There was quite a bit of Horror infused in E3 this year, impressing myself and horror fans in general more than I think anyone expected. Personally, E3 had pretty much everything I wanted: New game announcements, trailers/gameplay footage of games I’ve been following and even one or two surprises.
Videos and highlights follow:
This was a shock for me. I knew Valve was displaying a new game but I thought it would be another in the Half-Life series or something completely new. I can’t complain as I still play the original and love it to death.
I love the gameplay videos that were featured. The melee weapons add a new layer of depth to the game. You can make the case this is just a feature shamelessly stolen from DEAD RISING but forgery aside it’s hard to argue that L4D2 seems to open up the game like never before; along with new enemies, weapons, maps and boss creatures. I also love the southern-theme they are going for with this entry, especially the fiddle that plays during a horde sequence.
Valve went all out show casing off several maps and quite a bit of walkthroughs. Maybe I shouldn’t have listed L4D2 first, but this was the clear winner of E3 horror.
Now after all that praise I have to say, it worried me a bit. It will be released this November making it just 13 months after the original was released. It is VERY uncharacteristic of Valve to release a sequel this quickly after a game. While LEFT 4 DEAD 2 looks to add a lot of content, it still seems like all of this could be added as an expansion or DLC. An outright sequel? Something seems amiss, but this is Valve I am talking about. When was the last time they made a bad game?
Published and Developed by Capcom, 2009
It has been about four years since the near-masterpiece RESIDENT EVIL 4 hit shelves and changed the series and the entire survival horror genre (for better or worse). Leaps and bounds were made in terms of combat and pacing, replacing most of the puzzles and backtracking with faster paced gameplay and action. RESIDENT EVIL 5 has a lot to accomplish; not only does the game have to be as good, it has to reset the bar of standards in the horror genre. At the very least it succeeds with the former.
In order to properly look at this, I feel I have to look at it from two angles: The relationship to RESIDENT EVIL 4 and then the relationship to the rest of the series. In order to first view RE4 I had to put aside my biased perception of it regarding the lack of the RE universe “feel” and judge the game for what it was. I must now put aside my favoritism of RE5 regarding the return of the “feel” and look at RE5 for what it is. RE4’s visual style and graphics can’t hold a candle to today’s, but after four years they are still easy to look at. In the next four years the same will be said of this new entry. The environment and aesthetics are not only some of the best of the series; RE5 is one of the best games around in terms of creating an aura of immersion.
That being said, even though the series has certainly deviated from the first four entries (the fourth being Code Veronica), RESIDENT EVIL 5 definitely has the “feel” of a Resident Evil game (my main complaint of RE4). Also, several key plot points from those first four entries are discussed and Capcom has done a moderately good job of continuity linking the entire series up to this point. As I am sure I am one of the few people who cares about the mystique and conspiracy theories of Umbrella and the T-Virus, it was certainly welcome to be playing an actual RESIDENT EVIL game once again.
Published and Developed by Capcom. 2005
I can remember when I first saw the E3 videos for RESIDENT EVIL 4. Leon Kennedy was walking in a mansion when a humanoid apparition appeared before him, chasing him out of the room. While the first videos had their freaky moments, I still sighed. The concept of ghosts just doesn’t scream RESIDENT EVIL to me. My feelings were mirrored when this first was released. The enemies and bosses didn’t have the same feel as previous RE games. Hell, there technically aren’t even zombies in it(!), but I must admit; the game grew on me faster than I thought it would.
The RESIDENT EVIL franchise has always been synonymous with horror in the gaming world. Maybe nothing that has ever delivered pure terror, but horror all the same. This entry sticks with that formula, only with pacing that lends itself more in the direction of action over horror. That’s not to say the game lacks its share of the grotesque. The grunting and murmuring of the end-game Regenerator/Iron Maiden enemies still send chills down my spine whenever I give the game another play through.
You are Leon Kennedy, a protagonist from RESIDENT EVIL 2, sent on a mission to find the President’s daughter who may (or may not) be in a small village. After you break into a house and encounter a local who then immediately turns hostile (who knew?). After that unpleasant exchange you realize that something is afoot.
A couple of horror game trailers and clips have hit the scene in the last week, here are my thoughts:
First up we have the new trailer for the (so far) Japan only release of the RESIDENT EVIL remake. It shows a trailer, which shows off nothing that we haven’t seen from the game already. It makes no mention of anything new/exclusive to the Wii. This is especially odd considering the first remake of RESIDENT EVIL was for the Gamecube…which is already backwards compatible with the Wii!
No, that is not a typo in the title, for the first time ever HND has multiple reviews for the same item. Today we talk DEAD SPACE, a survival horror video game on 360, PS3 and PC from Electronic Arts. I’ve always wanted to have multiple perspectives on the same thing run at the same time, so this was the perfect opportunity. It isn’t exactly a round table discussion as there are only two people involved, but hey, gotta start somewhere.
First up is a take on the game from guest Matt Jordan. Next up is my own take, but instead of writing an additional, typical review, I’m going to supplement Matt’s thoughts and play devil’s advocate in some regards. Maybe down the line we’ll have a third person come in and do the same to mine. I apologize if this results in a loonngg read, but unlike a two hour movie, I think something you’re looking to spend 10-20+ hours interacting with needs a comprehensive vetting.
Oh, and just so everyone knows, Matt and I both played DEAD SPACE on the 360; I have no reason to believe the experience will be any different on PS3 or PC.