Resident Evil has just the worst, most rotten luck with PvP multiplayer. Capcom’s long-running survival horror franchise has tried its hand at all kinds of multiplayer several times over the years, and at least when it comes to co-op, the series has seen plenty of success. The likes of Resident Evil 5, Revelations 2, and the Outbreak games are prime examples of that. But when you come to the PvP side of things, the series’ track record begins to look rather horrible. 2016’s The Umbrella Corps, for instance, might arguably be the worst Resident Evil game ever made, and while 2020’s Resident Evil Resistance is far better and certainly has the advantage of a solid concept, it fails in its execution and comes across as yet another unpolished cash grab that didn’t receive anywhere close to the sort of support that it would have needed to be successful.
But Capcom’s nothing if not persistent- or stubborn, depending on how you look at it. The Japanese company, for whatever reason, remains adamant that PvP is still an area where Resident Evil can see some success, and it’s got another experiment lined up on that front. Resident Evil Re:Verse was announced in early 2021, confirmed as a PvP multiplayer deathmatch game that would see popular series characters and locations crossing over into a single game. At the time, Capcom said the game would be bundled for free with Resident Evil Village (though it would also be available for purchase separately for those who wanted it)- and yet, here we are, a year and a half later, and Re:Verse is nowhere to be found.
So what the hell is going on with it, exactly?
It’s hard to answer that question, because at this moment in time, it feels like not a single soul cares about the game in the slightest- including Capcom. Resident Evil Re:Verse didn’t get the strongest reception when it was first unveiled last year, which wasn’t surprising in the slightest, considering the series’ multiplayer track record. Its concept is certainly a cool one, and there are some good gameplay ideas in there, but as ever, it felt like Resident Evil was half-assing its multiplayer attempts in an attempt to grab a crowd that it had never quite managed to capture.
Re:Verse had multiple playable betas in the months following its announcement, and the consensus was pretty much always the same- that it had some neat ideas, but it felt like a half-baked idea, and just wasn’t remotely polished enough to be anything more than another footnote in the series’ troubled multiplayer history. Most people who played it were confident that it would come out, and within a few days of launch (if that), it would be completely forgotten. At this point, even those seem like generous predictions.
Because it never came out. Initially, the plan was to launch Resident Evil Re:Verse in Summer of 2021, a couple of months after the launch of Resident Evil Village. In July, however, Capcom announced that the game had been delayed to 2022. And after that, it was complete and utter radio silence. For the next several months, no one so much as brought up Resident Evil Re:Verse even in passing, and no one seemed to care, because no one demanded to know what was going on with it. At most, people would ask bemused questions about whether that had already launched and been forgotten, or if it hadn’t, if it was even still a thing. There were some, in fact, who lamented the terrible effect Re:Verse had on Resident Evil Resistance, a game that could possibly have seen meaningful improvements with post-launch support- post-launch support that it never got because Capcom shifted all focus and resources to a game that… well, a game that still isn’t out, a year and a half after its announcement.
In May of 2022, however, it looked like things were beginning to ramp up again. Resident Evil Re:Verse received a new classification rating for the ESRB, which not only claimed that the game had also added PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Stadia as its native platform releases (it had previously only been confirmed for PS4, Xbox One, and PC), but also suggested, as classification ratings for games without release dates do, that it was relatively close to launch, and that, as such, a long-overdue update on the could could arrive soon, perhaps showing off a revamped version and even revealing a new launch date or window.
But of course, that didn’t happen. We did recently get some pretty significant Resident Evil updates. Resident Evil 4’s ground-up remake was officially announced after roughly a couple of years of leaks and rumours, and Capcom also confirmed that Resident Evil Village is in development for PlayStation VR2. Series fans couldn’t be happier, honestly, because those are both excellent, crowd-pleasing announcements, and there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind that both those experiences are going to be impressive in their own rights.
Even so, that Re:Verse update that was looking likelier now than it had in nearly a year did not come. Even now, we’re left wondering what the deal is what that game. Given how long it has been delayed, one would assume that it received quite the development overhaul, but again, given Capcom’s history with PvP Resident Evil, it’s hard to be optimistic on that front. Either way, the question of where the game is and when we will hear about it next lingers.
There’s every chance that a Resident Evil Re:Verse update is coming soon, probably in the next few days. Given how many major events are coming up throughout this month, we wouldn’t be surprised if the game did show up again- in fact, it’s very unlikely that it doesn’t. At this point, however, it’s worth asking the question- does anyone care? Capcom’s radio silence over Re:Verse these last 10 month has been weird not only because of its own nature, but because of how people have reacted to it- or not reacted to it. The game was promised as a free add-on to those who spent money on Resident Evil Village, and by now, people would very much be within their rights to be demanding to know why Re:Verse still hasn’t arrived. Ordinarily in these situations, many would even be up in arms about it. It’s not like Village’s disappointing Mercenaries mode did much to tide people over until something new came along, right?
But people have reacted to Re:Verse’s absence with complete ignorance at worst, and a shrug at best. That’s probably the worst possible reaction that Capcom could have expected. Even strong, vocal dislike is preferable to apathy. At this point, even if Re:Verse does come back (which it probably well in the next few days), it’s hard to see a way back for it. Before it even launched, Capcom has killed its chances at success simply by the way they’ve handled things since its reveal.
Of course, there’s a chance that I end up eating crow over these statements, and Capcom re-reveals a completely overhauled Resident Evil Re:Verse that blows people away. It’s a small, small chance though, if that, and it would have to be something really, truly special for people to bring themselves to care about it. That’s how little everyone cares about the game right now. Ultimately, my hope is that the lesson Capcom learns from this is that people don’t want PvP Resident Evil, and co-op is where the money lies. Just make another Outbreak game, Capcom.
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