February 19, 2009

Resident Evil 5 Taking a Step Back?

Kube00 Says: I finally got a chance to play the Resident Evil 5 demo for the Playstation 3. I gotta ask myself, “Is the game going backwards? Is Capcom focusing too much on co-op play to try to make more money while isolating its dedicated fans?”

Originally, the game was made for you to play it at night—in the pitch black—surrounded by the moaning and shuffling of hungry zombies seeking your flesh. I literary screamed like a girl many times when playing this game when I was younger. The series is known for missing the run-and-gun along with complex puzzles, and find-the-piece and take it here quests. The non-existent run-and-gun creates a tense atmosphere, as you have to find a place to stop and shoot the encroaching enemies, making every shot count as they keep coming. If you want a run-and-gun semi-horror go play the one shot wonder, Dead Space.

I’ve played all of the Resident Evil games including Survivor, Dead Aim, and Outbreak; three games that even the most hard core fan has a hard time swallowing. Honestly, who uses a light gun to move a character? Some of my favorites have included Umbrella Chronicles and Resident Evil 3. By far the best Resident Evil is Resident Evil 4 (RE4), even though it moved away from the traditional zombies, it still kept the same story idea involving a twisting plot with characters of the past such as Ada Wong and Albert Wesker. Old fans and new fans alike hailed RE4 as a step in the right direction for the series, the inventory system was still the same, but players could upgrade the weapons throughout the game.

Now, here is Resident Evil 5. It takes place in Africa, and the zombies are now similar to ganados. According to the wiki, the game is about the origin of the virus and Albert Wesker makes an appearance. Chris Redfield, the protagonist of Resident Evil 1 and Code Veronica, is the main character, who is accompanied by Sheva Alomar. The game is supposed to take place after Resident Evil 4. The Mercenaries mini game, similar to the one in Resident Evil 4, is returning; which is one of the best parts of the game.

There are some big changes in store for fans, and I’m sure you’ve heard about a few of them. The inventory screen does not make the game pause, making shuffling weapons and using health a frantic game of trying not to die while equipping grenades. There is a big focus on co-op game play, as the main game can be played offline or online, with or without a human companion. If you are playing online, I hope both of you have mics, since there is little communication without them; just hand gestures and Chris telling me to move forward. Anyways, Sheva can be given limited direction similar to RE4’s Ashley, yet she’ll have more options to assist you in combat. Hopefully, she doesn’t get stuck in doors and blast through entire hand gun clips like in Outbreak, that game had some of the worst NPC’s ever. I’m going to guess the game has simple switch puzzles, most of them making use of the co-op, and as a whole the series is continuing to move away from the complicated key and item finds of the original games.

But what about playing it alone? Isn’t that what the series is known for? A game that scares the crap out of you because you are alone in your parents’ basement with the lights off and an empty bowl of ice cream and several cans of Mt Dew next to you. And what happened to the plot twists and quirky puzzle? I guess gamers of today’s generation crave action games. And since most consoles are no longer meant to linger as a solo player’s weapon, things change much. So along with Gears of War, and Halo, Resident Evil slowly drifts towards change. It will be an interesting final product.

For all of you who have played the Demo, what did you think? What’s the good? What’s the bad? Are you worried about the final product?