As promised I am sitting down right now to give my first impressions of this seemingly "controversial" game. I say controversial because it has been getting mixed emotions from the gaming community. Some people love it and think it's great, and others are bemoaning the fact that it's not the ground breaking, innovative gem that RE4 apparently was.
Let me first start out with this (perhaps) shameful fact: I have never beaten an RE game. In fact, I have not even played one except the very first game when it came out...way back in 1997. I'll give you a moment to let that soak in. Yeah. Really. And even at that it wasn't for too long. So I am in many ways a "virgin" to the whole RE franchise. It is with this in mind that perhaps my feelings may come across more sincere since I am not a biased fanboy with an agenda to hate or love this game.
So yesterday I hopped online with my best-friend and we played for several hours finally leaving off at the start of chapter four. I'll say this much: The game takes some getting used to for sure, especially control-wise. My friend and I were having a time with the control scheme on the account that it is so slow to react to the zombies sprinting after you. This problem wouldn't be so bad had Capcom taken steps to mitigate this by implementing better controls designed for a shooting game since, let's not deny it, this is basically a third person shooter with a sprinkle of its horror roots. Why they decided to stick with such an archaic control scheme (standing still every time I shoot? Really?!) that may have worked with the original RE game twelve years ago, but in the subsequent years has evolved. My contention is if you're going to take the series in a new direction then I think you're obligated to bring along a more evolved control scheme as well. This is akin to the American Civil War where the technology of war had advanced leaps and bounds over the outdated Napoleonic tactics. The decision to stick with such a rigid scheme is cause for diversion for this game. Some people have no problem with these tank controls, and others (like myself) wish they made the controls reflect the nature of the game and not so much the spirit of the game.
That is my main complaint with this game. With that out of the way it is time to move on to the graphics which are absolutely beautiful. This is one damn fine looking game. I've read some reviews that said the PS3 version suffers from a dip in the frame rate when there are lots of zombies on screen, but honestly I couldn't really tell. There wasn't enough time for me to notice because I was too engrossed with staying alive. Whatever the case my friend and I didn't experience any game interrupting problems as far as the frame rate is concerned.
I'm not going to really comment on the story either since I wasn't particularly paying attention to that aspect either. Not to mention there's quite a convulted back story to go along with the game and I'm not sure I would be any better off if I consciously tried to understand it.
Which brings me to the co-op portion. Definitely a great experience if you have another brain behind the controller. I haven't tried playing it alone with the A.I. yet but from what I've heard it's not too shabby. So once I beat the game I'll probably go back through on a solo run.
But my friend and I had some fun playing last night. There were definitely those heated moments where we got our own Rambo streak and went off on our own. But on the whole it's a lot of fun having someone to experience the game along with you, and the amount of dependence the game forces on you to act as a team with covering each other and watching each other's backs, and (a lot) of the time saving each other's asses from being mauled. My friend told me during the course of our playing that it reminded him a lot of Army of Two. I haven't played that game either, but he told me it had strong correlations as far as the buddy-buddy game mechanic goes.
So that's what I have to say so far. I have to say I've enjoyed the game so far. I also regret paying as much as I did for the C.E. of the game, but live and learn. The game is by no means horrible as some people are making it out to be. As I've said I'm an RE virgin when it comes to playing the games so I can honestly say I wasn't let down by Capcom's decision to take the series in a new direction. The only thing I gripe about is they should've remembered to bring along some updated controls as well. Look forward to my review which I plan to write immediately after I finish the game with my friend.