|System: PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Capcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
August 10, 2007 - Only one Resident Evil 5 trailer and some in-game footage has been shown thus far, and little information has been released by Capcom. We could say they have us in limbo; we are about ready to find out more, especially since we know that the game won't be released until sometime before 2010! Capcom's new horror game will only come to the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, while the Wii will have its own exclusive title: Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, which will come out in November 13th of this year, if everything goes as planned. Chances are we're looking at a 2009 release for Resident Evil 5, which means we still have to wait for quite a while.
The wait will probably be worthwhile though, as the images shown in the trailer are absolutely impressive. The graphics have a true next generation flavor, with more detail and sharpness than we're used to seeing. Few games have demonstrated the actual power of the next-gen consoles, but it looks like Resident Evil 5 will take full advantage and deliver an exceptional experience to the players. You'll even be able to notice the facial muscles moving as the characters talk and their hair smoothly waving in the air; of course, let's hope it won't be as tacky as a shampoo commercial! It seems like there will be little separation between watching a horror movie and playing the new Resident Evil, other than the actual interactivity that a video game can offer, which is a plus. The life-like visuals will shove us right into the story and keep us utterly submerged, while the controls and high-adrenaline action will make our hearts flutter like a "scaredy" butterfly.
In Resident Evil 5, we'll have the pleasure to welcome Chris Redfield back into the series, as he will play the main role in the game. He's been a fan-favorite since he appeared in some of the first Resident Evil games, but he had been missing for a while, as we controlled Leon in Resident Evil 4, and a bunch of other characters in previous installments. He's a surviving member of the S.T.A.R.S. team, the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad. In Resident Evil 5, he'll be part of the BSAA lineup. A new mission takes him to Africa, where he'll be facing a new kind of evil that has been unleashed. Even with all the resemblance that these new wicked humans may have to mere zombies when they walk, there seems to be more to it than just that; perhaps some kind of intelligence still reigns in their minds, as they seem to follow leaderships and live part of their daily lives as normal, as we can see in the trailer. Whatever it is, they're clearly possessed by evil at some point, which puts Chris in danger. Of course, it could be that the teaser video is strategically showing us those humans before they become haunted, and then some glimpses of the outbreak, so we don't know for sure just yet. In any case, there are some reminders of Resident Evil 4 there, as the not-so-zombies appear more like regular humans than the disgraceful, nasty creatures made popular in the first Resident Evil games. Maybe this is where the interest lays; sometimes the fear of the unknown can be worse than monsters!
Even if we think that RE5 will be similar to RE4 and almost like a sequel, Capcom promises to surprise us with a new twist and exciting new features. Environment interaction will be one of its biggest things; we'll able to explore all the areas that our eyes can see, interact with most on-screen objects, and more. Also, the environments will have an effect on gameplay; weather will influence the character's abilities, and lights and shadows will play a major role in the fear factor. Not only will it be dark when we're exploring an indoor area with scarce windows, but also contrasts of light and dark will affect the character's vision the same way it would in real life. Let's imagine Chris has been wandering in the shadows for quite a while and then he goes outside, where the sun shines brighter than ever. In that case, Chris will have to adjust his vision to the new light conditions before he can clearly see what's going on. No doubt, more than one time we'll end up facing a group of evil beings just after that, which will make us jump right out of the couch and hide behind it! It will be interesting to see how this new feature will transform the Resident Evil experience into an even more intense and fearsome quest.
In the trailer, Chris Redfield wields a standard handgun that he uses against the evil crowds. We can obviously assume that more weaponry will be available, but there's no information about this yet. In my opinion, it would be nice if we didn't have to manage the inventory the same way we did in Resident Evil 4. With the heart-pumping action these games convey, I didn't find much sense in wasting time organizing everything, as if it was some random RPG!
Here's another thought: since the next generation of gaming is all about online play, wouldn't it be great if we could battle out those zombies online and have competitions to see who can chop more heads down or shoot more zombies in the leg? It's just an idea, but no word has been said about online gameplay, so most likely Resident Evil 5 will just be another single player story to play home alone in the dark, during a rainy, stormy night.
CCC Site Director