While I might be in a very small minority, I enjoy Resident Evil Resistance. Quite a lot actually, having unexpectedly reached level 25 with all masterminds and unlocking all of their unique cards, I feel as though I’ve gotten a pretty good grasp on their relative playstyles.
While the game is fun, it’s also pretty brutal. As survivors grow in skill, the cockier they get. Leaving you with many-a-dancing Martin players taunting you from the exit door. Though there are certainly less balanced games out there, Mastermind players will need to do their best to keep themselves ahead.
So lets breakdown each of their strengths and weaknesses before Capcom pulls the plug after seeing the dwindling player counts.
How To Play Annette Birkin
Annette is based around summoning zombies, by either reducing of mass producing them or increasing their durability.
In most instances, the mass production route was for me. Her passive ability “Zombie Apocalypse” allows her to spawn zombies for 1 Bio-Energy unit less (Bio-Energy is a passively regenerated resource that can be spent to spawn zombies). This is thankfully one of Annette’s starting powers. However, it can be made stronger when used in conjunction with the “Creature Efficiency” mod that she unlocks at level 25.
While she doesn’t start off too strong, once you unlock certain zombies types like the “Jester” (unlocked by reaching level 19 with Daniel Fabron) you can start to quickly fill the objective rooms with the undead to overwhelm survivors. Do try to spread out your hoard though, an experienced team of grouped up survivors can decimate your zombies from the doorway before they can react. To counter this, save one zombie card to be spawned behind them (preferably a strong Zombie, like the Tough Zombie), then assume direct control it to flank them.
Also, no matter how tempting it may be, never sit back and simply observe the rats in your maze. If you can be doing something, do it. Lock doors, take control of a zombie, anything. Here you want to start thinking ahead, there’s never a reason to sit still.
Annette also comes with some personal skill cards. One of the most well-utilized being a card that drops in 3 A.I controlled zombie dogs. While amazing at first, it’s woefully underpowered. The dogs A.I is terrible and they have a low health pool, often making them spring right past their prey and bewilderingly chasing their own tail while survivors line up a clean shot.
This is remedied by unlocking a replacement card, this one spawning a strong zombie with an aura that makes nearby creatures much more effective by increasing their movement speed and health.
Annette’s Ultimate Ability is her somewhat humorous ability to summon her mutated husband William Birkin (the same pipe wielding menace that attacks Leon in Resident Evil 2). While he’s certainly strong, survivors have quickly found ways around his heavy attacks and instant kill ability. This mostly manifests as them running away and lobbing flashbangs to slow you down or prevent you from hurting their friends.
While there is no direct counter to this, there are small things you can do to be more prepared. For one, make sure that you aren’t dropping him in by himself. Unleash this when survivors are already facing down a wave of zombies (which should be easy to make). Use your single swipe ability on groups, or use your “Enrage” ability to quickly catch a sole survivor and crush them into the pavement.
How To Play Daniel Fabron
Despite looking like the bastard son of Ozzy Osborn and Joe Biden (also his vocal tick for saying “Oui”), Daniel Fabron is surprisingly one of the stronger Masterminds in the game.
He’s similar to Annette in that he specializes in spawning monsters, but he’s more suited to taking control of zombies and supercharging them. One well-buffed zombie in his control is more than capable of downing an entire team if they aren’t smart. Not to mention his ultimate is one that allows him to summon Mr.X and pummel anyone in his way.
His cards aren’t anything to write home about, though is passives are a different story.
Fabron’s passive abilities can cause his controlled zombies to deal near-lethal damage with their bite attack, or remove survivors’ ability to stun you while approaching. In my experience, the best kind of zombie to control will be a Tough Zombie with the regenerating buff provided by one of the enhancers. This kind of creature will tank through any amount of damage and provide you with enough grit to close the gap for a devastating grab.
You can also control Mr.X, the trenchcoat-wearing stalker from Resident Evil 2. Thankfully he’s much stronger than Birkin, commanding much more speed and efficiency. His standard punch flies fast, deals high damage, and usually stun locks survivors. This isn’t even including the fact that it can hit multiple people with one swing.
Survivors can stall you by quickly entering and exiting through doors (you have to go through an animation as Mr.X ducks his head under the frame), this can be fairly annoying and reasonable counterplay hasn’t been discovered yet. Though with Mr.X you can use his “Bull-Rush” ability, which causes him to duck a little bit before sprinting at his target. This can only work by chance though, in most circumstances, it’s better to target someone else when a survivor starts using this. If there is a clean way to prevent this loop, I’d love to hear it.
How To Play Alex Wesker
While Alex might appear to be very strong based on her ability to infect survivors, she might be the weakest in the entire game. A large part of her kit asks her to place traps around the map, a very underpowered feature overall. Notable for their small activation range. These can be dropped straight onto objectives but they can’t be placed into doorways.
It’s just an outright bad idea to fit Alex (or any Mastermind) with a lot of traps. If the enemy team brings Martin (that weasely little jerk that can instantly disassemble your pitfalls) you might as well go somewhere else.
Alex does get a little better if you solely stack your cards towards creating infected zombies. Infecting survivors is a great penalty, causing them to run slower or break out into a violent cough that interrupts their actions. But when you place these cards in Alex’s deck, you’re simply playing a weaker version of Annette and Daniel. These two can also infect survivors but bring a much stronger kit to the table.
Even her ultimate is fairly lackluster. Her Yateveo (no, I don’t know how to pronounce that) is a rooted bioweapon that spits an immobilizing slime, strikes from afar with its roots, and swallows survivors whole when they get too close. While it can evade certain pitfalls of other ultimates, such as being blinded or stunned (it will wither if hit by fire though), it’s static nature means that survivors that can get past it will almost never see it again.
However, in the spirit of keeping this away from becoming a whiny Reddit post, here are some ways to keep her viable.
Bring some passive skills that buff up the durability on her traps. Even if they aren’t liable to trigger, you can turn them into temporary roadblocks.
Get rid of the infection mod card as soon as you can. It takes up space in your hand and isn’t worth using. It can be replaced with a camouflaged Jester Zombie which is infinitely more valuable to you.
You can exit control of the Yateveo without it despawning, use this frequently and often. Make sure that you lock the doors when you summon it.
How To Play Oswell Spencer
Spencer can manipulate his surroundings better than any other Mastermind. His kit can shut doors down instantly and frequently, as well as making them harder to break down. He can also instantly lock a door at its highest durability. Meaning that playing against him can be pretty dull if the Spencer player is happier to slam locked doors around the map to stall you instead of actively trying to kill you.
Don’t expect to summon a lot of zombies with Spencer, in fact, it’s best to get rid of the standard zombie cards in your deck and replace them with maybe a few high-cost ones like a Licker. That’s because Spencer specializes in more direct attacks. Bring gun cards and use them often. Survivors are often helpless as they smash down doors. Leaving you with a perfect shot to line up.
As for mods, they usually just take up space and become a hassle to get rid of. Swap these out for more guns and traps. The only saving grace Spencer has is his “Mod Recycler” card that allows him to instantly turn these cards into mulch in exchange for more “Bio Energy”.
He also brings to table one of the strongest cards in the game, the “Rifle Turret” card can turn any camera is an auto-aimed gun that doesn’t require any direct input. It’s both hard for survivors to dodge and it frees you up to deal with other things, like locking more doors. Thankfully once you unlock Spencer this card can be put onto other Masterminds and I would really recommend that you try it out.
Unfortunately Spencer’s ultimate lacks any tactical use. The “Disintegrator Field” creates a small line that will deal massive damage to anyone who crosses through. While it’s meant to act as a deterrent that splits up the survivor team, most will simply wait out its short duration. It’s really just useful if the Mastermind drops it on the survivor’s heads.
The TLDR; Version
Spam Zombies. Make sure that they’re overwhelming survivors by placing them behind people.
Don’t use your ultimate unless there’s enough chaos for him to work with.
Avoid using zombie dogs, their A.I is really bad.
Try to always control a zombie that’s in conflict. It becomes drastically more deadly with you at the helm.
Go in swinging, you can always get a new zombie to control.
Give a Tough Zombie a regenerating buff then seize control of him for maximum effect.
Lock doors often. Bring along the passive skill that will instantly lock a door to its maxed durability.
Ditch the zombie cards (except for a few exceptions like a Licker) in exchange for guns. Fire these when survivors try to break down doors.