Impressions: Resident Evil 5 “Versus” DLC

I got a chance to play the new Versus mode introduced into Resident Evil 5 via the recently released DLC. Versus mode allows up to four players to compete against each other on multiple maps resembling areas within Resident Evil 5’s single player campaign. There are four rulesets that the players can play by, and these rulesets dictate win conditions, and how the games are setup. I only played a handful of games thus far, whenever I could squeeze in some time, but you can get the general idea of how things work as there’s not much variation between the different rulesets. Hit the jump for my impressions.

Initially, when I reported that there would be two modes in Versus play. While this is technically true, it’s not really accurate. After playing the game, I felt “rulesets” was a more accurate portrayal of what they were. The reason for this is because no matter what you’re play, the only thing that really changes between the “modes” are the victory conditions. The four rulesets are Slayers, Team Slayers, Survivor, and Team Survivors. The basic setup for each ruleset is the same. The person who is hosting the game chooses one of many maps that take place in settings from the single player campaign. When the game starts, the players will spawn in predetermined locations, along with enemy mobs. Every once in awhile, a miniboss will spawn as well to try to bring havoc to the mix. The difference between all the rulesets is basically what the players do in this setting.

Slayer pits the players (up to four) in a every-man-for-himself competition. The objective is to score the most points from killing the enemy infected. From what I can tell, the scoring mechanic is the same as Mercenaries mode. It even has time increase items to extend the length of the matchup, just like in Mercenaries. Creating a long sting of kills in a row will net you bonus points, as well as getting headshots, and getting the kill on the miniboss that spawns occasionally. Throughout all this, even though your objective is to kill the infected, you are able to damage and kill the other players as well. While no points are rewarded for this, there are some situations where it is advantageous. For example, using a grenade to knock down another player, or flat out killing them, so that you can steal their kill on the miniboss is often a good strategy if they got to the miniboss first. In Slayer, the character you pick dictates the weapons you have. While everyone starts off with a handgun as a secondary weapon, the primary weapon differs from character to character. For example, Chris has a shotgun, Wesker has a magnum, and Jill and Sheva use machine guns.

Team Slayer is features the same victory conditions as Slayer, except players are paired up into two teams and work together to attain the most points.

Survivor shares the same gameplay as Slayer, except instead of scoring points for killing the infected, you score points for killing the other opponents. The infected and minibosses are still there though, although it seems they spawn much slower than in Slayer, for obvious reasons. In Survivor, everyone starts out with just a handgun, but better weapons can be found throughout the map. I have not played long enough to learn all the locations and whether they are fixed or not, but I’d imagine, similar to Mercenaries, it is advantageous to learn and memorize where the spawn points are. I personally kick plenty of ass with handgun skills thanks to spending 17 hours playing the single player campaign with a handgun as my primary weapon, so I have not even bothered to look for the fancy weapons. I have not really figured out the details of the scoring system, but suffice it to say you gain points when you kill someone and lose points when you die.

You can guess what Team Survivor is. :p

Speaking of death, this is how it works in Versus. Just like in single-player, you take damage until you’re in the “Dying” section of your life bar. When Dying, you are incapable of doing anything other than move at an extremely slow pace. When playing any Team mode of Versus, your partner much come and resuscitate you. In single player Versus, you much quickly tap the partner button (B on the 360), which will heal you slightly with each tap. When your life is healed out of the Dying range, the option goes away and you are Resuscitated, free to continue on your way. However, if you are ever hit while in the Dying state, you die for good. This results in the animation showing your character collapsing to the ground. Instead of the usual screen going red, though, you are instantly resurrected to the nearest spawn point. There is not wait to respawn, it is instant. This is funny sometimes when you’re killed right next to a spawn point, and within seconds of dying, you resurrect right behind the player that killed you and can then exact your revenge instantly.

When time runs out, the players/teams are ranked by score, and awarded “Exchange Points” by ranking. These points are equivalent to the points you get based off your “Grade” for completing chapters within the single player game. Likewise, the exchange points can be used to unlock available figurines, costumes, and infinite ammo. Is this the quickest way to get exchange points? Technically no, since the games often run 4-5 minutes, and you can run some single player sections of the game much faster (I can do 3-3 solo in 3 minutes). However, this is probably the best way to get points since it’s fun and you won’t be bored out of your mind doing the same chapter over and over again. With the introduction of new ways to gain exchange points, the DLC as also introduced new ways to spend them. And they can be costly. When you start out in Versus, you can only play as either BSAA Chris or BSAA Sheva in any of the rulesets. Using your points, you can purchase more characters, or the same characters, but with different costumes. For example, you can get Jill and Wesker as well in different assorted attire. All in all, if you want to unlock all characters/costumes, it’ll cost a hefty 134,000 exchange points. Thus far, I’ve used my grade points to unlock all figurines, and have infinite ammo for multiple weapons, and I don’t think I’ve even spent HALF of that. Needless to say, it’s going to take a lot of time to gather the points to unlock all the characters. Worth it? Up to you. Each character/costume apparently comes with a different weapon set. I’m going to assume Wesker must have the best weapons because his two costumes make up 80,000 points of that 134,000 total. Most of the other costumes are a bit more reasonable. For example, BSAA Jill is only 5,000 exchange points.

One final thing the DLC added was 200 points worth of achievements, all tied into the Versus mode play.

Overall, the added Versus mode is fun to play. It’s not a clean and polished multiplayer mode, but it is amusing to mess around with. The skill cap for the gameplay is pretty low, and I think this is simply due to the restrictions the game puts on player movement and timing. In terms of player interactions, it seems like you can only be knocked down after taking a certain amount of damage in a row. The player then jumps back to their feet soon after. So you can’t shoot another player’s knee to make them buckle like you can with the enemy mobs.  The laser points are there in Versus, and you often know when you’re being aimed at as you’ll see their laser pointer whiz past your character. Surprisingly, there is a lot more maneuvering going on within the games, and it’s not all just stand and place and shoot at each other, although that does happen occasionally. Again, it’s not 100% polished, and with the restrictions in movement, I can’t see it becoming mainstream. But it runs in the category of “Fun” like Left 4 Dead’s Versus modes.

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2 Responses to “Impressions: Resident Evil 5 “Versus” DLC”

  1. I’m probably going to pick this up when I have time….sadly work has been crazy lately.

    I’ll be sure to play you online when I do!

  2. Jesse, for you, I highly recommend unlocking Jill’s “Battle Suit.” I think you will like it. I don’t remember which number it was, but it’s the one that costs 7,000 exchange points.

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