Demo Daze: Resident Evil 5

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So last Friday, Capcom gave Japan an early Christmas present by releasing a demo for the highly anticipated Resident Evil 5, which is due out in March of next year. The only problem was that you needed a Japanese account and a gold membership for said account.

Thanks to the Internet, I easily found out how to get that Japanese gold account and before I knew it, I was downloading the demo. One thing to note is that this was before the idea of burning the demo to a CD came out. Also, this demo is in English, so it’s strange why Capcom hasn’t released this demo already.

The demo offers two chunks from the game to play and from what I remember, these were based on the areas that were featured at E3.

The first is based in a village and takes place during the scene that has the guy with the megaphone shouting, the one that has featured in most of the trailers. The second chunk is the co-op section they featured in the walkthrough at E3.

Both chunks have their fair share of enemies, and feature mini-bosses at the end of each level in the form of giant axe men (this game’s Dr.Salvador aka chainsaw man). Anyway enough about the settings, let’s talk about the gameplay.

First off, If you didn’t like Resident Evil 4, then you’re certainly not going to like Resident Evil 5, because the controls are more or less identical.

The tank controls are still there, so it’s still stop and shoot. People can complain about it all they want but I’m thankful for it. The tank controls are something that make the game more tense, especially on the first demo level, which is a homage to the house defense part in Resident Evil 4

The only addition to the controls is that a strafe has been introduced. I was worried that Capcom would chicken out and go with a control system like Gears Of War. I don’t have anything against that control system, but in my opinion it doesn’t belong in a Resident Evil game.

Both short chunks are pretty fun, although it might take a few tries to complete them. It definitely seems that the difficulty has been raised from the last game, or it could of have just been me being excited and on tenterhooks at the same time.

Of course, everyone is excited about the new co-op addition to Resident Evil 5, which is a double-edged sword. While Sheva definitely helps with killing the enemies, she also needs your backing, so if you run off without her and she’s surrounded, it’s going to be game over for you. Luckily, you can call her over to you by pressing ‘B’.

Sheva brings up the next addition to the game, the new inventory system. Well I says it’s new, but it’s more a rehash of the old system. Resident Evil 5 brings back a feature not seen since Resident Evil Zero…being able to share items.

You and Sheva can share items between yourselves and items like first aid kits are given new functions by being able to heal both of you, instead of just the person using the item. One of the biggest factors is that the inventory system is now in real time, which as far as I know is a first for the franchise. No longer can you just pause in the middle of a fight and select which item to use as you now have to do this while the fight is taking place. This new feature makes fights much more frantic and forces you to be strategic when selecting an item. Luckily, you can assign the essentials to the D-Pad for an instant item switch.

The demo does a good job of giving a taste of what the final product will be like and has made me even more excited about the game than I already was. It measures in at just 400MB and will only take about 10-20 minutes once you’ve played the levels a few times, but if you can get your hands on the demo then I most certainly reccommend that you play it.

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