Resident Evil 5 Demo Impressions from an RE Newbie

Posted by Hexogen (766 posts) -
Resident Evil 5
I've never played any of the Resident Evil games before (or many survival horror games), but I was totally stoked for this because RE4 got so much acclaim and RE5 was supposed to be more of the same. But after playing the demo, I was decidedly less stoked. My biggest gripe with the game is the control scheme. Chris controls like a tank, and not being able to move while aiming sucks a lot more than I thought it would, mostly because he aims so slow. In addition to the janky controls, the inventory system is really clunky and unintuitive. You press Y to bring it up, and it appears in the middle of your screen. You then have to navigate to the item you want, press A, and then select an option such as equip or use from a menu. That's a lot of button presses just to bring out a simple item. And during all of this the action is still going on in the background. Granted, you can assign up 4 of your items to the D-pad to switch between without pulling up the inventory screen, but I still think it could have been more streamlined.

Some people try to justify the controls and inventory system by saying that it creates suspense during the game and makes it scarier, but that's just it: the game (or, at least, the demo) isn't scary to begin with, so the controls wind up hurting the game rather than helping it (not to mention I think there are better ways to create suspense than implementing a substandard control scheme). The only time I actually found myself fearing for my Chris's life was when the chainsaw wielding dude with the potato sack over his head started charging at me. Most of the other enemies were just annoyances or distractions to me, rather than real threats.

If the demo is any indication of the what full game is going to be like, Resident Evil 5 is not going to be a very good horror game. And unless they drastically change the controls, it doesn't look like it's going to be a very good action game either. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, I don't have much experience with survival horror, so maybe this is just what all games in the genre are like, and they're just not for me. Maybe I would appreciate it more if I had played previous RE games. I don't know. But as the game stands now, it does nothing for me.
#1 Posted by Hexogen (766 posts) -
Resident Evil 5
I've never played any of the Resident Evil games before (or many survival horror games), but I was totally stoked for this because RE4 got so much acclaim and RE5 was supposed to be more of the same. But after playing the demo, I was decidedly less stoked. My biggest gripe with the game is the control scheme. Chris controls like a tank, and not being able to move while aiming sucks a lot more than I thought it would, mostly because he aims so slow. In addition to the janky controls, the inventory system is really clunky and unintuitive. You press Y to bring it up, and it appears in the middle of your screen. You then have to navigate to the item you want, press A, and then select an option such as equip or use from a menu. That's a lot of button presses just to bring out a simple item. And during all of this the action is still going on in the background. Granted, you can assign up 4 of your items to the D-pad to switch between without pulling up the inventory screen, but I still think it could have been more streamlined.

Some people try to justify the controls and inventory system by saying that it creates suspense during the game and makes it scarier, but that's just it: the game (or, at least, the demo) isn't scary to begin with, so the controls wind up hurting the game rather than helping it (not to mention I think there are better ways to create suspense than implementing a substandard control scheme). The only time I actually found myself fearing for my Chris's life was when the chainsaw wielding dude with the potato sack over his head started charging at me. Most of the other enemies were just annoyances or distractions to me, rather than real threats.

If the demo is any indication of the what full game is going to be like, Resident Evil 5 is not going to be a very good horror game. And unless they drastically change the controls, it doesn't look like it's going to be a very good action game either. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, I don't have much experience with survival horror, so maybe this is just what all games in the genre are like, and they're just not for me. Maybe I would appreciate it more if I had played previous RE games. I don't know. But as the game stands now, it does nothing for me.
#2 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

Well, I think the controls work fine with the new fixed-perspective you have. Not being able to move and shoot, well, I'm sure I won't mind it since RE4 is one of my favorite games from last gen. It is something you need to get used to, but I think it's actually kind of cool. Forces you to play smart, get good position, and shoot well. No doubt it adds to the game's tension. From the way you described it, the inventory seems the same as RE4's, and while it might seem like too much now, consider that you'll later be rearranging items and weapons you collect to fit in that box, plus some weapons have attachable parts. I don't see anything wrong with the way its done, and it seems they've actually improved it by allowing you to assign weapons to the d-pad. You didn't have that option in RE4. Anyway, it sounds to me like you're judging RE5 too harshly based on other shooting games like Halo and whatnot. RE is a different pace. Maybe you weren't scared in the demo, but I'm sure there will be some frightening moments in the final game. I have yet to play the game, but I'm sure when all is said in done, RE5 will be a great game. It seems it just doesn't play quite the way you expected.

#3 Posted by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

I would mirror the above. I think the controls are fine also, I cannot understand any dislike for them, their implementation seems perfectly logical to me. It's a tried and tested formula that has been tweaked for today's expectations.

The inventory is fine also :/.  On the fly now which is much better.

If the demo is any indication of the what full game is going to be like, Resident Evil 5 is not going to be a very good horror game. And unless they drastically change the controls, it doesn't look like it's going to be a very good action game either. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog,

I think the first couple of reviews will prove you to be wrong in a instant.


#4 Posted by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -

It seems to be only the series newcomers that are pissed over the controls.

#5 Posted by Bear (247 posts) -

I have no problem with the way it controls; it was tough at the beginning, but after I got used to them it was a great demo. I would agree that the menu could be streamlined a little, even though I'm not sure I could think of a way to improve it. Aside from that issue -- and a couple of glitches -- I have found this to be one of the most enjoyable demos I have ever played. I have sunk well over 2 hours into it and will probably continue to play it more until the full game is released.

#6 Posted by destro (248 posts) -

The controls are perfectly fine and if you cant handle them then you must be retarded.

#7 Edited by Fosssil (627 posts) -

I said this in another impressions thread, and I'll say it again here: you shouldn't judge the final game based on 30-minutes of unpolished gameplay.

Case in point, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. That demo was horrendous, and had people writing that game off as another stinker from Rare. Yet, upon release a month later, those same people who ripped the game apart based on the demo were singing its praises, and it was garnering some serious accolades (from this site in particular). If history tells us anything, it's that if you've decided to pocket your $60 for this game based on this demo alone you're making a mistake.

#8 Posted by Hexogen (766 posts) -
destro said:
"The controls are perfectly fine and if you cant handle them then you must be retarded."
Just to clarify, I made it through the entire demo without dying. I can handle the controls just fine. But that doesn't mean I enjoy using them. Thanks for your insightful and intelligent comment, though!

Fosssil said:
"I said this in another impressions thread, and I'll say it again here: you shouldn't judge the final game based on 30-minutes of unpolished gameplay.

Case in point, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. That demo was horrendous, and had people writing that game off as another stinker from Rare. Yet, upon release a month later, those same people who ripped the game apart based on the demo were singing its praises, and it was garnering some serious accolades (from this site in particular). If history tells us anything, it's that if you've decided to pocket your $60 for this game based on this demo alone you're making a mistake."
You have a good point. I may be making a mistake and the real game could wind up being many times better than the demo, but the point of a demo is to sell me the game, and in that respect they didn't do a very good job. I have limited time and money, so I'd rather spend my $60 on something I'm more confident in rather than take a gamble on a game I'm not sure about and end up disappointed. That being said, I haven't written off RE5 completely. It's highly unlikely that I'll pay $60 for it, but I'm considering renting it, and if the reviews are good enough, who knows, I may change my mind.
#9 Edited by myhandleongiantbomb (3 posts) -

I have tried to like every Resident Evil game so far, putting each of them down after a few minutes of bored frustration. This time around, I figured there was no way they could screw up. There are so many 3rd person shooters on the market now that I just can't fathom how they made the controls so absolutely terrible. Even the enemies are slow and stupid. I played it with a friend on Xbox live and we were just laughing the whole time at what a mess it was.

#10 Posted by pause422 (6181 posts) -

So many people still want to just say "I don't think it will be a good horror game", and its kinda totally inaccurate. You honestly can't think of this game as a horror game at all...its really not one anymore. Besides the enemies being enemies you see in a typical 'horror' game, its mostly just a limited ammo and movement third person shooter. You're either into it or you're not. I'm gonna rent it for some co-op, but I'm not impressed. Since Dead Space came out, playing RE5 just feels like such a step back.

Also, I could care a less about anyone who is going to make a comment about how the game should be designed to make things more scary....its pointless. The game is not scary, its not even really aiming to be. Having controls that don't feel that great, once you've played better games of this genre, is just a total backwards step. No, it doesn't make it more scary, no, it doesn't increase tension, no, it isn't how its supposed to be. People need to get over their fucking bullshit when trying to argue a point that doesn't exist. The game is kinda outdated at this point, and you can either deal with it, or you can't, but accept that fact.

#11 Posted by brukaoru (5079 posts) -

First off, Resident Evil became less about survival horror with the fourth installment in the series, I wouldn't expect them to go back and try for a "horror" route after they already decided to make the franchise more action-oriented.

I too was really disappointed with the demo and although I will try to not be so judgmental until I can finally get my hands on a used copy of the game, it's hard to say the game will be drastically better. The press had their hands on this game two years ago and were complaining about the controls, and since they still are a problem in the demo I don't think they would change them for the full game.

Control schemes aside, if that was the only problem with the demo, I would have been happy because they are relatively easy to get used to, but unfortunately it's not. For one, Sheva's AI is absolutely horrible in my opinion. She's no more helpful than Ashley was in RE4. Yes, this game was obviously made for co-op, but that is not a good justification for bad partner AI in the single-player game. Sheva kept getting in my way, or she would be getting in trouble when I was far away and would end up dying. I think it was easier with Ashley because she would at least stay by your side and all you really needed to do with her was shoot a ganado if they started to carry her away. Another problem I have is with the inventory system, given that the menu does not pause the game, I find it absolutely ridiculous and incredibly unrealistic that enemies will stop their attack on you and let you heal yourself! Yes, you could say they did the same in previous titles, but before the menu would "pause" the game and if an enemy was in mid swing, they would still be in mid swing when you got out of the menu, this makes enemies re-position and have to re-attack you. The enemies are also really slow and this is probably due to the extremely slow aiming. As I recall for RE4, when you aimed in an enemy's direction, it would sort-of do an auto "lock on" to the nearest enemy so you didn't have to spend time aiming your weapon.

I will certainly play the game no matter what, if only for the sake of the story, but the gameplay so far has left me very unimpressed.

#12 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

Yeah, now that I've played it, I had a lot of difficulty with the controls. They felt very cumbersome and dated to me, so I guess I was wrong before. Also, I'm concerned about Sheva. I really didn't have a problem with Ashley in RE4, while most people seem to think she was kind of a nuisance. Regardless, in RE4, Ashley was a smart AI companion. She stayed close to you, she screamed for help when she needed it, and she stayed out of the way of your bullets. Sure, there were some difficult times when you had to protect her, but I don't think any of it was a result of her having dumb AI or anything like that. Now with RE4... having an AI companion throughout the whole game... I don't know about that. I'm sure it's great for co-op, but now we're seeing something like we had in RE0, which few people played, where the characters are going to have to share items and weapons, and probably things like keys and such. So it could lead to some pretty difficult item management between the two. It seems they've ditched the whole suitcase storage thing from RE4, or maybe I just overlooked it, so that seems kind of like a bummer to me. Dude, I'm pretty awesome at RE4, I've beaten it at least twice, and I didn't make it through the demo because I struggled so much with the controls. They felt so stiff and slow, and luckily enemies were slow as heck to give me a chance, but I'm definitely a little worried about how it plays. It's hard to believe RE4 even had a similar control setup. I also don't like how some of the buttons are mapped, such as the map, and none of the different control schemes offered the kind of setup I was looking for. From what I've read, apparently you get used to the controls, but man, I can't deny it, they really are showing their age. I'm sure I'll be able to adapt to them when playing the final game, and hopefully I'll be able to enjoy it as much as RE4.

#13 Posted by theuncannygiraffe (56 posts) -

The controls are up on RE4  for the gamecube, imo. Should be good. (I'm gonna miss the easy zombie hacking fun of the wii controls - knife for the win! n00b that I am....)

I get why the controls annoy people tho. I played RE4 having not played one in about 5 years, and remember just being pissed off that I couldn't run and shoot at the same time. I did get frustrated. That being said, I agree with the reasoning behind the control system. I think RE5 will be a good addition to the francise, but then not every francise is for everyone, so if you don't wanna play, don't. :)

#14 Posted by Lunchbox1up (19 posts) -

Its a streamlined version of the re4 controls.

it does its job.
#15 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -
Linkyshinks said:
"I would mirror the above. I think the controls are fine also, I cannot understand any dislike for them, their implementation seems perfectly logical to me. It's a tried and tested formula that has been tweaked for today's expectations.

The inventory is fine also :/.  On the fly now which is much better.

If the demo is any indication of the what full game is going to be like, Resident Evil 5 is not going to be a very good horror game. And unless they drastically change the controls, it doesn't look like it's going to be a very good action game either. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog,

I think the first couple of reviews will prove you to be wrong in a instant.


"
o rly?? 

anyway, I dont like it either
#17 Posted by daniel_beck_90 (3159 posts) -

I will love this game anyway

#18 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
#19 Posted by clubsandwich (3795 posts) -
get2sammyb said:
"It seems to be only the series newcomers that are pissed over the controls."
yup, the controls are perfect.
#20 Posted by HistoryInRust (6302 posts) -
Linkyshinks said:
I think the first couple of reviews will prove you to be wrong in a instant."
That's putting a little too much stock in the reviews, don't you think?  If he doesn't like it, he doesn't like it.  Reviews aren't going to make him think it's a good game anymore than our badgering him will.

Anywho, the movement controls are fine to me, but I've played through Resident Evil 4 like ten times now, so I've no problem with the movement.  My gripe is with the inventory.  I'm sure I'll get used to it, but having a fucking grid pop up on screen (or two, I guess, since Sheva's is there as well) seems really backwards.  If we're going to have real-time inventory stuff, why not have some Oblivion-esque hotkeying and then a separate menu-based inventory in which no weapons can be equipped or healing items used?  A time-stopping inventory for organizational purposes only. 

I dunno about this game.  In another thread, someone mentioned the sound effects being the exact same effects used in RE4.  It might just be a demo thing, not indicative of the final product, but that's just lazy design. 
#21 Posted by kashif1 (1428 posts) -

its how it is and how it has always been, a gears style RE would be too easy and hated by fans.  That said i do have one gripe, how do you pass ammo to your partner, i can never figure it out

#22 Posted by LiquidPrince (15942 posts) -

This was as expected.

#23 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

Not gonna play it on a dual analog gamepad... not gonna do it. Not this one... as is.

#24 Posted by LiquidPrince (15942 posts) -
Claude said:
"Not gonna play it on a dual analog gamepad... not gonna do it. Not this one... as is."
I assume you mean you're waiting for the non-existent Wii version?



#25 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -
LiquidPrince said:
"Claude said:
"Not gonna play it on a dual analog gamepad... not gonna do it. Not this one... as is."
I assume you mean you're waiting for the non-existent Wii version?



"
PC... Baby.
#26 Posted by Reverseface (1221 posts) -

I really don't get this problem with the controls i have absolutely no problem with it i can do everything in the game i need to without any hassle. The reason the controls are like they are is for Survival horror purposes and i get that and it does add tension when your being chased by the chain saw guy.

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