Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Preview: Resident Evil 5 Demo

Resident Evil 5
Developer: Capcom Co., Ltd.
Platform: PlayStation 3/X-Box 360
Scheduled Release Date: 03/13/2009

So after years of anticipation, this is going to be the next Resident Evil game? Capcom got a bit too multi-player friendly that they forgot what the core Resident Evil experience is all about - dread and fear. You will feel none of those playing this demo. Not even a tiny hint. So, there are two levels that are available: Public Assembly and Shanty Town. It doesn't really matter which one you choose because both stages function as an excuse to throw waves after waves of zombies your way. They probably decided on this kind of gameplay design so that there are more things to shoot at because now the game can be played with 2 players online and off. The shooting mechanics is similar to the one found in Resident Evil 4, which means that it is slow and methodical. I have heard some people complain about this but to me, the slow aiming is hardly a problem compared to the unnecessarily large amount of zombies that you have to shoot at.

Typical of a co-op game, there are times when the new extra-steroids version of Chris Redfield from the from the first game and newcomer Sheva are forced to take separate paths while helping each other kill more zombies from the distance. Hopefully, there are going to be sections where separation between the two characters also mean that they cannot help each other for a while because that would truly induce the much needed terror that the demo desperately needs. The A.I. that controls Sheva during single-player is actually not too bad - she knows when to help you with attacks and health items, she moves away from your line of fire, and she doesn't pick up items unnecessarily. Having a human companion is always the best way to play this game but going at it alone is indeed playable.

A screenshot from my X-Box 360 playthrough.

A screenshot from my PlayStation 3 playthrough.

In terms of performance between the two consoles, the X-Box 360 version has the slight edge. It looks sharper on the 360 and the colors look a tad richer as well. The 360 demo also runs at a more stable frame rate and can be displayed at a 1080p resolution versus the 720p that the PlayStation 3 version is stuck at. Overall, the texture resolutions on both demos look similar and these small differences will not deter me from getting the game for the PS3. The game still looks gorgeous on the PS3 despite what I have just pointed out. Overall, this may end up being less of a Resident Evil game if the demo is any indication of the final product but hopefully, Capcom will not disappoint when it hits the market this March. So far, the game's tagline of "Fear You Can't Forget" is true because you can't exactly forget about something that was never there to begin with.


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