A lot of Capcom games made in the past few years has at least one or two questionable design decisions. A lot of people hated Dead Rising‘s save system and friendly A.I.. There was the T-ENG limits and falling/rolling wankery of Lost Planet, along with the Japanese and their Energy Guns. And Devil May Cry 4 had that accursed camera which would quite possibly cause devils to cry.
Yet all of those games are awesome. I’m not sure how Capcom turns out games that have glaring problems but are still highly enjoyable. That was a pretty mediocre segue into Resident Evil 5, but I’ll forgive myself because I’m great in lots of other ways. Sort of like Resident Evil 5! Goddamn I’m talented.
The presentation is great. Absolutely fantastic. I mean, I’m not playing on a high-definition set or anything, which some would argue invalidates my opinion almost completely. Those people are elitist assholes. The graphics are very nice, the music is…well, it’s there, and it does its job I suppose. Voice acting is pretty good in a Resident Evil sort of way. I really enjoy the menus, which have a Metroid Prime vibe to them, and that rules. I’d comment on the sound effects, but the built-in speakers on my old, standard definition set are pretty bass-free. That’s one area I don’t feel qualified to judge either way. From what I can make out, guns sound like guns and dudes running at me screaming and waving dynamite sound like dudes running at me screaming and waving dynamite.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the controls, and I don’t really understand why. It’s almost the exact same thing as RE4, depending on your control scheme, and who needs strafing anyway? Strafing is for pussies. If you’re not slicing enemy projectiles with your knife like you’re in the Matrix or something then cash in your chips Junior.
There are two major problems I have with RE5. I have a feeling they’re the kind of things that would only bother someone on the higher difficulties, if they were noticed at all on Amateur or Normal. I don’t really know since I’ve only played through the game on Veteran and Professional. I’ve also only played the campaign with Eric, because I’ve heard stories about Sheva’s AI and I don’t want none of that son, not even a taste. Regardless, let’s assume that her AI is a large negative, since not everyone has a friend who will play with them. I suppose that means I have three major problems with RE5. The second is the cut scenes. The game doesn’t – doesn’t – pause the action while a cut scene is playing. You can’t be hurt while you’re in a cut scene, but that doesn’t mean the fucking nanosecond it’s over you won’t be hit with a chainsaw, or a bigass tentacle, or a stick of dynamite or WHATEVER. It’s awful, and when you die in one hit it makes many segments absolute nightmares. Particularly bosses with cut scenes. Nothing like trying to fend off hordes of tentacle goo monsters then BAM cut scene, guess what, when this is over they will be surrouding you and you will die.
The third is, frankly, the worst offender. The quick time events. The good ol’ Q T E. A lot of people hate QTEs, always have and always will. Personally I never had a problem with ’em. They could be annoying when overused, but kept tension up during otherwise noninteractive scenes and playing a simplified Simon Says to shove your swords into a minotaur’s throat felt pretty nice. That’s before I played RE5.
Veteran was bad enough. Then I played Professional, holy hell. Did you know the command prompt is affected by game difficulty? On Professional the QTEs would usually last less time than the time it took for you to be hit. Substantially less. On many, many occasions I’d see RT+LT flash across the screen then disappear; early on I hoped I had avoided it, or someone had interrupted the animation, but quickly I began to announce my DYING status as soon as the buttons disappeared. I won’t go into a rant about using two button QTEs almost exclusively, or about how you really shouldn’t use buttons for QTEs that a person is almost guaranteed to be pressing at any given moment in your game. I could, oh my God how I could, but I won’t.
There’s a chunky amount of bonus content to keep you busy after the main game is over. Assuming you beat it at least once on Veteran, and then go back on Professional, that’s already two playthroughs. Mercenaries unlocks once you beat the game on any difficulty, and Mercenaries owns. Online co-op Mercenaries owns extra hard and was quite fun. It also seems a lot more forgiving (even with the reduced point scaling for two people), as it’s much easier to keep your combos lasting for a very, very long time. Mix in grabbing all the BSAA emblems, grabbing all the jewels, and other things that give you both achievements and in-game content (which is a fantastic system), and you have quite a chunk of gameplay here. Then there’s the recently released Versus mode, which is another post. Just take my advice: if you’re planning to play Versus, try to save your bonus points.
I really like Resident Evil 5, and I think most fans of RE4 will too. The game’s not very scary aside from the lickers, but RE4 wasn’t scary either; it was simply awesome. Which RE5 does its best to mimic, and for the most part succeeds. Plus everything is better with a friend, right?