Reviewed on Xbox One X
Resident Evil Resistance was initially revealed as Project Resistance at the Tokyo Game 2019, as a multiplayer 4v1 asymmetrical spin off game set in the Resident Evil universe. Fan reaction back in 2019 was mixed as some were not excited that a multiplayer game was coming. I think it was just unease at such a different direction for a long running franchise that previously focused on narrative horror. Gamers are weary of big corporations jumping on various multiplayer bandwagons and churning out poor games. (Fallout 76?)
This triggered a response from Capcom Producer, Matt Walker, who defended the game as a necessary expansion out into different types of games. It came off as a desire for diversity, an addition to the lineup than a replacement. Then it eventually came out that Resident Evil Resistance game was being bundled with the campaign for Resident Evil 3 Remake that was announced later. This split announcement strategy and separate naming scheme really gives the perception that these are two games being bundled together. It really seems like a great value. (Check out our review for our first impression of Resident Evil 3 Remake Demo here!) Whether or not these two games were always meant to release together or if this bundling was a response to fan response is something we may never know.
I was able to try the online beta for Resistance, and I have to say it was an absolute blast. I am very excited for this multiplayer component. The game is 4v1 asymmetrical combat where you either play as a survivor or as the Mastermind. The survivors are various horror movie trope archetypes with different abilities. Where some characters have melee weapons, others start with guns. One has healing abilities where others are more combat. It is definitely important to work together to overcome the various zombies and traps on the map. The Mastermind sees the survivors through a series of security cameras, and can deploy a wide variety of zombie enemy units, powers ups, and other abilities. I will say I felt it is a missed opportunity to not have a mobile companion app for the Mastermind. The UI and game experience for the Mastermind, while very fun, is also very simple from a game standpoint. The UI is something that looks like it was optimized for a mobile device with large buttons and a mostly static frame of the motionless cameras. While the survivors play from a traditional third person over the shoulder perspective, the Mastermind could easily be played from an alternate platform. I think a really cool update in the future would be a companion app for game owners.
I felt the game was fairly balanced, especially for a beta. Neither the Mastermind or the Survivors felt like they had a distinct advantage; I won with about the same difficulty on each side. I will say that it felt like the Ultimate for the Mastermind, (bringing in Mr X), felt too nerfed and underpowered. He is so slow that it was easy for the survivors to just walk away. In one part of the map a simple way to defeat him was to go into this one room with a large conference room table and simply stay on the other side until he runs out of time. I realize this may be in keeping with the balance in the regular games, he just seemed to weak in the beta. I will say it was fun being on the other end for once in the Resident Evil journey, sending in the various monsters we are always asked to face.
I think the move to offer this new game in bundled with Resident Evil 3's remade campaign, was a smart and interesting move that will offer great value come this weekend's launch. I recommend the Resistance mode to longterm fans or new-comers alike.
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