Resident Evil 5: Versus

Things fall apart: Looking back at Resident Evil 5

Capcom's co-op emphasis deserves more respect argues Rich Stanton.

Resident Evil 4 is one of the best games ever made, and so gave Capcom a problem that - until the recent reveal of Resident Evil 7, at least - it was in no rush to solve. How do you follow up a classic? Resident Evil 5 would spend four years in development, benefit from a new generation of hardware, and use it to offer a simple answer: you do the same, but better.

Capcom aims to increase output

Will enlist Western studios to do it.

Capcom aims to release its big hitters like Resident Evil more frequently, and will outsource to the West to do it, according to a report.

Resident Evil 5: Versus

Resident Evil 5: Versus

A mercenary move?

As anyone who completed Resident Evil 5's campaign will know, you unlock The Mercenaries mode when you finish the game. It's a rather nifty little offline mini-game where the focus is on blasting as many enemies as possible within a time limit, in a series of enclosed environments. Like a good old-fashioned arcade game, it's all about racking up as high a score as possible, which means trying to keep increasing your combo count by making sure you go no more than 10 seconds between kills. The bigger the combo, the higher the score, and the better the grade. Simple.

While you could play The Mercenaries in offline or online co-op mode with a buddy, Capcom evidently realised that this mode could easily translate to a competitive online multiplayer affair with a few tweaks to the rules. And so, 1.86MB and 400 Microsoft Points (or GBP 3.99 at the PlayStation Store) later, we get the new Versus add-on, using the same eight maps - Public Assembly, The Mines, Village, Ancient Ruins, Experimental Facility, Missile Area, Ship Deck, and Prison - and the same score-attack principle.

All of the four play variations within Versus allow you to choose from ten characters - only two of which, Sheva and Chris, are available by default. The rest (no spoilers!) you'll have to unlock by getting scores of 40,000 plus, gradually giving you the ability to choose characters with slightly more exotic load-outs. Rather than the default pistol being supplemented with a shotgun (for Chris) or machine gun (for Sheva), you can go into battle armed with a flaming bow and arrow, or a grenade launcher. As you'll note once the action gets under way, these can make a big difference in getting points on the board quickly.

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