I’m sure many groaned when Resistance was announced. I know I did. After the hearty, satisfying meals of Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2’s remake, I just didn’t care for another Resi spin off game looking to make a quick buck of the franchise. With low expectations also comes a lot of potential and Resistance certainly has that. Also, it comes free with Resident Evil 3, which helps.
Put simply, Resistance is the naughty love child of Resident Evil and Dungeon Keeper. Each match has five players, four controlling an ensemble cast of teen horror tropes while the other gets to play the Mastermind, one of four Resident Evil villains. Each match is presented as a Saw-like experiment in which each survivors have been infected with a virus and has to escape three elaborate puzzle areas, filled with traps and monsters set by the Mastermind.
- Head here for our review of Resident Evil 3’s single player campaign.
There are six survivors to choose from, each a different class with special abilities. You have Valerie – the de facto healer, January – the genius hacker, Tyrone – a natural born leader, Samual – the punchy ex jock, Martin – the support expert and Becca – the young farm girl and gun enthusiast.
Each character has a Fever Skill – most games would call this an Ultimate – which starts off on a cool down, as well as other passive abilities that make them unique to play. Becca, for instance, has a passive buff called Bullseye which greatly increases her chance for critical hits on enemies. Later it can be augmented with a secondary buff that you earn through levelling up. Becca’s Fever Skill is called Bullet Storm which when active, gives her unlimited ammo. Pretty strong.
Up to four pieces of gear can be added to characters which also provides extra buffs like being able to activate green herbs when on critical or increasing enemy knockback on critical hits. Loadouts can be quite customisable and with four players on a team, the right combination of skills and team work can see you sweep through levels.
For me, the more exciting part was taking control of the Mastermind. You initially only have access to Annette Birkin but after getting her to level five, you unlock the next villain and so on. Other villians available are newcomer Daniel Fabron, Revelations 2 baddie – Alex Wesker and Ozwell E. Spencer himself. Like the survivors, Mastermind’s loadouts can be customised. The addition here is that each mastermind has a battle deck.
The two types of play are so wildly different; survivors are played third person with controls similar to Resident Evil while playing as the masterminds has you watching them through security cameras placed on the map. You can swap between each one as you please, drawing from your battle deck to spawn monsters.
Energy to play these cards is built up over time, but a cap of ten energy means you can’t just spam everything in every room. There’s also a hard limit to how much you can spawn at any time on different map sized, which forces some careful planning. I very much enjoyed laying down landmines and then placing a clawing zombie on top. People would come rushing in, lay the smack down on the zombie and then get blown up in hilarious fashion.
Masterminds also get an ultimate, which lets you spawn and take direct control over the likes of William Birkin or Mr X himself. Watching the survivors scatter is brilliant fun when the big lads drop in. They are absolute machines.
More adept players will be able to keep them at bay, however, which I found out the hard way after being stun locked by flash grenades. I thought I was being clever by saving ol’ Billy Birkin till the end when the survivors were about to escape. But it turns out they’d been able to set a plan for just this situation. I learned from my mistake though and the next time this would happen, I’d be more prepared.
I spent some time after with Daniel Fabron who gets Mr X as his ultimate. Daniel also specialises in taking control of his critters. All villains can do this, but Mr Fabron gets a lot of buffs from doing so. He also gets armoured zombies in his default battle deck which is a massive plus.
There’s excitement to be had on both sides of the fence, but I definitely feel the survivors have the easier time. As the survivors, you are racing against the clock, but you also have a safety net in combat from there being four of you. As the Mastermind, you’re having to work faster to try and keep up with everything that’s going on, especially if people are splitting up. That being said, getting those Mastermind victories feels so sweet. Especially as Billy Boy Birkin pounds their heads into mush.
Additional passive skills and cosmetics can be earned through buying chest bundles using the in game currency, RP. These points are earned in matches and by completing daily challenges. The only time you can dip into your pocket is if you want to buy an RP Booster which increases the amount of RP earned in your next match. Thankfully, these can also be earned in game, otherwise the pay to win aspect would have put a dampener on the game. It’s still slightly annoying, mind.