The gameplay basically boils down to an upgraded Resident Evil 4, and you'll hear no complaints from me about that. As always, zombies are stupid; I watched one with a crossbow continually run toward and into a wall. He posed no threat to me at all, and I managed to walk right by him. Of course, the game is still early, and this was just a demo.
Things got a bit more interesting when I encountered the bag-headed beheader from the demo's opening cinematic. In true Resident Evil fashion, I turned around and there he was, hacking at me with his huge ax. He nearly killed me, but Sheva rushed over to heal me and provide backup. I pumped bag head with plenty of headshots, but he wouldn't go down. And to make matters worse, Sheva was overrun with angry villagers. I was embarrassed when I died, but the Capcom reps let me start again. It was just as fun the second time.
In the other scenario, our chainsaw wielding friend from RE4 is back. This time he's an African villager, and he seems much more aggressive than his RE4 farmer counterpart. A well-timed barrel shot had chainsaw guy crouching on one knee. I was prompted to run up and hit a button, which caused Chris to land an epic uppercut to Chainsaw's face. The addition of these finishing moves are more than welcome.
I couldn't shake the feeling that I was playing a new chapter of Resident Evil 4. I tried both the Xbox 360 and PS3 demos, and both played very similar to RE4. Chris does manage to turn a bit easier with the left analog stick, and there are some new tweaks for facing another direction, but it still feels like Resident Evil 4. Again, I'm not complaining. The gameplay in RE5 also remains largely true to that of its predecessor, though new finishing moves and cooperative elements have spiced things up. I guess the biggest change is found in the visuals, which were already outstanding, and are sure to get better with time.
It's a shame that we couldn't get our hands on co-op play today, but I have no doubts, after seeing how Chris and Sheva work together, that it will please Resident Evil fans. As far as single-player goes, what I saw so far had me longing to get lost in Resident Evil 5's world. I didn't want my test time to end.
Be sure to check out the screenshots below.
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