Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Resident Evil 5 demo

I spent only five minutes playing the Resident Evil 5 demo. In that time, I wished the controls were a little faster (even after switching them to "fast" mode), failed to realize that I could quick-equip weapons by using the D-pad, and got killed by a guy wielding an axe the size of a compact car. Other than that, it seemed all right.

I'm planning to give it another go, obviously. I'm especially interested to try the online co-op. But I'm reminded already why I usually avoid downloading demos. There's the opening screen disclaimer about how the game isn't finished and might contain bugs.* You're dropped right into a scene without any context or buildup, although presumably it's intended to showcase the very best the game has to offer. There may be important gaps you're not even aware of. All in all, this is not the ideal way to experience a game.

Demos can be good or bad, of course, and I can't say yet which one this is. But I was going to buy Resident Evil 5 no matter what. It's following up what I've repeatedly called the best game ever made. What could the demo do but lower my level of interest?

I want you all to remember I said this when I'm hooked on the co-op and playing it exclusively.

That's just me. What's your take on the Resident Evil 5 demo?

*If you've ever taken a writing workshop, you've probably encountered several people who try to temper expectations for their work by muttering something like, "I didn't work very hard on this," or, "I just wrote this last night, so it's not really done." And you think, "Great, thanks for valuing my time, douche." That's the same impression I get from disclaimers like this. You know, sort of.


Nels Anderson said...

How'd your AI partner fare? Giving it a few goes this morning, she died *way* more than I did. And whenever she dies, the demo ends. Obviously that's not an issue in co-op, but I hope that doesn't mean RE5 is a choice between co-op and "giant single player escort quest."

Aside from that it seemed solid, beyond some control weirdness, e.g. it feels like the left trigger should aim by default, not the right. It's entirely possible that's just my PC-wired brain bumping up against typical (?) console shooter notions.

Danilo Vujevic said...

Ah yes, a bit late for the rest of the world considering Japan had the demo months ago.

The demo is very fun to play, and even better with a friend and voice chat, you should definately try it out.

They never release much story with demos though, it would be especially hard with Resident Evil's history which is nearly as bad as Metal Gear Solid's.

I actually played the game at the Eurogame Expo 2008 here in England in October, I wrote up a sizeable review of it on my blog:

If anyone wants a game my gamertag is Dani1o.

Quinn said...

I played the version of the demo that leaked about a month ago, which I assume was pretty close to this one (although it was bug-tastic; when I tried to to play the second level with a friend online, he continually fell through the ground, respawned, and fell again). I had never played a Resident Evil game before, and my first impressions were:

Graphics - amazing. Never seen anything on a console that looked better.

Gameplay - I don't get it.

I just don't get it. I'm not having fun. I find the controls incredibly clunky and frustrating, and I get overwhelmed by zombies before I can do anything. I know this isn't Left 4 Dead, and it's supposed to be about desperately trying to survive, but the incredibly stingy ammo supply, the enemies that can take three headshots before they die, and the inability to shoot while moving didn't make the game scary for me - just annoying.

I have no desire to play any more of this game. But everyone else is frothing over it. What am I missing?

feitclub said...

Me and Quinn have the same problem with the demo, I think. Everything moves and feels slow like the Resident Evil games of the past, except now they seem to going for some kind of an action co-op shooter game and the two just do not mix well. Careful aiming and limited ammo cannot coexist with hordes of enemies.

As far as the demo goes, I think they're showing two of the first (if not THE first) levels of the game, so aside from a bit more character work I felt satisfied with it. I know that some demos give you nothing but in this case I think they gave us enough to get a sense of what this game is like, especially since the two levels play very differently.

But yeah, I may skip this and just keep playing Street Fighter IV through March instead.

Jeremy said...

doesn't feel like resident evil at all, except 4 the clunky controls of course

Anonymous said...

My main frustration was in lack of any direction via the design of the game that lets you know you can exit the first room. Sure, the big guy busts in but depending on where you're hiding you may or may not realise you can actually exit the room and make it to open ground.

In addition, the level the demo is set in feels just a little too much like a box. I felt more like I was in a battle arena ala Shadow of Rome than actually surviving against an angry horde of attacking villagers.

Also, for all the ferocity and anger of the villagers I found them decidely slow. Yes, it makes it slightly easier to gun them down but just walking towards you, bottles raised, didn't feel like they were REALLY trying, especially after having looked so angry. Did you see how quickly they spun around when the head villager points you out? Yet they can barely manage a lumber.

I found the controls alright, however I wish they had put in the ability to move while shooting. Considering they pulled the controls in line to conform with traditionally action games, being unable to strafe, at the least, feels very clunky. Even if you could move at a really, really slow pace, it'd still be something.

I also had no idea you could quick select weapons.

Yes, the AI was decidedly stupid and managed to get herself killed, a lot. She always seemed to walk into the pack of zombies or the guys axe, when there was plenty of space to run around to the right or left.

In the end, I had fun once I finally came to grips with the controls, understood the enemy movement and horded a pocket full of shotgun shells.

I'm looking forward to the full game but think it might take a little more time to become enamored with it, as opposed to Resident Evil 4 which hooked me from the outset.

Enough opinion for you?

Anonymous said...

I know you shouldn't judge a book by a cover, or a game by it's demo, but I was little disappointed.

Maybe my expectations were too high and I'm fondly looking back at RE4 (cube) with rose tinted glasses, but it felt like I was fighting with the controls more than with the actual infected.

Visually it looks fantastic, and I like the tactical element of deciding whom should get the item drops between yourself and your partner. I've still got high hopes for the finished article come March, but I'll give the demo another try.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mitch, I really enjoy your blog!

I agree with all of the disappointed posters here. For me, it really boils down to the fact that, as feitclub mentioned, there is some dissonance between the game's presentation, which really looks and sounds like a co-op shooter, and the way it plays, which is like a last-gen resident evil game. Hrmph.

I actually wrote about it today - I have a music blog over at wordpress, though I'll occasionally write about games, as well.

Today's post is about the RE5 demo, specifically in comparison with Dead Space, which I actually just got around to playing. Link is below, if anyone's interested.


Anonymous said...

I can only agree with your comments - the demo isn't bad, but all it did was lower my enthusiasm for a game I have on pre-order anyway!