Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book != Cover...

So, a while back I was complaining about the gaming industry losing a lot of steam. I still think this is true, but I have to admit that I was slightly wrong about a couple of things. But, when I'm spouting off in a fit of irate ramblings, I'm not exactly fact checking every little bit. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally broke down and picked up a copy of Resident Evil 5.

Now, I've always been a huge fan of the Resident Evil series, and I've been following the series since the first game on the PSX. However, lately with Resident Evil 4 and now Resident Evil 5, they've been getting rid of the whole 'zombie Apocalypse' thing and going for the 'bioterrorist threat' thing. While I can honestly say I do miss the whole 'zombie infested city streets' and only having a single clip of handgun ammo and an herb or two to keep me alive, I have to say that for what it is, Resident Evil 5 is well made. They've added a ton of new features to it and fixed a lot of the issues with the game engine developed for Resident Evil 4. The fast turn around is much more intuitive now, which I like, though the aiming is still a little irritating when you're trying to hit things too far away.

Another big plus that was kind of lacking in previous Resident Evil series up until 4 was the use of any kind of reliable melee attacks. In previous games, your only melee attack was with a knife. Now, I dunno if you've ever tried to stab a zombie, but if the guys really don't care about being shot, I don't think poking them with your knife is going to deter them all that much either. And it generally doesn't, so unless you've been playing so much that you can go through the entire game like a DDR player with their back turned to the screen (I.E. Japanese), the knife has always been pretty pointless for anything other than ripping up something that's already fallen after being shot. Well, they changed that in RE 4 and 5, and even more so in 5. I guess now that we're not fighting 'zombies' but just people infected with a virus that makes them crazy, they actually react to being hurt, at least a little bit. So, you can actually keep them back with the knife, or just a few shots to the arm or leg. Of course, with the addition of your enemies dropping ammo and items at random when they die, you're very rarely ever short on ammunition, so it kind of defeats the purpose of having an advanced melee system in place. But regardless, you can still bust out a kneecap and then while they stumble to the ground, swoop up from behind and slit their throat with the knife. That's always cool.

The co-op is well done, and it adds a whole lot to the Mercenaries mode, which made it's debut in Resident Evil 3, but got a remake in RE 4 and 5. It's a lot more fun slaying hordes of zombies with a friend. I think the only thing I don't like is that even though it's quite a fun game, it's not really Resident Evil anymore. The only thing that still gives it that Resident Evil feel is the fact that you can't shoot and move at the same time. A lot of people are turned off by this as it seems like something you would be able to do in any other modern game. But, honestly, if you didn't have to stand still to fire your weapon, the entire ordeal would be a cake walk. It does keep it feeling more like the RPG survival horror of the original RE games, instead of turning it into a Left 4 Dead clone, so I'm going to say I do like the fact that they've kept this mechanic unchanged. My main gripe is just that there's no more zombies. I mean, even in the later stages, you're facing 'infected' with AK47's and Rocket Launchers. Zombies don't use guns! Gha....

Well, with the ending of the game being the way it was, it'll be interesting to see where they take the series from here. I've always had a soft spot for the RE series, and I would love to see them go back to their roots, especially with all the new technology they have available, but I have to say that I was pleasently suprised with my recent purchase.

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