17
Mar
09

Resident Evil 5 taught me to share, and to care.

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.

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2 Responses to “Resident Evil 5 taught me to share, and to care.”


  1. March 18, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    How do you feel about having to pay for competitive multiplayer, however?

  2. March 23, 2009 at 8:38 AM

    Personally, I’m not sure I will. I’m not sure I wont either, it’s really still up in the air.
    I have no issue with Capcom charging for the content – no one had any complaints about value for money or that RE5 should have included competitive mutiplayer before the announcement of PDLC, so I’m a unsure if there is even a legitimate grievance, or if it’s just internet idiots doing what they do every other day.


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Playing on Playstation 3

Red Dead Revolver - I paid about $1000 for my launch model PS3, so I guess it's time I get some use out of that emotion chip crammed inside. I remember Red Dead Revolver looking rather good when it was released, and despite the low resolution and odd blurring (that I attribute to playing on a HD set) the game holds up well. It looks good despite these graphical limitations because the art direction is so precise and awesome. And it isn't just the art direction, the music, dialogue and set design (for some reason, set seems a more fitting word than level) all work in tandem to recreate an iconic Wild West atmosphere. Red Dead Revolver doesn’t aim to recreate life in the Wild West, it allows our imagination to take over and populates the locale with legendary men and their legendary stories.

Playing on iPhone

edge - Well I never thought I'd consider playing a game on iPhone as actually gaming, but edge has turned me around. The game is built for the iPhone. Sure, it could be ported, but the elegance of what has been created is astounding, it boggles the mind and makes me wonder what amazing gems we'd receive if current gen consoles weren't clones of eachother.

Playing on PC

Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Generals - Zero Hour - It may be a temporary effect as I slowly reintroduce the PC into my gaming diet, but it seems every title I’m excited to play on the platform is either a strategy game, or a cheap indie game. PC gaming isn’t dead, it’s just restricted to titles that require complex input or a pointing device, and games that couldn't be developed or distributed on other platforms. I guess that’s part of the reason the AppStore is so far a success, there were a lot of indie devs stuck on PC for lack of a better alternative.
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