Monday, 31 October 2011

Resident Evil Retrospect, and it's future on the 3DS

What makes a series like Resident Evil so popular? A story that has been told since the early Playstation 1 era, of shambling zombies, limited ammo and obscure puzzles.

Capcom has diligently added more and more chapters to the ever evolving storyline that has captured the hearts and minds of so many a gamer. But as its stories develop so do the play styles. Even the genre has changed a bit, with mixed reactions from fans. Yet the fan base has continued to grow, along with the games themselves.

But what is the allure? Is it the zombies? They've changed just as much as any part of the game. From shambling horrors to ill-intent cultists who want nothing more than to use you to appease their 'gods'.

Could it be the puzzles? I seriously doubt it. The puzzles shifted away from moving statues and placing gems, to a more "shoot everything that moves until the doors open" style. The removal of complicated puzzles definitely opens up the game to those who...let's say.... prefer guns to do their thinking. I guess with the flood of FPS on consoles Capcom needed to attract the new gaming demographic of kids who go into apoplectic shock if there isn't an explosion or gunshot fired within a range of 5 minutes.

What about the story? On one hand, anyone who's played a Capcom game knows that the scripts are either written by someone who's just watched a weekend marathon of cult classic zombie flicks or, more recently, gung ho action dramas. In other words, they won't be winning anything for most compelling story anytime soon. But this is what hooked me as a fan of the game series. The writing has always been so clichéd, so contrived, that I couldn't wait to find out what would happen anyway.

Being a fan of cult classics, zombie movies, action flicks and even kung fu cinema, I fell in love with the series immediately. Even the later bigger budget games gave off a "B-movie" vibe and that's what I believe holds people's attention. Resident Evil has been around for 3 console generations, and even made appearance on the handhelds. The only other names that have pulled that off usually fall into Nintendo's bag of tricks. So this cannot be attributed to graphics, music, voice-acting (which has some of the most hilariously camp expressions to ever come out of video gaming) or even it's sometimes-awkward control scheme.

I truly believe that our species' love for silly action movies and clichéd adventuring is what keeps this series alive.

So what can we hope to see from 3DS' upcoming Resident Evil : Revelations? Well, The Mercenaries has a little demo which gives off some decent gameplay elements and a good helping to the environment of the game. It still has those action elements of RE 4 and 5, but it looks like it's bringing back the original feel of "OHMYGOSHWHATISTHAT!!!!" empty-your-clip-then-run-for-your-life monsters!

Capcom seems to know that the 3DS has a lot of classic gamers at their disposal, and might bring something new via something old to the table. The action controls of The Mercenaries mixed in with the pants-wetting ambience of the original titles.

One of the things I noticed, though it could be just the demo, was the scarcity of ammo. I hope they keep this in, as this is a sure-fire way to keep the tensions high. Silent Hill as another example not only makes ammo limited, but also make the guns hard to use. Since our Resident Evil heroes are trained professionals we can't expect the same thing. But limited ammo, in confined spaces and hideous beasts?

Play all the fears just right......... and you'll have gamers' hearts pumping and even begging for more!

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