previewed on PS3
Beginning of the end?
Whether it be from the long line of games, or from the three movies released over the last few years, the chances are you will have heard of Resident Evil. Resident Evil 4 was such a huge success that it is no surprise that Capcom will be continuing the story with a new game that will be released next month. From what we have seen so far, Resident Evil 5 may be one of the most spectacular games of 2009.
You start the game as Chris Redfield. It is now ten years after the destruction of Racoon City, time that Chris spent trying to track down the origins of the T-virus. He no longer works for S.T.A.R.S. and has joined up with an organization called Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance in order to be able to carry on his search. He manages to trace down the virus to Africa after a lead indicating a town ‘inhabited’ with people infected by the virus. Clearly there is work to be done.
Two heads are better than one
Not too far into the game, Chris meets up with Sheva Alomar, another BSAA member, with whom he partners up for the rest of the game. In her capacity as your AI partner, you can tell her what actions to take and where to go. She can assist you directly in fighting, give suppressive or cover fire and even come to your rescue and heal you.
Having an AI partner has another benefit. Carrying on the inventory system from previous Resident Evil games, you will only have limited space. Choosing what to carry can have considerable impact on how certain situations play out. Sheva has her own inventory and you can use that to store items in it that you prefer to take along for the ride, effectively doubling your inventory space.
Resident Evil 5 brings co-op to the franchise, something only seen before in the ‘series melting pot’ called Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. Offering both online and local split screen modes, we expect this to be a much used feature. The co-op system uses the increasingly popular ‘drop in or drop’ system and players can literally join instantly at any part of the game, and leave whenever they feel like it. Once a player leaves, the AI will take over again.
Controlled zombie killing
The game looks and plays much like Resident Evil 4. Two control styles are available upon starting a game; standard and shooter. The standard control layout is similar to that of Resident Evil 4 while the shooter layout handles more like a standard Shooter that uses a third person view. You won’t be able to move while shooting, but strafing will be made much easier and players have complete freedom to aim their gun at whatever creep that comes into view.
The combat system also does not stray far from what Resident Evil 4 provided the last time around. You will be able to knife enemies, kick and punch them when they are stunned and drive them off you when they grab hold of you. Enemies still take it upon themselves to hurl projectiles at you and these objects can be shot out of the air if you have quick reflexes.
Is everything the same then? No, not by a long shot. The biggest leap is the amount of foes that are shown on screen at any given time. In the previous installments, only a handful of enemies could be seen at the same time but players should expect mobs zombies to be chasing them through the levels. Many enemies have been smartened up, will be able to break into places where you thought you were safe, and can stage an attack with their friends. You have been warned.
The graphics are certainly some of the finest I have seen recently. Using MT Framework with the Havok Engine, Capcom are producing some spectacular visuals. The amount of detail in the maps, objects and enemies is astounding. You have never been eaten by anything so crisp! Mini games are said to become available when the game is complete but we haven’t had the chance to play that long, so we have yet to find out what they are.
The game was estimated at first to last for around 20 hours. With further development to the game, the developers now believe it will last around 30, due to so much extra content put into the game.
Resident Evil 5 has been in development for a long time, but it seems to have been worth the wait. Fan expect nothing less than stunning visuals, and awesome gameplay. Whether or not it will revolutionize the horror survival genre remains to be seen, but that we are in for a great game is a certainty.