'Project Resistance' gives 'Dead by Daylight' a devious Resident Evil twist

Get by with a little help from your friends.

Resident Evil games are often a solitary experience. It’s just you, your guns, and some magic herbs against scores of snarling undead hankering for a juicy nibble at your neck. The franchise’s latest spinoff, Project Resistance, skews the odds a bit, pitting a group of four survivors against one devious mastermind who’s able to survey every room on the map and unleash Umbrella Corporation hellspawn at those tender teen victims with the click of a button. It’s a bit like the asymmetric horror setup of Dead by Daylight with a Five Nights at Freddy’s twist for the player taking on the mastermind role.

Inverse had the chance to take a demo of the game for a spin at New York Comic Con, we and came away bruised and bloodied, yet intrigued.

Matches are short, roughly five minutes each, though survivors can gain or lose time depending on their progress toward escaping the mastermind’s clutches. There are four survivor roles: healer, melee, tank and hacker. As a survivor, your task is to work with your teammates to find three keys to escape a series of interconnected rooms. The healer and hacker are quite weak, but can flip the match in the survivors’ favor with a well-timed recovery or by disabling one or more security cameras. As you might have gathered, the mastermind’s role is to observe the survivors and set traps to prevent them from getting out.

Project resistance gameplay screenshot
The survivors run out of time in Project Resistance.

I chose to play as Samuel, the melee survivor, as I assumed this would be the easiest role to pick up. Not so much. As is tradition in Resident Evil games, it is very easy to get your ass handed to you in sudden, brutal fashion in Project Resistance. Samuel has a very nice jacket, but the guy is no Leon Kennedy. He starts out armed with only a stick and his fists (you can find guns or purchase them from a vending machine as you get further into the scenario). You can’t count on him to shove away undead foes lunging toward you for a couple seconds of breathing room.

Four against one might seem like favorable odds, but the mastermind can launch a flood of zombies at you almost instantly, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed, fast. To outwit the mastermind, you’ll need to communicate effectively as a team from the start. This means assigning tasks to everyone as soon as you enter a new room and calling out any baddies you spot.

You’ll all need to move fast while bearing in mind that Project Resistance does not favor an aggressive approach. Even if you’re playing as one of the hardier characters, you’ll need to avoid enemies (which is not easy, as you often won’t even see them until they’re already attacking you) or lure them away from your weaker companions rather than directly engaging.

project resistance samuel zombie screenshot
Survivor Samuel weaves past some spawning zombies in Project Resistance.

You’ll probably get more out of Project Resistance by playing with someone you game with regularly. If you’re like me, barking orders at total strangers doesn’t come naturally, and there’s not any time to waste on pleasantries in these short, brutal matches. If you’ve got steady a squad of four or five, all the better. You’ll need a few practice rounds with the same group to get a handle on each role and delegating tasks, but once you get a feel for what each party member is capable of, this would be a great way to spend a dark and stormy night inside with some online pals.

Project Resistance does not yet have a release date, but is slated to come to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.