Teamwork or Death!
I always seem to end up demoing Resident Evil games at New York Comic Con. Personally, I think it’s because it’s close to Halloween, and far be it from me to complain about taking out zombies. Or, in the case of Project Resistance, being taken out by zombies and bear traps.
The newest addition to the Resident Evil franchise, Project Resistance serves as a prequel to the series and is a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer experience. You play as one of four civilians who has been kidnapped by Umbrella Corporation and are forced to fight zombies and solve puzzles in order to escape from the facility with your lives. Alternately, one player is the “Mastermind” of Umbrella Corporation, Daniel Fabron. He uses mutants, bio-weapons, and a variety of hazards to prevent the kidnapped victims from escaping the facility.
After waiting in line for two hours and reading two and a half trade paperbacks, I was more than ready to get my hands on some zombies and start busting up the place. Groups were assigned in order of first come first serve, and I ended up with the four people in line next to me. There’s not a lot of prep work you can do in the few minutes between the explanation and the demo starting, but we were able to work out character assignments to our satisfaction. Without going into too much detail, there’s the Hacker, the Tank, the Healer, and the Melee specialist. I played the first round as the Healer and the next as the Melee specialist.
Each character has their own special abilities, which basically forces the four survivors to work together. You can try and make it on your own, but good luck without the Healer when you get wounded, or without the Tank when you’re trying to knock down a door with a zombie cornering you. All of the characters end up being useful, and it’s well balanced so there’s no one character with a distinct advantage over the others. That is, except for the Mastermind.
Both rounds we played in Project Resistance, the Mastermind wiped the floor with us, and after talking to the Capcom employees running the demo, I found out that no groups of survivors had managed to win yet – by Saturday afternoon, when demos had been going for two and a half days. This confirmed my gut feeling when playing the game, which is that it’s most definitely a team effort. Everything from the layout of the rooms to the abilities of the team is designed the complement each other and work together. The Mastermind seems to deliberately have the upper hand in order to force cooperation.
While I can see this setup working very well for online play with established teams of friends, particularly between those of different play styles, it was frustrating in a 15-minute demo with strangers, particularly ones who aren’t familiar with the game or the control system. At the same time, even with these frustrations, the game was fun. I enjoyed the variety of characters, and the whole setup itself. It’s something we haven’t really seen in a Resident Evil game before, and I’m curious to see how it plays out.
Project Resistance was a fun experience overall. Was it worth waiting in line for two hours for a 15-minute demo? Maybe not, but I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out when it releases, especially if you have a good team to play with. On the other hand, I can see plenty of potential for wrecking havoc in random players’ lives as the Mastermind, no teamwork required.
Are you excited to play Project Resistance? Did you get to test it out in the closed beta period? Let us know in the comments below!