Review by HawkeyeMash

"A Resident Evil Game, Without Zombies?!"

Before I start on my review, I want to post my previous Resident Evil games that I have played. Resident Evil Director's Cut (you just have to love the cheesy voice acting), Resident Evil 2 (so much replay value it isn't funny), Resident Evil Nemesis (great title, and the best Mercenaries mode period), Resident Evil Survivor (FPS isn't a good idea for Resident Evil), Resident Evil Code Veronica X (not bad for the first PS2 RE title), Resident Evil Dead Aim (another bad FPS with zombies), Resident Evil Outbreak (very boring, even though they changed a lot of stuff), and finally Resident Evil 4 (I'll be talking about it down below).

Mind you, all of the above were played on the Playstation or the Playstation 2. I don't have a GameCube or a Dreamcast so I can't comment on other games exclusive to these systems or how they played/looked. The very reason for my purchase of a Playstation so many years ago was for Horror games. Resident Evil games used to be scary and full of monsters that made you want to run…Until the latest title was released.

Presentation

How you can have a game based off of zombies and not have them zombies is beyond me. In fact, during this review I will still call them zombies even though they are technically not zombies. They are infested humans…Sure bub, whatever floats your boat.

Since most Resident Evil games are scary and make you want to scream for help, this title was too much of an action game instead of a survival horror one. There are parts in the game that you could get scared from, and a few of them are cheap scares too, but they didn't do anything for me. Most boss battles are easy and the monsters don't scare you at all. One word. Nemesis. Just typing his name makes me think back to playing the older title and either trying my best to put him down or running for my life.

Even though the game isn't about zombies, we see some familiar faces from older titles that had them fighting along or against the zombie threat. Leon, Ada, and Wesker to name a few. We also see some new characters, some good and some annoying. But of course, the good ones usually die and the annoying ones return in the next title.

As an action game, this title was a blast to play. As a survival horror game, this title wasn't even close in comparison to the greatness of a Silent Hill title or even an older Resident Evil game. I just hope that the next Resident Evil game is about zombies and makes us fear the dark like it did in the past. 8/10

Graphics

I've heard plenty of arguments about how the GameCube version looks so much better. I don't care either way, since I don't buy games based off of graphics. I prefer game play to graphics personally. But when you see that the GameCube version was off of two disks, and the Playstation 2 version was off of one disk and with extras…You have to know that some details are going to be missing.

The characters on the screen looked very nice, and the kills were very graphic and detailed. Definitely an M rated game, with all the pretty blood that was used. I would only notice some slowdown when a lot of zombies/creatures were on screen. Other than that, I never experienced a single glitch/bug playing through the game. Which is amazing since most Playstation 2 games have a few bugs in them. 9/10

Sound

The weapons sound awesome, but some of the background music (for setting the mood) didn't seem to be loud enough or wasn't doing its job properly (and I had the game going through my stereo). The voice acting was good, but not great. Some lines were even cheesier than anything said in the first Resident Evil! The zombies seemed to repeat their phrases way too often (the priest looking guys for example) but the zombies in the village were great.

I never go crazy with sound issues unless they are top notch…Or they are horrible. The sound for this game was average, so I was happy. 7/10

Gameplay

Now this is when the game steers away from the normal Resident Evil titles in the past. First of all, the timed button presses for escapes or for boss battles can be very annoying. Sure, the first time you have to run from a boulder or dodge a boss's attack it's cool…But that's it. I must have died a good ninety plus times just from missing the button press within the split second you have to do it in.

Not to mention that on the Playstation 2 version, your buttons to press for a dodge were either L1 + R1 or Square and X. Having to keep your hands in this position and then move your character around was a pain for me. It wouldn't have been too bad if both dodges used all four of the shoulder buttons. This way it would be easier to press and still move Leon around or shoot something.

And speaking of shooting…The fact that you had to stay still while shooting was ridiculous! This is supposed to be an action game. So the action is so intense that you need to shoot and run at the same time! Especially when you have a room with several zombies/creatures in it. Plus Leon moves so slowly from side to side. The zombies move faster than Leon and they are infested! Almost wanted to say that they are dead…But they are not.

I also didn't like the small case for your items. Sure you can upgrade to a larger sized case, but you still couldn't have everything at once at your disposal. If you wanted a different weapon to use, you had to first sell off a weapon or get rid of ammo/health to make room. Then you had to purchase the weapon and then upgrade it to the max so it would be the most efficient for killing. I liked the older style where you had only so many blocks to hold items with, and then a huge chest to hold all the other items in.

Ashley. Annoying, and not as pretty as everyone makes her out to be. She has breast implants…But no work to fix those ears?! Amazing. Anyways, she is worthless unless she's hiding or is captured. The first time she was captured I was happy. I waved goodbye to my television and hoped to never see Ashley again. But I ended up saving her and she was back at my side…But it wasn't for too long thank goodness.

The merchant can sell you weapons but no ammo?! What the Hell!! This was really lame in my opinion. Sure, it makes the game harder with having to find/kill for ammo but when you are trying to enjoy killing zombies/creatures it takes away the fun when you have to run around them since you don't have enough ammo to use on killing them off. Having a merchant around with all these weapons and no ammo is like having a showroom filled with cars but without any tires on them.

I love to do headshots, at least I used to. In this game, doing a headshot will more than likely create an alien creature coming out from inside the zombie. This means wasting more ammo to kill it, and the alien creature does more damage than the regular zombie would do. It's so funny to shoot at a zombie several times in the foot and then POP! A creature comes out from the neck. Either way, you will see this happen a lot in the game, but shooting at the head seems to make it happen more often than not.

The game is fun don't get me wrong. It just isn't Resident Evil to me. I've played plenty of Resident Evil games in the past, and this game should have had a different title slapped on it. Maybe a Science Fiction game about infected people who are trying to take over the Earth? If the game doesn't have official Zombies in it, then why call it Resident Evil then? Maybe to use the name as a selling point? Probably. 8/10

Lasting Appeal

There is plenty of replay value here. You have Assignment Ada (wasn't very fun to play since Ada dies very quickly. Not to mention the mission was short), Separate Ways (once again you use Ada, who should try to teach herself how to take damage instead of wearing a dress that shows off skin…The zombies are not distracted by it!), and Mercenaries (the whole time limit deal ruins this game. How come they didn't use the smooth system that was on the Nemesis title?)

By playing through the mini-games you unlock different weapons and characters in either the main game (skins only) or in the Mercenaries game. Some objectives for getting weapons are next to impossible. Beating Pro mode once to unlock the P.R.L. (Zombies take more damage, and dish out more damage. You seem almost as weak as Ada was in her mini-games…But Leon can manage better on his own), or getting five stars for all four characters on Mercenaries for the Hand Cannon (the PS2 version doesn't have nearly as many zombies to kill as the GameCube version had, so getting a high score of sixty thousand for the five stars takes a long time to do.).

My favorite has to be to use Leon in his Gangster outfit and using the Chicago Typewriter to mow down anything in my path. It feels good to play the game again with this new outfit and weapon to get some revenge on zombies/creatures that gave you problems in the earlier play through. This title has more than enough to keep you busy, and it's good to see games that have this feature to keep the gamer interested in the title for more than a day or two. 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/03/06


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