It's uncanny how much Resident Evil (RE) has in common with the Silent Hill (SH) franchise, despite having a fundamentally different approach to the Survival-Horror genre. Both games used clever means to overcome the PlayStation's hardware limitations. SH employed fog to limit draw distance, whereas RE leveraged the claustrophobic environs of a mansion to reduce rendering complexity. These clever workarounds eventually went on to define the franchises.
Ada's current '70s inspired outfit has nothing on the elegant red number in RE 4
Thereafter, it was all downhill for both franchises, as SH: Homecoming strayed from its cerebral psychological horror roots, and replaced it with a pitifully literal approach to horror and gratuitous gore—all reminiscent of Hollywood schlock. RE 5, on the other hand, went full-retard with all-out action without caring to overhaul its debilitating controls, which were good enough to generate tension in a survival horror title, but extremely frustrating for an action game. Both franchises have been on a steady decline ever since. However, as a die hard Resident Evil fan, I had genuinely hoped for this game to succeed.
Michael Bay was here
A Complicated Affair
It's quite difficult and rather futile to summarise the plot, considering how it continues the canon from the RE 4 and 5, while also introducing new cast members and a grown up Sherry Birkin from RE 2. The characters and their story arcs are convoluted and, to be honest, mimic the current state of the Bollywood industry. I mean, you have such abundance of sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, uncles and complicated relationships that it pretty much explains why the franchise avoids love angles altogether. Think about it, there's a serious risk of ending up with something decidedly incestuous here, if Capcom doesn't exercise caution while pairing them up.
The reworked combat system is surprisingly effective
Major Gameplay Overhaul
The plot may be convoluted, but the combat doesn't have to be that way. Basic gameplay elements and controls have received a major overhaul this time around, and the change is positive. The in-game menu and inventory systems, for example, function in real time and have been streamlined to perfection. Gone is the awkward item and weapon management of the past games. It has been replaced by a system that can be quickly and effortlessly accessed with the D-pad without pausing the game. The ability to move and aim simultaneously, in addition to swap weapons and items in real time has been carried over from RE: Operation Raccoon City. Combat, however, has a lot more depth than the last game. Skill points earned through the campaigns can be spent on perks that buff up parameters such as defence, firing rate, recoil, power, critical hit, piercing ability, and more.
Unlike RE 5, the partner AI actually works this time around
Updated 19 May, 2013, 5:16 pm IST
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