Kijuju Me, Baby!
February 6, 2009 – By now you’ve probably played at least a small portion of the upcoming Resident Evil through the release of the demo on PS3 and Xbox 360. The fifth installment in the illustrious series brings amazing graphics and stellar co-op play to the party that look to give both the franchise and the survival horror genre a fresh start. Capcom sent us a copy of the preview version of RE5, which we literally played the hell out of, though we’re only allowed to speak to you about the first three, glorious chapters.
It’s safe to say that RE5 will be every bit as revolutionary and engaging as RE4 was when it hit the GameCube in January of 2005. As we fired up the game, we were instantly struck by just how beautiful the title is. This is truly next-gen stuff; where the lines between cutscene cinematics and in-engine action are completely blurred. This game looks like a highly polished action movie with its gorgeous explosions, phenomenal sense of setting, and horrific (in a good way) enemy design. I have never seen a better-looking game, and I think it, along with help from titles like Gears 2 and Killzone 2, marks the maturation point of next-gen consoles. It’s time for the current-gen moniker for consoles to pick up steam.
Even though the graphics are so kick-ass, the most amazing aspect of RE5 has to be the co-op-centric gameplay. Whether playing alone, with a friend via split-screen, or over your online matching service of choice, you will be wading through the zombie hordes in RE5 with a partner. Both the beefy Chris Redfield and lithe Sheva Alomar know how to take out the walking, often running, dead. This co-op play, though limited to two players, surely rivals any other game out there.
Playing as a single-player, Sheva Alomar will constantly and efficiently help you. Although, she does tend to crowd doorways and doesn’t know when to use her bowie knife. That said, outside of her over-dependence upon the handgun, she does a nice job of conserving the scarce ammo reserves while using other weapons.
As good as the game is whilst playing solo, playing with a friend is where the game really shines. Whether through split-screen, online, or via LAN, the game absolutely purrs. I did find split-screen to be a little cramped (when is it not?), but I loved just how well levels were divided to allow both players the ability to shine. Working with a buddy to cover multiple entrances, having someone there to kick a fiend off your throat, and tossing weapons and ammo between each other truly provides for a ton of strategy and an interactive cinematic experience that’s second to none!
As far as gameplay goes, it looks as though the devs have done an excellent job of modernizing the title while still maintaining the feel of Resident Evil. That said, RE5 won’t be for run-and-gun players with little patience, as the game’s heroes are slow and vulnerable (a series hallmark). Also, enemies are absolutely relentless and insanely resilient. Meanwhile, I can’t decide if the unique control layouts are interesting or just plain whacky! Regardless, I had an absolute blast playing the preview version and am anxious to get my hands on the full, retail version. Moreover, the boss battles I played through truly tested my skill and patience – the feeling of satisfaction that results is worth all the hard work and dents in my wall!
Speaking of enemies, they repeat a lot over the course of a chapter (another series hallmark that’s always annoyed me!). However, the devs do a very good job this time of varying your foes and their attack styles as you progress through the game. I also really enjoyed how every zombie type seems to play a calculated role during encounters; it seems as though Capcom has taken a page out of Valve’s book in that regard. This makes chokepoints challenging, strategic affairs rather than simple shooting-fests against uni-dimensional foes.
There were a lot of goodies, both story and mechanics-based, that were revealed along our three chapter romp. Unfortunately, we’re unable to reveal any of them to you at this time. Needless to say, Resident Evil fans will have a lot to look forward to. On that note, we’ll keep the mystery alive (and our relationship with Capcom in good stead) by ending the hands-on commentary here. If you downloaded the demo and found RE5 to be a bit on the wonky side, please give this title another look when it releases March 13. There are a ton of surprises in store, and working your way through the challenging bosses and their underlings starts to feel very natural after awhile. I expect Resident Evil 5 to be everything gamers had hoped for and more!
Take it easy, No Reason We Can’t be Friends
January 4, 2008 – Sure this super sequel may be way off in the distance, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speculate on what goods this baby might bring. Being a devout Resident Evil fan and having beaten all the games, I hope to provide that extra bit of insight into what is most certainly one of the most anticipated games of the year. Just as I can not wait to go dancing with the dead, I am sure many of you also sit there impatiently counting the days. Perhaps this short preview can satisfy your insatiable hunger, but much like the brain dead subject matter here, I am sure it will be nothing more than an unsatisfying snack.
All those familiar with the series would be inclined to agree that things have gotten a little nutty of late. With Umbrella seemingly hitting the underground and strange cults popping up on mysterious islands, this is not the old Evil we’re dealing with. It’s a faster, more intense game of Resident Evil, with plenty of blistering action and thrills to be had. To explore deeper into what this game might entail, we’ll do a little breakdown of the trailer.
What did it tell us? Well, there are going to be heck of a lot of people that want you dead. Somebody should really familiarize these villagers with the concept of hospitality. Last time I checked it did not involve witnessing human sacrifice and getting weapons thrown at your head, but everyone’s customs are different so I won’t pry. Similar to the ganados from Resident Evil 4, these angry locals seem to be smart, they roll mob deep, and don’t quote me on this, but they may just be infected with something, though I have been fooled before. Utilizing the same over the shoulder camera, RE:5 definitely looks to keep the action rolling, so one can only assume that the usual selection of weapons will appear. We have already gotten a glimpse of the shotgun and the always-reliable handgun. It is a safe bet that the bulk of the combat we witnessed came from the start of the game, which means a number of things; mainly that this could be the most difficult game yet.
Now for the curveball, we catch a fleeting glance of an incubated blonde at the end of the trailer. Could this be a tie in to Code Veronica, the oft mentioned, highly underrated, and perhaps best game of the series? It has been years since we have seen the Redfields, and their last adventure did just happen to revolve around psycho twins Alexia and Alfred. At this point all we can really do is speculate, but it would be nice to finally see some of the loose ends get tied up. The main point we can draw here is that what we will be encountering will be unfamiliar to even the most seasoned of veterans. With a whole all new area to explore, perhaps RE:5 can continue the trend of tremendous leaps in gameplay innovation that RE:4 ushered in. Although nothing spectacular is needed, a certain bit of overhaul would be welcome in this classic series ascent to the next generation.
My desires are meek, my expectations are through the roof, and I know unequivocally that this game will deliver. Without a doubt, RE:5 will be one of the best games of whichever year Capcom decides to bless us with its presence. Until that day all we can do is sit and wait. This game should live up to the monumental hype, but will it be good enough to make us forget about the movies? One can only hope.
Horror Tales in Africa
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.
One of the Greatest of E3 2007
July 27, 2007 – Capcom proudly showed footage of the new Resident Evil 5 at the last E3. From what we could see, the story will take place somewhere in Africa, and the main character this time around will be Chris Redfield, the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad member (S.T.A.R.S.) that we met in previous Resident Evil Titles.
Capcom announced yesterday the availability of a new Resident Evil 5 trailer on Xbox Live, which will also be available starting today on PlayStation Network. If you had the chance to watch the new trailer you’ll agree with me that this new Resident Evil looks spectacular and scarier than ever. Thanks to the advancements of technology the game looks crisp as can be, and that realism will most likely translate in a very frightening experience some of us can’t wait to have!
If you’ve played previous Resident Evil games this is one you won’t want to miss, and if you haven’t played them before, it’s about time you get on board! For those of you who only own a Nintendo Wii, don’t worry, Capcom has it all covered with Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles .
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we find out more juicy information about the title, but meanwhile, why don’t you download the trailer and watch it? There’s no official date for release, although it will most likely be out in 2008; or so we hope.
July 23, 2006 – Here’s a riddle kids….what’s horrifyingly scary, 3 – 5 years away and stars a smattering of wrinkled corpselike extras? No, it’s not another sequel to Cocoon; it’s Resident Evil 5. Oh and it’s only going to be on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Not the Revolution. It would appear the Resident Evil love story between Capcom and Nintendo is over. Splitsville. Finito.
Thanks to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, these scans of the fifth installment of the survival horror series recently surfaced and horror action fans everywhere are as pleased as a zombie in a brain patch that they did.
Will Chris Redfield appear as the series protagonist? We aren’t sure. Where will the game take place? We don’t know that either. What do we know? Hardly anything and that includes other topics, not just Resident Evil 5.
Here’s what we know about RE5 in a nutshell:
- Locales include a desert
- Some of the action will take place during the day
- Will be reminiscent of RE4’s control scheme
- Enemies will have more character / personality
- Will take 3 – 5 years to develop
You’ve got to admire game developers who want to sustain a 5 year buzz without the use of a football sized doobie. But that’s their problem, not mine. Wait! I’ve thought of a question we know the answer to – Will the wait for RE5 be excruciatingly painful? Most likely.