Impressions: Resident Evil 5 Versus (360 and PS3)
Two weeks ago, Capcom was good enough to send your happy Aeropausillains some access codes to try out the new Versus mode for Resident Evil 5. Mr. Fourhman handled the PS3 version while Mr. Haygood took on the 360 edition. While others have tried to outright review the DLC, the two of us are going to give our thoughts on the content and try to ascertain if we feel it is worth the money for the add-on. Don’t look for a ‘Pausonaut score as it will not be found at the end of the article. These are more impressions than a review.
JOE H: For those that might not be familiar with the new DLC, the Versus pack adds a two new multiplayer modes to Resident Evil 5. The first mode, called Survivor’s Rule, has you battling it out Deathmatch style against other humans and Majini, while getting points for the amount of damage you inflict on enemy players. In Slayer’s Rule, you are trying to string together combos which build up your points. The two modes can be played in 2×2 teams or 4 player deathmatch.
JOE F: My god, is that what all those modes mean? I think the difference between Survivors vs Slayers is really poorly explained. At first I just picked whichever and killed all the zombies I saw. After a couple nights of getting creamed by human opponents, I have found that I’m chiefly a Slayers guy.
JOE H: On the 360 side, there are several new achievements that come with the DLC, that add about 100+ points. The PS3 version has a handful of trophies to collect. Most are for number of kills and wins I believe, but that last part is off the top of my head. The mode integrates right into the last item on the main menu of Resident Evil 5.
After playing Versus mode over a couple of days, I came to a conclusion that while the play itself is somewhat fun, and there is that addictive nature of trying to string together kill combos in Slayer’s Rule, the mechanics of Resident Evil 5 do not suit multiplayer deathmatch in any way, shape or form. Deathmatch is supposed to be about fast, lethal combat, and the problem here is that the combat itself does not feel fast. Anytime I want to shoot, I have to take the same stop, plant, shoot method that plays out in the single player, which totally goes against the main principals of deathmatch, which is keep moving. I would continuously track someone down on the move, but by the time I stopped, went into shooting mode and lined up my shot, a Majini was killing me, or my target would be out of range. I did have fun with it when I got use to the mechanic, and fans might enjoy the add-on, but it just feels like it goes against every principle of deathmatch.
JOE F: I think you’re defining “deathmatch” too narrowly. People freaked out when online multiplayer was added to GTA and MGS (and now they continue to freak with the recent announcement of online multi to Uncharted), but in those cases it was done in such a way that it melded the controls and feel of the single-player experience with, essentially, a bunch more single-players. Not that this works every single time (see: Conker’s Bad Fur Day), but I think Capcom deserves credit for this one. If you continue to limit what online multiplayer should do, you end up strangling any future attempts to grow the genre. At the end of the day, it is entirely playable and fun. My biggest complaint is that I H-A-T-E the pre-level mission voiceover that you have to hear before every single game.
JOE H: I guess it is all in what you define as deathmatch. I went into this expecting things to be a little faster, but instead it is more of the same except playing against humans. Maybe I am looking at the Versus pack with jaded lenses, but it more has to do with my thought process and assuming it would be faster paced in nature.
JOE F: As far as more of the same goes, RE4 and 5 both contain a very popular sidemode called Mercenaries. RE5 Versus is Mercenaries with online multiplayer. Conceptually, I don’t have a problem with this, particularly in Slayers mode. Part of what makes Resident Evil compelling is that it is not run-and-gun, and had Capcom turned this mode into run-and-gun, it would not have been Resident Evil. RE is supposed to be somewhat harrowing, since you can’t run incredibly fast, cycle through ten weapons, and skyjump from building to building. It seems funny to me that shooter fans who regularly laud realism in FPS games seem hung up on this completely unrealistic uberhero avatar who can pop off perfect headshots while running and jumping at top speed. RE5 Versus seems more realistic to me in that you have to stop jogging and line up your shot. Like I said, the key bellweather here is Mercenaries. If you enjoy Mercenaries, you’ll dig Versus.
JOE H: I loved the idea of that in single player, the stop, aim and shoot mechanics of the game make for some great, tense moments of gameplay. But when you talk Versus, I just thought Capcom would spice it up a bit and give some of the complainers from the start a bone for their dedication.
Adding to the difficulties of recommending the Versus mode DLC is that it seems to cost a lot for what you are getting, and that the content looks like it is already on the disc, and you are just buying an unlock code. While it is not illegal, and if people have bought stuff like this already, Capcom might as well try to get some money as well, but ethically, it just seems wrong to pull this kind of move in a bad economy. The fact that the president of Capcom seems to think that it should not matter, and that DLC has a different budget from full content is fine, but that kind of speak is not going to resonate with gamers that struggling with finances and want to get a lot of value for their dollar. To hear a company CEO say that it should not matter if the content is already on the disc or not is a slap to the face of a public that continues to get the shaft on a daily basis in these trying times.
JOE F: Yeah, this is shady. On the PS3, the “download” for Versus is 350k. Why do I suspect that’s a little small for an add-on of this type, even if it’s using art resources that are already on the disk. I don’t think gamers give a crap about corporate budgets, and while I feel RE5 is, by itself, worth the $60 price, it’s not like I’m jumping up and down for joy over having to pay another $5 for Versus mode. Plenty of great games delivered multi- and single-player for $60, and plenty of other great games did not… so I can’t honestly attack Capcom for making Versus an additional cost. But their spin on that cost is sleazy.
Overall, it’s fun. And having to pay $5 for that fun is just a sign of the times.
JOE H: So can I recommend it to people out there in gaming land? Overall, I would probably say that if you are looking for straight up deathmatch, skip the purchase. However, if you are a fan of the mechanics of Resident Evil 5, it is probably worth the entertainment value that you would get out of $5. Achievement whores need no justification and should get it for da points!Tags: capcom, dlc, impressions, resident evil 5, versus mode