Resident Evil 6

Resident_evil_6_premium_edition_c8szoBeing a long-term fan of the Resident Evil series but having been disappointed by its fifth instalment I was quite anxious leading up to the release of number six. After playing the demo though and reading the reviews any buzz I may have originally had for the game was swiftly smothered. In the end I waited for a while and after not hearing anything much good about it I decided to rent it rather part with a larger chunk of cash. I’m so glad I made that decision.

In case you don’t know about the game it takes a rather a more holistic approach than any of its predecessors, offering you with four different campaigns all from the point-of-view of different characters the majority of which have been the leads in previous games. All four stories coincide with each other to paint a bigger picture of the games dense storyline. The first three story-lines all offer co-op play throughout, whereas the last one that only becomes available after finishing the other three is only single player. The campaigns have all been given a different feel in an attempt to keep all types of gamers happy.

The first story is led by Leon (previously the main character from Resi 2 and 4, 4 being my personal favourite of the whole series) and his partner Helena, this campaign is probably the most like the original Resi games at various points taking you into sewers and graveyards. It is the only story where you actually fight zombies, the J’Avo which you fight in all the other campaigns can barely be described as such. Leon’s campaign is easily the best on the game it being the only one that actually feels like a Resident Evil game, albeit a fairly poor one. By the end of chapter two I was beginning to get into it quite a lot and thought that perhaps it won’t be as bad as everyone says it is but then once you get on to the campaigns later chapters and are bombarded with constant button-mashing and cut-scenes and are barely given a chance to do anything it fast loses its charm. Chapters four and five are a relentless pounding of action none of which is enjoyable and you are ultimately glad for it to finish when it does.

Moving onto Chris (the protagonist from the very first Resi as well as Code: Veronica, The Umbrella Chronicles and Resi 5) and Piers’ campaign and things take a turn even further into shitness. This campaign had my wanting to my hear out pretty much from start to finish. Where Resi 5 failed by trying to make the game attract the Call of Duty market they make the same mistake with this campaign. It’s far too much like a war game and the J’Avo who are the main types of enemy are simply just soldiers with masks. There of particularly infuriating moments which have stuck in my mind, one in which you have to shoot down a helicopter from a boat, I was playing on Veteran difficulty and it seemed whatever I did I would just got shot down immediately to face the ‘You Are Dead’ screen. And the other being a despicably awful QTE in which you have to escape from a strange corridor that is under attack from a disgusting sea monster by sprinting to a door shooting the things hand, sprinting to the next door shooting the things hand then alterantly pressing L1 and R1 but a really awkward pace otherwise the game won’t register it. It’s QTE scene’s such as that which really are the games biggest downfall, not a single boss fight is left to you to do and is instead decided by these fast-tapping moments which are stupidly easy half the time and ridiculously hard the other half with no consistency at all.

The next story is led by Jake (in his first ever appearance) and Sherry (who previously appeared in Resi 2). I found this story to really be just a filler. In one of its chapters it tries to be a stealth game stealing ideas from Hitman or Splinter Cell as you have to sneak you’re way through a cave and avoid being caught by a giant ogre. The story really is just a strange hybrid mash of a load of different video game cliches. There’s the stealth section in which you even have to hide a dumpster and peer out waiting for enemies to pass a shameless rip-off of Hitman. There’s a part where you have to guide a snow mobile away from an avalanche with an incredibly clunky control system that reminded me of one of the more terrible missions in 007 Nightfire. Then there’s another mission where you wake up in a hospital and have to escape with no weapons, but for some reason the hospital is such a bright white that it makes all objects apart from your player invisible for no reason whatsoever.

The final story is Ada Wong’s (previously from Resi 4 and selection of spin-off titles) and her plot coincides with all the other four meaning there are only a couple of parts of her campaign which you haven’t played before. Those bits are actually some of the best in the game, she has a couple of puzzles to solve which were previously one of my favourite things about the series and a boss where you actually get to fight whole thing without control being ripped from you in order for you to mash a couple of buttons really fast. It’s a shame then that hers is the shortest of all the stories and the majority of her missions are just stuck together out of bits that you’ve already got really pissed off with in the other campaigns.

Overall, by then end I really did hate this game. It seems that they’re are trying to cater for too many different markets and in the process have lost what it was that made the series original in the first place. It’s not survival horror game any more and is barely even a horror. It’s basically just a poor action adventure that seems more intent on telling you an over-exuberant storyline than letting you play a game. It’s a massive shame that a series that used be one of my favourites of all time has produced two big misfires for this console generation. Let’s hope that this dip in form will come to an end with PS4 and new XBox but I’m not holding my breath.

 

Dead Space 2

Dead-Space-2-ScreenshotsIt’s been a long time since I did a game review on here but expect a handful to arrive in the next few weeks as there has been a lot of gaming going on. It’s taken me a long time to get on the Dead Space bandwagon but before Christmas I was gagging for a new game to play and when I entered my Game store I decided that it was time to see what all this fuss was about. I was slightly annoyed they were sold out of copies of the first one but the assistant told me just to go ahead with the second. I did not regret it. This game is awesome, it has gore turned up to the max, it’s got challenging gameplay, it’s scary as hell at points and, most importantly, it’s in space.

Dead Space 2 is a third-person shooter set on a fucked-up spaceship, you play as Isaac Clarke although having not played the first one I’m not fully educated on his back story. One of the coolest things about the game is that you no HUD’s everything can be seen on your suit. Your health is depicted by a long blue bar down the characters’ spine, your stasis is a little semi-circle next to this and your ammo appears as a little hologram every time you aim your gun. Despite the fact I didn’t know what had happened before I still very much enjoyed the storyline and was incredibly gripped into the gameplay because of how well done the plot was.

I enjoyed the earlier chapters the most because I felt they flowed between being scary and action-packed much better than the later ones were its more about just out-and-out killing and I imagine the first is much more scary and tense. This is one of the best games I’ve played in a while but it has left me in a predicament since the new one comes out in only a week or two’s time and I really don’t know if I can afford to buy it…….. if anyone would like to send me donations they’d be greatly appreciated

 

Heavy Rain

So today I finished my first play through of Heavy Rain and, I know it’s an old game but, I felt compelled to review it. Also my game review section has been sitting dormant again for quite a while. Released back in 2010 the game offered players a new type of gaming experience, interactive drama. Rather than following the usual formula for video games these days developers Qunatic Dream have created a fully customisable and interactive movie. Playing as the four main characters all involved in different ways with the Origami killer who kidnaps children and locks them in drain pipes. As more rain falls the water rises and eventually the child is drowned, hence the title. Instead of being a fully controllable game, like most, players instead have to select what the character says, the next item the character looks at or tap a button to determine whether their character punches or gets punched. There are allegedly 22 different plot line possibilities based on the decisions you make.

The control method of the game is the first thing that took my by surprise, excluding the fact that the whole game is one big animated film. Most actions a controlled by a specific movement on the right thumb stick. Things are slow to start off with, you wake up as Ethan Mars and have to take him for a piss, shower him and dress him before preparing for his wife and kids come home. There are moments at the beginning of the game that I found got a bit tedious. The first level or so of controlling the character through a few mundane activities is helpful to get used to the control system but after a while these activities become tedious. When the action does start happening though and the plot starts unfolding that’s where the game really takes off. As each character gets closer to figuring out who the killer is and where he’s keeping his hostage, Mars’ son, the amount of dramatic moments increases. Heated interrogations and violent fights break out in nearly every section and every button you press could have a significant effect on how the story turns out. This is where Quantic Dream have managed to really showcase how good interactive drama can be. Rather than having to settle for one ending like you do in a film, you can play the game over and over and every time see something different happen, making this game have probably the greatest replay value of all time.

In the end the question is whether the game is successful in creating a fully submersive motion picture. The answer I think is, yes, it shows us exactly how much potential this genre can have. Heavy Rain is just the beginning of what could a whole new era of storytelling combining with gaming. The writing of the plot lines is fantastic ensuring you are gripped at all times the only thing that could do with tweaking is the control system which at times feels awkward. But Quantic Dream have shown just what possibilities gaming can bring us, eventually could this be how all films are consumed?