Reality is harsh. Resident Evil 4 was a fantastic game and many of its fans wanted nothing more than “more of the same”. When Resident Evil 5 was announced, I was giddy for it – I was genuinely excited for this gorgeous looking survival horror game. But alas, reality is harsh and having “more of the same” just doesn’t cut it.
Using the outlined method of acquisition, I was able to get my hands on the Japanese Resident Evil 5 demo. It’s a familiar demo showcasing areas which plenty of videos and screenshots have already documented in great detail. It’s safe to say that RE5 is as good as the footage makes it out to be. Capcom have outdone themselves with the texture and character modeling; I have nothing, but good things to say about the game’s visual prowess. Unfortunately, the rest of the game didn’t seem to have made the same generational leap.
The “Gears-esque” controls are there, but they only remind me of how restrictive and cumbersome Resident Evil’s control scheme is. If you’re in the proper mindset, these controls will work out, but if you’re expecting to pick up and play like you would a Dead Space or Gears of War, you’ll be disappointed. They haven’t gotten the acceleration and the feel of the aiming down pat and the whole left bumper for knifing function takes a bit of getting used to. I wished they mapped the damn function to the right stick like they did with the sprinting.
As you know, Sheva is your permanent co-operative partner. The demo allowed for offline co-op, but we’ve only spent time with the single player. During combat and general wandering, Sheva is fine. She’ll fend for herself, heal and supply Chris as needed, but when you need her to do something like help fortify an area, it becomes a chore. Having to walk over to to a bookshelf and then tell her to push it is pointless — I’m already there, why wouldn’t I just take the time to do it myself? She’ll also run up and pick up ammo as she sees fit, but sometimes she’ll take ammo when I need it. It’s almost like I had to rush into a room and pick the ammo before she did or else I had to go through the motions of trading inventory items with her.
Finally, although the game looks fine, it does have a few quirks on the technical front. Death animations and the reactions to gun shots from most (if not all) of the enemies need a fair amount of work. This may sound a little snooty, but when I shoot my enemies in the face, I don’t expect them to do front flips. It’s an area which they could clean up, though.
If I sound a bit down on Resident Evil 5, that’s because I am. Capcom influenced games like Gears of War and I was hoping they would learn from what developers like Epic Games contributed to the third person action genre. Would it have killed them to allow Chris to move just a tiny bit while shooting? The game still has a couple of months before it ships. Who knows? Maybe. Just maybe they’ll address some of these complaints and I won’t have to pick this title up with preconditioned bitterness and angst.