Impressions from the Resident Evil RE:Verse Closed Beta
It’s the 25th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise, and Capcom is looking to celebrate in a big way. One big part of the celebration is the upcoming Resident Evil: Village, which releases this May. Another is the Netflix series, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. Interestingly enough, it seems that Capcom is still experimenting with multiplayer Resident Evil. After last year’s Resident Evil: Resistance, the same developer is now working on a new title with Resident Evil RE:Verse, and we’re playing the closed beta. This multiplayer deathmatch game is meant to be the culmination of the entire series, blending elements for one crazy experience. How does it play? Well if you turn your Resident Evil brain off for a bit, it’s actually quite fun.
The idea of Resident Evil RE:Verse is rather simple. Put six players in a deathmatch as iconic characters from the Resident Evil franchise. You’ll start as a selected Survivor with their own weapons and unique skills. You can hold your own for a bit this way, but should you perish, you’re not down and out yet. You’ll come back to life as a Bioweapon from the series, a formidable threat that can be absolutely devastating. After dying as a Bioweapon, you’ll respawn as a Survivor again, and you’ll rinse and repeat for five minutes. Perform well and get a lot of kills, and you’ll come out on top. It’s an absolutely zany game, but it manages to be fun, even though it’s far from the Resident Evil formula.
You’ll have six survivors to choose from, including Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Clair Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong, and Hunk. Each character will have a standard weapon with unlimited ammo, and a personal weapon that runs on a limited ammo supply. Standard weapons include guns like Claire’s Quickdraw Army handgun, Jill’s Samurai Edge handgun, and Hunk’s MUP handgun. Personal weapons include the likes of Leon’s W-870 shotgun, Ada’s crossbow, and Chris’ CQBR assault rife. You’ll have to try each character to see which weapon style really suits you, though you’ll occasionally find special weapons like the one-shot Rocket Launchers or Grenade Launchers as well.
Not only are the Survivor weapons different, but they each come with their own set of skills. Each will have a passive skill, like Leon’s “Rookie Spirit” that recovers his health or Claire’s “Speedloader” that reloads her Quickdraw Army when she dodges. They’ll each also have two active skills, which can really spice up things. Hunk can activate his active camouflage to be mostly invisible while he sneaks up behind you for his assassinate skill. Ada can use asomersault-kick to knock an enemy to the ground and then unleash an explosive Pipe Bomb Arrow. Jill can be very tricky, as she can place landmines, but also take you out with her HOT DOGGER knife attack. All of these skills are fairly unique, and they have surprisingly short cooldowns.
I myself found Claire to be my best character during my time in the closed beta. Her modified alternator is extremely powerful and can stun enemies for a brief period of time… enough time to unload her MQ 11 submachine gun clip into them and get a kill. She also has an adrenaline shot, which recovers a small amount of health and stamina in a pinch. This makes her very adaptable, and she can often come out of a firefight with minimal damage. The fact her modified alternator cooldown is so short makes things a little easy sometimes. One game, I managed to get a 12 kill streak, only dying at the very end. Even then, I turned into Nemesis and managed to kill the person that killed me, winning the game.
Speaking of Nemesis, that’s one of the main features with RE:Verse. When a Survivor dies, they get a second life as a Bioweapon. What you turn into depends on how many Virus Capsules you collect as a Survivor. Don’t collect any, and you’ll become a Fat Molded from Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. They’re weak, and one of their skills is to simply self-destruct. Collect one capsule, and dying will turn you into either a Hunter γ from Resident Evil 3, or Jack Baker from Resident Evil VII. The Hunter can spray acid from a distance while getting up close and personal to devour your foes. Jack however, seems a little too strong right now. His Chainsaw Scissor Whirlwind has a long reach and does an insane amount of damage. On the negative side, his other skill has a short reach, but it’s super satisfying pulling off “Welcome to the Family.”
Collecting two Virus Capsules allows you to turn into either Nemesis or a Super Tyrant. Nemesis can sprout his tentacles from the ground to deal some damage while his Rocket Launcher delivers a devastating blow. As for the Super Tyrant, you can perform a dashing strike, speeding up the Tyrant as he drags his claw along the floor for an upward strike against an unsuspecting opponent. If that’s not enough, you can also leap towards foes with a claw strike and deliver tons of damage. Bioweapons are only temporary, as their life degrades over time. Taking damage shortens that time, so you’ll want to use it while you can. Luckily, Bioweapons can see enemies through walls, so you’ll know exactly where to go.
One thing we noticed with RE:Verse was that the game is so unbalanced, it’s almost balanced. Skill cooldowns are short and come back within seconds, and each character has something that makes them formidable. Survivors have stamina gauges that refill over time, allowing them to perform dodge rolls. Dodge rolls can help you escape a fatal blow, or even just close the gap between you and an enemy you’re pursuing. Players can hold onto up to two special weapons at once, but since you can die pretty quickly, it’s “use it or lose it.” The game also doesn’t seem to limit the amount of a certain character either. Everyone can be running around as Jill, or they can all be reborn as Nemesis if they have two Virus Capsules. It creates for some ridiculous moments, but it’s still entertaining.
The RE:Verse closed beta only had one stage to roam around: R.P.D. Station. It’s interesting to see the iconic location used for a multiplayer game such as this. Even so, it isn’t the first time. I can only imagine the locales we’ll likely see in the game. The Baker Ranch, underground Umbrella facilities, maybe even the Spencer Mansion will make an appearance. While the roster of characters is pretty good already, here’s hoping we see characters like Carlos, Rebecca of Barry. Who knows how long the game will be supported. If it’s anything like Resident Evil: Resistance, we could be seeing content releasing over the course of the year.
One thing to note about Resident Evil RE:Verse is the visual style. The game uses the RE Engine, but it puts a hatch filter over everything. It isn’t as distracting as the initial trailer made it seem, but this is a notably colorful game. The R.P.D. Station is very bright and easy to navigate, losing all the dark and dreary atmosphere. Items are also bright greens, purples, and yellows to make them standout even more. Being a competitive multiplayer game, this makes sense, though it may put off fans at first. Despite this, the characters are basically ripped from the recent games and still utilize great animation. It also manages to perform pretty well. Again, the initial trailer does not do the game justice.
Another thing worth mentioning is a small quality of life change. This is normal for multiplayer shooters, but items don’t require pressing a button to pick them up. Just walk over them and you’ll collect them. This makes picking up that Virus Capsule or herb really easy to do. Given the fast-paced nature of the game, it’s also pretty necessary.
We’re sure that Neobards is taking notes from this beta to actively improve the experience. How that’s going to go, we won’t know, but it’ll be interesting to see. Fans have been clamoring for a multiplayer Resident Evil game like the Outbreak games for quite some time. It’s obvious to say that RE:Verse isn’t that game, and those fans likely won’t care for it. Regardless, the game is still pretty fun on its own, especially if it comes free with Resident Evil: Village. As mentioned before, if you turn off your Resident Evil brain, you’ll likely have a fun time. Just embrace it for what it is and let the all out mayhem ensue. Resident Evil RE:Verse is expected to launch with Resident Evil: Village in May, 2021. For more info on the game, stayed tuned to GotGame.