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We, the gaming community, are becoming increasingly spoiled. Technological advances in recent years have resulted in products that are able to capture our imaginations, have us on the edge of our seats and throw us into a huge variety of unbelievable situations that are way beyond our wildest dreams. But this has always been the case with videogames. Regardless of what new “innovative” gameplay feature a game thinks it has to offer us, it is very important to maintain the core fundamentals in gaming that make us come back time and again.

The recent release of the Resident Evil 5 demo has caused enough chins wagging to power a small village. While there is a general consensus that the game competes with any other on a graphical level, there have been one or two (out of five) who have criticised the game for what they perceive to be “broken controls”, ” a terrible control scheme” or “dated gaming mechanics”. So, not only is the game completely racist, it’s also not very good to play.

Titles such as Gears Of War and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune have brought explosive adventure and thrilling gameplay to the proverbial dinner table over the past couple of years. While their gameplay designs are incredibly fun and effective, allowing the player to easily adjust in order to get the most out of the experience straight away, I find it hard to fathom why so many people would be calling for the same in a Resident Evil game. But they are.

One of the biggest complaints filtering through seems to be that the characters are unable to run and shoot, coupled with the fact that reloading your weapon and scrolling through items is clunky and over-bearing. People feel that the inability to do such things with relative ease is a ridiculous omission from the gameplay of a AAA title in 2009; a dated formula that Capcom need to revamp. I couldn’t disagree more.

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It would appear that with great graphics and amazingly well realised worlds has arisen this hunger for greater empowerment. Players are eager to hold the power of ten men in their hands. They want to be taking out wave upon wave of enemies, harnessing an endless amount of special moves, all with a minimal amount of stress. And they need to be able to move while shooting. Some of these people are suggesting that Resident Evil should take a leaf from Dead Space’s book.

2008′s Dead Space was a truly great survival horror game, taking the gameplay ingredients of Resident Evil 4 and throwing in some Event Horizon and Aliens. Gamers everywhere, including myself, loved it. But, apart from a shortage of ammo and some key decisions as to which gun you would take where and what you’d spend you tokens on, there wasn’t all that much “survival”. being able to move while shooting, while playing great, often felt slightly too easy.

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Strip away the graphics for a moment. Take away the rough and readiness of Chris Redfield’s chiselled cheeks, the slenderness of Sheva Alomar’s stomach and the terrifyingly huge, blood-smothered axes. Forget these exist and imagine the game on an entirely basic level. You are a blue dot, the enemies red. It is a game based on tactical manoeuvres; strategic planning based on position and the confidence in your own accuracy. It’s a game requiring nerve and skill. Just because it looks so real, doesn’t mean things need to play out exactly how you would hope in the real world. Besides, I expect headshots are extremely difficult to manage while running.

The release of Bionic Commando Rearmed last year led to cries from people demanding a jump button; supposedly now required in all side-scrolling platformers. I don’t need to inform you as to how ridiculous that claim was. At this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if gamers felt that a new Tetris game should include the ability to reverse time. Afterall, Prince Of Persia had it years ago.

Going back to Resident Evil 5, I’ll give you an analogy. You are walking to your front door, key in hand, hoping to enter. There are no distractions. Easy as 123, right? Correct. In real life this a perfectly normal situation. In the virtual world, however, and particularly in Resident Evil, I prefer to add the fact that I am desperate for the toilet into that equation. We all know how tricky a simple task like that becomes when you simply need to get through that door. It’s much more fun that way.

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  1. avatar Will

    They strive for realism yet remove the most basic of elements like moving and shooting at the same time. This was promised to be in the game and if they don’t deliver I will not purchase it.

    How many times did this happen to you in the over-hyped Resident Evil 4: You’re walking down a path, you’re confronted with baddies, you take aim to defend yourself only to find yourself looking at the ground because you forgot you were still moving forward. Unforgivable gameplay mechanics.

  2. @Will

    I never had that problem.

  3. avatar Shadow Skill

    If you really believe that not being able to move and shoot adds to real difficulty you have a problem. If you think moving and shooting can’t be done in a survival horror game without the game becoming too easy you are not very imaginative. I’m getting tired of all of these idiotic defenses for this game. It would take about five seconds for me to come up with gameplay mechanics that would work perfectly fine while the character is able to move and shoot.

    Make the enemies attracted to noise, give a penalty to accuracy when you move. Put an infection mechanic in, there is no good reason to glue your character to the floor to give the illusion of difficulty.

    • avatar citizenx

      The game is just different. It’s amazing imo. I have played through it like 10 times. It never really gets old. Just don’t try to aim at people when they are right behind your, or close in front of you unless you know you are good enough to stun them.

      RE games were about survival horror. They made ammo plentiful but kept awkwardish combat. Just like the old RE games if you got good at it you could beat the game with minimal equipment.

      But when you start out you are supposed to feel helpless and overwhelmed. It’s like that on purpose, so that when you become good and can wipe out 20 majini, 10 lickers, and wesker with a pistol and some melee attacks you feel awesome.

  4. avatar D

    I agree with this article as well, the control scheme and gameplay while slightly dated are perfectly suited to the game, besides when the developers strayed too much from the proven formula trying to give the gamers what they thought they wanted, we got an entirely new IP (DMC, anyone?). The control, and gameplay is what make RE standout in its genre. Must every game feel, and play the same way? I certainly hope not.

  5. avatar trizz

    You need to understand that this ISNT supposed to be like halo, its a survival horror, you’re a normal person with normal weapons, you have no energy shield or super speed or w/e the hell else they give you in sci-fi shooters, its just a good ol fashioned survival horror, id like to see any of you cap a zombie in the face and run backwards while reloading, it just doesnt work like that. They kept this game just like RE4 and thats what all the true fans wanted; if you dont like it go play halo or COD, i however have been waiting for this game ever since it was announced and plan to buy it the day it comes out.

  6. @Shadow Skill,

    it’s not all about “difficlty”. It’s also about not cloning everything else on the market. It’s about sticking to what has helped the game so fun, successful and tense.

    What penalties could you get fom being inaccurate when you move? Kind of sounds like these would infuriate more than anything else.

  7. avatar 911 Gaming

    Even in real life, you can hold a gun and walk forward as well as backward and shoot. Its controls are probably the least realistic. They appeal to turn-based players and games that apply waiting factors to attack.
    If Capcom were smart, they would know that RE5 needs to conform to run-and-gun adrenaline shooters. Its about appealing to the market, and getting a basis for money as well as players having fun. And as far as I’m concerned, the controls aren’t “fun.” And, controls, in fact, make up about 3/4 of the game’s fun-factor. Laggy controls; like those shown in the Killzone 2 demo, will equal lesser fun and takes you farther out of the game instead of engaging you in it like games such as COD4. However, bad controls, that just plain suck, will equal demise to the game’s sales, and overall, the game itself.
    Then again, its Capcom. And we all know that they make really, really dumb decisions. Really.

  8. @ 911

    This is not real life it’s simple a gamy that’s still fun no matter the controls.

  9. @911 Gaming,

    the word “conform” is something I neve want to see associated with any form of game.

    RE5 will sell like hotcakes, it’s a brand that has built its rep on the mechanics it still hold close to its heart.

    While I’m here… Please leave Killzone 2 out of this. That demo played fantastically. Laggy controls? Come off it, you’ve obviosuly not played the same game as me.

  10. ps. I’m in London, it’s ok to have typos at midnight on a Friday.

  11. avatar Curt

    I do not believe people are complaining because they can’t “run and gun” as some would say. We are complaining because you can’t move at all. Just the ability to put a few steps of space between you and the zombies by “slowly” walking backwards makes all the difference. The biggest problem I have with the game is the inventory menu. In all other Resident Evil games you could pause to combine items and rearrange them in your box. Now the action doesn’t stop. Hell even Ninja Guiden 2 had the ability to change weapons without pausing the game but they had the forethought and understanding that the action was fast and some time would be needed for this.

    Metal Gear has always had dated controls as well which has limited its audience and appeal. MGS4 solved this by allowing more freedom of movement. Stealth purists complain because they say it is now an action game. That is not true. You can still play it as before but they left the option open instead of saying “you must play it the way the creator envisioned it”. Capcom should have two play modes. One with “old fashioned” mechanics for crazed purists and another for everyone else.

  12. avatar Seriously

    What I am frustrated about is the fact I AM COMPLETELY VULNERABLE FROM THE WHEN I AM AIMING. It’s not like the game allows me to turn 180 in aiming mode!

  13. avatar Shadow Skill

    When people move it is pretty much impossible to keep a firearm perfectly still, hence there is a natural penalty to accuracy when you try to move and shoot at the same time. If you were to actually try to aim and move while shooting you would slow to a very slow walk to improve your accuracy as it really is not possible to move with any real speed and hit a target accurately, especially one that is moving.

    Ironically Chris Redfield would have been trained to move and shoot at the same time since he was part of STARS which is really a type of SWAT team.

    As far as MGS4 goes, the people saying it wasn’t a stealth game were noobs. Stealth in an open warzone isn’t going to be the same thing as when you are infiltrating a base in territory that is quiet. MGS was able to drastically alter it’s gameplay and camera view starting with MGS3: Subsistence and more recently with MGS4 and guess what giving the player better shooting controls and mechanics did not make the game any easier than previous iterations.

    Ninja Gaiden 2 dispensed with the attrition of the first game by using a hybrid health regeneration system, was the game any easier than Ninja Gaiden? No. Was it any less fun? No, in fact Ninja Gaiden 2 was more fun than the first one.

  14. avatar CyberCam

    For me, playing the demo was the most frustrating next-gen experience I’ve ever had (besides Lair that is). My money is better spent elsewhere!!!

  15. avatar Blah Blah

    WOW people are silly.

    When do you see cops/swat teams run and gun/move or shoot, Its all about accuracy, making shots count. Who in real life shoots and dives for cover like in Gears of War? NO ONE. Its unrealistic. RE has always had more realism than anything else (CONCERNING GAMEPLAY) Besides, its about keeping the core gameplay intact to keep the retro fans somewhat interested, since its already made a big leap compared to the past games.

    RE5 with these controls keeps tension, anxiety ,especially with the new inventory, you have to time everything, find the perfect time to share items, reload, heal..etc. It can get very tense, thats what capcom want to do. Moving and shooting makes things too easy, especially since enemies don’t have guns.

    RE5′s controls are perfect, its those Gears of War nuts who come expecting an unrealistic shooter. GTFO and don’t play RE5.

    RE5 involves stragedie..it isn’t a mindless shooter like others in the market. People need to understand that.

    I bet half the complainers haven’t played RE4. LOL

  16. avatar blahblah

    also, people complaining about the inventory are just scared…they can’t handle the anxiety and realism ;)

  17. avatar Shadow Skill

    Blah Blah: Are you serious? Do you think SWAT teams stand still to shoot when they are entering a room? These people are trained to be fairly accurate while moving.

  18. avatar shlippy

    After playing the demo I will not be buying this game. It was nothing but frustration. I don’t see how people can call the controls realistic. The game is in 3rd person perspective…not realistic…and then the camera zooms in when in aim mode so “your” head blocks the left side of the screen. Now I loose the advantage of 3rd person perspective of seeing what’s going on around me, and loose sight of what is in front of me (if the game was in 1st person perspective). I have legs and can shoot a gun….why can’t I walk and shoot at the same time? If I want to stand still and aim, that’s my choice…that’s realistic.

    For my money, a game doesn’t have to be realistic. It has to be fun. I had read the same thing about RE4′s controls and that is why I didn’t buy that game. BUT, if you love the game play, then I hope you enjoy RE5.

    PS….speaking of realism, why is there so much ammo hidden in piles of fruit? :)

  19. avatar s1lens3

    I’ve been a fan of RE since it was it Sega Saturn, but in my opinion RE5 fails in many ways. I really hope the demo doesn’t reflect the final product because after getting 1,2,3,4 I might not be getting this one.

  20. avatar blahblah

    Shadow Skill

    I well aware of what swat teams do, yes they are trained to move and shoot, but when in heavy situations, most burst in, stop and shoot…they don’t continue moving and firing.

    Really depends on the situation.

  21. avatar Name (Required)

    shlippy

    Realism as in gameplay….thats all. the rest needs to be unrealistic here and there since its a VIDEO GAME, DERRR!

    and whats with the Camera and perspective critism? don’t tell me you prefered the broken classic RE gameplay?

    What RE4/5 does with the over the shoulder camera is make things much more realistic due to being able to shoot and aim where you please. Its also realistic since you can’t see behind you, unless you turn. Chris blocking the scream, makes you see in front and aim….not knowing whats behind you keeps tension and makes thing realistic.

    use your head.

  22. Meh. It’s a control scheme fit to the game – the only problems I had with it is that I just couldn’t handle the character well on the defaulted control setup… I had to set it to ye olde RE4 controls to prevent myself from dying. Typical strafing controls mixed into a tank-style movement map do not mix well…

    Otherwise… do we really care this much about the prospect of moving and shooting at the same time…?

  23. avatar Shlippy

    Name (Required)…

    That’s actually what I was saying…It is a video game and should be fun, not necessarily realistic.

    My point about realism in the game is that in real life you view the world in 1st person…not 3rd. If you really want it to be realistic make that game 1st person. Then you can aim and shoot where you please, you cant see behind you and your head is not block the left side of the screen.

    I don’t care if the game is in 1st or 3rd person, as long as you can control things well and doesn’t take away from the fun of the game. I don’t feel RE5 does that. And so what sounds like a great game, gets lost because of controls for me.

  24. avatar Anthony

    @ Daniel Clancy

    Great write-up Daniel, you defended your piece really well. As we can see here, we both have two camps, the purists and fans of the game franchise, and the criticizers and what-have-yous who “Hate” the game being as it is, because of the controls, the inability to turn “180 while aiming” and other valid reasons.

    As I played RE4 extensively, and Loved the demo as soon as I played it, it became hard for me at first, aiming at L1 (PS3 Version) then firing at R1. the pickups and interaction are at square button while the running is at x. it was hard for a minute adjusting, but within 20 minutes I was enjoying it so much, let alone having a partner in co-op.

    My point is, Yes, it is hard to adjust to, especially if you are new to the series.

    But we, as a gamer, should learn to adapt and adjust if we are uncomfortable in certain skills needed to play it.

    do you not remember the first time you held a mouse in a pc game, aiming at it, and feeling weird about it?

    or the first time you aimed at an analog stick, cursing its inability to be as precise as a mouse?

    and yet it is second nature to you now isnt it?

    If you “hate” a game because it wasn’t up to your expectations as a gamer, if it was not like “Dead Space” or “Gears of War”, almost entirely basing the whole game because of the controls, then don’t play it.

    Yes, a control system make or break a game. BAD controls do.
    Bad controls DOES NOT mean being true to a game’s roots.

    If you don’t like the game, don’t buy it. say whatever you wanna say to its controls, whether its unrealistic, or it should have been more run and gun etc.

    In the End, I know I will enjoy the living hell of it..

    and I know im not the only one.

  25. I agree that the controls are “broken” in RE5. Specially since I just got done with Dead Space, oddly enough, and the control transition just punched me in the face.

    The solution: Custom control settings. Simple as that.

  26. avatar Leonesaurus

    You guys can bicker and complain about the controls ALL you want, but I still say you’re all physically challenge. I’ve beaten all the Resdient Evil games many times, especially RE 4 and the RE 5 demo and I’ve NEVER had a problem. Stop complaining on your computer and practice more. I’m tired of people bitching and wanting the same controls and gameplay in every game they come across. If it works good, then don’t mess with the system. Strafing is the best addition to the RE 5 controls. That’s all I need over RE 4 controls.

  27. avatar truth

    dude if you guys are looking for realism get away from resident evil period… and second the whole camera issue seriously? its not that big of a burden… controls can be adjusted to semi point but still. get over it. this game is awesome and the racism point seriously? your in africa… theres ganna be black people of course! and no one cried racism to re4 where your in germany mass slaughtering mexicans? get over it

  28. avatar Umer

    PLZ TELL ME PERFECT CONTROLS OF RESIDENT EVIL 5

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