By now, it’s become inevitable to remind Capcom what people love about the Resident Evil franchise. Since 2009, Resident Evil started to become experimental with a number of different online genres, beginning with the divisive Resident Evil 5, a third-person co-op shooter that attempted to be a more action-heavy take on the Resident Evil franchise while also wrapping up the plot threads from the series. Since then, for every entry in the series that got it right (the Retribution sub-series, Resident Evil 7, and the Remakes of RE 2 and 3), there was something else that made the series fall flat on its face because it wanted to follow what was popular at the time (Resident Evil 6, Operation Racoon City, Umbrella Corp, Resistance).
Sure, you could argue that every one of the “Bad” Resident Evil games (aside from 6) are just spin-off games and don’t affect the franchise’s overall direction. Still, it’s become embarrassing every time Capcom does this to one of its most popular franchises. It feels like that one friend who keeps getting addicted to a drug; Every time you think he’s done and gone straight, he goes right back to his dangerous habit.
The latest thing that Capcom is doing wrong with its premier franchise is the reveal of Resident Evil Re: Verse, a generic third-person multiplayer mode to Resident Evil Village that has assets and level taken from the Remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 and turns them into multiplayer maps that feel like they were ripped straight out of 2010. Just take a look below to see what people are thinking of the game.
At this point, we all know why Capcom adding a Multiplayer mode to any mainline entry to the Resident Evil series is a bad idea. From general fans, gaming journalists to industry pundits, we’ve all said the exact thing over and over again. “It undermines the horror that X game is going for,” “More time could’ve gone into doing Y if they haven’t been trying to make Z aspect,” “It’s just milking the franchise,” est., est., est.
And yet, there is always one lingering question that still hangs over these decisions every time, Why? Why does Capcom keep making these games/features in a franchise where no one asked for them? Sure, Resident Evil 5 sold a large number of copies, so of course, Co-Op was coming to Resident Evil 6. But, just about every single Resident Evil title with PVP/PVE multiplayer has ended with disastrous results.
ORC and Umbrella Corp are often considered the worst in their respective genre. Even if the games didn’t have Resident Evil in them, they’re just soullessly bad titles that feel less like they were created on a conveyer belt rather than out of a sense of passion. Part of the problem is that Capcom still seems insecure in just playing to its strengths. Rather than making a multiplayer game that will reach a small but growing community, Capcom wants to chase whatever is popular and wants a piece of that pie, even though they’ve proven time after time that they’re not good at making that specific pie.
Admittedly, Resistance did seem to take a step in the right direction. It was still an underwhelming multiplayer mode, but you could tell that if the developer made it a separate game that didn’t take time out of working on the Resident Evil 3 remake, it could’ve been a decent multiplayer title… But then you remember how grindy it was, and then you see the other part of the reason why this keeps happening.
You see, Resistance mode didn’t have Microtransactions in the usual sense, but they did have boosters. After every match, you gain points that are only for the specific character you played as. This made playing a character you aren’t familiar with a grind as you have to spend hours unlocking loot boxes that contained things like cosmetics, upgrades, and other features. You don’t purchase loot boxes with money, but you can buy a booster that nets you currency faster… Yup, it’s money.
Capcom can’t help themselves in jumping on one of the industry’s worst aspects and wants a way to get its own set of whales to purchase its Microtransactions. While the company has yet to announce that it will contain them, There’s no doubt that Microtransactions are coming. How else can something so negatively received like Re: Verse exist. Even if Capcom says that Microtransactions won’t be in the game, that doesn’t mean the boosters won’t be there.
While Capcom has done many things right this previous generation, with Devil May Cry V, Monster Hunter World, Mega Man 11, and the before mentioned Resident Evil remakes and RE 7. But, it still can’t keep its hands off this outdated style of monetization. It’s only a matter of time when we see Resident Evil experiment with something like Live-Service.
Look, it makes sense why Capcom wants to keep experimenting with Resident Evil. It’s one of Capcom’s biggest franchises, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to make a generic shooter with characters audiences are familiar with than make a new IP that will be a hit like Apex Legends. But it just doesn’t have to feel so soul-crushingly obvious like Re: Verse. Audiences can tell when a game is made with passion and when one is made for cash. Something like Metal Gear Solid V came from a creative auteur’s heart and mind and went on to sell over Six Million copies. Compare that to Metal Gear Survive, a game made for no other reason than greed and failed both critically and financially.
People aren’t stupid and can tell what’s made for an artistic reason and what’s made for the sake of money. Time after time, we see games fail because they were made to monetize players even more after purchasing the game, and Re: Verse looks like another example. Resident Evil deserves much better than another tacked-on mode that no one asked for.