Resident Evil Re:Verse is another multiplayer shooter from Capcom set in the Resident Evil universe – but how does it compare to previous attempts to break into the genre?
Capcom is determined for us to play and enjoy a competitive multiplayer shooter set in the Resident Evil universe despite previous efforts falling flat. However, Capcom continues to flog this dead Tyrant, and Resident Evil Re:Verse is the latest offering, available free to those who own Resident Evil Village.
The game follows in the footsteps of titles like Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City and Umbrella Corp – which placed an emphasis on multiplayer shooting rather than single-player survival horror. Both of those games were critically panned, yet this evidently wasn’t enough to deter Capcom from having another go by releasing Re:Verse.
Resident Evil Village Re:Verse key details
- Price: Free to those who own Resident Evil Village
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Date: October 28, 2022
- Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
Resident Evil in name only
Re:Verse was supposed to release alongside Resident Evil Village but was delayed to add more polish. The game then vanished from view but has now started its beta, dropping the cell-shaded art style for a more photo-real look.
It’s intended to be a celebration of all things Resident Evil, and it’s nice to see different characters from different eras of the franchise thrown into one arena. Here you’ll get to play as Jack Baker from RE7 as he plunges his garden shears into characters he never met in the series. Want to see who wins in a battle of the Tyrant stalkers between Nemesis from RE3 and Mr X from RE2? Well, now you can.
You’ll start by playing as one of RE’s many heroes, Leon, Claire, Chris, Jill, etc, but once you get killed, you’ll spawn into one of the game’s various monsters. You’ll then start your second life and will get to attack other players in this new form with a variety of skills.
At first, you’ll spawn into a molded zombie from RE7, but as you progress you can start controlling more powerful monsters as well as some of the iconic bosses mentioned above. Once you die in this form you’ll then revert back to human and the process repeats again.
It’s an interesting concept, but the problem is it soon becomes tiresome and these battles are over far too quickly to enjoy. It also often feels like you’ll do vast amounts of damage to other players without them ever toppling, while they seemingly kill you with a couple of hits.
Admittedly, this could just be a matter of skill or understanding of the game’s mechanics, but those unfamiliar with third-person multiplayer shooters will soon lose patience with Re:Verse. And even if you avoid this trap, the game soon stops feeling like it has anything to do with Resident Evil and just starts to feel like every other third-person shooter you’ve ever played.
Not the celebration Resident Evil deserves
Aside from its nice cast of characters to tickle our nostalgia, how is a competitive online shooter a celebration of all things Resident Evil? A franchise that made its name, and is at its absolute best when it embraces survival horror. Blasting monsters with big guns has always been part of Resident Evil – but not other players.
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Resident Evil’s forays into mindless action usually end in failure – looking at you RE6. However, when the franchise takes a balanced approach between creeping us out and letting the bullets fly, it often sees its biggest successes, such as RE4 and RE: Village. Re:Verse doesn’t seem to realize this, and we struggle to understand Capcom’s determination to appeal to an audience that we’re starting to suspect doesn’t exist.
This isn’t to say that multiplayer RE can’t work, it can. Previous versions of The Mercenaries have offered online functionality that worked rather well. So, it’s a shame that Village’s version of this minigame didn’t offer that instead of Re:Verse. Then let’s not forget the legendary RE Outbreak games that were well ahead of their time when it came to multiplayer Resi.
Re:Verse isn’t good enough to take on games like Overwatch 2 or Modern Warfare 2 in the competitive shooter space. And RE fans looking for a pop of nostalgia would be better served by playing one of the various RE remakes.
If you adore competitive multiplayer shooters and have always wanted a technically sound game in this genre based on the Resident Evil universe, then Re:Verse is exactly that. It may make for a fun distraction for fans of the franchise but it really doesn’t do much to live up to the series’ heritage.
Don’t get us wrong, the game is leaps and bounds ahead of previous offerings like Umbrella Chronicles or Operation Racoon City – we just don’t see the purpose of it. We also can’t help thinking that Re:Verse will one day be remembered alongside those games when Capcom inevitably releases its next multiplayer-only offering.
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