Capcom surprised Resident Evil fans at this year’s Tokyo Game Show when it announced that the next entry in the famed survival horror franchise wasn’t Resident Evil 8 or a Resident Evil 3 remake. Rather, the developer’s newest project is an asymmetric online multiplayer title called Project Resistance. The game, which is slated on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, is similar to Dead by Deadlight or Evolve in that it will challenge a group of four fans to survive against one player who has access to zombies, environmental obstacles, and the formidable Mr. X.
Judging from the like-to-dislike ratio on the game’s overview trailer, it’s safe to assume that fans aren’t taking too kindly to the title. The following are a few reasons why Project Resistance is a step in the wrong direction for Capcom and the Resident Evil franchise as a whole.
Why Project Resistance Is Already a Letdown | Operation Raccoon City and Umbrella Corps were duds
Does anyone even remember Operation Raccoon City, Umbrella Corps, or even Resident Evil Outbreak? These online multiplayer Resident Evil spin-offs released in 2012, 2016, and 2003, respectively, and were all immediately met with poor reception from critics and fans. Some complaints that people have with the titles include their heavy focus on action, poor mission design, and broken A.I. Most fans still don’t appreciate how Operation Raccoon City feels like a soulless third-person action game and how Umbrella Corps feels like a generic first-person shooter with zombies thrown in. Capcom doesn’t exactly have the best history when it comes to producing worthwhile multiplayer spin-offs in the Resident Evil universe. That may change with Project Resistance, but we’re not holding our breaths.
Why Project Resistance Is Already a Letdown | Evolve didn’t set the best precedent
Evolve marked Turtle Rock Studios’ foray into the asymmetric online multiplayer space in 2015 and while the game sold well at launch, its player base dropped significantly within a few months after release. This is most likely due to the fact that the title offered tons of paid DLC as soon as it debuted, despite the studio saying that it would have the “best support for downloadable content ever” one year prior. Evolve‘s post-release plans didn’t sit well with fans who were promised more free content, and the game suffered accordingly. Its servers were shut down in September 2018, only three years after it launched.
Another asymmetric multiplayer title, Dead by Daylight, is similar in that it too offers an overwhelming amount of paid DLC and microtransactions, thus earning it a poor reputation among some online communities. This being said, developer Behaviour Interactive continues to pump out DLC for the game, indicating that it still has a healthy community. Project Resistance could attempt to mimic the business model that keeps Dead by Daylight‘s player base alive and well, but there’s a good chance that this won’t please longtime Resident Evil fans who grew up with the franchise’s early narrative-driven entries. And it doesn’t bode well if that base doesn’t show up.
Why Project Resistance Is Already a Letdown | The Resident Evil 2 remake and Resident Evil 7 were single-player hits
One can’t help but fear that Project Resistance will kill some of the momentum that the Resident Evil 2 remake kept alive soon after the well-received Resident Evil 7 as well as Capcom’s overall momentum especially coming off Monster Hunter Iceborne. Both of these RE titles are single-player only and immerse players with intriguing stories, solid tension, and interesting characters. It’s unknown whether Project Resistance will offer a similar experience that fans can play alone, or if working with others online is mandatory. What fans do know, however, is that the title heavily revolves around multiplayer, something these games were lauded for avoiding.
Though we can’t judge the game before it’s on store shelves, let’s hope that it’s a worthy successor to the excellent Resident Evil titles that Capcom has been pumping out lately. Project Resistance‘s direction may be disappointing, but that alone doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. Not yet, at least.
Why Project Resistance Is Already a Letdown | The online multiplayer market is oversaturated
It seems like every major franchise wants to tap into the multiplayer space these days, as there’s money to be made through expansions and in-game currency. While one can’t fault publishers and developers for wanting to make more money, especially with the costs of development rising, it seems like more thought needs to put into whether or not a multiplayer component is in line with the artistic vision of a series. And judging by the aforementioned history of the series, it’s not. Consumers these days are more skeptical than ever when it comes to marketing and can tell when a publisher is trying to ride a trend in order to make a quick buck.
Project Resistance feels soulless in this regard, as it has little of that soul to connect it to the overarching Resident Evil franchise. It’s like Capcom’s executives ordered the game to be made simply because the franchise doesn’t have a multiplayer offering at the moment and it needs something to ride off the Resident Evil 2 remake’s coattails and engine. It feels eerily like Metal Gear Survive in both regards, which is not a favorable comparison. And like Metal Gear Survive, Project Resistance isn’t what fans need or want right now. Capcom may want the game more than anyone else, as it could help build the company’s portfolio and make it appear more attractive to investors on the market.
Of course, there’s a chance that Project Resistance will surpass our expectations and prove to be a meaningful multiplayer spin-off. Fans won’t have to wait long to learn more about the title, as its closed beta begins on October 4 for Resident Evil Ambassadors and Xbox Insider Program members. Those with open minds can sign up to participate right now. The rest of us who aren’t as enthusiastic about multiplayer titles can only hope that Capcom announces Resident Evil 8 or a Resident Evil 3 remake soon. Until then, replaying Resident Evil 2 remake on hardcore difficulty will have to suffice.