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Hang Together in Project Resistance

Hang Together in Project Resistance - Preview

by Evan Norris , posted on 15 November 2019 / 3,364 Views

For the last two years, Capcom has had a big presence at New York Comic Con. Last year the company featured several games, including Devil May Cry 5 and Resident Evil 2, and just last month they shined a spotlight on the upcoming RE spin-off Project Resistance. Based on asymmetrical multiplayer titles like Friday the 13th and Dead by Daylight, Project Resistance is a 4v1 online action game that pits a sociopathic mastermind against four underpowered survivors. Using third-person mechanics and visuals borrowed from this year's outstanding remake of Resident Evil 2, it certainly feels and looks the part. So, how does it play?

Anyone who's played Dead by Daylight, Evolve, or even one of the mini-games in Nintendo Land will get the idea behind Project Resistance immediately. Five people play a game where one person experiences the action from a different perspective than the other four. For the majority of players, Project Resistance plays like your standard over-the-shoulder third-person shooter; for the "Mastermind", the odd person out, it plays closer to a real-time strategy or tower defense title.

Project Resistance setup

The Project Resistance demo stood at the main entrance to New York Comic Con, and, understandably, had a very long wait. Once I reached the front of the queue I was added to a group of four others. A Capcom representative gave us a rundown of the flow of the game, and then handed all five of us laminated black cards. We flipped them over in unison. Four were black; one displayed the iconic Umbrella logo. The fellow with the Umbrella card was whisked away for a quick Mastermind tutorial. The remaining four of us received a larger laminated card with the four playable characters along with their skill sets. We assigned our roles (surprisingly) painlessly—I ended up with the tank character, Tyrone Henry—found our way to our seats, and put on our headsets.

Before we move on, here's a quick primer on the four main characters, each of whom has unique Personal and Fever Skills, and is responsible for a different phase of the action. There's January Van Sant, the "hacker", who can disable surveillance cameras and increase the cost of Mastermind cards; Tyrone Henry, the "tank", who can perform a power kick (very useful against Lickers, believe me) and reduce damage taken by survivors for a limited time; Valerie Harmon, the "healer", who can highlight items and enemies and heal teammates; and Samuel Jordan, the "melee",  who can perform a number of powerful punches.

Project Resistance survivors

Communication in real time between the players controlling these four survivors is essential. Without matching headsets during the demo I'm confident the Mastermind would have dispatched my team much earlier. The game immediately reminded me of the immortal Benjamin Franklin quotation "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." Becoming separated from the pack or playing the hero is a quick path toward an untimely death. The Mastermind, after all, can spawn all kinds of traps, turrets, and monsters around you, using a top-down blueprint of the floor and any active security cameras.

There's a certain breathless intensity to Project Resistance. Trying to anticipate the Mastermind's next move is almost impossible so success hinges greatly on how quickly your team responds to dangers and barks out useful information. Sometimes it felt like I was fighting the controls—melee combat is a little fussy and hit detection slightly off—but in general I could react efficiently to the dangers around me.

PR mastermind

Ultimately, despite our teamwork, we failed to complete the third and final area of the demo. Mr. X showed up (he'll hopefully be nerfed by launch) and we fell in battle after lasting 14 minutes and nine seconds—a new daily record, or so the Capcom rep told us. Project Resistance is all about managing time, in the end. You must escape the facility before time runs out; survivors add time to the clock by completing objectives, destroying traps, and defeating monsters, and the Mastermind shaves time off by hindering survivors.

As I fist-bumped my fellow survivors and walked away from the Capcom booth, I felt invigorated but also a little wary. Project Resistance is a fun, exciting adventure, but as someone who prefers PvE experiences I don't think I'd make a habit of playing it. It feels more like a complimentary piece to an existing game and not something that justifies a brand new product (keep in mind I only saw one map and one game mode, and the finished version will almost certainly include more bells and whistles). That said, followers of titles like Friday the 13th and Dead by Daylight will probably find the game's high stakes and asymmetrical gameplay much more valuable and far more replayable.

Project Resistance is still in development. It will release TBD on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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