Saturday, November 5

Resident Evil Resistance Review

I played on: PS4, Xbox Series X
I paid: £14.99 in 2022 on Xbox, and £49.99 at launch on PS4 (it came bundled with Resident Evil 3 Remake)
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Notes: This is not a review for the Resident Evil 3 remake; I have reviewed that separately.

RE Resistance is Capcom’s answer to a modern online Resident Evil experience. Seeing as the last online RE game we got was the god-awful Umbrella Corps, I didn’t have high hopes for Resistance when it launched alongside RE3make in 2020. You will consider me surprised when I hopped onto Resistance and started having fun. This game is far from perfect, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy myself while playing.

Resident Evil Resistance, or REsistance, as I will call it, is a 4v1 competitive game. If you’ve played Dead by Daylight, Friday the 13th, The Evil Dead game, and so on, you will have a rough idea of what to expect in REsistance. One player will take on the role of the Mastermind. This person is the game’s villain and can view the game from various CCTV cameras around the map. You can then place traps and monsters to ambush the other four players. On top of this, you can lock doors, turn off lights and so on. After a while, you can spawn a boss monster that depends on the Mastermind you play as. Annette Birkin gains access to William Birkin’s G1 form, while Alex Wesker can deploy the Plant-42-inspired Yateveo etc. When these monstrosities have been unleashed onto the map, you will gain control of them. It’s tons of fun to take control of Mr X or William Birkin and unleash hell on a team of 4 survivor players. The issue with playing these giant monsters is that there are a few places on each map where the smaller human players can hide out of reach of the larger monsters. This ruins the experience as instead of a fair challenge, it ends up with the survivors hiding behind some boxes unloading clip after clip into a monster that can’t retaliate. This didn’t happen in most games, but it did happen in a few, which is a shame.

You have four survivor players on the other side of the game. You play as a human and must make it through 3 stages of a map without running out of time. If you get downed or die, you will have time subtracted from your total, but on the other hand, you will gain time for any monsters you kill, keys you find, or allies you help. Each match will have the four survivors trying to make it through three stages alive and in time. The first stage has you trying to find three keys to unlock the door. Stage two will have you looking for a keycard and then using the card on three computer terminals around the level. Lastly, stage three will see you needing to unlock and destroy three coolant vats. If you can make it through to the last stage, you will need to unlock the door to the exit escaping the experiment alive, thus defeating the Mastermind. While playing through the maps, you will find or earn Umbrella points that can be spent via chests on healing supplies, weapons and ammo. Making sure to collect as many points as possible before leaving an early stage can make a difference later on in the match. In this sense, you must weigh your remaining time and points.

While you can pick from several survivors, they all control mostly the same, the only difference being their unique abilities. Martin can dismantle traps while Jill will be able to dodge and so on. Once you have spent time playing as each survivor, you learn which ones suit your style of play. Moving around and fighting is taken right out of the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes. Which is to say it feels great! If you’ve spent much time with either of these remakes, then moving around, dodging and shooting will all feel like second nature. The inventory space has been limited to eight slots, but this doesn’t feel like an issue simply because managing it is far less of a necessity here than in the single-player games. After playing Resident Evil Outbreak on the PS2, I can understand why this change was made—dealing with your inventory while you’re unable to pause the game can lead to many frustrating situations during those older games. During REsistance, I can’t say I ever had any problems with my inventory.

Graphically this game is just as impressive as both the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes. This makes sense, as it uses the same engine and many of the same assets. You can unlock new outfits for each survivor and even some monsters. These all look pretty great. 

The downside is that they are locked behind a massive grind or paywall. When you finish each match, you will earn RP points that can be spent on equipment or cosmetic chests. These are loot boxes, plain and simple. I hate that I have to talk about loot boxes in a Resident Evil game, but I guess it was only a matter of time. Trying to get the particular item you want is next to impossible. Each cosmetic loot box will contain only a single thing. This could be a skin for any one of the survivors, monsters or weapons. But that’s not all, as it could be a voice line for one of the masterminds or a gesture for either the survivors or zombies. Lastly, let’s not forget the spray icons you can place down as a survivor. If you want Jill to cosplay as Alice from the P.W.Anderson films by unlocking her Retribution skin, then you better have much luck, time or money to throw down. There are 406 cosmetic items, and you unlock 1 with each loot box. Each loot box costs 50000 RP; on average, you earn around 5000 RP a game without a paid booster. Each game can take between 20-30 minutes. That means that, on average, each loot box will take approximately three and a half hours to earn.

Then you have the equipment chests. These loot boxes contain equipment for the survivors to use during their games. This can be like starting the game with a weapon or reducing the time your abilities take to cool down. To give Capcom a little credit, these can be unlocked by playing the game and are cheaper than the cosmetic loot boxes. But to take that credit back again, you can earn these equipment chests much faster with paid RP boosters, which means you can pay for gameplay advantages. This is unacceptable, and it’s why I barely played this game, although I enjoy the gameplay.

The reason I simply don’t play this game anymore is that I can’t. You see, REsistance now lacks a player base. So I started to write this review at the beginning of October; during this time, I had no issues finding a game. Then on the 28th of October, Resident Evil RE:verse was released. Since then, I’ve been unable to find even a single match. This is the danger of any online game. By their very nature, online games require a player base to survive. When that player base moves on to the next big game, the last one dies. That seems to be the case with Resident Evil Resistance.

Resident Evil Resistance is a flawed but enjoyable game. It takes the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remake’s gameplay and moves it online better than I thought possible. The thing that held it back was the awful loot boxes. Unfortunately, these loot boxes turned REsistance into an endless tedious slog. None of that matters now. The player base has moved on, and as such, REsistance is now a dead game. My original score for this game was a four; however, now I feel I have to give it a zero as you can’t play it anymore.

Recommendation Rating: 0 out of 10

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