Resident Evil Village: A Guide to The Mercenaries
Liam Evans
Much to the joy of fans, Resident Evil Village revives The Mercenaries mode. After clearing the game, it can be purchased from the extra content shop, allowing players to tackle its challenges. However, the mode can be quite daunting for new players who don't yet understand what they're doing.
In The Mercenaries, high scores are earned through speed, preparedness and, most importantly, killing every enemy in every stage. Here's what players need to know to get started.
Resident Evil Village allows players to construct their own load-outs for The Mercenaries for the first time. While it may seem tempting to buy as many weapons as possible to deal with various situations, the most effective strategy is to purchase a single weapon and use your remaining Lei to upgrade it. This weapon will usually be either the F2 sniper rifle, the W870 TAC or the SYG-12. Occasionally, it may be a good idea to purchase the sniper or shotgun as a backup in-between areas, but this depends on what types of challenges and enemies you face in an individual area and stage.
After selecting your primary weapon, sell your starting pistol (the LEMI), as well as all ammunition that isn't for your chosen weapon and your healing items. Speed is of the essence, meaning being hit will often slow you enough to break your combo entirely. Stopping to heal is less important than in the main story mode. Use your Lei to upgrade your weapon as much as possible, and remember that you can continue to use the shop in-between areas, meaning these initial upgrades will not be all you can obtain. Also, keep in mind that upgrading ammo capacity refills your magazine, so don't reload at the end of each area. Upgrade ammo capacity instead, as this effectively provides extra ammo for no extra cost.
During each initial run of a stage, it's a good idea to focus on reconnaissance over getting high scores. The ideal run on any stage -- and the best way to get the highest scores -- is through killing every enemy while maintaining the same kill combo throughout and picking up every time bonus available. This is no easy feat, and S and even SS ranks can be achieved while dropping a combo once or twice.
Your reconnaissance run should involve locating each enemy in the level, pinpointing where and when they spawn, and determining the best way to kill them all. Keep an eye out for Moroaică that remain on the floor, as they count towards your kill count and can easily be missed if you aren't thorough. Also be sure to locate each time bonus and blue orb, as both will be needed to get those high scores.
The priority during this first run should be getting at least a B rank, which isn't too difficult a task even when considering the inevitable errors of a first attempt. Clearing a stage with a B rank grants extra Lei, which can be used in the shop at the start of the run, making you much better equipped to tackle the level. A rank will unlock the next stage, S will unlock new abilities for the blue orbs and SS rank on each stage will allow you to unlock the LZ Answerer in the story mode -- a clear reference to Star Wars.
From blue orbs, prioritize abilities that increase damage for the weapon you're using, ones that increase your speed and double ammo capacity. The best ability is perhaps the chance to make enemies explode when killed with bullets, allowing you to clear a room of enemies with minimal resource usage. After clearing The Mad Village stage, the final four areas are redux's of the first four with new shop items and available weapons.
From here on, the previous strategy will no longer apply. Aside from the starting LEMI pistol, you will be able to purchase the GM79 grenade launcher or the M1851 Wolfsbane magnum. These stages are far harder than what came previously. The main strategy for these involves upgrading the LEMI and purchasing the Wolfsbane for bosses such as Soldats, since the pistol's pitiful damage will likely prove infuriating after the catharsis of rampaging through earlier stages. Prioritize reload speed and damage for the LEMI, and try to stock up on mines if you can. The extra damage can prove invaluable in dealing with some larger foes in combination with the magnum. Remember to pick up as much handgun ammo in areas as possible, as you will likely run out otherwise
While challenging, The Mercenaries is fun and engaging. After getting into the rhythm of your strategy, you'll want to keep making attempts to beat your last score. Remember that dying in an area does not affect your final score; it only counts the scores from completed runs of each area. This means there is no penalty for dying while learning the lay of the land.
These two strategies are currently considered the best and most effective ways to clear The Mercenaries mode with the highest scores possible, but it is always good to experiment. Quirky strategies, such as using only the knife and restarting until a blue orb grants the Masamune skill that makes knife attacks 10 time stronger, will likely also prove effective for those who have the patience for it. Regardless, the LZ Answerer should now be within your grasp.