Review: Resident Evil 5 Demo for XBox 360 a Little Disappointing
Andrew Weymes of TheNightlyGamer is a little disappointed with the recently released RE5 (North American) demo for XBox 360... here is why:
Resident Evil 5 has been on the minds of fans of the series since it's initial announcement. The demo has been on Xbox Live in Japan for a while now, but it just hit North America not too long ago.
The demo certainly isn't bad, but when you have a series as established, and renown as Resident Evil, one can't help but be a little disappointed by the last gen feel of Resident Evil 5.
When you begin the single player portion of the Resident Evil 5 demo, you have two areas to choose from. Whichever one you choose, you will play as Chris Redfield, and you will have an A.I partner named Sheva Alomar. Apart from the partner dynamic, Resident Evil 5 controls almost identically to it's predecessor, Resident Evil 4.
Perhaps this is good news to some people, but characters that control like tanks, and the slowest aiming in the existence of video games shouldn't be considered as a positive. Before fanboys yell "Well, you just suck!", that's just not the case.
The demo was playable, and not very difficult, but the controls really feel archaic for 2009. Another minor complaint is that the overall sound in the demo was very weak. Ranging from the gunshots to the explosions, nothing sounded dynamic.
It wasn't so bad in 2005 when the same character model was used for roughly 4 out of 9 infected villagers that were attacking you. However, in 2009, on current generation consoles, it looks a bit ridiculous. At one point during the Resident Evil 5 demo, 4 of the same looking villagers were trying to come through the window at the same time. Perhaps they were identical quadruplets, in which case this complaint isn't valid.
Physical damage to both the controllable characters, and the enemies is another problem. Even a small bullet hole in the body of an enemy would have been welcome, but even that doesn't happen. A small gush of blood is shown where there is no apparent wound instead. The only shot that does any apparent damage to an enemy is the classic headshot in which case the head explodes.
No complaints there, but it would have been nice to have at the least seen bullet holes on wounded areas of an enemies body, and at the most have limbs flying off in all directions when shot. Enemies also seem to take an incredible amount of shots to be killed, unless you aim for the head.
The biggest complaint about the Resident Evil 5 demo has to be the horror. Where has it gone? Hopefully, the lack of horror in the demo is not representative of the full game, because if horror was water, then the Resident Evil 5 demo would be experiencing a severe drought. The Resident Evil series started, and became famous for it's zombies, and it's horror.
Capcom has gone in such a strange direction with the series since Resident Evil 3, and Code Veronica. Resident Evil 4 was a great game for it's time, but ask any survival horror fan if it's scary, or even unsettling, and the answer will probably be no. Resident Evil 5 seems to have gone in the same direction. There's not a zombie in sight, or a scare to be found.
Apart from these complaints, the Resident Evil 5 demo was still enjoyable for the most part. Now that the negatives are out of the way, here are some of the positive aspects of the demo.
The graphics are excellent. The environments look great with great texturing on almost everything in sight. You should actually take a few moments to admire the texturing on walls, and the ground. Stare at the dirt, because it looks nice. Although some of the character models repeat themselves, they all look pretty good, especially the controllable characters.
The environments feel alive with most of the objects in them being destructible, which will probably be noticed by most players when the big guy with the axe is swing it all over the damn place. Plant life moves in the wind, as well as characters hair which is always a nice touch.
Playing Resident Evil 5 cooperatively with a friend is probably going to be the main draw to the retail game. In the demo, the online cooperative works well with a relatively small amount of lag.
Finally, the cutscenes looked great, and were about as exciting as the action scenes in the Resident Evil movie entitled Resident Evil: Degeneration.(This is a compliment.)
Overall, the Resident Evil 5 demo was pretty good, but disappointing. More steps forward in the series would have been welcomed. Based on the demo, Resident Evil 5 feels like a really pretty, HD version of Resident Evil 4.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because Resident Evil 4 was, and still is a pretty good game, but the complaints made above really couldn't be overlooked in 2009. Resident Evil 5 still looks like a solid purchase though, especially for gamers who love cooperative play.