When word broke that Capcom was incorporating a "Gears of War"-style control scheme into "Resident Evil 5," gamers rejoiced, but this week's "RE5" demo proves implementing only part of that system isn't enough; you need to go all the way, something "Dead Space" did and "RE5" doesn't.
"Resident Evil 4" was a big step forward for the "Resident Evil" series in a lot of ways, perhaps most notably for ditching the tank controls that had plagued the series. But the world has moved on to cover systems and freedom of movement since "RE4," something Capcom may not have anticipated while planning "Resident Evil 5."
This week's "RE5" demo introduces gamers to another substantial revamp of the series' controls, albeit an optional one. You can still play with the "RE4" controls, which just might be the way to play, if the clunky "Resident Evil" take on "Gears of War"-style controls aren't addressed before the game's March 13 release date.
"Dead Space" got it right. It took the fast action we're accustomed to and married it with action horror. The "Resident Evil" series is no longer meant to be scary, but it is designed to be tense -- same as "Dead Space." You never thought about the controls in "Dead Space," but in "RE5," they're at the forefront. Movement in "Dead Space," feels smooth and natural. You can focus on what's really important: killing things.
Capcom only went halfway with "RE5"'s new controls. You can run and "look" simultaneously, but not run and shoot ("Dead Space" did not make this mistake." In "RE5," you still need to stop, line up a shot, holster the gun and run away. Even though the enemies in the "RE5" demo are slow moving, they come in great numbers and often sneak up behind you. The inability to run 'n gun combined with a too-close camera that obscures enemies not right in front of you makes "RE5" unnecessarily frustrating at times.
The lack of run 'n gun is the big problem. Even though camera in "Dead Space" is just as tightly packed behind the main character, "Dead Space"'s slick feel leaves players blaming themselves for dying, not the game.
Perhaps it would have made more sense to have only kept the "RE4" controls; from enemy design to level layout, "RE5" designed for them. This half-hearted attempt may only confuse gamers who start moving around and expecting "Gears of War" or "Dead Space" fidelity and instead die over and over again.
Are you guys having trouble with the "RE5" controls, too?
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