Resident Evil 5 Demo impressions

So I recently got my hands on the resident evil 5 demo and must say that I’m quite impressed.

Initially, the graphics hit me first. Probably the best looking game I’ve played to date. I’ve been playing a lot of gears 2 and left 4 dead lately, so it took me a few playthroughs to get used to the pacing again. At first, I’d just run through gears style and miss all the ammo/pickups and then get slaughtered in a mob of zombies with farming tools. But once I got back into resident evil mode (it’s been a long while since I played RE4 on the wii) things started to click and get really fun.

The partner dynamic is really well implemented; she doesn’t get in your way at all, and is actually really helpful. The one thing that irks me about her is that even when she’s ai controlled, she’ll pick up weapons, ammo, and items if you don’t beat her to them. However, you can access her inventory and essentially steal things from her using a “request” command; but so far, she’s never denied one of my requests. I usually leave her with just a pistol, she’ll be fine.

Other than that, this is RE4 on steroids. There are more zombies on screen at once, but nothing like left 4 dead. they all move exactly like they did in RE4; just kind of milling around grunting until they see you, then sprint, then stop and slowly stumble your way once they’re within shotgun range (how convenient).  Also present are the wonderful “chainsaw guys” from RE4, only this time they don’t go down nearly as easy.  I found myself running from one side of the map to the other to get some distance between us, then quick turn and unload as much as I could, throwing in a melee attack if possible, and repeating this entire process many times.  Really, these guys soak up more bullets than any other enemy in recent memory.  It seems like a bit much, but this IS Resident Evil after all, so over-the-top is to be expected.

The two levels included in the demo are both pretty short and contain no story elements. The first level has a short cut scene, but seems like it could stand alone in the situation you’re in, there’s no real mention of any story elements. This was actually somewhat disappointing. The first time I played through both levels, I was impressed with the visuals, satisfied with the gameplay, but still felt like something was missing. For me, resident evil has always been about the exploration, investigation, and incredibly cheesy cutscenes (yes, I’m a total sucker for them and I love every second of dialogue in RE games). Even the simple “press x to investigate” areas are pretty sparse in the demo, but are enough to remind me that I’m playing a resident evil game. So needless to say I’m looking forward to playing the full release of RE5 once all of the story elements are in there.