The Resident Evil brand hasn't been this strong in quite some time, with Resident Evil 7 taking the franchise in a bold new direction and Resident Evil 2's lovely remake satisfying those nostalgic for game's past but with a modern flair. Throw in a series of ports to the Nintendo Switch and you've got a RE renaissance on your hands, but Capcom isn't resting on its laurels and has decided to tackle a different genre with its upcoming title Project Resistance. In the past, Capcom has taken on the realm of multiplayer, but those never could gain a mainstream foothold. We had the chance to get hands-on with Resident Evil's newest title at New York Comic Con, and we have to say Capcom might have finally figured it out.
For those unfamiliar with the premise of Project Resistance, the game has four players working in tandem to escape a particular scenario, which for our demo was set up in a warehouse. There are four different classes from which to choose, including a Tank (Tyrone), a Hacker (January, my personal fave), a Medic (Valerie), and a damage dealer (Samuel), and you'll use each character's specific abilities and skills to help make your way through the scenario.
That's where the fifth player comes in, as one person will be the Mastermind. The Mastermind will use their array of enemies, traps, and skills to plant obstacles in the survivor's way to try and kill them before they can make it out, as there is a timer counting down that allows the Mastermind to win if they can just hold out until then. As for the players, with every puzzle they complete they will add time to the countdown, allowing them more time to make it to the end.
If that sounds like a game of Dungeons and Dragons to you set in the Resident Evil universe, you aren't wrong in the least. Each player picks their character, which has one skill essential to getting your team through the level. For the Hacker it is the ability to hack into security cameras, which no. 1 stops the attached turret from pelting you with bullets but no. 2 also cuts off that camera's feed from the Mastermind's screen. That means he can't put traps or enemies in that spot until it is back online, giving your team time to heal and get to the next area before it comes back on.
With our squad getting decimated in its first run, it became quickly evident that teamwork is placed at the forefront of Resistance if you expect to have fun, but that's far from a negative. Once we started communicating a bit we made our way through the opening areas rather quickly, hacking cameras, using the Tank to barge through doors, and the Medic to heal everyone as Samuel was able to deal high damage to Lickers and Zombies. The more difficult part was trying to find pieces needed to clear that room and move to the next level, which are hidden throughout the area. Granted, it's not actually hard to find them if you're near them, but it becomes a bit more difficult to notice anything when you're trying to shoot a charging Licker.
The Mastermind isn't helping with that feeling either, as they are putting dogs, Zombies, Lickers, traps, and even Mr. X in the room with you, and if they unlock Mr. X the Mastermind can even take control of the powerful villain themselves. Each unit and trap has a timer on it, however, and if the feed is cut you have to think about where the survivors are going to be rather than where they are.
During my time with the game it did feel as if the Mastermind had all the power, but as the developers said, the more time you spend with the abilities of each survivor the more the power swings in your favor, and we did see that in our second playthrough. That said, it really feels imperative that you have a group that cares to excel in this game, so lone wolfs need not apply.
The mechanics themselves feel smooth, though the melee attacks could use a bit of refining, as it felt like swinging at air at times when the enemy was relatively close to me. We also want to see more from the game's skill tree, as the skills present are great, but are relatively basic, and if there's no room to grow or customize those abilities some might lose interest. What is there now though is chaotic in the best way, and really was a blast to play. I left just wanting to spend more time with both aspects of the game, and with a little refinement, this could very well be your new multiplayer addiction.
So, what do you think of Project Resistance? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things gaming!