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Resident Evil Re:Verse review – a multiplayer biohazard

Resident Evil Re:Verse review – a multiplayer biohazard
Resident Evil Re:Verse – did it ever have a chance? (pic: Capcom)



Capcom’s latest attempt to make a multiplayer Resident Evil spin-off is finally out, but was it worth the wait?



Resident Evil has an unhappy history with multiplayer. The co-op in Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil: Revelations 2 was fun, but there’s also been lightgun outings, squad-based shooters in Operation Raccoon City and asymmetrical team-ups with Resident Evil: Resistance . Capcom were experimenting as early as 2003, with Resident Evil Outbreak (which had its online options removed in Europe), but not once has one of these spin-offs been anything close to a good idea.



With so many failed or middling experiments, you’d think Capcom would have learnt something by now – but apparently not. Resident Evil: Re:Verse is a freebie for Resident Evil Village owners and it feels like the barrel-scraping culmination of years of half-hearted attempts. A game thrown out with so little effort and fanfare it might as well not exist.



The pitch behind Re:Verse actually sounds bonkers enough to be fun. Originally devised to celebrate Resident Evil’s 25th anniversary last year, it pits franchise veterans Claire Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, Jill Valentine, and more against one another in a deathmatch-style face-off for six players. The twist? Every time you die, you’ll morph into a villain from the series, ranging from a lurker from Resident Evil 3 to Nemesis, Jack Baker or a nameless tyrant.



Which monster you become depends on the amount of virus vials – sparsely placed around the map – you collect before you die. The strongest monsters (Nemesis and tyrant) require two, while you’ll spawn as a weak, Molded grunt if you don’t have any. The system is designed to encourage ‘revenge kills’, where if you pursue and take out your killer after death, you’re rewarded with more points.



The concept is fun in theory, and you sometimes get a glimpse at what the designers were going for when a shootout suddenly devolves into a nightmare sprint from a tyrant, but the execution is woefully lacking. Most fights between creatures descend into scrappy pulls on the triggers, in the hope something will connect in the ruckus.



The worst monster, lovingly named ‘Fat Molded’, is just no fun to play as at all. The fact it’s the only one with a self-destruct button feels like a resigned sign of defeat from the developers.



As a third person shooter, Re:Verse has serious problems even without the Resident Evil connection. The characters all control like a slightly sped-up version of the recent Resident Evil remakes, which works well when you’re facing a small number of lumbering enemies but less so when an opponent is bounding around the room in a relentless dodge ballet. The whole game has the loose quality of a fan-created mod, which has stretched the original’s mechanics into a genre they weren’t originally designed for.



If you have a positive enough attitude there is occasionally something charming in how spectacularly dumb Re:Verse is. In an age where multiplayer shooters mostly steer towards balanced competitive viability, being surrounded by gaggles of Resi enemies blindly swinging tentacles and chainsaws can be an endearing chaos. At its best, it’s like playing a badly-designed version of Uncharted’s multiplayer.



Resident Evil Re:Verse – at least it makes Village look even better by comparison (pic: Capcom)



Any fun you can salvage, however, is short-lived. There are only two maps at launch, the Baker House and the R.P.D. from Resident Evil 2 remake, and one deathmatch mode. There’s been no indication from Capcom that more will be released in the coming months, so it already feels like a dead investment at a time when years-long multiplayer support is an industry standard.



The main incentive to keep playing is to earn in-game currency and upgrade characters. There’s perks you can unlock, which boost your health as a monster or increase reload speed, but when the core gameplay is this shallow any upgrades automatically feel superfluous. Each character does feel distinct though, with varying weapons and special moves ranging from Ada Wong’s crossbow to Chris Redfield’s classic boulder-shattering punch from Resident Evil 5.



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A feeble Battle Pass does attempt to give Re:Verse staying power, but most of the unlocks are uninspiring. In the free tier, there’s wallpapers, weapon charms, and the occasional perk, while a premium tier (available for £7.99) grants access to various weapon and character skins. Like the rest of Re:Verse it feels designed to a functional bare minimum.



If Re:Verse had been released at the same time as Resident Evil Village, as originally intended, its shortcomings may have been more easily forgiven, and viewed as a silly but harmless distraction. As a standalone experience, however, this is another poorly conceived attempt to push Resident Evil into a multiplayer space that it clearly does not belong in. Capcom, please, just stick to Mercenaries,.






Resident Evil Re:Verse review summary In Short: An ill-conceived attempt at bringing competitive deathmatch to Resident Evil, that has turned out to be just as terrible as everyone always assumed it would be.
Pros: Core idea isn’t completely stupid, although the game itself is super dumb.
Cons: Gameplay is very shallow and feels like an unnatural fit for Resident Evil. Only one mode and two maps. Controlling the monsters is often unwieldy chaos. It’s super dumb.
Score: 3/10





Formats: PlayStation 5 (reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and PC Price: Free with Resident Evil Village Publisher: Capcom Developer: NeoBards Entertainment Release Date: 28th October 2022 Age Rating: 18



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