Resident Evil Resistance Review
Resident Evil Resistance is an online multiplayer game bundled with Resident Evil 3. A noncanonical spin-off, the game takes place within a classified research facility where Umbrella Corporations is performing an elaborate human experiment to gather data on virus mutation and its relation to fear response. You will host or participate in this twisted test within an asymmetrical 1v4 format, playing as either the sole 'Mastermind' or the guinea pig team of 'Survivors.' It is a daringly solid concept executed exceptionally well.
Being one of the four Masterminds is like playing an intense game of cat and mouse. You control several placed security cameras and attempt to stop Survivors from escaping the research facility. Your arsenal comes in the form of a customizable card deck that can spawn enemies, set traps, equip firearms, and activate passive effects. Generating a trap or a zombie is as simple as picking a card and placing it in the area. You can even go a step further by activating traps at precise moments and manually playing enemies. Zombie controls can be sluggish, which is perfectly apt for their traditionally shambling nature. There are also more agile enemies like the infected dog or the Licker. Best of all are the three bioweapons - hulking powerhouses that constitute the 'Ultimate Skill' of their respective characters, which includes the notorious Mr. X. It is a joy to methodically place traps, dim lights, lock doors, and control creatures to overwhelm your opponents. All-in-all, this is a stunning strategy-like experience that requires you to plan your limited abilities cleverly.
On the other side of the gameplay spectrum, we have the Survivors. You get to control a cast of six young adults, each with unique skills. Taking the place of the Mastermind's Ultimate Skill is 'Fever Skills,' which acts as the Survivors' ultimate abilities. Their functions range from team buffs to high damage-dealing moves. There are also 'Personal Skills,' which have a much shorter cool-down rate and similarly vary in their purposes between characters. Each character acts as a class of sorts; prioritizing damage, support, or tanking. As a result, it is good to fully utilize the usefulness of each character and contribute to the team accordingly. Upon entering an area, your group will be assigned a task that ranges from finding a few missing pieces to a puzzle to destroying 'Bio Cores.' Every session randomizes the location of such requirements, pushing you to scrutinize the surroundings. Upon successful retrieval of all missing items, you can gather with your team at the exit to head to the next area. There are three areas in total to complete. Cooperation is cardinal to success because the odds are in the Mastermind's favor. Of the dozen sessions I played, the Mastermind always won. Never have I played a multiplayer game where teamwork matters.
Resistance has the makings of becoming a powerhouse asymmetric multiplayer experience, adding in new experimental facilities, Mastermind, and Survivors in the future. Even with only two maps - Casino and Abandoned park - each match feels fresh. These locales not only provide vibrant and fun backdrops, but are superbly structured. Claustrophobic spacing of the interiors works wonders for tension-building. Mechanically, safe rooms serve as a useful place to shop for supplies. Maps are also a delightful playground for the Mastermind's tools of destruction, allowing many ample opportunities to spook opposing players with an enemy waiting at the other side of the door. It all works to be a dynamic battlezone for survival-horror action and offers a special fast-paced experience when you want a break from the slower single-player game.
A time limit tops off the intensity-level to the max. Each match starts with a countdown of five minutes. As Survivors, killing an enemy, completing objectives, and destroying traps adds extra time. Exiting the area all together rewards a combined bonus time total. For the Mastermind, killing players will cut their time considerably. Getting to the exit or stopping a Survivor from reaching their objective just in time is an undeniable adrenaline rush.
You may ask: how does progression work? Well, each character has a rank that can be raised with XP, unlocking new Masterminds, skill modifiers, deck loadout slots, and more. There is also another type of reward: Result Points or RP; earned by performance, especially when fulfilling daily and weekly missions. These can be used to buy pieces of 'Equipment,' which act as passive enhancements for combat, survival, resource, and miscellaneous abilities. RP can also be spent on cosmetics. Both equipment and cosmetics are bought by opening chests that give random rewards. A booster for RP is available as an additional purchase. Even though this is a microtransaction it is entirely harmless. This game is, by far, not pay-to-win. The equipment only adds minor buffs, and boosters are not that bad in general.
Resident Evil Resistance is a surprisingly terrific topper to its base game package. It is one of the only multiplayer games where teamwork is genuinely essential. Not only that, but playing as the Mastermind is a truly unique and empowering experience. Accessible, layered, and blood-pumping, this is a marvelous multiplayer foundation that will only get better.
Final Rating: 84% - Experimenter vs. experimentees: will you work as the Survivors or crush the resistance as the Mastermind with one fell swoop of a Mr. X spawn?
Note: A review code for this game was provided by the publisher.