It is hard to beat a unique game that gets packaged for free with another. Capcom did this probably because Resident Evil 3 Remake was short as hell, but a solid experience. Resistance, a four-against-one online title, has great ideas with the right execution but needs time to bake a little longer before being a worthy component to Jill Valentine’s nightmarish battle with Nemesis.
The premise is laid out like this, four players must go around a map to find pieces to a puzzle to unlock a door to the next area while a mastermind plants zombies and traps to stop the survivors from escaping. I love the idea, it is like Saw meets Resident Evil meets Dead by Daylight. It is thrilling yet frustrating, and I still find myself going back to it because I like the concept more than the actual experience.
Survivors need to race against the clock and add up time by killing the undead and placing puzzle pieces. Once I got the hang of it, my friends and I got slowly better at getting to the next area but never enough to win a match as it feels unfair in different ways.
The critique is partially based on my lack of skill, but some things are in favor of the mastermind who can drop your time by injuring and killing survivors. The level design is too tight, making it too easy to get overwhelmed by hordes of the undead.
Another issue comes from not being able to tell how close tougher enemies are to death. Damage numbers pop up on the screen when you bash, shoot, or explode the infected. For bosses like Mr. X and other of the higher tiered undead, it does deliver a good signal for how close they are to dying, unlike a health bar that would be more direct.
Plus, it is a pet peeve of mine when I see arcadey styled damage numbers come to the screen when I hit an enemy. It feels out of place for the art style of the latest RE titles.
Both masterminds and survivors all feel unique. Each character has their own abilities. Skills can be purchased and swapped out in the lobby as everyone prepares to escape or prevent escapees. Even though I got mad when another player took my main, I got to try someone else out as a survivor and enjoyed trying out new playstyles.
The controls for survivors match how it is when playing RE 3 or 2 Remake. The exception is that it does not have a dodge button like the third installment. With the tight levels, it would be helpful to have a way to get away when being overwhelmed by incoming zombies or Mr. X, who is going to bash my skull into pieces.
Other than that, it felt fluid and as satisfying when shooting as it does in both remakes. The only issue I found was trying to hold F (I am playing on PC) to perform certain actions like picking up teammates, it did not always respond appropriately.
The survivors did get a helping hand with healing items and credits placed throughout the map at a consistent rate. Credits are used to shop in the safe zone for new weapons and equipment to arm yourself before heading out. It was a limited variety but had a positive impact on my survival. I do wish I got a different selection between areas as by the final are before escaping, it has the same offerings as the previous section.
Playing with friends in a lobby is not user friendly. Wanting to go into the shop for cosmetics, customize your loadout, or do anything means you have to leave and start up a new setup for your friends to join you in a match.
If you can play the mastermind right, you can crush survivors. That said, the controls felt less responsive and intuitive. Switching between cameras and my arsenal of traps and zombies was frustrating as I tried to do specific actions. Clicking on a trap or lifeless minion to spawn would get stuck if I was aiming at a spot that cannot place it in certain areas to close to objects, leading me to cancel then try it again on another spot.
I am certain I will play more after I write this review because it is irresistibly fun with friends. That said, I will go into my options to turn off the dialogue, mostly because the constant taunts from the masterminds are annoying beyond belief. Kill me or don’t, just shut up.
The AI problems must be an issue with the RE engine as both of the latest remakes and Resistance have the problem with zombies being unbelievably dumb by walking into objects and getting stuck. If you are a mastermind and the survivors are good, then you are at a big disadvantage if your minions decide to stumble into a chair for 10 seconds while someone opens up the door to escape.
Challenges and completing matches will grant you points to unlock equipment and cosmetic chests. The loot boxes are fair as the loot is not that bad, and getting enough credits to unlock gear is easy. I play two or three matches and can get some goodies.
The main technical issue I had was my audio stuttered in and out, then completely cut out. That was only for one or two games, and it did not completely crash my experience.
Resistance needs some quality of life improvements as little things pile on to hurt the game. Plus, I think some work needs to be done to find matches quicker as finding one as a survivor takes a couple of minutes, a mastermind can take up to five or more minutes. With some content updates and polish, I am sure this will be a great game to hop on with friends who love Resident Evil.
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