Resident Evil 5 – CAPTIVATE 08 trailer analysis
After a gruelling ten-month wait, Capcom finally lifted the curtain on its latest Resident Evil 5 trailer this weekend, showcasing yet more of highly anticipated Survival Horror title, and offering us a better glimpse at Chris Redfield’s latest mission as he went toe-to-toe with dozens of infected villagers, canines and chainsaw-wielding psychopaths in a remote, dilapidated African village.
Given how there is so much more to go on this time around, PSU thought we’d take the time to dissect this latest portion of Resi action and take a look at some of the more conspicuous elements contained within. Read on to find out what we thought.
As hinted at in the latest issue of Famitsu, the trailer showcases a number of new areas that Redfield is able to explore on his quest, including an underground, cave-like setting very reminiscent of the mine section in Resident Evil 4. Intriguingly, this area also plays host to a strange cult-like symbol (in a blink or you’ll miss it appearance), which bares somewhat of a resemblance to the Los Iluminados cult from the same game. Other areas include a large suspension bridge (where Redfield is nearly flattened by a truck) along with an expanded village/town setting, abundant with claustrophobic alleyways and various structures.
Environments on the whole look far greater than those contained within the game’s predecessor, which ties in neatly with what we’ve heard about the game being far less linear than RE4, which can only be a good thing. One particular scene saw Redfield sniping a barrel across a vast body of water, which then exploded, killing a nearby cluster of enemies crossing a suspension bridge. Indeed, scenes like this only help to solidify previous comments regarding the scale of the games locations, which should hopefully lead to some particularly engaging set pieces.
The creatures in the trailer clearly exhibit similar traits to that of the Los Ganados from Resident Evil 4. For the first time since RE5’s unveiling, we’re finally able to see the process of what appears to be a villager becoming infected, as the victim is held down by two assailants, who proceed to implant him with a parasite-like entity. Furthermore, we are given a clear view of several parasitic organisms that appear to produce from the head of their victims, which again, bare a striking resemblance to the Plagas creatures from the previous game. Redfield is shown grappling with the villagers in close proximity several times throughout the trailer, although rather than simply throwing the player’s character to the ground, a creature sprouts forth from their mouth, apparently in an attempt to devourer their victims.
The inclusion of the parasites is somewhat surprising, given Jun Takeuchi’s comments in the recent Famitsu interview that the game was supposedly set in Africa in order to explain the “origins of the virus”, specifically the Progenitor Virus, which was used by the Umbrella Corporation to create some of the first Bio Organic Weapons (BOWs) before the company successfully created a more powerful strain in the shape of the Tyrant Virus. According to a preview from Games Radar, RE5’s infection is unleashed through volcanic activity, which seems to rule out the possibility of any viruses, seeing as theoretically they wouldn't be unable to survive in such extreme conditions. Of course, nothing concrete has been revealed as of yet, although from what we have seen, RE5 appears to be reinstalling the Plagas threat with little or no evidence to support the idea that there may be another culprit involved. Fan speculation has suggested that the threat may have been caused by an amalgamation of the Plagas and the T or G Virus, although this remains to be seen.
Moving on, we’re also given the glimpse of another chainsaw wielding maniac, in addition to the first non-human enemies in the form of a pair of bloodthirsty canines, evoking similar memories of the Cerberus creatures from past Resident Evil games. The number of foes on screen appears substantially greater than those in RE4, with various “mob” scenes in particular that exude a sense of desperation, with the situation exacerbated further by sheer scale of the environments. If anything, this latest entry looks to be even more intense than before, although it will be interesting to see what additional enemies will be present in the game.
“WELCOME TO AFRICA”
Aside from protagonist Chris Redfield, the trailer also gave us our first look at the mysterious female mercenary who will apparently be accompanying Redfield throughout his journey. However, at this stage, it remains unknown as to who the female is affiliated with, whether it is the same organisation as Redfield (BSAA), or another party altogether. Some short dialogue between the pair makes reference to Redfield’s former partner, Jill Valentine, who appeared in Resident Evil, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, as well as Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. Valentine was a member of the S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team and joined Redfield in his efforts to take down Umbrella following the destruction of Raccoon City in 1998, although her current whereabouts following the pair’s efforts in neutralizing Umbrella’s Russian stronghold in 2003 (depicted in Umbrella Chronicles) remain unknown.
Thanks to Capcom’s official RE5 website, however, we have learned that the woman is known as “Sheva,” although we’re still none the wiser as to her intentions. More interestingly is the appearance of another young African by the name of Josh, who is seen conversing with both Redfield and Sheva in one of the available wallpapers on the official website. We can only speculate as to what role he will play in the game, although Resident Evil games typically have multiple survivors or support characters, some of which are ultimately killed off depending on your actions.
Disappointingly, the trailer neglected to shed any more light on BSAA or the mysterious blonde female shown at the climax of the E3 2007 trailer for the game. Takeuchi said last year that she was to feature heavily in the next trailer, although we’ve yet to see anything more of her as of yet. If you’ve been following our recent updates, however, then you’ll be aware that her identity is being touted as that of Sherry Birkin from Resident Evil 2. A couple of other things to note is the fact we have still yet to see any evidence of a Merchant system or HUD, which in our opinion can only be a good thing, seeing as how it adds to the realism of the game.
Previous games were described as like playing a movie, an element that was aided by the fact there was no HUD visible to break the players immersion, so we’re hoping Capcom has decided to shake things up a little in regards to that aspect. Redfield is also seen to uppercut his foes without the presence of any on-screen commands required, which may or may not be an indication that these attacks will not be limited just to Quick Time Events.
For now though, all we can do is speculate, so feel free to join in with any of your own ideas in the comments section below and let us know what you think.
More information on Resident Evil 5 is expected at E3 in July -- stay tuned