I am in love resident Evil. Maybe a little too much. I even find merit in the series’ many shaky attempts at multiplayer. resident Evil 6 can be an absolute blast in co-op if you have a friend willing to spend the full 20 hours with you. Resident Evil Re: Vershowever, is not one of those attempts that I will return to, despite my almost infinite goodwill for the series.
Resident Evil Re: Vers comes from a solid concept: a competitive multiplayer shooter based on the iconic characters and locations of the franchises – all with a twist. If you die, you’ll get back up as a zombie and try your opponents again. The monster you’re resurrected as is random, and they come in tiers determined by the amount of T-Virus elixirs you collect while still human. There are some heavyweights here, but they don’t hit very hard.
Combat feels weightless and floating. Gone is the series’ trademark, intense gunplay, refined into some of the best in its class for survival horror in recent entries. What wobbles out of the dark is instead an approximation of the mechanics in the Resident Evil 2 And Resident Evil 3 Remakes, with the same over-the-shoulder perspective and slower movement when aiming. Because of this, everything feels eerily wrong.
The characters offer some playstyle variety between them, but only insofar as their fixed loadouts differ. Leon has a shotgun, Ada her trademark crossbow, and the others a collection of handguns and semi-automatics with household names. Each also has a pair of unique abilities, which are often some sort of buff or attack.
You had to deliberately play for a long time while aiming the sights in one resident Evil title, but the cursor here is just fizzing around wildly with its own head. It’s imprecise to the point of frustration, and it made me wonder if I even enjoyed the gunplay. After restarting Village for a test – cue Principal Skinner meme – it actually is Turning back that’s wrong.
It’s no better than the undead either. You’ll first lash out as Chris Redfield with an assault rifle, and then attempt to hit humans as a bioweapon. What should be the game’s real forte is choppy and immature.
The two headliners are Super Tyrant and Nemesis. Each feels pretty similar to play and apart from their respective abilities of various big hits against a rocket launcher and some tentacles, they are the same size and speed and rely on melee attacks while waiting for their abilities to cool down. They don’t even look that different at first glance.
While the bioweapon characters definitely deal more damage than their human counterparts, the disparity is offset by a constantly declining health bar, meaning no one can hold the upper hand indefinitely. And it makes sense to balance the game, provided you’re not backed into a corner, which is easily done by pretty much any of the characters spamming a standard attack or a couple of rockets.
There are also no atmospheric changes when the great evils appear. There are no music cues, nor is there a change in lighting. It’s just another player out there somewhere stumbling around trying to make sense of it all. And while it’s reasonable given the pace of the game, the sum of these mistakes takes away any tension from the experience.
It’s a surreal thing to see characters like that tracked Reduced them to buffoons in previous games.
The lack of content is also so strong that it can be compared to an emptiness. At launch, there are only six playable human characters, five monsters, two maps, and one game mode. One. There’s also no promised team deathmatch or anything other than a free-for-all Resi 2‘s RPD station or the bakery Resident Evil 7.
There is nothing on the stages but fan service, the novelty of which falls away almost immediately. Where it might have been interesting – letting you play as members of the Baker family on their homestead, for example, or introducing more of Williams G Stage variants for the RPD station – you get the same beige offering at both locations. All pickups are the same on stages too, and there are no interactive environmental elements to break up the monotony between them.
Having a battle pass for such a mess, independent of a promised roadmap, is unfathomable. I can say with some confidence that it will be a road less traveled; Just a few days after launch, it took me about a minute to join a match, even with crossplay enabled, and it only takes five other people to start one.
Steam charts paint a more damning picture, with total player count hovering around 250 just four days after launch, with an all-time high of 2,000. Compare that to this Village own peak of 15,000 at the start of the Gold Edition. Even gamers who own the game seem uninterested and have more power over them.
You must be wondering why we got this via a co-op addition to the mercenary mode that people seem to like.
Resident Evil Re:Verse Review – The Verdict
- The two phases are well implemented and fun to see outside of their original context.
- The games themselves are mercifully short.
- The characters handle themselves as if channeling melting butter around a frying pan.
- In about 15 minutes you’ll see everything the game has to offer.
- And honestly, pretty much everything else.
Had Turning back was simply an oddity accessed through the in-game menu Village, it would still have been answered with a resounding sigh and quickly forgotten. But after a seemingly pointless 18-month delay, vile microtransactions, and a shockingly sparse amount of content, this low-stakes impersonation of the classic series should have stayed on the cutting-room floor.
It all adds up to a feeling of watching a young local band fail at covering a classic song. You almost want to applaud them for trying. Nearly.
[Note: The version of Re:Verse included in the reviewer’s purchased version of Resident Evil: Village was used for this review.]