Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Resident Evil 5 (First Night)


* Clocked in two and a half hours on the first night. Stopped at the end of Act 2.2. It certainly held my attention, but not in the same way that Bioshock, Grand Theft Auto IV, or Mass Effect.

* The controls are decent enough once you get used to them - but almost all my deaths so far have been because my fingers and thumbs have tripped over each other in the game's more frantic moments. Knife attacks are especially troublesome to me - which should have been a single button press, preferably a click of the right analog stick. Using your knife in a Resident Evil game is a final, desperate measure, and taking seconds to think, "Ok, I hold down the left bumper and..." is not only frustrating, but it also takes you out of the game.

* Is the game racist? I still haven't made up mind, having not finished the game, but I'm leaning towards no. I'm not an expert on race relations, but I am a gamer who writes about games, so I'd like to think I'm more qualified to discuss this particular matter than Newsweek editors or college professors (see link above).

Most importantly, I've played Resident Evil 4, which this game is a direct sequel to in terms of plot, monsters, and gameplay. So I know that the African villagers in this game are possessed by the same parasites that possessed the Eastern European villagers, who also brought knives and pitchforks to a gunfight, in RE4. Last time I checked, no one ever accused Capcom of having an agenda against Eastern Europeans. The game presents allies that are both African and American, and the game's two real villains (i.e. not possessed) are white. The RE series has never been subtle, and it's obvious that Capcom's contempt is with big business and colonialism, not with Africans.

I can easily see how those not familiar with series could take offense. Whether or not you're familiar with the RE series, you still play as a white guy who spends most of his time shooting endless waves of black guys. No matter how you look at it, that simple facts remains. Call me a pussy if you want, but I wouldn't have told this story - no matter how good my intentions were.

* Wish the game was scary, but it isn't. There haven't been any good jumps, nor does the game create any sense of dread. True, RE5 has a lot of competition with other games of this generation, like Bioshock and Dead Space, but it seems like Capcom isn't even trying to scare you. I find that rather disappointing.

* Going to get back to it now. I'm certainly enjoying this game, but I don't think I'm going to buy my rental copy from Gamefly.

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