So what exactly is it?
Here’s the gist. Four strangers wake in a dark room, it’s an umbrella facility that they must now escape by working together.
They’ll forage for weapons (bats, poles), buy better kit from weapon trunks and have various rechargeable ‘fever skills’ they can also utilise to aid their escape.
This includes, among several skills, anything from group healing, camera hacking and even a super powerful punch and/or kick (so daft, we’ll actually allow it).
But another player, known as the Mastermind, is controlling the facility. Watching from carefully placed cameras in every room, placing traps, enemies creatures and causing utter chaos in a bid to stop the opposing player's efforts to escape.
The game itself is split into three stages, each with an objective that needs completing in order to advance.
For now, they’re relatively simple puzzles that take the form of fetch quests or being tasked to unlock terminals with a keycard found on a specific zombie.
Sounds easy, right? Well no. A countdown timer keeps players constantly on edge as time is lost and gained based on everything from killing enemies to your teammates taking damage or dying.
The Mastermind, meanwhile, is doing everything he can to hinder players progress, done via a pretty simple energy meter that fills over time and a sort of card-based combat system, where placing a zombie might cost 1 point whilst a licker could require 7.
There’s also some unparalleled levels of sh**housery to be had from watching players scramble for their lives in various chokepoints before you, the unforgiving Mastermind decides “yeh, I’m just going to switch off the lights now as well” in the middle of a firefight.
This and many other manoeuvres are simply marvelous.
OK, so what makes Project Resistance so special?
Admittedly, the game itself is incredibly rudimentary, there’s not anything overly complicated or ambitious going on. Work together, find/destroy said key item, move on and reach the end before the timer reaches zero.
But oh lord, the gameplay loop is seriously addictive, regardless of what side of the fence you’re playing.
We experienced the game for a good 2-3 hours and did not want to put the controller down.
Each playthrough, which lasts roughly 15 minutes, leaves you with that ‘just one more game’ feeling that we’ve only felt with those really special multiplayer titles.
It’s also unmistakably a Resident Evil game. The proprietary RE Engine is once again on top form, the combat is easy to pick up and with even the smallest bit of knowledge of the series, you pretty much know what you’re doing (albeit sometimes terrified) from the get-go.
At its core, it feels a bit like someone in Capcom towers took one look at Mario Maker and said “we’ll have a bit of that”, before applying some clever ingenuity to make it work within the confines of the Resi franchise.
But from the offset, it just works, remarkably and surprisingly well with little bumps in the road. As we alluded to, we couldn’t wait to boot up the game for another round again and again.
However, here’s one of the really exciting kickers. As the Mastermind, you can also assume control of the undead.
So you’re not just deploying the monsters, you’re also able to control them as you see fit.
We’ve also saved the best for last, because you can also play as Mr. X and he’s incredible.
When we say incredible, we don’t just mean to play as – which, frankly, we don’t even need to explain why it’s so satisfying to batter the living daylights out of the opposing team. But he’s also great fun from the perspective of the opposing team, as well.
Given Resident Evil has previously been such a solo experience, there’s actually something quite funny and enjoyable about four players collectively losing their nut when the trench coat wearing behemoth is quite literally plopped into the action, usually at the worse possible moment.
What (if any) are the downsides?
Right now, the main issue is one of balance, something Capcom were keen to stress they were aware of.
During our time with the game Mr. X, despite himself only having a limit of 90 seconds when he was deployed, was massively over powered. Laughably so in fact.
Though you often needed all four players to take him down, the reality was that it was best to split up when you saw the brute spawn to avoid a full team getting smashed in one huge melee.
Equally, at the time of writing the game only has one map to call on. Granted, it had four different pre-set’s which dictated different spawn points or placements for enemies or key items, but its still only one map.
So if you do reach a point where you and your squad become that well-oiled machine who can sweep aside all Masterminds, you could grow tired of the challenge.
Perhaps speedrunners, who should get a right kick out of the game, could still find some enjoyment in it, but more maps are definitely key to the longevity of this game we think.
What's more, there’s certainly an issue with the first stage. For the survivors, it’s often a cakewalk. A complete bye so newcomers can get to grips with the game at hand.
And for the Mastermind, it’s also redundant, because the quest is often so easy that it's pointless expending any points putting up a fight. In truth, you may as well save the points (and your cards) for the next stage.
All this being said, Capcom was very clear with us that the game is still early in development.
That's why they're not announcing a release at Tokyo Game Show, but an upcoming beta test (more on that below), which will be very important for gathering fan feedback.
Even then, there was certainly no indication of the game having a release date or price anytime soon.
So really, the games biggest issue right now, as far as we can see, is a lack of content. It needs more maps, more layouts, more playgrounds for players and Masterminds to muck around in.
When that beta period rolls around we suspect you’ll be demanding more maps from the game just like us. Because we suspect that once Project Resistance has got its teeth into you, there’s no question you’re going to be hooked.
How can YOU play Project Resistance?
According to Capcom, there will be a special early access opportunity to playtest the game at the Tokyo Game Show.
In addition, Xbox Insider Program members and RE Ambassadors will be eligible for a chance to participate in the Project Resistance closed beta on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The closed beta will run from October 4 through October 7.
Registration will be open between Sept. 11 and 18 at https://www.project-resistance.com
More details on Project Resistance and the closed beta will be revealed at a later date.
- Resident Evil Capcom
- Tokyo Game Show
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