Last Thursday Erik and I picked up the new Resident Evil game for the Xbox. For the record, I suck at every Resident Evil game I’ve ever played. This is mostly a reflection of my need to spend copious amounts of ammo to kill something that would require a single, well placed bullet. RE, and other games like it such as Silent Hill, tend to skimp on the ammo supply, often times leaving the player to fend for themselves with a pocket knife against a horde of nasty creatures. That being said, my gamer ego still took a hit when we knocked the difficulty down from normal to amateur after our first attempt at the opening fight.
This game is not easy. At least not the opening fight. It gives the player no direction at all, and you fight one of the hardest monsters in the first five minutes of the game in a five by five foot building. It took us three tries, two on easy, to finally get through. Apparently, we were supposed to run and not bunker down in the only relatively safe looking place in the scene. I’m still amazed that the opening scene remains one of the hardest parts, even after we’ve almost completed the game.
Once we crossed the Capcom hurdle of “we want to make you feel like you suck so bad you DON’T keep playing our game” things got a little better. By a little better, I mean we had fun because this game is co-op.
Zero Punctuation takes a good look at a lot of the game's problems, actually.
Inventory is tedious, at best. The action event scenes (press this button now) are downright awful. They suffer from unclear directions as much as demands of impossible timing. All our redo’s after the opening stage were because we didn’t mash A quick enough, or didn’t understand that we both had to time our bottom smashing at the exact same nano-milla-second. And each time you fail, you loose whatever ammo you spent when you reload the save file. So screw you dude who decided this was a good idea.
The co-op aspect is a lot of fun, I must say. Since you can only carry a few weapons, we divided them up so we weren’t competing for ammo drops. I took the handgun, shotgun, weak sauce grenade launcher (which I later dumped) and the paralyzing rod. Erik kept the machine gun, rifle, and a rocket launcher (which you can only use once. Lame.) Combat is fun, and the atmosphere is pretty good. Gross monsters, scary jump out moments, and an epic fight where I got to use a flame thrower. Gets pretty intense when you have a horde trying to eat your face. And even more intense when said horde is sporting some machine guns of their own.
Overall advice: only buy this game if you have someone to play it with. Otherwise, I can’t imagine it’s worth the $60. Even then, Left 4 Dead is a lot more fun than this.
Speaking of that game, I hope they get some new mods out soon for Xbox. As Erik asked: "What are they waiting for? I'm ready for them to take my money!"