It seems like Capcom can do no wrong lately. They revitalised their Resident Evil brand with the seventh entry, then Monster Hunter: World became their biggest hit ever, and Devil May Cry returned with a great sequel after a mammoth hiatus. More so than anything, the remake of Resident Evil 2 was the perfect way to show that they're listening to fans while reworking an old formula.
In other words: Capcom is on fire, and they know it. Enter Project Resistance, a spinoff title set in the Resident Evil franchise. Historically, Resident Evil spinoff endeavors have been subpar at best - besides Code Veronica X of course - and it's a bold move for Capcom to challenge themselves at the peak of their game, which begs the question - is Project Resistance another sublime game, or does it fall into the "who is this even for" pile that so many other offshoots have done?
While playing through the brief introductory tutorial nothing really seems that different from Resident Evil 2. Everything from the heavy yet tight controls, menu design, and even graphical fidelity is exactly as we saw it earlier this year. Yet, despite having the same effective control scheme, the basic concept of Project Resistance is something entirely different. Instead of being a single-player only game, Project Resistance is 4v1 multiplayer competitive survival horror experience, revolving around a team of four unique characters banding together to escape a maze with zombies, puzzles, and other classic Resident Evil tropes, while a fifth player is controlling the events happening in the vicinity of the other four.
Accordingly, this means being able to plant enemies such as zombies or the iconic rabid dogs, attack with legendary enemies, or simply equipping surveillance cameras with heavy turrets and other weaponry. As we got our hands on the almighty puppet master role it was difficult not to be thoroughly amused watching other players try to maneuver past our traps and minions. One round we even broke Capcom's record for quickest termination of the other group. The power given to the player is awesome and the amount of options are plentiful.
On the other side of the scale are the four heroes, and as mentioned earlier, these characters are controlled almost the same as with Leon and Claire in Resident Evil 2. Project Resistance, however, introduces the idea of classes with classic roles like a tank, healer, and a hacker. Classes aren't as deep as an RPG and MOBA, but are instead very similar characters with different special abilities. The brute characters gets stronger melee attacks and can beat the zombies to death with their own hands, while healers revive fallen enemies with ease, and the hacker takes control of enemy cameras to use in their own favor.
At its current stage, Project Resistance is doing little to make the characters feel truly unique, but it's still in very early stages and work is to be suspected on perfecting this area of the game. The lack of true disparity is a minor detail compared to the intense comradery one must forge in order to survive against the common enemy. The dependency on teamwork is imperative and people who normally want to abandon ship and do their own thing will not survive long. As such, Project Resistance manages to capture the feel of survival horror perfectly as a multiplayer element.
On the nostalgic end of things, Capcom has likewise managed to capture the feel of their mainline titles with the Umbrella Corporation logos, weird intricate puzzles, and by implementing classic enemies we have come to know since the first one released in the '90s.
So, will Project Resistance be hailed as one of the greats? It remains to be seen. We enjoyed our time with the game and believe it is an interesting take on a storied franchise full of bright ideas, engaging content, and a cool concept. When scratching beneath the surface, some parts might be too reminiscent of Valve's Left 4 Dead and something like Evolve, but if it works this well, does it really matter? All we can say is, if Capcom plays their cards right - and it really seems like they do these days - Project Resistance has the potential to be something truly special.
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