Resident Evil Village brings back mercenary mode with first-person view and new features

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Resident Evil Village will see the return of the arcade-style shooter The Expendables, a fan-favorite addition we last saw in the franchise in Resident Evil 6. But while the essence of the mode retains its similarities to what we've seen of Expendables in the past is a fast paced game type that focuses on killing enemies as quickly as possible to advance - the mode is getting a few new elements in Resident Evil. Village that will change the way he plays in some significant ways.

Capcom announced the mode's return at its Resident Evil Showcase 25th Anniversary presentation, where it showed off some of the gameplay we can expect when it launches with Resident Evil Village on May 7. The mode changes what we've seen of Expendables in the past, taking the first-person perspective of Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 7 (as opposed to the previous third-person perspective) and gives you the ability to purchase different weapons, ammo, and upgrades. of weapons between levels. 

It also adds new abilities you can pick up on the map that give you perks and change the way you play, providing bonuses like faster sprint speed, greater resilience to incoming damage, and the ability to apply more punishment with your weapons.

At first glance, it looks a lot like Resident Evil 4 mode as you run around an arena modeled on one of the game's locations (like the titular village), taking down waves of various enemies that appear around you. The whole thing is timed, so you're encouraged to knock out the baddies as fast as you can, and you gain more time on the clock by picking specific items on the map. The idea is to eliminate enemies as quickly as possible, and when you kill a certain number, the level ends.

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Unlike previous versions of The Expendables, however, the Village mode switches the camera perspective from third-person to first-person, in the same way that Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil Village do. You'll fight enemies like Ethan Winters the same way he does in these games, with a combination of gunfight and strategic blocking you can raise your hands or your weapon to protect yourself from attacks, lessening the damage those attacks inflict. 

You'll also want to maintain mobility as much as you can, repositioning yourself on the battlefield so you can shoot enemies as they approach. In addition to the different perspective, there are a few other important new additions to the new version of The Expendables. First, you'll be able to visit Duke, the shopkeeper from Resident Evil Village, between each wave-based mode level. 

Duke works like the Merchant from Resident Evil 4, selling all sorts of things you might need, which you buy with the money you earn in battle. You can also buy new weapons and upgrade your weapons with Duke, who provides a new layer of strategic planning for Mercenaries, encouraging you to plan what weapons you might need as you go and buy accordingly.

The new skill system adds a new wrinkle for Mercenaries. You'll find items scattered around the arenas as you fight, which Ethan can destroy, giving you access to different upgrades, which it looks like you'll choose in real-time between one of three options.

These upgrades make you a better fighter – they can make your guard more effective, allow you to take less damage or upgrade the damage your weapons do, or increase your agility so you can get out of trouble more easily. But unlike visiting the Duke, you'll have to fetch these upgrades as you fight, which makes collecting them a harrowing gamble as you divert your attention from eliminating enemies to spending your time exploring.

Aside from the new elements, the Mercenaries in Resident Evil Village appear to be arcade-oriented enough, and the footage showed multiple enemies (complete with health bars so you can get a sense of how you're killing them) hunting Ethan in different locations. Capcom says the mode will be part of the Resident Evil Village bundle when it launches on May 7.

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