Christmas came early for me this year, I heard a rumour that there was a Resident Evil 5 demo out on the web after it was released in Japan (UK owners will not have access to this demo, as usual PAL gamers get stiffed). I managed to track it down and have a quick go, and am happy to confirm that it was well worth the wait; the Resident Evil series is my absolute favourite and I have been waiting for this game to come out since it was announced months and months and months ago.
The first thing I noticed on the demo was that it was called Resident Evil 5 and not Biohazard 5 (Japanese name), so this must always have been intended as a UK/USA release but they perhaps changed their minds? The xbox 360 is starting to do very well in Japan now, so perhaps that’s why they got the exclusive on this one?
When I eventually got into the game I immediately noticed how familiar the controls are to Resident Evil 4, almost to the point you could be mistaken for thinking it’s an expansion of the previous chapter in the saga. The visuals are amazing, definately the best I’ve seen on the machine to date, crisp clear graphics which look like most of the cut scenes in RE4. The inventory works well, the weapons are acurate and so is the collision detection. Top notch stuff.
I really enjoy how you’re partnered up in this game with a rather foxy looking sprite called Sheva, it reminded me immediately of Resident Evil Zero where your partner follows you around intelligently and backs you up, heals you and kicks major arse. You seem to be able to supply them with pickups and all sorts in a bid to gain a tactical advantage over the enemies. Speaking of the enemies, so much controversy surrounded the fact that you’re shooting black people in this game (the game is set in Haiti apparently), it never ceases to amaze me really how quick the media are to demonise games. Where were the cries of outrage as you happily saunter around shooting white folk in the first 5 games eh, plus all the carnage you bring upon hispanics in Resident Evil 4? Oh well, we’ll gloss over that, the sheer fact is that whilst walking around in a shanty town, you get rushed by a raging hoard of zombie-like beings (who have the same sort of parasite it would appear as the Ganado’s in RE4). What are you gonna do, open up a politically correct dialogue with them and exchange gifts?
In summary, the demo was short and sweet and at the end I could feel my heart racing when trying to escape the hooded axe-wielding tyrant character (the axe is almost as big as the Eifle Tower); sadly you can’t kill him in the demo but rest assured I will be returning to blow the hood (and his head) clean off and finish the job!
This is most definately going to be my game of 2009, and I can’t wait till it comes out. If anyone wants information on how to get this working then leave me an e mail in a comment on this thread; you don’t need a modded machine in order to play it!