Since we wrapped up Resident Evil 3's campaign last week, David and I thought it might be fun to play the other game that came packaged in with it: A co-op multiplayer game titled "Resident Evil: Resistance".
It was certainly... an experience.
It's genuinely hard to access a multiplayer game, partly because the community is such a large aspect of what can make or break it. It's entirely possible that if I had played on Day 1, then I would have a much different experience than the one on display here.
This problem is compounded by the fact that this is undoubtedly going to be a niche game mode. Most people who purchased Resident Evil 3 likely went through the same though process as David and I. "I'm here for Resident Evil 3. This other game is cool, but I'm not interested in it."
Only a handful of users are even going to launch it, and an even smaller percentage will enjoy it. Among that already minuscule group, an even lower percentage will stay past the first few weeks before moving on to something else. Those that remain will either fall into the category of new or die-hard players, with very few people in between.
And since they appears to be a progression tree, where players unlock new skills, equipment, and abilities as they complete matches, players who are just starting out, like me, don't have the same baseline set of tools that other players do. Factoring in lack of actual player skill and map knowledge, they become an obvious load for an veteran player to carry.
Honestly, including progression in something like this was probably a mistake, because it severely caps the player base. After the game has been out for a sufficient length of time, newbies aren't going to want to stick with it, case in point, because the other players simply outclass them before they've ever had a chance to start improving their own skill.
Which exacerbates the problem we experienced at the end of this video: Wait times. The sad truth, as Lawbreakers found out, is that a multiplayer game can be good on its own merits, and still completely fail if the player base isn't there to support it. Low retention numbers mean that wait times are long, so less people play, and the vicious cycle continues.
I doubt Capcom cared too much about that with RE: Resistance, since it was packaged in with Resident Evil 3, but it's a lesson to consider for future projects. Shame, because I like the premise here of a Left 4 Dead-style game with another player directing the enemy forces in an asymmetrical combat. I just arrived too late to join in on what fun there could have been.