos’ stage with Helena Harper (standard costume) and Jake Muller (standard costume).

Do you have any tips for Mercenaries? Or perhaps you have totally destroyed our effort above? Let us know in the comments section below.