I was one of the true believers. What did I believe? That Resident Evil 5
would be just about the best thing ever. That being able to play with a friend was only going to enhance the experience. That Capcom would not let me down under any circumstances. That these fools who considered the very idea of multiplayer in Resident Evil
to be some sort of affront to humanity were all going to be proven wrong.
Of course, who could really blame me for feeling that way? Capcom had previously delivered what I consider to be one of the greatest video games of all time in Resident Evil 4
. That they had done this while making drastic changes to the series formula only served to fuel my confidence in my opinions even more. What's more, they even decided to combine this new method of frightening and tense action-oriented gameplay with fan favorite characters Chris Redfield and Wesker. The graphics were beautiful. The story was going back to the beginning in a sense. Everything seemed to be going perfectly.
Then the game came out. I spent all weekend trying to find a store that was breaking the street date but was unsuccessful until about 6 hours before the game's scheduled midnight release. I got the game, went to a friends house, and we proceeded to play the game for 13 hours straight. We finished it in one sitting. When I was done, I felt extremely satisfied, like I had just slept with a supermodel after killing some Nazis. You know, routine stuff. Then I went back and played the game by myself.
Never mind that the game is absolutely awful to play with a CPU controlled partner. What really stood out was that I never felt tense or nervous like I did while playing Resident Evil 4
. Slowly I began to realize that I never felt that way while playing with my friend either. Lost in all of the explosions, gunshots, and healing Sheva by touching her breasts was that feeling of tension that the Los Illuminados used to fill me with. That jumpy, What-the-shit spanish people are suffocating me feeling was gone, replaced by the knowledge that either my friend or some African chick were going to be there to back me up and even work together with me to progress. After all, the idea of cooperation was suggested throughout the game even if it was only ever a bullshit excuse to enable co-op. You were meant to feel like you have a pal to back you up.
One example of this is an early encounter with a chainsaw wielding maniac. The game finds a way to separate both players, which theoretically should be a bit more tense than when you're standing side by side. But it doesn't, because the game gives one player the opportunity to take a few wide open shots at the incoming zombies from a nice flanking point. I didn't realize it at the time, but this is when I should have started asking angry questions like "What the fuck is this? Gears of War
:The African Front
?" followed by another "What the fuck". As I said before, this wasn't the case at first.
No, Resident Evil 5
is a cruel god. It quickly reveals it's deception which then slowly turns to disappointment over time. Not just another game to me, I was in fact ready to take it's big, black zombie penis straight inside me for all eternity. This was like finding out that the sexiest, sweetest and most beautiful man who wants to have anal sex with you has a diamond encrusted Prince Albert ready to rip you to shreds as soon as you bend over for him. Which, of course, is exactly what I did. I ranted about how awesome the game was to anybody who would listen for the first couple of months. I feel like an idiot sometimes when I think about how obsessed I was with the game.
Beyond destroying the strongest component of Resident Evil 4's
gameplay, Resident Evil 5's
insistence on 2 people killing Africans as a duo also invaded the game's story. For some reason I can't get over the fact that Wesker was killed by Chris Redfield and
some new girl. Why couldn't it at least be somebody with a real history within the series? Instead we got some sexy ass bitch with a made-up back story about Umbrella fucking her village over. That gives her common ground with other main characters but does nothing to make her stand out from the pack. I just didn't care for her.
This is not to say the game is bad. It's certainly a fun romp with a friend and it does continue the series story and brings things somewhat full circle. It has incredible action set pieces and shooting black people in the face is always a good time (at least if you're a cop) . But it's not what I expected nor what I wanted. Only what I thought I wanted. It wasn't made for me. It was made for Call of Duty
fans. That's fine. I've accepted that. Just make the next game for people like me.
As I look forward to playing Resident Evil 6
, I can't help but worry about what Capcom is working on. 600 different people have worked on this game? Something tells me they don't all work in the same building and if that's the case I suspect there are different people working on different portions of the game. A fractured development for a numbered entry isn't what this series needs. Hopefully things will turn out better this time. Only time will tell whether or not Resident Evil has truly been lost to the corporate machine that Capcom seems to be slowly turning into.
Hopefully they won't disappoint me this time.