Welcome back! In our last update we finished our Character Spotlight Series by discussing the enigmatic Tofu in a little more detail. If you missed out, don’t worry – you can read it here.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been keeping an eye on Kickstarter comments and our social media pages to see what the community is most interested in reading more about. We’ve seen plenty of great suggestions and we’ll get around to all of them in time, but character unlocks during campaign mode come up more than others – so we’re going to pull back the curtain and dive into that first!
Campaign Mode Revisited
The core box for Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game includes four characters – Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Ada Wong, and Robert Kendo. These are the characters most players will not only get to grips with first but will also form the basic party of survivors. They’re designed to be great starter characters, with streamlined rules to help players jump straight into the action.
Each of the other characters in Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game were stretch goal unlocks accessed by our awesome community, and we refer to them as the Survival Horror characters. As we’ve discussed in previous updates these characters are a little less forgiving than the core characters, offering more focused or skewed gameplay for veteran gamers.
From day one, we always knew Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game was going to include campaign mode, something which informed our design decisions going forward. This effectively meant developing two different versions of the game in parallel. We had to ensure casual players could sit down, pick a scenario and blast through the game as a standalone experience, but also that each scenario could be part of an ongoing narrative series. This is a philosophy which extended to character design and implementation – and if possible, even further.
Something we pride ourselves on at Steamforged Games is building fun and instantly accessible games, which have plenty of hidden depth. From the core survivors all the way to HUNK and Tofu, a player can pick any character in Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game for their casual games. The same is also true for campaign mode. At the start of a campaign players choose which characters they want to play from the entire pool of survivors, and then play as those characters for the duration. It was very important to us to give that level of freedom – but we also knew plenty of our gamers would want to immerse themselves more fully and restrict their choices based on when (and if!) each character is encountered.
So, we created a special Survival Horror campaign mode.
In this variant, players can only choose their characters from the core survivors at the start of a campaign. In this mode however, players can not only change their character during the campaign, but also have their character die and cease to be available. This suddenly adds a completely new pressure for players. Firstly, they have to specifically unlock new characters they want to play along the way – but perhaps more importantly, they need to find additional characters to add to the survivor pool in case one of the core characters is killed during a scenario.
Some of these unlocks are pretty straightforward. The only requirement for unlocking Ben Bertolucci, for example, is choosing to start a character in the cells area of the RPD Basement during Scenario 10B. Of course, there’s a catch – two, actually. Ben isn’t a great choice this early on to start with. His weapon proficiency doesn’t give him access to any of the intermediate power weapons, so he’ll have to try and survive the scenario with a handgun and his abilities alone. But here’s the second element to that decision… if players don’t choose to unlock Ben here, they’ll be abandoning the poor guy to his fate and won’t see him again at all.
Other unlocks are a difficult decision for other reasons. To save Marvin Branagh, players need to get to the west office and use a First-Aid on their would-be ally. Not the worst idea – this effectively removes a mini-boss enemy without having to fight at all. But this does mean sacrificing a precious First-Aid spray which could save another character before you get to Marvin, or in the next scenario. Is saving Marvin more important to you than the life of another survivor? We’ll have to wait and see.
Let’s try one more and mention some characters can only be unlocked if you have a specific survivor in the group already. If Leon doesn’t make it to the sewers, then you guys definitely won’t be seeing Advanced Leon anytime soon. And you can hit the unlock for replacing Claire with her Advanced version – but if she doesn’t make it to the RPD building, well, it just won’t matter.
Survival Horror campaigns are a lot of fun, and really add an extra level of immersion to games of Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game. We can’t wait to hear your stories of trying it out!
City of Ruin
Feedback for the tile artwork we’ve shown you so far has been extremely positive, and we couldn’t happier to see it. Our artists have blown us away with the awesome work they’ve done in bringing Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game to life.
Time to take a look at some new artwork then – and although this time around we’re only going to reveal the one tile, we’re sure you guys will instantly recognise it as one of the places you’ll be facing a deadly boss or two…
We’ll be back with another update on Monday as usual – until next time!