CAPCOM launched its Project Resistance closed beta last weekend, showcasing gameplay and mechanics we’ve seen in many trailers shown. Getting hands-on with was an invite-only affair and I happened to be able to play about 15-20 hrs of the beta over the weekend.
The premise is simple, Umbrella is running practical tests/experiments on civilian subjects in a controlled environment where a mastermind controls the flow of events. The beta only allowed us to play as one mastermind, Daniel. Daniel worked closely with Alex Wesker and Spencer would come to him if he needed a problem to disappear. I love that they are trying to tie the masterminds into the canon storyline and have them be part of the larger picture. The survivors are basically nobodies that depict the normal run of the mill civilian in Raccoon City. Umbrella wants to see how effective their B.O.Ws will be against the general population. Now that we have the setup, let’s talk about gameplay.
The gameplay is broken into 2 parts, survivor and mastermind.
Mastermind is by far my favorite to play. You get to watch the events unfold from the live feed cameras and interact Watchdogs style with the environment. Locking doors, shutting off lights, and placing traps are some of the non-zombie-related things you can do. Everything is based on a deck of cards you have.
The Point System
Each card has a point value. A crawling zombie is 0 points, a tough zombie is 4 points, and a licker is 7 points. You have to wait for points to build up by not wasting them all on smaller enemies and save up for the bigger ones. In addition, you need to have the right card in your hand. You have 5 cards at a time and if you use one, you receive a new card. If you have a lot of points, you can dump them all and drop 5 different smaller enemies to refresh your hand quickly and make a horde for the survivors to deal with. Your deck also has utility cards. These cards allow you to place traps, construct turrets on the cameras, or generate buffs for the zombies already on the field. One I used a lot was Discount, and it allows you to use cards for a discounted price while you were looking through that one camera.
Setting up the rooms before the survivors got there was one of the best parts. Knowing you have the door locked, lights off, and 3 zombie dogs, a licker, and a crawler next to the key item they need was very satisfying. You also eventually got to use your unique creature. For Daniel, it was MR.X. You got to manually play as the Tyrant and I found myself wiping the survivors in one use of MR.X. The mastermind role definitely seems overpowered in its current state, so much in fact that I never lost a round as the mastermind. The survivors, on the other hand, are a little different.
Playing as any of the survivors was very fun in its own right. The game plays just like REmake 2 and I love that. Attack animations are consistent for the enemy types, and if you’re a speed-runner like me, you can use that knowledge and dodge around enemies easily. The guns are straight from REmake 2. You can use pretty much anything that was in that game. The biggest downfall was the difficulty in playing as a survivor. You had to get through 3 stages under a certain time. You gained time for solving puzzles and killing enemies, but lost time for dying and getting hurt. It seemed like you could breeze through stage 1 but stage 2 became a nightmare. If you didn’t have communication with your team you almost always failed at stage 2. Only through constant chat and sticking together did I ever make it through and win as the survivors.
This game is hard as hell and it really shows how unforgiving a RE game can actually be.
Project Resistance is a fun multiplayer RE, with the difficulty and premise to really pull me in. It seems at times like it should have been a multiplayer expansion to REmake 2 based on using the same engine and the same items/enemies. Playing the mastermind was ridiculously fun but without a good team, playing as a survivor was a slog. I’m hoping they adjust the difficulty ever so slightly and make the progress feel more gradual than the massive spike from stage to stage.
With a little more work, some minor tweaks, and overall polish, Project Resistance can be one hell of a game.