Review by Jon Talbain
"One of the greatest achievements of its time..."
I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how good this game was. Even after all the hype, I have to say I think it exceeded even that in some areas. Yes, in some areas. This review does have some spoilers. So if you didn't play the game and don't want to know, don't blame me. You have been warned.
I might as well start on one of the best parts. This obviously deserves a 10 in any shape, form or fashion. Most, if not all this game looks like a movie being watched...yet it is being played. Does that make sense? Heh. The character models seem to have an extremely high polygon count. What bothered me was that sometimes they looked completely different. Just bear with me here. At the very start of the game, while Leon was riding in the car, his model looked below those in Silent Hill. It seriously did. But later, such as when fighting Krauser for the first time with the knife, it looked like CG. It could be the lighting and whatnot, but it is something that is easily noticed. Also the art direction is so beautiful, and the locales and world are a joy to behold. This is indeed one of the best looking games right now...on any system.
The use of the action button during cutscenes is a welcome addition. It gives an even bigger graphical boost to an already cinematic game. The boss battles actually look and feel like boss battles. They are gorgeous. The first time I fell out of that boat....wow, this is where gaming needs to go. But it is as if Capcom is trying to flood you with the action scenes and act as if they thought of it. But many have played Shenmue and know where the idea came from. Here it is used extremely well, but I can't help but think it is a copy and no credit is given. They did use it in their own way however, and I can give them credit for that. It is great.
The regular enemies even look great, with fluid movement and great models. The only problem is that they are reused too much. Basically after the cut scene with the man in the house, get ready to see him time and time again. That cut down the scare factor for me, but it is understandable I guess. Maybe next time.
The new camera system and view makes for a scarier experience, but I don't know about a truly better experience. It makes it extremely easy for someone to cheaply get a hit on you from behind, no matter how many times you check. Some enemies seem to come from thin air and hit you, even though you checked your back a half a second earlier. Also the action button can get tedious and downright annoying at times. During boss battles, I could dodge much easier than just dodging a simple boulder. That is kind of backwards. Also, Leon can get shot, blown up, crushed or cut in the head and still live, but get killed instantly during a cut scene? Right. Thanks for throwing skill way out of the window and making it completely backwards. The idea of the action button in RE is fine, and it really does add to the game. I hope they keep it in, but I hope they work on it some more as well. The addition of shooting weapons out of the air is also a good thing. It makes it more realistic, and gives you a better edge at times.
The new assortment of weapons and upgrades is a welcome addition. But is this really Resident Evil anymore? This is supposed to be Survival Horror, not ShenmueRaiderDanteIndianaJones. Well you get the picture. I do admit that I used to complain about earlier REs because they had all those graphics, yet all you could do was run and shoot. This has much more interaction and asks much more of the gamer...whether it is skill or not I don't know. This is how I look at it. I managed to make it through the fight with Krauser, but then when I had to mash the B and A button, I still died. I tried again and mashed the buttons exactly the same and made it. I was so mad. Later I fought the Plant at the end of Disk 1 and didn't even get touched. What kind of stuff is that? It's almost as if Capcom just threw some of the cutscenes in, and regardless of what you do, you will just die. They must have just wanted us to die. Heh.
With the new camera and control, there should have been a strafe button. That would have helped stop the many cheap kills some. And I am tired of escort missions. Why do companies keep on putting these in when we keep saying how annoying they are? And this has even more escorting than normal. What in the world is going on? Ashley got on my nerves at some moments. She just goes down and curls up at the worst possible moment. Get up and run behind me you dumb A.I.! Now! Capcom really needs to think about including a way for players to talk to dumb A.I. and that will be the end of that. She is acceptable, but still flawed. These are all pretty minor gameplay hits on a truly great game. Don't get me wrong. All in all, this game is fun to play, and you will want to finish it. That is what gaming is for. This does the job and then some.
Well, there isn't much to say about the controls. It feels the same as previous games, but at the same time it is much more fluid. It would have a perfect score, but sometimes the controls seem unresponsive. There have been times I tried to do a 180 turn, and nothing at all happened. It happened on more than one controller....I had to make sure it wasn't the controller. Also, during some cut scenes(Such as the 2nd rock) Leon would barely move although the button was being mashed more than fast enough. Once again I did the same thing one try later and it worked. There is something fishy about that. Overall, good control.
I'm sorry but this story might be even worse than Devil May Cry's and that game didn't even try to have one. That is what makes it even worse. Where in the world did the Resident Evil world go? Leon has to save the President's daughter? What? Who? I seriously thought this was a joke at first. A sick joke, but it wasn't. What in the world was Capcom smoking? They could have easily brought Claire back, or at least someone from an earlier game. When are they all going to meet?! Also, I would have rather played Jill than Leon. They seriously should have continued her story and brought Nemesis back with THIS engine instead of making a completely new story out of nowhere.
The ending made me want to throw the GameCube out the window. I did ALL that, for THAT ending. Please. Give me ICO anyday. Now that had one of the best endings in a game so far. Capcom should take notes on stories and endings. And I am tired of seeing people compare this to MGS3. Compare the graphics and gameplay all you want, but MGS's story obliterates this completely. I was playing through the game to hopefully find out about Sadler and what all this stuff really was. But it never came. I was extremely disappointed, because that could have been the games saving grace. But you are just thrown in and expected to go with it. Come on now Capcom. We still deserve better.
Replay Value: 9/10
There are alot of reasons to continue to play the game. One thing I have to say about Capcom games is that they have a great rating system. It gives you a reason to play it over and want to beat your old score. Also there are alot of unlockables and secret characters to play. Get ready to be destroyed again on the secret modes. Yes. All in all, this is a great addition to your gaming library. If you are still skeptical, just rent it. You will probably buy it regardless of its flaws. The good does outweigh the bad just so you know.
I hope this review has helped someone. Thank you and good night.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/26/05
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