Thoughts, but Not a Review
I figured I'd save my review because I want to finish checking out the extra content, but I also wanted to just take this time to share some more personal thoughts on the overall feel and story of Resident Evil 5. Fair warning, Spoilers ahead! Turn back now if ye haven't finished it or don't give a damn.
I liked the story alright, but I don't think I liked it as a Resident Evil story. Part of it is because, be it Ouroboros or Las Plagas, it kind of feels like RE4 all over again, sans the amusing bit about the presidents daughter being kidnapped (and whether or not you're a bad enough dude to save her), and more whining.
First off, Chris Redfield. They try to convince us that Jill is dead but anybody with half a brain (From experience) can figure out that not only is she still alive, but that mysterious cloaked figure is totally her. I don't know how, but I think that whole story could have been handled much better and made for a much more gasping reveal, as opposed to "How is it that Me and Wesker are the only people in this room that have figured it out?"
Sheva, aside from having the most made-up sounding name since Dr. Spaceman (30 Rock reference, it's pronounced "Spa-che-men"), has almost no history. And she's so uptight and sans a personality that there's really no empathatic link properly established to her, at least from this guy's opinion. Ashley at least was a helpless damsel, so you kind of had to establish empathy out of necessity, though I did manage to take a rocket launcher to her more than once out of frustration. What I think is even worst is how they try and shoehorn the most atypical story ever: Parents were killed by blank, so I'm going after blank. Overall she felt more tacked on, and, given my comments above, couldn't she just have been Jill?
Playing through Resident Evil 4 I found myself wowed and in awe almost every time I reached a new chapter because of the interesting scenarios that were presented. Be it the first time I fought Del Lago, or the grandiose and over the top archecture of the castle, the game never ceased to amaze me at where it was going. Five? Not so much. In fact, aside from swapping my Ganados with Majinis, there wasn't a whole lot of difference. We had our 3rd world village, a big lake, a factory or refinery type scenario... Aside from a little time in the savannah, nothing really felt new. All technically impressive environments, sure, but nothing really made me go "Oh, wow, this is interesting," in terms of scenario.
Also, where was the banter? We don't even really have a villain to personify until Chapter 5, when Wesker and his pair-of-boobs partner show up. Before then there was just that Ricardo guy but he had like 10 lines. None of these characters had the ominous nature of Mendez, Salazar, or Sadler. And again, where was the banter?! Where was my "Writhe in my cage of torment!" or "Saddler, you're small time!"
Overall I felt the game took itself too seriously, especially considering some of it's history. Between the Bourne I-Wannabe camera angle and the stuffy dialogue... I don't know, as much as the gameplay is still phenomonal and the presentation is immaculate... The story wasn't really there for me. And there were no real characters that drew the experience together, beside Ricardo, and he was terribly shortlived. Even my long-amored Wesker seemed a little plain this time around.
Also, why did they cut the Merchant? He was my favorite character... Instead I get a faceless shop screen, which, for the record, is far clumsier than the Merchant ever was.
Thoughts? Disagreements? Other things you would like to bring up? Don't get me wrong, I love this game, and once I get through the rest of the content my review should reflect quite well upon it. I just kinda wanted to get this set of details off of my chest, because for the most part I don't think it should reflect as negatively as it might sound in my review.
-Make it a good one.
Randy "Dr. Randle" Marr