Resident Evil has always been a game that has for some reason alluded me. I love zombies... Resident Evil has zombies, and yet I have never been an avid follower of the series. I have however played a lot of RE games.
My first RE game was part 2, which I got when I got my first Sony Play Station back in like 1998. I played that game to bits... at the time I could think of nothing else like it. I got part three when it came out, I also got Code Veronica. But sadly as I kept up with the titles... I found each subsequent title less enjoyable.
By the time part 4 came out... I had already sold off my PS2 for an Xbox, so I never got to play it. When I heard about Resident Evil 5 heading for the 360, I was a little interested. Firstly cause it was a zombie game... and 2ndly cause it is after all a Capcom game.
They make good games.
So today I finally got my hands on Resident Evil 5, which is actually the seventh installment in the series. Aside from being the first Resident Evil on the current generation of game systems, the game takes the action over the the dark continent of Africa. Now that the Umbrella Corporation is down, somehow it's shizz is being sold off in Africa for local terrorists to mess around with.
I loaded up the disk, poured me self some Dew... and got ready for the zombie onslaught to follow. straight off the bat RE5 is a sweet looking game. Easily one the best looking games I've seen on my 360 so far. The characters in the opening Cut scene looked great and the environments were just like BBC footage I saw of parts of war torn Africa the other week.
To be honest... it doesn't feel like a RE game at this point, only because it just looks so different from the other RE tittles. It reminded me more Far Cry than any thing else. But that's all because of the sitting.
After some bull shizz here and there... I began making way through some town. Everything was nicely done up, making the environment really look desperate and disintegrating. You get to enjoy all this with a partner, a hot chick named Sheva Alomar.
Then the action started...
I ran into some 'zombies' and that's when I remembered why I never got into Resident Evil. I found my self so stiff and locked in. In the sense that the hero Chris just wasn't responding as well as I'm used to in other games.
Crap thing is that you can't shoot and move at the same time. So I couldn't like, back up while shooting, or shoot while trying to make it to a better vantage point. The lack of moving while shooting could mean that I have to up my play skills to follow the mechanics that Capcom has set in place... or it just could mean that it's plain shizz.
I frustratingly played through the first two levels, after a while getting used to the 'no moving while shooting' thing... but I wasn't happy about it. Another move that annoys me is the dam punching. Chris has this punch that he can throw off at the zombies and this floors em. But sadly it's not a button you can just spam, you have to wait for the zombies to be at a certain distance and then a button prompt sticks out to tell you to punch.
And don't get me started on the knife.
As I played more through the game I realized what was wrong with it, at least for me.
Plus the camera angle just plain pisses me off. I hugs your back to tight that a lot of the time you can't see the action happening around you. Yu end up having to shake your control stick like a crazy person to shake off some rabid zombie/ bum because you couldn't see him waltz past you.
To me it seems that Resident Evil 5 doesn't know if it wants to be a shooter or survival horror game. It throws shizz at you at a rate that you need to blast said shizz up, but it fails to deliver the mechanics needed to make it practical and enjoyable.
Plus I wasn't really digging the setting. One thing that I like about the other RE titles is that it takes familiar places and turns them into places you don't want to go. Office buildings, police stations... regular streets. It's scary seeing a place so mundane, over run by zombies.
War torn Africa is not familiar to us like a police station. War torn Africa is war torn Africa. We expect bad things to happen. It's not as eerie. Plus the zombies didn't really feel like zombies... But that has something to do with the new kind of infection. Sadly it just feels like most of the time you're shooting at disgruntled Africans.
God knows RE5 tries to make it scary. But it has the same kind of scary as walking through an abandoned ghetto at 3am. It's like you're watching Hotel Rwanda instead of (enter random zombie movie name)
Basically it feels like RE5 has a heart that handles too much like old school Resident Evil, in a body that's trying to be something else.
I found a lot reviews for RE5 that offered a great deal of praise for the game, but I also found a host of reviews that shared my sentiments.
Comper and Video Games said:
It's like Capcom was undecided in what it wanted RE5 to be. It breaks many of the series' traditions, yet tries to hold onto elements of its heritage that are either dated or don't fit with the style.
Read the full review here.
Ultimately, if you're looking for a shooter similar to Gears of War, you'll find yourself sorely disappointed with Resident Evil 5. Despite people claiming that the control scheme makes for a more tense and frightening experience, I find that it only made for a more frustrating, limited, and redundant experience. I dislike gameplay mechanics being forced onto the gamer, and so I found myself disagreeing with Resident Evil 5's gameplay.
Read the rest here.
Maybe as I play on I'll find something that will make it more enjoyable... or maybe I'll get over the stiff chracter controls.
But It's safe for me to say... that Dead Space is still my fave horror game.