PSU Wish List: Resident Evil 5
Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 5 is not just one of the most highly anticipated games for PlayStation 3, but unequivocally one of the most eagerly awaited titles of the next few years on any console, full stop. With Information on the forthcoming horror epic currently a little on the foggy side, PSU thought we’d take the time to share with you are hopes for the title (some realistic, some a little more adventurous perhaps) and nail down the cold facts of what to expect from what is surely to be one of the most accomplished videogames of the whole decade.
First unveiled in July 2005 in the form of a shorter teaser trailer, Resident Evil 5 essentially dropped off the radar until E3 2007, where another short, updated montage was displayed at Microsoft and Sony’s press conferences. The full trailer was later released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, and showcased the first actual in-game footage of the title, along with a glimpse at the enemies players will eventually be facing.
Resident Evil 5 takes place ten years after the government bombing of Raccoon City (covered in the events of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis), with players assuming control of former S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team member, Chris Redfield. Now working for an organisation known only as “BSAA”, Redfield’s mission objectives see him investigating a mysterious biohazard outbreak in the middle of dusty, remote-looking African village. Upon venturing into the isolated community, he soon discovers that the local inhabitants have become infected by an unknown plague or virus, and is left with no choice but to defend himself from the hordes of marauding villagers out for blood.
In terms of gameplay, Resident Evil 5 has built its core foundations those of its critically acclaimed predecessor, Resident Evil 4, offering an over-the-shoulder perspective, allowing players to aim their weapon in any direction desired. Redfield will have access to a variety of weapons going by the brief glimpse of his arsenal in the trailer, including handguns, shotguns and automatics, with more to be revealed as time goes on. However, it is currently unknown whether or not the ‘Merchant’ system employed in Resident Evil 4 will be present here.
One intriguing feature revealed is the presence of heat, and the affect it will have on Redfield if he is exposed to such high temperatures for prolonged periods of time. According to Resident Evil 5 Producer Jun Takeuchi, your character will suffer distoring side effects, such as mirages and hallucinations if he should remain outside in the heat for too long. Furthermore, your character will also have to adjust to new environments if entering from a bright location to a dark one (or vis-versa), momentarily clouding Redfield’s vision, leaving him vulnerable to attack.
Little else is known on the game aside from these features, though players can also expect to see a number of returning features from Resident Evil 4 make an appearance, including the ability to shoot enemy projectiles out of the air, as well as various melee and dodge manoeuvres, of which will presumably remain context-sensitive as with the previous game. One sequence in the trailer showed Redfield ducking underneath an incoming enemy assault, and another where he landed a rather devastating thrust punch, sending his foe hurtling backwards.
As it stands, Capcom has remained relatively tight-lipped on the game ever since E3, a trend that is unlikely to change until the release of Devil May Cry 4 in February 2008. In the mean time, however, we present to you a collection of our own wishes for the title for you to stew over in the months until the games eventual release.
PSU’s Wish List (Please note: the following does not reflect PSU’s opinion as a collective, only the author of the article)
1. You Have Once Again Entered....the World of Survival Horror:
Resident Evil 4 introduced a successful formula that focused decidedly more on action, as opposed to the traditional Survival Horror elements seen in previous instalments. With Resident Evil 5, we suggest a combination of both; rather than have your weapons acquired by purchasing them from a Merchant, using money collected from fallen enemies and wildlife (a factor alone of which nullified any realism), Redfield would have to procure his weapons on sight, and utilize ammunition wisely.
This would not only place more emphasis on survival, rather than an all-out action romp, but it would also harmonize perfectly with the over-the-shoulder perspective. For example, in previous titles, if you were down to your last bullet, there was little you could do other than point and shoot, hoping it would dispatch your foe. With a new view point and all-new hit locations to target your foes, however, players would be able to make a tactical decision based on how to use their last remaining bullets – do you aim for the foot and drop your foe, allowing you to escape, or do you aim for the head and hope it will take him out in one shot? The idea of fighting for our lives and barely escaping from hordes of enemies, rather than effortlessly gunning them down with copious amounts of ammo at our disposal is far more satisfying, which we’ll hope you agree with.
Additionally, rather than ammo magically appearing on the fallen corpses of your enemies, it would be placed strategically around each location (similar to the older titles), forcing you to think wisely about precipitating an attack, and avoid confrontation altogether. Lastly, I feel it would be fitting to see the return of some of the series traditional shock tactics, an aspect that would no doubt be facilitated by the games already gorgeous visuals to create a chilling, unnerving game environment that would truly usher in a new dawn for Survival Horror.
2. I'm Feeling Slightly Puzzled:
Puzzles are a key aspect in any Resident Evil title, and when done correctly, provide a welcome tool for punctuating the blood-soaked, head-exploding gameplay that occupies most of our time. However, the past few games have failed to deliver some of the more mesmerising puzzles found in the first batch of titles released, and so, my next item on this list is to have Resident Evil 5 well and truly have us put our thinking caps on by delivering some memorable head-scratching antics that don’t simply rely on inserting a key into a door and pushing forward (Oh, how that always stumped us!)
3. Adventure Field
It’s also not just the difficulty of the puzzles that could be improved upon; a sense of exploration is also needed to accommodate a solid puzzle element. Resident Evil 4, for example, was far too linear, and required little exploration to locate key items, almost feeling as if every object was conveniently placed right in your path. I would personally like to see more emphasis on exploring, increasing the length of the game, but also giving the player a larger sense of accomplishment after tracking down an all-important key or seeking out and assembling parts of a particularly arduous picture puzzle. Another element that would make for a welcome return is the ability to examine key items in your inventory in real-time, a feature which was employed to great use in solving a number of puzzles in the original Resident Evil and its prequel.
4. Settling an Old Score:
Potentially, Resident Evil 5 has the chance to settle one of the longest running desires of fans to date; a final confrontation between protagonist Chris Redfield and long-running antagonist, Albert Wesker (formally Redfield’s S.T.A.R.S Captain) PSU has learned through sources that Wesker is rumoured to make an appearance of some sort in the game, though it is currently unknown just how big his role is intended to be, or if he will even show up at all for certain. However, given Redfield’s obvious ties to his perpetually enigmatic (and elusive) rival, not to mention Wesker’s future plans eluded in the recently released Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, it’s conceivable that this latest instalment would afford the best opportunity to settle the score once and for all.
Additionally, we’d also like to see the game give mention to some of the series long forgotten characters, such as Barry Burton, Rebecca Chambers, and Redfield’s younger sister, Claire, who have been absent since the release of Resident Evil 3, Zero and Code: Veronica, respectively. Furthermore, given that this game is said to explore Redfield’s past over the last decade, there’s plenty of ground to cover as to what became of his comrades, and in our opinion, it would do good not to alienate so many of the fans who have become attached to the plot line over the course of the past 11 years (a factor that was one of the main disappointments for fans with Resident Evil 4) Indeed, perhaps having one return as a second playable character would be a delight.
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Regardless whether or not Resident Evil 5 delivers on these particular wishes, you can guarantee it will mark yet another stellar entry in the multi million selling franchise, and one that we will continue to track until we get our bloody fingers on.
Stay tuned for more coverage on the game here at PSU in the near future.