How to score bigger, quicker on Resident Evil 5's Mercenaries mode
27th Mar 2009 | 15:20
Truth is, Resident Evil 5's time-based, zombie-blasting 'Mercenaries' mode - unlocked when you finish the main game - might be even better than the (much better than we anticipated) story mode. But while it's easy to play, it's harder to master - let alone achieve that elusive 'SS' rank - and a lot of its subtleties have been left unexplained. Until now...
How does it work?
Shoot as many zombies as you can in the time limit (without dying) to unlock the next level - a 'B' rank will do it. The levels are full of ammo, objects, combo clocks and time-boosting crystals, mind. Complete all the levels, and you unlock a new character. Simple.
Here's a list of all the characters...
Chris Redfield (BSAA Outfit) - initially unlocked
Chris Redfield (Safari Outfit)
Chris Redfield (S.T.A.R.S. Outfit)
Sheva Alomar (BSAA Outfit) - initially unlocked
Sheva Alomar (Clubbin' Outfit)
Sheva Alomar (Tribal Outfit)
Jill Valentine (BSAA Outfit)
Jill Valentine (Battle Suit Outfit)
Albert Wesker (Midnight Outfit)
Albert Wesker (S.T.A.R.S. Outfit)
And here are the maps...
Public Assembly - initially unlocked
What scores do you need to get each rank?
D - 0 - 9,999
C - 10,000
B - 20,000
A - 40,000
S - 60,000
SS - 90,000
D - 0 - 19,999
C - 20,000
B - 40,000
A - 80,000
S - 120,000
SS - 150,000
You also get a varying amount of exchange points (which you can use to unlock the bonus items, including different characters from the extras menu) depending on rank:
D - 200
C - 600
B - 1,000
A - 1,500
S - 3,000
SS - 5,000
What do I need to know to get good, fast?
*Note: tips culled from the best of the Neogaf forums, plus personal experience, so you can be sure that these have been tested.
Items, Time Bonuses, and Combo Times don't respawn, so once you've sucked the level dry, you can only collect what enemies drop when they're killed - which, thankfully, is a lot. There's a set amount of enemies per level, but you're unlikely to kill them all unless you're exceptionally good. Mercs is a great way to get Exchange points for buying/upgrading weapons, quickly. You'll earn a lot more than in story mode.
Choose Solo mode as it's easier to unlock things than in co-op. Choose BSAA Chris and drop your weakest weapon right at the start of the game (the handgun, in this case). This guarantees that you only get shotgun ammo from fallen enemies. Some characters have a great handgun, but not the initial two characters - Chris and Sheva (BSAA).
It's important that you learn the map and grab most of the Time Bonuses as quickly as you can. By that time there should be a fair number of zombies after you (about ten). Get over to a Combo Time chest and make sure you're almost surrounded. Throw a grenade or get busy with the Shotgun. Each Combo Time kill gives you a 1000 point bonus. You should be able to get 10,000 pretty quickly by using this technique.
Combos give you the most points, so allow the enemies to stockpile before you start taking them out.
Once Sheva (Tribal) is unlocked, her longbow has infinite ammo and doesn't require reloading. Although you lose your laser sights, it's effective with practice - especially considering you get mostly one hit kills.
Once you've unlocked them, both Wesker characters are effective too.
You might have some problems with the boss characters. Especially the 3 Chainsaw Zombies on the Ship Deck. They seem to have more health than the Story mode versions, go down at around half health, but get back up again. Use a Magnum character, get to a safe spot, rinse and repeat. There's also a Rocket Launcher at the start if you climb up. It's right next to the zip line.
The Mines level is quite easy once you get down a certain rhythm. The only problem is the reapers. Without stronger characters unlocked, you're just going to have to aim precisely under with Chris. (Don't forget the 90 second time bonus on the really tall ladder in this level.)
Lickers are relatively easy to take out with grenades, and usually fairly easy to dodge. Just make sure you have another power weapon as a backup.
The zombies that tranform into ugly Clam-like guys with a weird hip (Worship map has a bunch of these) can be killed instantly with a Flash Grenade. No need to shoot the hip/mouth.
Speaking of the Worship map, the Time Bonuses are quite small and quite far apart. You don't get much time from them, so you have to make sure you just keep that Combo going, in anyway possible. Memorising where the bonuses are, and learning from trial and error is key.
Keep a health item, like a spray, on one of the D-pad quick selection points, because it's easy to get swamped when letting enemies build as part of a huge combo; or getting trapped on scenery and stitched up - one huge attack, like the fat bubble zombie's tummy bite, can decimate your health, leaving you stumbling around vulnerable tapping the circle 'resuscitate' button.
Any other tips for Mercs mode? What are your best scores? As ever, let us know below.
p.s. Sorry for lack of blogs. Deadline. Again. It will happen again, but at least you know the reason - and the next issue's a belter, at the risk of setting expectation too high.