True story. The U.S. Supreme Court once referred to Resident Evil as The Resident of Evil Creek when attempting to scapegoat video games for the rise in teen violence.
This was back when Survival horror was still kind of… horrorful. These days it’s all about the circumference of your meaty neck, the array of firepower and those little bluetooth thingies in your ear that let you speak with your squad mates when deciding how many native scalps to claim.
If anything, video games these days all seem to be preparing us to be squad based commandos. I think the Senate Subcommittee would be glad to have us. They certainly wouldn’t be offended, shocked or frightened by any part of the strictly middle of the road Resident Evil 5. I bet they’d be too sleepy to raise an objection.
RE:5, the end of the 13 year UMBRELLA story arc begun in RE:1, does not suck. It’s just dreadfully uninspired. Things start off great as you’re dropped into a fresh African setting and find yourself passing through a dusty border town at poverty’s edge, the locals cease their beating of a sack just long enough to eye you with animosity. It’s brilliant. And then it’s suddenly Resident Evil 4, with little build up and even less surprise. Soon you find yourself fending off villages of the possessed, but there’s no pacing and thus, no suspense. Story reveals are one thing but Resident Evil used to be good about throwing you a monkey wrench or a cart-full of zombies out of the blue. No more. It’s all safe, and measured and easily managed.
That includes the puzzles of which there are five in the entire game. Five. That’s where the 5 in the title comes from, didn’t you know? You will not be at a loss for where to go or what to do, there is no inventory juggling to speak of, and there are no enemies to get in your way during any of the mild mindbenders. When you hear them call this an action survival game, that’s because there’s no suspense. A scene I liked late in the game that uses an old RE:2 enemy to fresh effect, works because for a short amount of time you’re convinced that you might be in over your head. Sadly, it’s not long before you have put to rest so many of this enemy (Lickers) that their reappearance later in the game is met with the world’s most longing sigh for times of yore.
What does it matter if you get to finally end the Biohazard? Isn’t getting there supposed to be more fun?
P.S. Jill looks and sounds an awful lot like Anna Faris to me. Do you see it?