Resident Evil 5 Versus (XBL DLC)

Capcom’s Resident Evil series has never been shy of creating spin offs. As one of the most popular franchises in the history of gaming it’s no secret that they know how to make the most of their market. The infamous eerie and isolated settings made popular in the original Resident Evil have gradually been left behind over the years for new inventories; advanced shooting and weapon upgrade systems and now, with the release of Resident Evil 5: Versus on Xbox Live and Playstation Network, allow zombie hunters world wide to face each other in a variety of battle modes online.

Now before anyone gets too technical and pulls out the history books, it should be noted that the addition of multiplayer online modes for the Resident Evil series is not an entirely new concept. Resident Evil: Outbreak for the Playstation 2 saw online multiplayer modes for certain regions of the world, Europe unfortunately not being one of them. So now the series has joined the next generation console era with easily accessible and highly popular online marketplaces worldwide, what does Versus Mode offer the humble zombie slayer?

Those of you already familiar to the main title of Resident Evil 5 will no doubt by now be converse in the highly popular Mercenaries; a bonus game introduced from the days of Resident Evil 4, in which recognisable characters from the series can parade around a variety of maps to kill spawns of mutated foes. In Versus mode players are given the opportunity to pit their skill against other human players rather than with, which with the 2 player ability in the original mini game, transfers well. There are four areas in which to test your skill; Slayers and Survivors in solo and team efforts alike with up to four players.

Slayers, much like the original Mercenaries, places players in action offering a point value system for every type of enemy downed. From simple Manjini to chaingun wielding foes, the primary objective is to gain the highest score by combining kill counts and collecting timers to extend the length of the round. Action has to be hunted down aggressively for the best chance to achieve a high score and to maintain the easily depleted ammo stores in your inventory. Players familiar with the frustrating calls for help from their partner in the main story can now take sweet revenge and shoot the poor soul, as turning your weapon on other human players also adds a cool 1,000 points to the board, which can be highly amusing or infuriating depending on which side of the bullet you are!

Suvivors takes this one step further in far more aggressive, heart-still-beating blood lust games whereby the only score available is that of killing other human players. Although the Manjini are present, they act as a secondary target and annoying blockade to be bypassed before reaching human players, and a kill which scores. As such team versions of both modes prove to be more lucrative as chain scoring between two players is far more achievable if you’re faced with a desolate area of the map or find yourself desperately scouring for handgun ammo while being chased by an angry horde!

Different characters all with their own individual array of weaponry and supplies, are available to unlock through the bonus features area by spending the points rewarded for wins or completing levels of the main game, and a new set of achievements totalling 200 Gamescore points are up for grabs, including rewards for kill chains and total wins on the four modes available. So far so good for the not so pricey sum of 400 Microsoft Points or £3.99 on Playstation Network, unfortunately the pack is not without its flaws.

The lack of new or original content is immediately apparent as aside from the ability to turn your weapons against each other and new achievements to aim for, there really isn’t much contained in the pack that wasn’t already available in Mercenaries alone. All maps and characters are directly transferred from the original bonus game and having to unlock them again proves to be frustrating considering that if you’re like me, you’ve probably done it before. While playing the Versus pack you can’t help but feel that it’s a feature that could have easily been placed in the original retail version of the game under ‘Mercenaries Online’ allowing for add on packs of new maps or characters to expand the game further rather than unlock the mode alone.







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