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All the Survival, None of the Horror


I am not usually one to judge the quality of video games because I believe that they are not easy peaces of interactive entertainment to put together. Games either tend to either pull me in or not and I usually give them enough time to do either one or the other. The main problem comes, when I sit down with a game that I am certain will meet my expectations and it doesn't. It is nights like that; where I purposefully turn my phone off, tell everybody I am busy and pretend the world outside my room doesn't exist, I depend on the set game of the evening to get me through until I fall asleep with the controller in my hand. But what happens when I play the game for an hour and realize I am not getting pulled into it?

Any form of entertainment should have its key priority set to submerging it's user with greatness within the first 15 minutes of play, otherwise they will consider that 15 minutes to be a waste of time and won't want to waste any more. I don't know if that is just me, but if it isn't, I pity the rest of the world that is willing to sit through something as tragic as a Tom Arnold film (On the exception of True Lies). Having a friend who manages the local video store of my residing town comes with its advantages. I can hire out any game for free for however long I usually want and if it doesn't do it for me, I just take it back and swap it for something else. This may be considered by some as unsupportive to the gaming industry, but if a game doesn't grab me like it should for the Australian price of $100 (Sometimes $120), then it's a waste of money really. I like to be sure. So sue me.

The latest game to really get under my skin is Resident Evil 5.

So far I am half way through playing it and the only reason I am still going is because I have nothing else to do at 12.27am (I wrote this last night before bed, by the way) on a Tuesday Australian evening. But if I am on Destructoid writing about it rather than playing it, then something is obviously up.

I am a huge fan of the Resident Evil (Game, not Movie, let's be clear about that) series because it was the first game series to bring my piss to the point of exit when I was a kid while playing it by myself in a dark room with the sound right up. I was playing as Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 2 (which I considered to be the best of the series up until the fantastic Gamecube remake of the Playstation original), walking down a dead calm, silent hallway in an abandoned police station in a zombie infested town...all I could hear were my footsteps as I crossed from one end of the corridor to the other, and then BOOM! Out of nowhere came a smashing group of arms reaching for my face, so they could rip it off and eat it. That my friends is Survival Horror and what we have had since Resident Evil 4 is an action, 3rd Person shooter with modernized concepts of horror.

*sigh* I miss the good old days...

I am well aware that the games don't change for us, and we have to roll with the punches so I accepted and enjoyed Resident Evil 4 very much. But did it scare me? No. Was it Horrific? No. Don't get me wrong, Leon was a cool character and Ashley (The President's Daughter) was one hot lollie which if given the chance like Leon was (and stupidly rejected) I would pork just so I could say that I fucked the President's 16 year old baby girl.

Look, I am getting way off topic here and I can't exactly pinpoint what it is that isn't grabbing me. This game has been getting great reviews all over the place and everything on the surface seems top notch. Maybe I just feel that it is too similar to that of number 4. In all honesty, it just seems like the exact same game with a different lead character with additional arm mass and minus the blonde emo fringe. I personally don't get off on the fact that it is set mostly during the day and in the middle of a wild African nation either.

I know I am going to get raped by fans of the game here, and I apologize for expressing my thoughts but I am trying to do so in a constructive way so that people don't get pissy. Alright Capcom, here are my suggestions:

1- Better Location:
On the loading screens I noticed that the Resident Evil history states that their was a lab set up in Antarctica...I could not think of a better place to set up something eerie, terrifying and horrific. If anybody has ever seen the film 30 days of Night, they will catch my drift. Put in that situation, I would shit my pants. Night, Snow and nowhere to go. Yes, I played The Thing and it confirms what I am saying, it scared the shit out of me and was overlooked by many people. Capcom have the fan base and the money to pull it off even better.

2- Enough with the new characters:
Resident Evil has been around long enough for us to get comfortable with the players. Bring Claire back for god sake, she is the best female character of the series and her absence saddens me. If it were Chris and Claire Redfield side by side, that would be awesome and it would also instantaneously connect the two with an emotional bond since they are brother and sister.

3- No Partner:
Get rid of the computer assisting Partner. A Horror game is not a horror game if you are with somebody the entire time, it is a "What was that!?", "I don't know" annoying game experience. Sure she has saved my arse, helps me carry shit and is quite hot but she is as much a pain in the arse as she is a helpful co-player. Plus, you would think that with so many near death experiences that her a Chris wouldn't just get down on it after every chapter. At least that would make her bearable. I enjoy the concepts in Res 1 & 2 where they have to split up but meet up throughout the game to help each other out. It really gives the player a feeling of abandonment and lone survival.

4- Realism in Survivalism:
Enough with the eggs and herbs for god sake. Last time I ate a raw egg it made me boff, not feel better. And I can't remember being able to spray a herb onto my body to make myself feel better, except for weed, which I quit smoking a while back (believe it or not). This is suppose to be realistic survival so bust out the needle and thread and stitch up those cuts and bandage those wounds.

5- Bring in a weapons specialist for customization:
I realize that certain levels of customization give the game an RPG feel, which is why you have made the weapons all customizable. And if you are going to do so, at least make it so there is a black market weapons specialist around the place where you could trade the money and treasures for upgrades. While this may not be possible in the Artic, it is sure as hell possible in the middle of Africa.

6- Enough of the Hollywood Action standard:
Stop making it Hollywood action style and go back to the eerie Japanese horror style with the survival at the fittest attitude. I really enjoyed having the shit scared out of me because its something I can't feel whenever I want (unless I visit my mother). Having a vulnerable character is also a plus because it gives a feeling of helplessness.

As I said, on the surface there seems to be nothing wrong with Resident Evil 5, but it just seems like it's lacking the soul of it's predecessors. And for some reason I get the feeling that it would be the bastard child of the film Blood Diamond and well...a B grade zombie flick...like Resident Evil.
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About Samuel Dillingerone of us since 1:58 AM on 06.24.2008

Currently Playing:

...A lot of stuff

I like to fap...a lot.

I have been on Destructoid for a little and have grown to really love it's community. I love to write articles on gaming and I find it easy to do with Destructoid. I am currently studying a Bachelor Degree of Communication (Journalism), so that one day I can hope to do this professionally.

While studying I jump from job to job like crazy because I don't want to do anything but write, and while that may sound reckless, I assure you that I really couldn't live any other way if I tried.

I just want to say thanks to everybody involved with Destructoid including every reader, community blogger and contributor. It really is an amazing place in the digital, shit infested swamp lands of the internet.

I am a proud member of the Refused Classification panel also consisting of Destructoid members Puppy Licks and DanMazkin, which brings to the plate a fortnightly Destructoid only podcast and soon to be video content which will also be featuring guest appearances from gaming celebs such as the Masterchief.

I also write on Stereotoid; a weekly shift in the Earth's crust where the greatest music from all time seeps forth and pushes its way into our ears then forces us to write about it through mental fuckism. If you understood that, then well done.

P.S - One day I will write for Destructoid...That's right Niero! I'M COMING FOR YOU MOTHER FUCKER!
Mii code:[email protected]


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