Resident Evil 5 Demo Impressions
I have been a big fan of the resident evil series from the original PSOne days and loved the new direction RE4 took the series. 5 continues this trait and doesn’t deviate far apart from one exception. CO-OP. This is without doubt the greatest idea Capcom have come up with for this game.
The Demo features 2 levels available in single player, co-op both split-screen and online (pretty sure it doesn’t support system link but i can’t confirm this). These appear to be 2 early levels if not the first 2 and have been seen frequently before in various preview videos so there are not too many surprises. The demo is pretty tough and despite being short levels geographically they are long in length as you get pinned into areas and have to survive/fight your way out of them before you can progress.
I won’t ruin what happens in the demo but it gives you a great idea of how you need to interact with your partner to beat the full game. It even marks a triumph for Capcom with how they have managed to make daylight frightening and despite seeing many videos i never knew what exactly was coming next and always lived in constant fear. RE5 keeps you on your toes throughout with the traditional low levels of ammo. Capcom have taken a leaf out of Dead Space’s book and included and inventory that doesn’t allow you to pause the action. This is worked well by also providing quick selects (like Fallout 3) mapped to the d-pad so you can grab that shotgun for when you’re suddenly outnumbered.
I’ve played the demo through numerous times alone and its fantastic but with a friend it comes into a world of its own as you start to devise plans from simple strategies. E.G. one player blockades the doors whilst the other finds items to using one player as bait whilst the other shoots. Despite the game being as linear as ever I still felt there are many possible ways to play through it in a similar vein to MGS4.
The only complaints I have is the old school controls with movement like a tank, although they do allow you to strafe when not aiming a weapon (would be nice if we could move whilst using a knife though). It also suffers from that nasty splitscreen problem that seems to be plaguing games at the moment. As in Call of Duty: World At War, RE5 doesn’t use the full screen during split-screen play which baffles me and the only explanation I can think of is that the game/hardware can’t handle processing the full image. Luckily TV’s are getting bigger but this is still no excuse. It looks like playing it online will be the optimum as you get the full screen but at the time of writing I was unable to join a session to test this out. Overall then this game looks set to be another awesome next-gen sequel to previous generation franchises and I can’t wait for its release.