Resident Evil 5 has just rocked the worldwide sales charts, and now is looking to give you more bang for your buck with it’s new Versus mode DLC (by “your buck”, I mean $5 for PS3 owners, or 400 Microsoft spacebucks). An overwhelming amount of people have looked at this content over the coming months and have said “will stop and shoot versus really work?”
Well, don’t fret, because the Versus content actually includes two modes: Slayers (which allows up to 4 people to compete for points, killing AI units), and Survivors (which is a full-on player versus player mode). Read on to find out how both modes measure up.
First of all, I want to clear up a few basic issues:
- Versus is completely different than Mercenaries mode, and is found below it in the main menu
- As such, no unlockable characters will carry over; you have to purchase them separately in the bonus content menu with in-game points (you can earn points in every mode, including Versus)
Jumping right in, Versus will have a different menu set-up than Mercenaries, but it’s still very familiar. You can choose to play an online, offline, ranked, or unranked game. You can then select to host or join a game with the four available options: Slayers, Team Slayers, Survivors, or Team Survivors. All modes support up to 4 players at a time. Both modes allow you to respawn an infinite number of times upon death.
One problem I found with the menu system is that when you choose to join a game, if the session is closed, or there is an error joining, it boots you back to the main Versus screen. A minor annoyance, but it’s something that could easily be fixed in a patch. Now, onto the actual content.
Slayer’s and Team Slayer’s Rule:
Slayers is exactly how I imagined it to be. It’s a very relaxing 4 player Mercenaries, which is a good thing. Although you can attack your human counterparts, most likely you’ll be focusing on the AI, who are the ones who actually give you points. Played 2v2, communication is imperative. You must not only convey to your partner where the largest collection of enemies is, but also give constant updates on your opponent’s actions.
Often times you’ll be faced with the choice of killing an enemy or a group of AI opponents; what is most effective depends on the circumstance, and this is what helps to make Slayer’s Rule a unique experience. As a side note, if you liked the Mercenaries’ music, you’ll love the track for Slayer’s Rule. Capcom picked a particularly engaging electronica trance song that will definitely excite you.
Survivor’s and Team Survivor’s Rule:
This actually worked out better than I had hoped, and is my favorite of the two modes. To eliminate “kill stealing”, Capcom has implemented a system where players get points for both injuring, and killing enemies. Each weapon gives you a certain amount of points when an enemy is successfully hit. Inversely, you lose points for dying or recieving enemy fire, making survival imperative. To my pleasure, headshots are given a 1.5x damage and points modifier, which helps combat the stop and shoot mechanic; you have to aim well if you want to be successful. When you kill a human enemy or AI boss, a weapon will drop. If you happen to die, you lose all extra weapons you may have picked up, besides your default equipment, grenades, and auxiliary items.
Oddly enough, enemies are found in Survivor’s Rule. It doesn’t detract completely from the experience; in fact, it adds a bit of excitement to the down-time, and allows you to gain more items. While they’re not as numerous as Mercenaries or Slayer’s Rule, I do wish they were an option, so I could get a complete player versus player experience every once in a while.
“Stop and Shoot” is not a real issue when battling enemies from great distances, but when you’re close, the dated control scheme definitely shows. A few times, I had a “side-stepping match” with players, and it felt kind of wonky. The good news is you can just use the knife to do tons of damage and end a very close quarters encounter. If possible, play this mode in 2v2 fashion. It’s definitely exhilarating to compete against two other well-paired teammates, and it really makes the Versus download content pack stand out from the rest of the entire game’s experience.
The Final Word:
Overall, I was very satisfied with this content, and given it’s price tag, it’s hard to go wrong. Resident Evil 5′s Versus download content deserves an 8/10.
-Slayers is relaxing, and Survivors is action packed
-Stop and Shoot feels dated in Survivors