Resident Evil 5 Online Versus DLC
Genre: Survival Horror
Note: This content is an expansion to the game Resident Evil 5 and requires that game in order to play. The expansion is available on PSN for $5.
How does one review a gameplay mode exactly? Particularly a gameplay mode which was purchased seperately from the game? Well, simply put, one looks at the value for the dollar. Or the five dollars, in this case.
That $5 buys you a VS. mode option in the game’s main menu. That menu leads you to a screen which asks if you wish to join a game or host one. Hosting a game will allow you to choose what game type, map and who can access the game. If you choose to join a game you will then be given the option of hitting quick play or custom play. Quick play tries to find you the first open slot in any available game, while custom game will enable you to choose between the four types of game play choices offered in the download.
Those four gameplay types are really just two game types with the four possible players being assigned to teams. Modes consist of Survivors and Team Survivors, Slayer and Team Slayer. The stated objectives for these modes are simple. While playing on your own or with a partner, shoot as many zombies as possible to win the round, increasing your point totals by scoring combos. Should you pick the other mode, your objective is to kill zombies AND the opposing players. What usually happens in these games however, no matter which is selected, is that zombie killing is good, human killing is bad, even though the gameplay mode is called versus and not co-op. If you have the temerity to attack your fellow human players they will often chew you out (Assuming they have a microphone, no safe bet on the PS3.). This doesn’t happen all the time, but it did seem to help to go into these matches by following a policy of don’t fire unless fired upon.
I will expand on some of the things I noticed. Keeping track of who is winning while playing Survivor mode can be very dissatisfying and even a little confusing. You score combo points for killing zombies in quick succession. Yet because the score listed doesn’t update until the final combo is calculated, you can be playing the game looking at your score thinking you are winning only to discover at the end of the round that you got vastly out scored because the opponents combo adds up to something ridiculous. Numerous times I felt I was winning a round only to get destroyed in the final outcome, or I was losing on the score board only to win be cause the total of my combo was greater than theirs.
The pre-round explanations seemed to go on forever. I don’t know if they are covering up some additional loading or what, but the guy seems to speak forever. Once you actually DO begin the round, you are often attacked instantly by a zombie or two which appear out of nowhere.
Moving on, I must admit that I liked the landmines. With the speed the game moves at it, things feel a bit like Bomberman when you’re running around these maps planting bombs where you think people might land after turning a corner or jumping over things. There are a couple of characters which can be unlocked and used in multi, but Chris and Sheva are the starting two. There are alternate skins for each of the characters in the game. My personal favorite was Chris as his Shotgun just works quite well. If you haven’t finished the storyline and you care about spoilers, I would recommend you not play online until you do, as you will run into storyline characters whom other players have unlocked.
In my time playing this mode, I actually found myself hearing more and more people from Spain and France than I’ve ever noticed before. It often seemed like the only people who have microphones hooked up to their PS3s are European. So be prepared to interact with people who don’t speak English. You can search for games in your location, but the lack of people playing the game online might make it difficult to find anyone.
So is it worth the money? Well considering that the game retails for $60, this $5 addition probably could have been included by Capcom for free. Still, that money will bring PS3 owners a pleasant enough experience. It’s also closer to the gameplay found in Left 4 Dead than anything else on the system… even if that’s not exactly what Capcom had in mind. Resident Evil 5 VS. Mode is not Horse Armor, but it’s not GTA: Lost and Damned either.
Recommendation: There are more trophies to be unlocked, and it’s always fun to shoot your friends, so if you and your pals own the game and want to extend your experience with it, the VS DLC would be an excellent addition. Just don’t go in expecting it to be Gears of War or Killzone 2.