Narratively, Resident Evil 5 is no more than a fucking pikelet. There is preciously little to comprehend, but like the pikelet, it’s consumed fast and with ease. It’s easy to look at Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil comparatively, so I guess a food analogy is required for the former. The Metal Gear Solid storyline is a four course meal. It’s a fucking investment, and you’re not going to want to eat afterwards – although you could probably still fit in that pikelet.
Resident Evil began as a B Grade type horror story, and although the dialog has been smartened up a little, subsequent releases have still retained the simplism and slight absurdity the original title built it’s narrative around.
It’s a hallmark of the series, and it’s good to see it hasn’t been lost in the 5th instalment.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving the game cookies for it’s basic storyline – it’s just incredible to see what happens when you make a triple A title and put gameplay above storytelling. Yes, Video Games can challenge books and movies as far as crafting a mature, thoughtful, immersive story; Resident Evil 5 just shows you don’t have to – you can have massive boss fights and crazy locations instead.
Don’t pay too much attention to the storyline’s details, it just hurts your head. Instead, take a drink every time you see something Capcom have hand altered to remove any ammunition racists (you know, those ones who hate whites, wont get off our back about it and almost come off as colour envious) might have over the game.
I don’t know why Chris looks so worried, having white skin is your ticket to survival in RE5. No black character would dare to attack a while character – every time someone white gets attacked or dragged off it’s a white or random Hispanic dude that is the aggressor.
But you do have to giggle at one of Shiva’s early dialog lines, as she explains to Chris she’s accompanying him just to appease the Africans. Personally I would have removed that one, and because I don’t have a segue lets talk about Wesker.
I guess Wesker’s steroids don’t shrink his balls, but his brain.
I should have killed you years ago Chris! He yells out as the finale begins to play out.
Yeah Wesker, years ago.. or last chapter where you had us owned but decided to just run off instead.
I could poke holes in Resident Evil 5’s story for a thousand more words, but I think I should stop now. Stop now, and begin explaining why despite it’s absolute disregard for storytelling, Resident Evil 5 may find it’s way into my top 5 games list.
RE5 offers the definitive co-operative experience. Sure, Dead Space 2 will attempt to topple it, and with hindsight and a couple of years over RE5 it should succeed, but until then I have hopes RE5 will be the go to game. What makes it so great? Well obviously Capcom’s risky decision to include co-op from the ground up plays a big part. I say risky, not because adding co-op is a risk per se, but limiting their access to many of the series fundamentals (scripted scares, feelings of isolation etc) is a big call. This decision was spring cleaning in a way, anything that doesn’t work with co-op is out, ready to be replaced with something that does. What we are left with is more simulation than game – the simulation of surviving this fucking bizarre scenario.
When you’re playing with a friend sitting beside you, the game’s narrative dissolves. What is left is two friends trading ammo and items, looking for the smartest way out and the most efficient way to survive. The weapons you have determine your situational strengths and weaknesses – instead of feeling like two players in a single player game, you’re both given a role, and a chance to shine. I guess there is a lot to be said for ineqality between co-operative players.