Protect yourself, your family and your community from zombies...
bullet more
Take steps to prevent the coming zombie apocalypse...
bullet more
Keep your zombies unhealthy and deanimated with this handy tool...
bullet more

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Resident Evil 5

This game is so good, it made me a Resident Evil fan.

I’ve never really liked the Resident Evil series. The dubbing wasn’t particularly good, the characters weren’t very compelling, and the scares…I’m fond of running and gunning, not sitting around waiting for the scary monster to jump out and eat me. Resident Evil never offered the kind of zombie-blasting experience I craved…until now.

Resident Evil 5 has a plot, but who cares about the plot? It’s all about Chris Redfield and his superhot female companion, Sheva Alomar, blasting zombies away. Oh sure, there are nuances here and there: the zombies aren’t really undead but infected with weird worm-like parasites, the zombies move fast, they’re smart enough to drive vehicles and fire weapons, and oh yeah…the majority of them are Africans.

Whether or not this matters to you depends primarily on your discomfort level with a white guy attacking red-eyed Africans with a machete and stealing their gold. Yes, the zombies actually drop gold. My suspicion is that most gamers simply don’t care, because the bad guys are zombies and thus fit into the same category as orcs in fantasy – faceless villains to be defeated in great swaths of destruction.

The problem is that Resident Evil’s graphics are now so good that it looks like the real thing—if the real thing was villages filled with rotting animal carcasses and glowing red-eyed zombies. In fantasy gaming, we don’t have a real orc to compare our opponents to. This is the burden of Resident Evil’s hyper-realistic modern gaming environment.

If you actually play the game, it’s clear that there is not an intentional bias against Africans. There are African military allies who are just as empowered as the zombies are moving targets. And Sheva is from the region, although she’s admittedly lighter skinned than many of the other African characters.

Resident Evil isn’t above breaking the rules to keep horror top of mind. Chris and Sheva can’t simply run-and-gun. They have to stop and aim, which gives zombies plenty of time to sneak up behind them. Inventory is limited, ensuring that you will frequently run out of ammunition. There are cinematic sequences that have nothing to do with shooting in which you simply die if you screw up, like giant man-eating crocodiles and chainsaw wielding zombies.

Although Sheva is in the game regardless of whether or not you play-cop, the co-op mode elevates Resident Evil 5 from a beautiful but standard zombie shooter to an awesome gaming experience. The game has mechanics to specifically encourage teamwork, ensuring that you come to the rescue of Sheva when she’s grappled by a zombie, heal each other when you’re hurt, or hurl the (presumably) lighter Sheva up on rooftops. Who says having an attractive female companion doesn’t have its perks?

Resident Evil 5 has a limited cover system, awkward reloading, and an aggravating inventory system. But that just heightens the tension. The zombie co-op bar has been raised…again!



Post a Comment

<< Home