I’ve been a Resident Evil fanatic ever since that damn dog jumped through the window in the original game back in 1996. I’ve played all of the games, read all the books, seen the movies, and have absorbed every little of bit of knowledge I can about the series. Hell, I even own the Resident Evil Archives book. If owning a book about all of the Resident Evil facts (up to Code: Veronica) isn’t nerd-overload, then I don’t know what is.
Hit the jump to see what I feel the game has done right and what it has done wrong.
Of the four levels Capcom were showing off, two of them were from from the Tokyo Game Show demo we looked at earlier this year. Some of you may already be familiar with them, as they were also included in the demo that recently hit the Japanese Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
It's likely that "Assembly Plant" will remind players of the very first level in Resident Evil 4. Chris and Sheva begin by barricading themselves in a house to prevent African Ganados from ripping them apart. But unlike the TGS preview, we were actually able to play co-op with other people. Dtoider Tactix (who got into this event because Capcom is awesome and likes to invite "regular gamers" to their preview events) was my co-op buddy, and helped me shoot Ganados through the small windows while others tried to smash in through the barricades. It wasn't long before the bookshelves gave way, and Tactix and I had to make our way out of the room. It's actually interesting to note that bookshelves can topple over, doing slight damage to the player if they get hit.
The stream of Ganados was seemingly endless as they flooded in from all over the village. The executioner with the giant ax-hammer also joined the fight; this guy makes Dr. Salvador and the Garradors from Resident Evil 4 look like pushovers. The executioner can absorb a ton of damage, and he took us out every time we tried this level -- one swing from the executioner's weapon will send Chris or Sheva to near death. When this happens, the screen turns red, and players can’t do anything other than slowly walk around. In this state, the only way to be revived is by having your partner inject you with health. While there's no limit to the number of times Sheva or Chris can heal one another, it means certain death if they're not healed in time.
You'll also be able to see where your partner is at all times by turning on the mini-map. The map appears on the top right of your screen, and it streamlines the RE experience as you won’t have to constantly be pausing the action to see where you need to go like in past games.
"Shanty Town" found Tactix and I splitting up to complete a section. Sheva jumps over to a building with Chris’ help, and then opens a door allow him out of a building. To get a better idea, you can see this in action from the E3 announcement trailer.
This portion of the preview area also supplied me with unlimited ammo for all of my guns; yet even with endless amounts of bullets and no reloading, I still got my ass handed to me. I eventually made my way to the bat boss fight, which reminded me quite a bit of the U3 battle from RE 4.
After this battle, I check out a level that sees Chris and Sheva at an oil refinery. Raging fires block some of the paths out of the refinery, so pipelines had to be shut before moving forward. Players will have the option to turn off the valves themselves or have Sheva do it. If you’re playing by yourself, it seems best to have her handle it so you can watch the perimeter for danger. After shutting off the first valve, Dr. Salvador’s cousin comes in and wants to chop off your pretty little head. This section of the level is really small, with extremely narrow paths that make it pretty hard to evade the good doctor's chainsaw.
I eventually got through this portion and I ran into another member of Chris and Sheva’s team. While the three of them are yapping about the current situation, the room they're in gets locked down, and Ganados rush the room. Your new friend starts working on getting the locks open as Chris and Sheva give him cover; he'll also actually engage enemies along side the player when not busy with the locks.
I know it's almost like beating a dead horse, but it has to be said again RE 5's graphics are absolutely beautiful. It looks fantastic in motion, and playing an RE game set in daylight is an interesting change of pace.
One thing in particularly I want to address from my playtime are all of the control complaints that people have been having. Games like Gears of War and Dead Space, in particular, have gotten people used to the idea of moving while shooting in a third-person game. Thing is, Resident Evil has never been about that. Resident Evil 4 is hailed as one of the best RE games ever and it controls exactly the same as 5. It’s really confusing to hear so many people complain about not being able to shoot while moving when 5 is just like 4.
The problem, I think, is that people are so used to moving and shooting that they have forgotten that they could never do this in the RE series. I feel having to stay stationary while shooting adds to the suspense; it also adds to the realism, as it’s a bitch-and-a-half to shoot at anything while moving in real life. I will agree with the complaints that we should be able to at least walk while we’re reloading a gun, however. I will admit that I did find it really annoying how slow Chris and Sheva turn while aiming.
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