Resident Evil Resistance employs some of the more Action focused gameplay the series has been known for, but the timing is off. Capcom is in the process of restoring Survival Horror roots with RE2 Remake surpassing 5 million sales and being in most RGN Authors’ Top 5 Games of 2019. Sadly, clunky controls and a half-baked ‘puzzle’ gameplay loop are not enough to provide compelling reason to install RE Resistance and no word on cross-play still means you’ll probably need to play with strangers or round up friends on the same version of the game as you. (PS4, Xbox, or PC)
There is a saving grace of this demonstration in yet another weak attempt at online for Resident Evil (a series that will probably be perfect for multiplayer one day, when Capcom finally nails it). Playing in Mastermind Mode is a glimpse into what it would be like to work for Umbrella Corporation, and even be a Zombie, Licker, or powerful Bio Weapon like Mr. X, and that has a lot of great moments. Perhaps through a radical refresh via updates, there is still hope for RE Resistance, but any shred of it was mainly seen when playing for the enemy side – a flaw most asymmetrical multiplayer games can never overcome.
The premise of the game is that Survivors must escape to win but the Mastermind will win if no one escapes in time. It’s clear to see what the development team was going for. One player tries to create the ultimate Survival Horror / Action scene for a team of four who must work together to use each of their strengths to cooperatively overtake the Mastermind player, who on the team of the evil creates enemies which keep spawning and traps which keep holding players back from their goals, or even killing them!
PRESENTATION / PERFORMANCE
Right off the bat we can feel a performance which is something more along the lines of an Alpha rather than a Beta. The game starts off for users in windowed mode regardless of their hardware configuration, and in the wrong aspect ratio / resolution. This means you likely won’t even get the best performance RE Resistance can offer you unless you go into the Graphics settings and tweak the experience first.
The new Resident Evil Engine helped Resident Evil 2 Remake soar to critical acclaim, fan appreciation, and monumental sales units. However, it doesn’t seem to be working out for Resistance as the net code barely holds itself together under load and the input lag of every player’s actions communicating back to the host server are clearly causing a super slow, swimming-like feel to the gameplay. Some of these issues could be cleaned up through patches, of course, but when a company releases a ‘Beta’ just a couple days before full launch of a product we can probably get used to these types of problems being present for a while before being fixed.
In Mastermind players are tasked with putting kidnapped youth through a series of terrifying psychological experiments to see how the teenagers react, as well as if and how they survive. Players taking up this role will watch the team of Survivors through multiple cameras and summon creatures using Cards bound to an energy based system that regenerates. Strategic choices can be made or a Mastermind player can just use their cheapest cards as quickly as possible in order to spam the Survivors with threats.
Each action Card (such as machine guns on the cameras) must also be carefully used in addition to each creature being carefully placed. Placing things in an obvious manner may not work out, as well as placing them too far behind in a match. Mastermind players can also choose to take direct control of a Tyrant or Zombies. There are even ways to buff your undead army, tactical Cards which come up, and a real opportunity for Capcom to play with RE concepts.
Verdict: Fun – Playing as the Mastermind is awesome, and gives a deeper connection to the lore of Umbrella Corp and its many monsters. It actually does feel like one of the more refreshing takes on the Resident Evil series in a long time.
Additional Content: A lineup of Masterminds including the co-creator of the G-Virus, Alex Wesker (of Revelations 2 fame), and Spencer the old man who refuses to let go of his tight grip on the Umbrella Corporation in his pursuit for eternal life.
Experiment Facilities: Casino, Abandoned Park, and more.
It features a 4 versus 1 class-based system in which weapons perform sluggishly and different characters are best suited for their own unique role in the action. Special abilities both passive and active are available and increase as players rank up through extended play. Nobody will be doing much of that with such a short Beta and only one map being tested, so there isn’t much to say about that yet.
Some of the more complex staples of the series such as mixing multiple colors of herbs together to create combination remedies are absent here. Their absence does make sense given the nature of Resistance gameplay, but it is jarring that something so core to the Resident Evil expectation is just not there at all with no warning.
In the Open Beta we were given access to just one cramped map with an honestly uninspired and seemingly random design. The camera angles don’t help any, and a very sluggish feel to the controls regardless how much you crank up the aiming sensitivity plagues it. A lack of fun factor added to the aforementioned issues all play a part in what makes RE Resistance an awful game to play at the time of this writing. There can always be updates, changes, and additional content added to the game – but none of it is likely to make the Survivor Mode of RE Resistance worth your time.
Verdict: Not Fun – One of the really unfortunate things about Survivor Mode is that it seems to boil down the ‘back-to-roots’ game formula used in RE2 and RE3 Remake in a way which serves to undo a lot of their magic. It could actually hurt your perception of the core gameplay loops found in those games when Capcom is essentially telling players with this release that they basically send them on goose chases and perfectly place obstacles and puzzles along the way. Not quite apparent to everyone who plays, but they could break a lot of the charm RE has going for it with this type of development approach.
Classes: Damage, Hacker, Support, Tank.
Confirmed Characters: Martin Sandwich, Becca Woolett, Tyrone Henry, Valerie Harmon, January Van Sant, and Samuel Jordan.
Update via CAPCOM PR: “We have a number of free updates planned for Resident Evil Resistance. In our first update on April 17, players will get the chance to play as Resident Evil 3’s protagonist, Jill Valentine, as she joins the ranks of the Survivors.” [Source]
We will hold out hope for the expanding cast of characters and environments to provide the development team the proper stage for a comeback through aggressive updates and new twists added to the game. In its current state, we can’t believe Capcom was confident enough to show this off. Most fans are demanding a remake of Outbreak from PS2 or a new take on Mercenaries, since Resistance just doesn’t cut the mustard. After playing for ourselves, we hate to say it but we can’t disagree. Perhaps it is simply a case of trial and error. Maybe one day Resident Evil will blow up with an amazing online incarnation but Resistance is likely another error.