RE5 impressions from an RE4 megafan!

RE5. It’s here. To say I’ve been anticipating this game for many years is an understatement. Basically it was the main reason I jumped into HD gaming. I wasn’t going to buy an HD console until this game arrived. I only caved early because I had the money and had to strike while it was still burning a hole in my pocket.

RE4 is where the love affair started. I own not one but two versions of this game. The special edition of the original gamecube release and the difinitive Wii re-release that came out last year. I’ve played through a combined total of four times. RE4 was a pretty major departure for the series. I’d played previous Resident Evil games but never really took to them. I never liked the fact that you didn’t have the ammo or the fire power to truly fight back and instead had to avoid and evade the slow, shambling zombies. RE4 changed all that. Now you could fight back and fight back you did. The zombies were faster and the arsenal greater. It was fun! You still had to micro manage your weapons and watch your ammo levels but this time round you could drop every last one of the vicious murderous fuckers!! RE4 played well, was dripping with atmosphere, looked amazing and still holds up well today. To say that I was excited to see the first glimpse of the upcoming RE5 back in 2005 is, as stated, a massive understatement. But I was gutted to see that this new Resudent Evil most certainly would never be coming to the Gamecube (or Wii). This was an HD game for sure. There was no doubt that I wouldn’t be playing this game without getting an HD setup.

Anyway here I am, nearly four years later with an HD setup and Resident Evil 5. And the verdict? In a word?
AWESOME!!

Truth be told I would have been happy with another RE4, using the same game engine with all new story and levels delivered at launch on Wii. I still would like a new RE game on Wii using that engine and the Wii-mote which kicks arse for scoring head shots. But RE4.5 on Wii never would have looked this good. RE5 simply looks stunning. Swooping cinematics, drop dead gorgeous lighting and detailed environments would make this a tour de force alone but the fact that you see it all in blazing bright sunlight makes it all the more impressive. So many games these days take place in dimly lit environments where you can hardly see a damn thing. Games like Uncharted, Mirrors Edge and RE5 are a refreshing trend.

But enough of that. This is supposed to be the view from an RE4 megafan. I wanted the RE4 experience again and to that end RE5 comes very close but it ain’t no RE4. There’s a few things missing. Some of which are RE5 major strengths like the ditching of the dark grimy atmosphere for the blazing sun of Africa. But other changes are a complete mystery and yet others, like the new weapon select system, I’m rapidly warming too. But anyway, here’s my list of things missing from RE 5. Things Capcom had no right to remove!! 😀

Ive got some good things on sale stranger…

I've got some good things on sale stranger…

1. No more Merchant
Why Capcom, WHY?!? A little piece of me died when I realized that you no longer buy equipment from the Merchant but instead from a menu system presented between levels?! No more will we hear “What are you buying?” or “I’ll buy that at a good price!” as spoken by one of the greatest NPC’s of all time 🙂 He got replaced by a friggen menu?! WHY?! They could have adapted his character to suit the new environment but I would have prefered they put him in there almost verbatim as an homage to RE4. I will be writing you a stern letter Mr Capcom!!

2. The typewriter as mid level save point metaphor thingy

What the hell?! Are they just trying to piss me off now?! They replaced the typewriter as metaphor for saving your game?! Why?? It’s an RE staple that goes all the way back to RE1?!

3. The full screen map
There’s no full screen map anymore!? The map in RE4 was astoundingly good. Why change that?? RE5 has a friggen GPS system so they should have had some sort of in game google earth like mapping but instead you get a teeny little map in the corner of the screen?!

4. Diluted treasure system

Sure there’s the odd trinket you stumble upon and occasional larger treasure to be found but why has the whole system been diluted so??? You used to get certain treasures that could be upgraded with gemstones to vastly increase their value. Certain gems fitted with certain treasures and you had to weigh up whether you needed the cash now or could wait till it was fully upgraded to reap greater rewards. In RE4 you also got a much larger view of the treasures than you do in RE5? Uncharted has awesome, HD, larger than life, 3D, fully spin-able views of all your treasures so why not RE5? Maybe it’s gonna get a patch soon? 😀 I’m writing them a letter!

5. The atmosphere. The cold, echoing isolation is no more

This one is a tricky one because it’s a trade off. You now have a kick arse companion at your side. She’s genuinely useful and a great new addition but the trade off is that you never really get that dreaded feeling of utter isolation. RE games have always involved a partner or acomplice during the proceedings but now she’s there at all times. RE4 was less about the survival horror and more about the action but RE5 even more so. Also the change of location to Africa means less of the chilling dark atmospherics that have been a staple of the series.

6. No more attache case for storing your stuff in

Re4 attache case

Here is a pic of a perfectly arranged attache. It's a thing of beauty 😉

NO!! You’ve gone too far!! I know you have this new weapon select system that lets you switch out guns on the fly thus keeping the action flowing but GIVE ME BACK MY ATTACHE CASE!! What have you got against OCD, micro managing, equipment hoarders!! The attache case let you carry a certain amount of stuff. You had to make choices about what you took with you but in time you could upgrade it to a larger size and take more stuff or store larger weapons like the rocket launcher and guess what. It’s been replaced with another soullesss menu system?!!? WHY?? It’s this current obsession with the reality of exactly how many weapons a character should be able to carry isn’t it!!! Do I have to remind you that this is a video game?? NOT a documentary!! Besides, the attache case was more than just a place to store you guns, it was a mini game unto itself. A kind of Tetris where different shaped weapons had to fit into a limited space in the most efficient way possible.

These may all seem like minor things but there’s also no reason that they should have been removed/altered with the exception of number 5. It’s all the more confounding when they replace great characters and interfaces with simple, soulless menus. OK, now I’ve gotten that off my chest I’m off to draft up that letter to Capcom 😉

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3 Responses to “RE5 impressions from an RE4 megafan!”

  1. Roscopct Says:

    Ok, one question. How the Heck did you manage to drag yourself away from the game long enough to create this post? I’m amazed!!

  2. Sandy and Richard were watching some Korean movie on TV 🙂 Was back into it shortly after and progressed to this awesome lost city. Very Uncharted / Tomb Raider styled. Got a wicked new weapon. It’s a stun gun/cattle prod/alien anal prob thingy?!?! There’s a trophy for getting 30 kills with it. I have that trophy 🙂 A zzzapping good time for all!!

  3. It looked really good. Once you adjust to the control system and the way the game plays, it’s a lot of fun. Another one to add to my “to buy” list

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