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.
LEFT 4 DEAD
Produced and Developed by Valve Corporation
Given my recent reviews and trailer impressions, it seems only fitting a zombie apocalypse game should come around that I get to review. Being a PC gamer, there is some bias in favor of Valve and everything they make. Ask any PC Gamer and they will agree that Valve makes games for gamers. They share their source code; they encourage the community of gamers to expand on their product and make it better (that’s how Counter-Strike was created.) So, I didn’t want to instantly love the game just because I am in love with the company and their philosophy. Although, it doesn’t matter who made Left 4 Dead because I fucking love it.
Left 4 Dead is a cinematic game with no cinematics. It is fun; plain and simple. It delivers some of the best first-person multiplayer I have been privy to. To be fair I have only played about four hours of Left 4 Dead, and only one scenario. I have not felt every bit of nuance that there is to be felt, but the No Mercy scenario (where the early gameplay videos came from) was a thrilling experience nonetheless.
There are four characters to choose from and there is NO difference on which person you choose. You can either be the old Vietnam vet, the systems engineer for his IT firm, the chick who is a horror movie enthusiast, or the tattooed biker. All characters are ripe for the zombie motion picture. If one of your teammates dies, they are brought back by finding rooms with a survivor ‘trapped’ inside.
Further adding to the cinematic value are the random stop points where your characters will say things that pertain to the situation. Such as the movie enthusiast said aloud, “Fast zombies? I call bullshit, that’s not fair. Where are the slow ones?” These conversations add to the atmosphere without getting old and tiresome. You can always hurt your team, you have been warned. How your characters talk to the people that shot them is humorous and it lets you know who just shot at you. It also is a good reminder for you to duck if you are at the head of the pack trying to get through the plethora of zombies. Your characters reactions to ammo, grenades, health, etc is unique and needed. You come across a pipe bomb in a room and your character shouts ‘Pipe Bombs here!’ to your other teammates. Valve decided to play a mean trick on the user’s this time around: the louder you are on voice chat, the higher the probability of in-game zombies hearing it and running to your position.
The first trailer for Splatterhouse has arrived:
I must admit, the trailer reminds me of HOSTEL and that does not bode well. Although the graphics sure look uninspired, there isn’t too much to praise or condemn. With no real gameplay or features shown, it is more of a teaser than anything.
In the end it’s better than nothing and interesting enough to periodically search for updates.
Developed and produced by Capcom 2006.
I have a confession. If a game has zombies, odds are I am going to like it. If the game gives me the opportunity to shoot said zombies, odds are I am going to love it. Thus I am lucky that Capcom loves killing zombies as much as I do, but much how the coach of a little league team judges his son’s performance harsher than the rest of the players, I feel I must do the same.
DEAD RISING tells the story of photojournalist Frank West. He was contacted to come to a small town where he’ll get the story of a lifetime. As he arrives by helicopter, he sees the townsfolk rioting and performing brutal acts on one another. Dropped off at the Willamette Parkview Mall, where you’ll brilliantly spend the rest of the game, Frank tells the pilot to return in 72 hours.
From here on out, you control Frank. After a few screens you enter the security room. The ‘plot’ is established and now it is up to you control Frank’s destiny. The entire game has a time limit. I believe it is about 1 minute of real time equals 15 minutes of the game. Game play itself is a sandbox world of interactivity. You can do (or not do) anything you want. You could run around the mall and find survivors, you could follow the plot quests, or you could do neither. You could literally stand in the safe zone of the security room until the three days are up, at which point you will receive the worst game ending possible.