Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Resident Evil 5 demo thoughts

I've never played RE4, and haven't played a Resident Evil game since old school Playstation days... well OK I do own Deadly Silence for the DS, but since that was a remake of the original, I don't think it counts... at least as far as what the cutting edge arguments between that fanbois and h8ters of the series are. So I really had no expectations as far as game play... wasn't expecting Gears of War with zombies or Rainbow 6... with zombies. I was, frankly, expecting zombies... and, believe it or not, they did deliver on that. Mainly they appeared to be the "classic" shambling zombie with occasional "fast shambles" to surprise you as you try to line up a head shot. So all that is a preamble as to why not being able to run and shoot wasn't a problem for me... I didn't really have any preconceived notions of what I should be able to do with the controls. To be honest with you, when ammo is so precious that you pretty much need to head shot every zombie you see, runnin' and gunnin' isn't your first instinct. However, it is obviously a fairly "gamey" mechanic, which always rubs the wrong way, and ends up making the controls feel pretty unresponsive when you are trying to escape a horde of zombies... which I guess is the point, but you'd think they could just make the consequences of shooting on the move so bad that effectively you never did it. But then again, maybe there's no way to do that without making it easy to blast your way out of a crowd of zombies. Dunno. In the end it didn't really bother me too much... like I said, I was mainly trying to line up head shots or running for my life, so it really didn't get in the way once I got used to it. Not a deal breaker for me.

What could be a deal breaker was the difficulty. I played online co-op for about an hour last night, and we got in about half a dozen attempts between the two demo levels and didn't beat the level boss in any of them. Both of us are new to the genre so practice could be an issue... or there could be tricks to the bosses(stun with a head shot and then melee seemed sort of effective but it was hard to tell)... or it could be that the two demo levels they picked had particularly hard bosses. Can't say for sure, but I can say that if you need to play through each level a dozen times I imagine I'm going to quickly lose patience. Also, if it does take several plays per level they better not kick you back to the start menu after a long death screen... resetting up a game after dying was fairly annoying, but presumably that's mainly an issue with the demo.