'Resident Evil 5' Xbox 360 Demo Impressions

Last night an Xbox 360 exclusive "Resident Evil 5" demo was made available for paying Gold Xbox Live members. MTV.com intern Sal Basile played it with a friend and shares his impressions.

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The following post was written by MTV.com intern Sal Basile:

The "Resident Evil 5" demo allows players who are pulling their hair out over the two-month wait until the game's release to experience the upcoming title. And, it allows friends to play the new co-op aspect of the game online.

The demo comes with options to play online with a buddy, offline alone, or offline split-screen. The exclusive also comes with two short levels showcasing unique enemies in each. "Public Assembly" shows off the dangerous axe-wielding maniac seen in most trailers of the game, and "Shanty Town" shows off the new chainsaw-swinging enemy -- not to mention wave after wave of monsters wielding bottles, wrenches, and other weapons.

Playing the snippets of the demo's campaign by myself was a bland experience. The game mimics "Resident Evil 4" but does so in an area that is sunny and just not as scary. It was only when my 360 notified me that my friend had signed on that the fun began. Playing co-operatively is a new experience for the franchise. Back to back with a partner shouting "to your left!" or "they're flanking us!" was never the chatter I expected from a "Resident Evil" game.

The demo shows off the new "on-the-fly" inventory system and co-op action sequences. This new system allowed for quick weapon and item changes in the heat of battle, mapping weapons and herbs to different d-pad directions. The system becomes clunky when trying to use the game's unique "Request and Give" system. Opening up your inventory menu allows you to request items from your partner who can then give them to you. This is hard to do, however, because the swap is done in real-time, often while enemies are nearby. This left me open to attack while I nervously tried to select items to give away or request.

The co-op action sequences could use some work too. It seems that action sequences can only be used once which caused for some poor choices in my play-through of "Shanty Town". Assisting my partner in a jump across two buildings allowed her to unlock a door for me, summoning a crowd of enemies. "Let's go back up and I'll help you jump again," was the only option that came to mind. We ran back up the three story building with fast-moving enemies close behind, accompanied by our new friend waving a chainsaw around. When we got to the gap, unfortunately, we could not do the action sequence again.

Overall, the demo has added to the hype circulating around this anticipated game. Judging by the demo Capcom, might want to rethink some of its choices in the "Request and Give" system and Action Sequences. The single player game also needs something to make players want to play alone. The co-op option just adds so much more fun to the game that the single player campaign could leave players wanting more.

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