I have to say, I’m very impressed with the Resident Evil 5 Demo.
Impressed that it took CAPCOM five whole iterations of this franchise to realize that their control scheme was broken, and finally fixed it.
Downloaded the demo on the 360, and to be honest, was not expecting too much. However, once I got into playing the demo I found something I didn’t expect: decent controls.Resident Evil is one of those franchises you love or hate. It’s a cheesy sort of game, where the plot is ridiculously convoluted and the horror is cliché after cliché, but the first two were fun. I don’t really remember three. Code Veronica i remember very well. 4 I remember playing and then putting back down, and then I picked it up again on the Wii, but then put it down again.
For some reason the first two were the most compelling. I guess it’s because they were novel at the time. (RARRR! ZOMBIES!)
After the third iteration, the main thing holding the series back was the gameplay. While the graphics had improved, the control scheme had not. Player characters piloted like tanks, only able to rotate and then move forward in graceful arcs. Survival horror at times meant not that you were out of ammo, but the fact that you couldn’t move your character away fast enough, or even sidestep to dodge a zombie.
And never mind aiming. 4 fixes the aiming issue by incorporating an over the shoulder third person view, but the main character still drives like a tank.
Which brings me to 5, which is fixed.
Now they drive like tanks that can also strafe left and right. Major improvement when you’re trying to run for your life.
The demo features two stages, “Public Assembly” and “Shantytown.” These two set pieces serve to showcase the hot, spicy racism new worm headed enemies. Of which there are legion.
So now the tension comes from the situation, from the sheer numbers overwhelming my characters.
Which is a great change from the tension that came out of frustration at the game’s limited control scheme. I’ll definitely be watching for this one in the next month or so.