Laika’s Spout – Game Reviews and Objectionably Sardonic Ramblings.

Hype claims another victim, fanboys unaffected.
February 2, 2009, 7:11 pm
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If someone asked me to name a few notable games coming out this year, my first thought would be in regards to Killzone to and Resident Evil 5, the demo of the latter coming out the today, the former on Thursday. I’ll be the first to admit that I was fairly anticipative of the forthcoming Resi 5, it being the principle reason my friend actually bought a Playstation 3, the fool not realising it was multiplatform, but by doing this actually making the better choice.

Being the semi-late-90’s gaming type I am, you’ll be surprised to know I’ve not actually played any of the previous four Resident Evil games, I’ve not even scene so much as a glance of any of them, so for the first time in a while, I was going into a demo with absolutely no pre-conceptions, bar the dull glow of hype that seemed to surround it, painting an illustrious picture of sheer liquid awesomeness. I won’t bore you with the background details because unlike me, you’ve probably played the game and are currently contemplating some form of suicide due to me boring you absolutely shitless.

I digress, you know how good the Resident Evil 5 demo was? It make me cancel my pre-order with ShopTo. I suppose this won’t so much be a review on Resident Evil 5, but more unto the entire Resident Evil series, as I understand they’re all virtually the same game, each with generation-specific graphical upgrades. The first alarm bells starting ringing on the first game screen, before the menu, a hoarse voice stating the games name in what I can only assume is a half-hearted attempt at, well, something. Tacky, that’s the word I’m looking for.

My main gripe of this game is the entire mechanics of the damned thing, the control scheme makes it literally impossible to run and turn at the same time, resulting in a series of run-pause-turn-pause-run sequences which really break the entire flow of gameplay, and a hairline fracture through the whole idea of ‘survival horror’. On it’s on, it’s not a major hitch, and I probably could have learned to love it. Note the past tense. But I guess I have the same problem with Dead Space that I have with this, why do developers insist on survival horror from a third person perspective? Both games feel forced and awkward, and it cracks immsersion over the back of the head with a wrench, as you instantly associate that you’re not important, you just incidentally happen to control someone who is. 

I lied about any of the above being the real problems with the game, oh, not by a long shot. From a survival horror game you would expect several things: a sense of danger, probably created through tension, suspense, combined with a sense of urgency. Second, scary monsters. Whilst Resident Evil 5 certainly ticks all of the boxes for the second category, the entire game seems to completely misentrepret the whole concept of survival. Imagine if you had to fend off waves of zombies with a limited supply of weapons? Scary, no? But for all the right reasons, you’re not going to just ‘happen’ to have a stockpile worthy of a the US Marines , so that works. However, envisage yourself in exactly the same situation, but with yourself glued to the spot, whilst it might serve for about 5 seconds of pulse pounding action thriller rollercoaster nonsense, it will only last 5 seconds because you would fucking DIE. I’m quite sure the lead-designer for Resident Evil 5 must’ve suffered a brain aneurysm during the conception of this game, because the notion of having to be static whilst shooting, and aiming down the ironsights, if a completely fucking ludacrous one. I’m unaware if the previous games were like this, quite frankly I’ll be fucked if I go and play them now just to prove a point to myself. But if they were, how the bloody hell have Capcom been getting away with it for 4 previous games? I’d have probably expected it from the first two, given console limitations and all, but the gameplay feature in RE5 is one I’d expected in a Newgrounds game devised by Robert Mugabe and voiced by Kerry Katona. Furthermore, I know the AI is meant to simulate zombie behaivior but, come one! It’s just downright lazy, I’d have thought enemy AI would be pretty much the first thing one would code for in a game like this.

From what i’ve read, these are the ‘improved’ controls, to give it a more ‘Gears of War’ feel. Personally I’ve not actually played Gears, but I’m quite sure that Capcom have far and away missed the mark on that claim.
If you’re torn between buying Killzone 2 and Resident Evil 5, for gods sake kill yourself, because the obvious choice is obviously Killzone 2, and anybody who disagrees shall be shot on sight. If Killzone 2 does a ‘Haze’, I will LITERALLY eat an entire jam-jar worth of pennies.