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Re:verse has potential – even if it doesn’t seem it

Re:verse – finally! It’s the third-person action shooter starring characters from the Resident Evil franchise – you know, the one we’ve all been asking for?


Okay, it’s the weird multiplayer addition nobody ever even hinted at wanting, but get through the initial shock and maybe, just maybe, it won’t be as bad as all that.

See, there’s one simple issue: hype. If this was some rubbish little tie-in that was just an extra option in Village, nobody would care. It’s have a semi-decent following – like Assassin’s Creed’s online modes used to. Then, in six months, it’d be dead. It’d be mourned by a few.

Nah. In this day and age, every multiplayer mode needs to aspire to be Warzone. There’s no such thing as an “online mode”, like the kind attached to Uncharted back in the day. It has to be an online suite of modes, with cosmetic unlockables galore. Content doesn’t matter, not so long as the whales have something to throw their cash at.

But my bitterness over that aside, the fact remains: Re:verse could still be worth a look.

Stranger than Fiction

Capcom never learn do they? I once wrote a 8,000 word history of the Resident Evil franchise, alas today lost to the depths of the internet, explaining how we went from Resident Evil to Resident Evil 6. The simple answer was increasing sales. The more complicated answer involved not really respecting the source material.


The fact remains: Resident Evil 6 was a gamble and you would get better odds wining something on online lottery US. What it gained in sales, it lost in respect.

And, yes, 7 was pretty good, and 8 looks nice enough. The remakes of 2 and 3 were pretty enough, and did what they needed to do. But once in a while Capcom remind us that they just don’t really know what works and what doesn’t. They push an idea until they can’t push anymore. And then sales drop, and they pull a massive Pikachu face.

Resident Evil 3 sold half as many as Resident Evil 2. It probably should’ve been standalone DLC. The Resident Evil 4 remake is the worst kept secret since the Xbox Series S. Will that bring sales back up? Fans I’ve spoken to are quite happy with the original, which still stands up pretty well. Pretty graphics may not be enough.

And in the middle of all this, they put together a weird out-of-character action shooter, with odd cel shading and God knows what else. It’s a bold move Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.

Fighting Among Ourselves

Re:verse doesn’t make any sense, but then again it doesn’t need to. Smash doesn’t make sense either, and look what happened with that. Sephiroth happened with that.


What matters is that it’s fun. Nothing else. It doesn’t really matter how it treats the source material, because it’s not canon. It’s almost certainly not going to have a story.

It’s just caged mayhem, using nostalgia to lure you in. Plus, it’s an additional mode anyway (no matter how they try to disguise it). Why wouldn’t you give it a go if it’s free?

I also suspect that the “creepy, in-character” multiplayer that fans would rather see was completely ignored when it was bundled with Resident Evil 3 last year. Resistance was announced and then promptly forgotten. It’s not easy to get a game today, and all too often those not playing the mastermind quit immediately.

Overcorrecting is, obviously, the only sensible course of action.

But that overcorrection isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lighter mode in the style of the remakes might be good fun. It’ll offer a familiar take on the franchise to those who only came back for the Remakes, and who’ve yet to be convinced by first person.

That this mode exists in the way it does is surprising, but that’s not a bad thing. The trailer wasn’t impressive, but that’s because it’ll be something to play, not watch.


Re:verse is going to have a lot of negative reactions from people that will never ever play it. Welcome to the internet.

It’ll probably be okay, and will likely get a loyal following of people who love getting to play as these characters in a new context.

The issue is announcing it the way they did, it’s in Capcom not understanding its own product (or online games). It’s in showing players unable to hit their opponent in a damn trailer, where you should be showing how smooth the whole thing is.

I’m not against this online mode existing, because ultimately it’ll probably serve its purpose. But, once again, this is a case of hyping up something that never should have been hyped.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott