Title: Resident Evil: Resistance
Genre: Asymmetrical Multiplayer / Survival Horror
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with purchase of Resident Evil 3
Official Site: https://www.residentevil.com/re3/us/
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Version Tested: PlayStation 4
The Resident Evil series has had its share of solid additional game modes. There was Raid Mode in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, and, of course, Mercenaries in Resident Evil 4. Having enjoyed all of this content, I was excited to get my hands on Resident Evil: Resistance. I was hoping additional players would shake up the formula of survival and escape that dominated other game modes.
Unfortunately, Resident Evil: Resistance drops the ball. The game is plagued with issues that not only make it difficult to enjoy but also difficult to even play. I’ve spent a few hours with the game, searching desperately for reasons to keep playing, but I couldn’t find any. For everything single thing done right, a whole host of things are down wrong.
What is it?
Resident Evil: Resistance is an asymmetrical multiplayer game that features two sides to every match: survivors and the mastermind. In terms of survivors, there are always four. You and your teammates choose characters out of a roster of six. Each character is a different stereotype, which I rather liked. After all, Resident Evil has always had an element of campy horror, so their personalities were fun. Each character had their own abilities, all of which were pretty useful.
For example, Valerie can heal and locate items. Considering the labyrinthian nature of the maps, and the sheer quantity of enemies that can populate it, these abilities can be vital. January can hack and disable cameras, which is what the mastermind uses to orchestrate deadly obstacles. There are also simpler abilities, like Samuels. He punches things and can dish out some decent damage. Simple yet effective.
The mastermind is who decides what populates each map. There are four options in terms of characters the player can pick: Annette Birkin, Alex Wesker, Daniel Fabron, and Ozwell Spencer. Each character comes with their own cards. A card is used to summon enemies on the map, like a licker, zombie dog, or your standard zombie. Using the cameras littered throughout the map, you can take over your monsters and control them. When controlling a zombie, you have more health and dish out more damage. But, while doing so, you can’t summon more enemies and lay more traps.
The coolest feature is that each character comes with their own bioweapon. A bioweapon is the ultimate creature a character can have. For Annette Birkin, her bioweapon is her infected husband, G-Birkin. Daniel can summon the Tyrant from Resident Evil 2. These enemies are frightening and intimidating to fight as a survivor.
Resident Evil: Resistance handles exactly like its counterpart, Resident Evil 3. It doesn’t feature a dodge button, and I feel that it should especially be given how crowded combat situations can become. Regardless, the gameplay is solid because it’s always been. But there are some pretty significant drawbacks.
Enemies have health bars this time around, so weapons feel like they’ve lost their oomph. Satisfying headshots don’t really occur anymore, and enemies are more powerful in Resistance, which makes some weapons feel useless. But the worst transgression is that because the game is online, the damage from weapons lags or doesn’t even connect. I’ve shot enemies only for the damage (which is numerically displayed on the screen) to register whole seconds later. This allows some enemies to get hits in when they should have already died. Sometimes, shots don’t even do damage. I have, on multiple occasions, shot a zombie right in the chest with a shotgun only for nothing to happen. When I don’t even know if I can do damage, the game loses validity.
But I will say this: when the game actually works, it’s good. Being chased by a relentless player controlling the Tyrant is thrilling. Reviving teammates or being revived while creatures are being summoned before your very eyes is tense. In general, it feels good to support one another against the hordes of enemies and countless traps the mastermind is throwing your way. I loved running to the exit with my teammates, all of us trying to escape the horrors behind us frantically. I couldn’t help but audibly react when things started going wrong. Basically, it was enjoyable.
But, after a few matches, it loses some of the excitement. You know the routine – find the pieces of the puzzle, kill the security zombie, destroy the cores – and it all becomes rather standard. The variability of the mastermind certainly breathes some life into subsequent matches, but it never reaches the high of the first few.
As for playing as the mastermind, I honestly couldn’t tell you what that’s like. I played as the mastermind in the tutorial against NPCs in a controlled environment. When I tried to play as the mastermind online, I never found a match. I counted and, combining all of the separate occasions I’ve waited; I wasn’t able to find a match for 50 minutes. When I played random, I only ever could play as the survivors, and even that could take up to 10 minutes to start. Half of my time with Resident Evil: Resistance has been waiting, staring at an empty matchmaking screen. I had more fun on my phone than with the game most times.
The environments in Resident Evil: Resistance are…serviceable. There are only a few, and they are visually interesting. Their labyrinthian nature makes it difficult to navigate even after more than a few matches. When chaos erupts, it can be difficult to know where to go for safety, which can make things really tense. There are also places for the mastermind to put enemies to surprise you, like behind doors or around corners.
But the activities inside of these maps don’t change much. They aren’t large enough for objectives to be in vastly different places. For the first area, the puzzle pieces are almost always in the same locations. For the second, the security guard is roughly in the same place. The power cores seem to change places the most, but they are pretty easy to spot, so I never had much difficulty finding them. Even if the design of the maps makes it consistently difficult to find your way under pressure, I didn’t really have much difficulty finding what I needed to. Titles like Friday the 13th: The Game work well because the map is very large, meaning items can be anywhere. Resident Evil: Resistance only features pretty small areas, meaning things are too easy to find, which makes activities feel repetitive.
Verdict: Resident Evil: Resistance has potential, but Capcom dropped the ball with this one. I know we live in a time where online games can be significantly improved with revisions and updates, but Resistance would require a major overhaul. Whatever is going on with matchmaking needs to be fixed. The waiting times are ridiculous, and I am truly disappointed I couldn’t play a single match as the mastermind. Playing as the survivors may be thrilling at first, but, after a few matches, it loses its magic.
I can also only praise the gameplay so much. Is it more of what I love from Resident Evil 2 and 3? Yes, but sometimes it barely works. What kind of shooter is a game where the shots don’t connect? So, even when the game is doing something right, it still has underlying issues that significantly detract from the experience.
Overall, I wanted to at least like Resident Evil: Resistance. But I don’t. It’s messy and, sometimes, impossible to play. I can confidently say that I am never going back. I can also confidently say that you should just play Resident Evil 3 and leave this part of the package alone.
Have you played Resident Evil: Resistance? What are your thoughts on it? What are your thoughts on Resident Evil 3? Let us know in the comments below.
Resident Evil: Resistance Review
- Campy Horror Characters
- Useful Abilities
- Players as Survivors Fun in the Beginning but...
- Gets Dull Rather Quickly
- EXTREMELY Long Matchmaking Times
- Literally Can't Play as the Mastermind
- Shots Can Have Delayed Damage or No Damager at All
- Maps, Although Labyrinthian, Become Predictable
- Repetitive Activities