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RE5 Now Lets You Strafe
by Brad Shoemaker on
Relax, you still can't move while shooting. See? Totally Resident Evil!
All those teases about a new control scheme finally came to fruition, though, as Capcom unveiled the new "Shooter" control scheme. I went in thinking the rumored control change would make RE5 play just like Gears of War, but that isn't the case at all. What Shooter does is put the aiming and firing controls on the triggers, which frees up your thumb to use the new full camera control on the right analog stick.
More importantly, the left stick will now let you strafe left and right, which makes it easier to move around and get out of tight spots with encroaching zombies. In the classic scheme (which is STILL IN THERE, you heathens), the camera was locked to your character's orientation, and you rotated on an axis to change direction. That was still too much like the oldschool tank-driving RE controls for my tastes. Way too unwieldy. The new controls modernize RE5 just enough to make it feel more accessible when you're coming from games like Gears--but since you still can't move while shooting, the game maintains that unique sense of tension RE4 evoked so well.
On the cooperative front, this was the level shown at Microsoft's E3 briefing where Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar have to work together with some scripted tandem actions to get through part of the village. This involved things like Chris (me) hurling Sheva (Ryan) across an alleyway into an adjacent building, then defending her with a sniper rifle while a bunch of enemies closed in. The tandem actions are really just a matter of getting both characters in the right place and then hitting the right action button. Co-op in RE5 relies heavily on sharing ammo--which you have to get close to each other to do--since ammo is so scarce (this being RE and all). We had some nice petty squabbles about who was going to pick up which item, that reminded me of fighting with my cousin over power-ups in any number of old NES action games back in the day. Good stuff.
Anyway, the Shooter control scheme is the big story here. RE5 underwhelmed at E3 due to its reliance on old conventions, but I feel like the refinements here are just enough to bring the gameplay in line with other third-person shooters out there, without sacrificing the unique gameplay and feel of the post-RE4 Resident Evil series. Shooter put this one back up near the top of my most-anticipated list.