BAD'S Commentary Page


|| TITLE || Vomit In The Streets
  || WRITER ||   BAD
  || DATED ||   04.22.2009


I've been playing Resident Evil 5 since launch day, and it's great. For me, the game is pretty-much everything I thought it would be. No disappointing theme song (like Street Fighter IV), and no guys wearing girl-pants (like Devil May Cry 4). I think the length isn't quite as long as RE4, but still about as long as the older entries. For those who enjoy multiple plays through, there are a ton of weapons, items, and secrets to discover in each run. The game is huge, and you can see the four years of production in every aspect of the game. Though it would have been nice if Capcom had expanded on the Los Illuminados and their plans to take over the world, it still delivers, nonetheless. That, and the item management scheme are the only things I'd really even change; all the other stuff (we loved) from RE4 made the cut, so the game plays just as well as its revolutionary predecessor. Not the same, but just as well as its predecessor in regards to evolution and roots. Since hands from the original RE were recruited for the production of RE5, elements from those earlier entries shine through in a fusion that makes RE5 unique. Uniquely nostalgic but newly evolved.





But the interesting thing is how the game is said to have gotten criticism from creator Mikami of RE4. Sources report him saying that it's not the game he "would have made." Even though the Resident Evil - Outbreak series failed to deliver, Capcom must have felt that it had some redeeming value to it, because they implemented two gameplay elements from it; the useful item exchange system, and the inconvenient real-time item management. Is that one of the things that he was referring to when he said, "it'll just cause me stress if I play it?" I haven't read the full interview because I don't have access to it (only to articles about it), but if that is one of the reasons he won't play the game, then it's understandable. The art of real-time item management amid crisis has an incredibly high learning curve that can defeat the purpose of wide appeal (to the casual audience that the rest of the game aims for). It can make the game more stressful than fun in some parts.

One look at the rest of the game, however, and it's apparent that everything else was taken from his creation, RE4. RE5's creators themselves even said that they used RE4 as a foundation and built RE5 accordingly. In a prerelease interview with, RE5 producer Kawata said that, "Resident Evil 4 broke the boundaries of the franchise," that there were things they wanted to do in RE4 that would be in RE5, and that it would not be a "revolution," but an "evolution." It should be an honor for Mikami that they are expanding on his original concepts and ideas. This might seem like uninspired imitation, but they really did expand on RE4's system by addressing fan requests; for the game to retain what made RE4 and its predecessors unique and successful. It's a hard balance, but I think they succeeded in addressing the cries spoiled players around the world.

They expanded on Mikami's original control and gameplay mainly with the cover system. It's like Gears of War, but no blind fire for the player (only enemies can use it). Many were skeptical, but the addition really does help the player evade otherwise fatal traps that were in RE4 (especially when enemies stroll up with rocket launchers). It's an anomaly, though, how such a valuable element of the evolved gameplay is absent in multi-player versus battles. Speaking of multi-player, both co-op and versus are fun and unique (with friends or the CPU).

Essentially, it's another Outbreak characteristic that they learned from, then took and made better. Interaction between you and your human teammate is much easier with the headset (or a few useful ad-lib commands for those who don't have one). Giving items is more convenient, and you don't always have to have a healing item to save your partner from dying (particularly useful in versus battles). There's been a lot of controversy about the pricing, release window, and practicality of the Versus mode update, but it does add that unique RE flavor to the world of arena deathmatches. There's nothing quite like the startling surprise of a monster sneaking up from behind and latching onto you just as you were about to snipe someone. This happens often, and it makes things pretty crazy when everyone is in the same spot trying to kill each other while fending-off hordes of monsters coming from every direction. Overall, it's pretty fun, but with all the copycat Wesker players out there, it easily becomes a stressful experience.





















But RE5 isn't just about the co-op support of your friends online, it's also about the co-op support of your CPU partner when your friends are all offline. Yet another Outbreak series element that they improved for RE5 was the AI. There are idiots out there who say the AI isn't good, but that's horseshit. Why? Because not a single fan of the series can say that it's not a definite improvement over the finicky partner AI from the Outbreak games. In RE5, your CPU teammates actually help you and even evade traps and other environmental hazards. An example of this would be in the Ruins, where your CPU teammate evades lasers the same way you do; by finding the nearest place for cover. This impressed me, considering the fact that AI in most games probably wouldn't have found cover while following me to the destination. One time, when I approached a room with two entrance points, she actually ran back to the opposite door and stormed through it at the same time so that I could take advantage of the diversion. And take advantage I did; I was able to shoot that rocket-wielding lunatic that was waiting for me in the back! Some big magazines and sites praised this aspect of the game, and they were right for it. I wonder what Mr. Mikami thinks? I hope this isn't one of the areas that makes him ill, because they did a pretty good job making the CPU a solid bodyguard.

And for that nostalgic value that some players were begging for, Capcom dug up a few things from the earlier games to haunt them. Chris, a mystery female character, that asshole Wesker, those pain-in-the-ass Lickers, and the good 'ol Grenade Launcher to kill them with. The Drain Deimos and Brain Suckers from the awesome RE3 haven't been resurrected for RE5, but it looks like they inspired the design of the incredibly deadly Reapers. Then, we got Wesker and his new bio-weapon Uroboros, named possibly in relation to another blast from the past (as we've investigated before with Devil May Cry 2). Wesker himself still looks and talks like a 1970's porn star, but the RE5 design staff deserves much praise for making Chris look like a complete badass all these years later. Now that the "Christmas ham" joke is played-out and has run its course, we can get back to looking at the awesome detail they put into his triceps. And for those who haven't played the game yet, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the makeover one of the classic female characters received in her "conversion." This is one area I bet Mr. Mikami wasn't happy with (considering the overhaul).

They also brought back and improved upon the design of some characters introduced in RE4, and it's another thing I think Mr. Mikami could appreciate. El Gigante, "swirlie heads," "chainsaw man," and the "gatling gunner" all have meaner, more brutal counterparts in RE5. The craziest is probably Ndesu, a grandpa version of El Gigante with spiked shackles and dead bodies hanging from his waist. The "chainsaw man" and "swirlie heads" also look more sinister now, but the "gatling gunner" hasn't changed much since his RE4 appearance. The infected, crazed-out soldiers from RE4 return, as well, and they look just as cool as they did back then (with candid little taunts).









Old or new, the leading female characters in the game look very nice. New characters Excella and Sheva are eye candy amongst all the other sick crap you see in the game, and the Mystery Woman with the bird mask spurs the imagination. Excella, in her simple design, was modeled and designed incredibly well. I don't know about Mr. Mikami, but she's my personal favorite female character in the game, and it was painful to see her fate unfold. Too bad we didn't get to see more of her before then. The sexy makeover they gave the returning female character is also a welcome addition. One really positive thing I noticed was that the supporting black characters didn't die in RE5 (as in Dead Rising); of course, those who call the game "racist" probably don't address this contrast, do they? The question of racism is a whole other "kan uv wurmz," though, and I probably won't open it for a while; I've got cans of "whoop ass" to open-up in RE5 Versus, first!