Four co-op players making their way through a combat/puzzle arena while a Mastermind player spawns monsters to impede player progress? Digging through the infected viscera of Resident Evil Resistance’s confined hallways reveals the familiar face of a forgotten zombified corpse. “Holy sh*t, is that Fable Legends?”
For those who were disappointed by Microsoft’s cancellation of the now-defunct Lionhead Studios’ final project, it’s essentially alive and well here. While the title has obviously shedded the skin of the fantastical Albion in lieu of a drabber, grittier aesthetic of infections and cartilage, there’s no shortage of the cancelled game’s design decisions that can be discovered here.
its inclusion as a pack-in multiplayer mode for the underwhelming Resident Evil 3 speaks volumes – but goddamn is it unique
However, one difference is obvious: Resident Evil Resistance is alive – as ironic as that is – and Fable Legends is way, waaay dead. Nevertheless, the 4v1 asymmetric multiplayer style has been resuscitated and, ya know what? It’s pretty darn fun.
From the decidedly barebones main menu of Resident Evil Resistance, you can choose what you want to play as: Survivors or Masterminds. (You can also choose quick play and let the game decide for you.) Survivors take the role of the traditional Resident Evil player, scouring environments for keys or items to unlock doors, managing inventory items and taking out zombies. On the other hand, Masterminds spy on players through various cameras, spawn enemies, lay traps and do anything possible to impede player progress. With an energy meter dictating what enemies, traps or otherwise you can spawn, you have to think somewhat about what you spawn and when.
Of course, many players will find it more fun to revel in the pure chaos you’re able to create as the tyrannical Mastermind. Don’t worry, we did, too. You’re forced to always plan ahead: maybe you can hide a sneaky landmine around the corner of a key item. Perhaps, you could also spawn a tough zombie while they grab it. Hahaha. Lest?
The absolute best part of playing as the Mastermind is the awesome ability to take control of spawned monsters, placing yourself right in the action. While you can’t spawn a surrounding army to help you in your quest to turn surviving humans into mulch, the novel concept of just being a Resident Evil monster almost makes you forget that. Movesets are limited and you can’t control every monster in your roster – let me be a zombie dog, damnit! — but it’s a lot of fun to create unbridled chaos as the monsters you spawn. .
Each of the game’s four Masterminds also have access to a super powerful Resident Evil boss that they can spawn a few times per match. From Resident Evil 2’s William Berkin and Mr X to the man-eating plant Yateveo, fans of the core series should be excited to finally take control of classic monsters. We just wish there were more of them.
Playing as the four-person team of survivors is, while not any less fun, considerably more stressful than the gleeful devilry of the Mastermind. You’re supposed to work together, as if that’ll ever happen in random lobbies, to escape three sections of the Mastermind’s test chamber before a time limit runs out. Dying or getting bit by an enemy increases the time limit, killing enemies or reviving teammates increases it.
As rounds get tenser and more dangerous, a sense of camaraderie often arises, even in lobbies where players were complete d*cks just minutes before! Resident Evil Resistance is a game where you can’t afford to let your teammates die, despite some awful unbalanced monsters being able to take them out in a prolonged powerful attack.
Despite some awful balancing, repetitive environments and other niggling issues, Resident Evil Resistance is a game I keep coming back to, when the arduously long wait times to find a match allow me to. It’s not an amazing game – its inclusion as a pack-in multiplayer mode for the underwhelming Resident Evil 3 speaks volumes – but goddamn is it unique. Well, it’s Fable Legends, but then Fable Legends doesn’t exist.