Project Resistance is making me miss Fable Legends, and I am super here for it for that reason alone. And listen, I'm perfectly cognizant of the fact that I might be the only person in the world that gave a damn about Fable Legends, outside of those that once received a paycheck from Lionhead Studios, of course, but there was something about that game's approach to 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer that really resonated with me.
Perhaps it's because it was antagonistic by design. Four players come together to have a lovely time and complete a few objectives cooperatively, all the while another player sits far back from the action working tirelessly to ruin a few evenings. In many ways, Project Resistance shares the same basic framework with Fable Legends, and it too looks purpose-built to let players be aggressively antagonistic. Well, one player – the mastermind of chaos – whose sole task is to turn unassuming office blocks into labyrinths of terror.
When it comes to games cut of this cloth, the gold medal in villainy is in forcing somebody to rage quit in frustration – that's literally the dream. You see, a delicate balance must be struck between giving your four opponents a fleeting feeling of success and making them feel as if they are wasting their time entirely as they are forced to wade through a mire of nightmares of my own design. I gravitated towards this massively in what I was able to play of Fable Legends before its untimely demise, naturally, it's what I'm looking forward to trying the most in Project Resistance. For the record, I fully recognise that I gravitate towards this structural design because I have a natural inclination towards being a pain in the ass, and you'll hear no apologies from me.
Master the space
It's in this unique setup that Fable Legends found the fun in the grind. The heroes move through maps over and over, the objective shifting ever so slightly each time, the enjoyment found in the knowledge that every villain you come up against will change the scale of challenges you can expect to encounter. Fable Legends wasn't, ultimately, afforded the opportunity to take this concept to fruition, and so Project Resistance may well be picking up where Lionhead left off, draping the setup in full body-horror regalia, and attempting to sure up the cracks in the foundation.
The action associated with the survivor side to the game looks like typical Resident Evil-fare, familiar to anybody that tore through Resident Evil 2 Remake earlier this year. It's the Mastermind side that has piqued my interest though, sitting you down in a security room and tasking you with impeding the escape of the survivors. Looking at a floorplan of the building, you'll be able to dart between security cameras to keep an eye on the movements of survivors, placing traps and creatures that are made available to you by drawing from a deck of cards. You can turn the lights off, lock doors behind players, fire weapon-mounted cameras, and generally have all of the tools you need to be a proper nuisance. It's here where Project Resistance draws a tight comparison to Fable Legends and pushes away from the otherwise obvious comparisons to Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th: The Game.
While Project Resistance does let you take control of a placed zombie for a short period of time – your classic shambler, up to special enemy types like Lickers or T-00 himself – this is payoff rather than procedure. In Dead by Daylight, Friday the 13th: The Game, hell, even Evolve – games that ostensibly share the 4v1 asymmetrical delineation – you are tasked with playing a predator trying to sacrifice survivors directly. In Project Resistance, you're tasked with being a bastard, using all of the tools at your disposal to provoke disorder and disruption in the ranks of the group that's doing all it can to push back against your schemes.
Resident Evil has always had a contentious relationship with multiplayer, but on this occasion, it could well work. It's the type of game that makes those old enough to remember the horrors of getting a PlayStation 2 online reminisce wistfully over Resident Evil Outbreak, and those a little older to have a good ol' laugh recalling the fiasco that was Umbrella Corps. This is the Resident Evil game that none of us asked for, but many will play regardless – I don't know about you, but if I hear a man with a gruff voice announcing "RESI-DENT-EVIL" there's a good chance that it'll steal at least a little of my time.
Fable Legends might be gone and all-but-forgotten, but I'm glad that Project Resistance is there on the near horizon, a game designed to let me embrace my antagonistic impulses and utilise them to endlessly lock groups of survivors inside of rooms until they angrily send me messages over Xbox Live – hell, it might even give my Twitter followers a small window of respite. It's about bloody time for this, is what I'm saying: Project Resistance is basically Dungeon Keeper reborn for the YouTube generation, where you're asked to play as the night watchmen rather than the architect – honestly, I can't ask Capcom for much more than that.