“Son, when you grow up, you can do anything you want.’ This is a sentence that I’m sure all of us heard growing up, and while I still harbor hopes of being president some day, I have recently learned just how false this statement is: as I cannot, under any circumstances, make it more than 30 to 45 minutes into a Resident Evil game.
“Sure you can,’ you might be thinking. ‘You just need to keep trying.’ To which I say ‘’Shut up! You don’t know me!’ before curling up into a ball and weeping in the corner, muttering something like ‘just walk in a straight line, Claire! A straight line, for God’s sake!’
Perhaps I should explain. Many games have a learning curve. Sometimes, it might take you a while to figure out how to do a really useful move, or to lock down your strategy for fighting certain kinds of enemies. Maybe sometimes you spend three straight hours trying to figure out the menus, I dunno. My point is, you generally figure it out. But rarely, in fact almost never, does it seem like an impossible task to walk in a straight line. Until, that is, Eric Zipper met Resident Evil.
For the sake of honesty, I will here admit to only having played two Resident Evil games in my life: “Resident Evil 5,” and now “Resident Evil: Code Veronica X HD.” I may have also played “Resident Evil 2” or something when I was, like, sixteen. So, from the very beginning, I was lost. I have an understanding of who Chris Redfield is, and the basic story of the series, but the opening cut scene threw me right into a daring escape from Some Place, with our intrepid hero Claire being pursued by Some Guys. I was fine with this. I didn’t expect to understand the story right away, and really, what more do I need to know than ‘Zombies! Run!’
Up until this point, though, I was totally along for the ride. There are bad dudes with guns, there are zombies, and I’m playing as a hot, badass chick. Right on. The game is clearly atmospheric, creepy, and full of cool ideas.
And then I tried to walk. Judging by the wild success of the Resident Evil series, many people have successfully figured out how to move from one place to another using this system. However, I have always operated under the assumption that the direction I move the control stick in should have some corelation to the direction I move on screen. Instead, Resident Evil takes the super meta approach of: when you press forward, your character moves forward no matter which way she is facing. Which means that if the game decides to place the camera at the end of a hallway, with Claire facing towards me, I must press the control stick away from me, in order to get my character to move towards me. I find this totally counterintuitive, and impossible to wrap my head around.
Imagine, if you can, me standing in front of my television, frantically rotating my body so that its position bears some similarity to that of Claire. I didn’t actually do this, but I was tempted.
And so I died. A lot. Even the zombies probably thought I was a moron. “Braaiiiii- Wait, why is she walking like that? It’s like she has to think for five seconds before turning left, and then she still runs straight into a wall. What’s her problem? Eh, fuck it. Braiiiiiiinss.” I do have to give Claire some credit, though. She can get bitten by zombies a whole bunch of times before she dies, which is a quality I greatly admire in a woman.
“But is it good?” you may be asking, assuming that you care about the opinion of someone who only played the first 45 minutes of the game (Multiple times. Multiple, multiple times). To which my answer is: Yes. Yes it is, if you like/can play Resident Evil games.
While I didn’t make it past the pistol, the internet/my friends tell me that RE:CV is full of cool weapons, cool zombies, and presumably lots of other cool stuff. Even in my brief time with it, I could tell that the game was creepy and atmospheric, and probably very rewarding once you get the hang of it.
The HD polish was very pretty, although I sort of wish they’d taken the updates a little further, and given it a bit more of a shine. And maybe fixed some of the spelling mistakes in the menus. But, you know, whatever.
Long story short, (too late!) if you are a fan of the Resident Evil series, this is definitely worth a download. As for me, I’m gonna go give it another shot. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Maybe I’m determined to figure it out, and unlock the rich, rewarding game that lies further on.
Or maybe I just like watching Claire fight zombies. I’m not sure.
About The Author
Eric Zipper is a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. When he's not making you laugh, playing video games, or watching movies, he's probably sleeping. Follow him on Twitter @erzip