Will RE5's "Tank" Controls Keep The Game From Elite Status?
Okay, so as you all know by now, you won't be able to move and shoot at the same time in Resident Evil 5. You couldn't do it in RE4, either, but many had assumed that Capcom would institute the more action-oriented and dynamic control scheme into this next-gen sequel. Well, it isn't there, and the reaction around the 'Net is one of general annoyance.
We have the game to review - no, we won't be issuing any analysis until the embargo is up; we follow the rules - and I sat down with the demo last night. When Arnold told me the "tank" controls remained and there was no option for running 'n gunning, I initially took the news in stride. See, I really loved RE4 (as most everyone else did), and I didn't mind the control limitations and restrictions in the least. Of course, this was probably due to the fact that RE4 was for more action-oriented and fluid than any other RE installment to that point. Furthermore, when I started playing RE5, I noticed Capcom had increased the speed of the zombie attackers. At first, they tend to shuffle about like always, but when they spot you, they will often rush you, and there are many of them. It didn't take me long to realize: if they were going to do this, they should not have kept the same control scheme. We really do need to move and shoot. If you want our aim to be compromised, fine, but standing stationary is rarely a good idea in that game.
On the flip side, I suppose it encourages the player to be more patient and more strategic. You really do need to keep your distance, and even if you are in close, your character's new melee capabilities really are quite effective. The knife appears to be just as cumbersome as ever (it's like a franchise patent), but stomping and punching enemies works quite well. Your partner, Sheva, is no slouch, either, and I love the auto-trading between the two inventories (if she has an excess of ammo and you're low, she'll toss some bullets over immediately). Besides, when standing still, you can target parts of an enemy's body more accurately; hell, you can even shoot the weapon they're carrying. And of course, there are the survival/horror purists that don't want their games to play like every other third-person action title out there, and they do have a point. I can certainly understand that viewpoint, especially because the genre lines are becoming crossed and blurred at a very rapid rate these days.
So I'm not saying I won't play RE5 and I'm not saying it won't be great. What I am saying is that what could've potentially been a 9.5-scoring, 5 million seller may have just dropped to a 8.5 - 9.0-scoring, 2-3 million seller. These controls just don't seem to suit the new environment, and it does feel restricting.
Related Game(s): Resident Evil 5
2/5/2009 Ben Dutka