Capcom has finally debuted its multiplayer shooter featuring various Resident Evil characters, and we've unfortunately spent a bunch of time with it.
I like to think I treat games rather positively, perhaps too positively at times. But gaming is a form of entertainment, and the majority of the time the titles we indulge in have entertaining factors that make them interesting, and that's something I like to highlight. But 'the majority' is a key term to keep in mind here because sometimes a game lands on my plate, and despite trying to remain positive, I just really struggle. Resident Evil Re:Verse is one of those games.
Before even getting into what this game is and what its issues are, let me start by saying that the one aspect that I've always loathed in Resident Evil games (on controller) is the gunplay. It's always felt terrible and as though the firearm weighs 30kgs and the protagonist simply struggles to hold it at eye level, but in a survival horror game it's acceptable at the least. And it's this terrible gunplay that makes me wonder why we'd ever need a Resident Evil multiplayer shooter in the first place, but here we are.
This game sees players competing against other players as a collection of Resident Evil characters across the franchise. The main gameplay simply involves suiting up as one of six survivors, including the likes of Claire and Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong, or even a masked Umbrella Corporation soldier known as Hunk, and then taking to a level inspired by an iconic Resident Evil location (Raccoon City Police Station or the Baker House, for example) to plug each other full of bullets. The catch is that when you die, you transition into a Virus monster until you're defeated in this role as well, which is when you'll respawn as your survivor again. That's it, there's much else to know.
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It might seem a bit unforgiving to say there's nothing else to add, but there really isn't much else that defines the gameplay. Sure you can pick up Virus containers dotted around the map so that if you die while holding two, you change into a more potent monster, such as Nemesis or the Super Tyrant. And likewise, as a survivor you can grab green herbs to recover health, can dodge roll to evade damage, and can even find special weapons throughout a map to deal significant amounts of damage to a foe. But that's about it. There's nothing really to add when it comes to game modes, since you can only play free-for-all (or Deathmatch as it's known), and you have no significant control over a character's loadout as that is predetermined by the survivor - even if you can purchase perks with in-game currency to increase health, damage, or reload speed of your weapons, both for monsters and survivors.
The really frustrating part is that you can't choose to change into a monster upon death, as that happens automatically, which means a lot of your time as a survivor will be spent simply running away from Jack Baker or some other monstrosity that will kill you without so much as flinching. Add to this the fact that the sole free-for-all mode means that there's no teamplay, and you will find yourself constantly dead or under fire, as the maps are so small that there's barely any time to get your bearings before someone or something is breathing down your neck. Oh, and did I mention that the only win condition for each game is the clock running out? Yep, each game lasts five minutes and that's it. There's no racing to a specific score to end the game, nothing of the likes, you just amass as many points from killing as you can within five minutes and then bam, game over. It's like playing air hockey at an arcade, and just as the game gets interesting, the air flow shuts off and you're just left there, miserable.
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But, while I don't care for a lot of the gameplay elements, the real loser in this game is without a doubt its lack of content. Resident Evil Re:Verse has felt like it has been in development for years and years at this point, due to countless delays, and still at launch, we don't get any game mode choice, only have a very barebones selection of characters, have a dull and uninspired customisation suite, and only a few maps to play as well. For a title that aims to keep fans interested as a live service product, this is an abysmal start.
Still Re:Verse deserves a little bit of credit, because the gunplay isn't terrible. It plays fine. I don't have much else to say. It isn't close to the fluid and smooth systems we find in the top shooters out there, your Call of Dutys, your Halos, your Counter-Strikes, but at the same time it is leaps and bounds ahead of the shooter systems in its single player horror counterparts. Although it is a shame that the game has a strange, almost loosely cel-shaded art style that doesn't at all fit the tone of the Resident Evil series, which is laced together with a thumping electro bass soundtrack playing over the gameplay, which would be more fitting for some underground nightclub rather than a multiplayer shooter experience.
Between the shockingly barebones offering (I managed to earn 10 of the 12 Trophies within 40 minutes of gameplay...) and the strange design choices on top, I can't see any reason why you should play this game over other shooters currently on the market. Even looking solely at the free-to-play scene, there are countless better options than this, and it's pretty clear why Capcom is forcing the game out the door after such a turbulent development and just giving it away to Resident Evil Village owners. Re:Verse really doesn't go far as a fun gameplay experience.
3 / 10
The gunplay isn't terrible.
Truly lacking in content. Gameplay just isn't fun. Strange art style and soundtrack choice.