Going into my time with Project Resistance, I didn’t know what to expect. My history with Resident Evil is based purely on the mainline series, and this spin-off is a little different. More like the Friday the 13th Game than traditional RE, Project Resistance pits four Survivors against one Mastermind. In my hands-on time I played as a Survivor, and whilst the game swayed in the Mastermind’s favour, the journey as a Survivor was good fun indeed.
Each survivor had a unique weapon and set of abilities, with some focusing on melee, and others ranged combat. Whilst some of the options were locked in this demo build, both weapon types were definitely viable. The baseball bat was ideal at taking out zombified dogs and quick crawlers, whilst the fast-firing six-shooter tackled larger enemies. Appearances varied too, which could provide an opportunity for cosmetic customization down the line. No one loadout seemed more powerful than the rest, but it felt important to have a varied cast for any chance at beating the Mastermind. In truth, he was pretty damn powerful.
Aside from combat, there are other secondary objectives to complete. Some are mandatory, like rummaging around in drawers for door keys, whilst others reward straying from the beaten path. There’s your typical array of RE items in the environment, like magic green herbs to heal and recognisable ammo crates to grab. Finding items was pretty easy, as the map was small but dense. It was more a case of spamming interact than being clever, but it was nice to have other, non-combat objectives.
When it came to blasting creatures, Project Resistance felt fantastic. The revolver, in particular, was extremely satisfying to use; packing a real punch. It surprised me a little because usually, Resident Evil’s gunplay feels serviceable but never anything more. This time around it appears the shift from story to gameplay has brought some nice refinement to RE’s shooting mechanics. The melee combat felt great too, but when is thumping a zombie with a baseball bat not fun? I’m intrigued to try out more weapon and ability combos once the full game releases.
Choose your side
The overall objective as a survivor is to work together to get through and eventually escape the map. All four survivors need to escape to win, which I didn’t manage in my time playing. Towards to end of matches, it got hectic quick and figuring out what you had to do became tough. The Mastermind can start placing a bunch of enemies at any given time, so difficulty spikes can be experienced. There’s also relying on teammates in a convention setting, which isn’t the easiest job. Being a survivor wasn’t simple, but I could definitely see a co-ordinated team getting through the map more easily.
The Mastermind side of the equation is a little different than your typical asymmetric multiplayer game. In Friday the 13th or Dead by Daylight, the killer is simply a player in-game with different powers. The Mastermind here plays more like an overlord, choosing where to spawn A.I creatures and set traps remotely from a different play area. You can then take control of the zombies and weapons you spawn, but you don’t have to rely on your own combat expertise. There is a focus on being strategic with your map placements which is a neat spin on this style of game.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Project Resistance. There are certainly some balance issues between both sides that need to be addressed, but playing as a survivor was fun, nonetheless. The differences in Survivor abilities and Mastermind playstyles will provide nice variation down the line, compared to its rivals. I hope Capcom stick with this one in the long run because it has the potential to go toe-to-toe with other multiplayer horror titles.