I've not visited the Resident Evil series in a while but since my last stint (way,-way back when some time ago) it's certainly changed in terms of pace and gameplay. They've done away with the relatively slow paced single player protagonist format opting for more of a Steam like approach of the quick fix arcade like carnage of Left 4 Dead squad team like antics. Even in one player mode the control of the other 3 characters is done for you allowing you to have a crack team accompnaying you during the game even in the none online multi-player mode. I guess it could add to the challenge in an unofficial kind of way in trying to keep your team alive despite the fact that you can actually revive them when they carc it. I still buzzed off it even having played and enjoyed the earlier releases all that time ago.


 
The overall flow and speed of the game just in how the visuals and feel of the the game plays throws me back to how the visuals of the Matrix movie kind of gave their game franchise spin offs a very distinctive style which inevitably found its way into various other first person shooter/slasher games. Of course the execution of it was to varying degrees of effectiveness with some managing to to do it much better then others but even then many would still get accused of copying it. With this I was thinking the first in the series of Prototype (especially with some of the players selectable character costumes that they had rockin') but without the vast open city like exploration elements of Prototype (as well as not having the interactions to jump, openly climb and descend any climbable objects (besides steps), fly helicopters, drive tanks, drive cars, traverse buildings/sky scrapper roof tops). 

 
 
As mantioned before it's also set within a multi-player squad team context which Prototype isn't. They've also done away with much of the light puzzle solving like elements of the previous Resident Evil games with the only thing that came close being having to find a keycard for a door or accessing a series of control panels to complete various tasks that required the shutting down of security or blowing stuff up which didn't really take away from the game at all for what it was. A relatively fast paced arcade style multi-player squad like first person shoot 'em up. Or that might have just been me uneccessarly franticly running everywhere and running straight on into a mass of zombies from time to time.






Switching roles...

 

Instead of playing an unsuspecting out of town cop trying to uncover what actually happened in Racoon City you now take on the roles of a group comprising of elite hired covert operatives, ex-military, assassins, spies and researchers that work for Umbrella corp on a mission to cover up Umbrella's role in causing the whole mess in Racoon City to begin with. Racoon city being only one place amongst many that the Umbrella corp have operations within the Resident Evil storyline. It's kind of like a parallel story to the others in the series but from a different side and set of objectives. 




...Zombie movies...



Even down to the small details of the focus subtly shifting kind of made me feel like I was in an episode of the Walking Dead or some modern day movie about a war zone in Iraq whilst entering various interactive scenes or picking off the leg dragging and limping wandering zombie trickle with an automatic or semi-automatic before the inevitable all out ape like sprinting rush of a Zombie hord charging at you.



Heavy online element with extensive multi-player game modes and extensive additional game content

As with many of the more recent game titles to make their way on the "Games for Windows" series there is in fact a very heavy online multiplayer element to it along with a whole bunch of other game features that can only be activated and acquired via some kind of capable broadband connection with actual key activation/registration of the game along with logging in using your Windows Live ID. There's also the fact that you can't actually make any game place saves or retain any in game reward unlocks in single player mode without actually registering and activating the game online although it will let you play the single player game mode without additional game content and game place save ability. Meaning I couldn't actually shut the game down until I finished it since it would have meant mean I'd have to start from the beginning again.


Graphics



I was running it on something that was equivilent to a none overclocked 9800GT and I couldn't quite figure out if it was just how the game handles or if it was my relatively lack lustre GPU in the machine against all the more powerful recent three digit numbered naming convention strains that Nvidia have to offer. But even after dropping the resolution down to 1280x800 from 1920x1200, turning Anti-Aliasing off, turning V-sync off and dropping all the texture/shadow detail down to medium it still seemed to have a kind of less then smooth feel to it despite still looking very slick and very rich overall as a viewing experience. Even stranger at various points the game would still be subject to hangs, slow down and heavy drops in FPS (of the near freeze frame kind). This is despite managing to be able to smoothly run games like Dead Space 2 and Skyrim at 1920x1200 set to high texture and shadow detail.Although having said that they generally do run much faster at lower resultions.



Other stuff this game brought to mind



Splinter cell, Quake 3 Arena, the Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden (you can switch to high speed slashing mode when you run out of ammo or your targets are too close to actually get rid of with your ghat.



 Hostage (on the C64!). If only strategically shooting out the various surrounding lights to create a blackout before entering a frey had the kind of effectiveness that it should before executing a strategic assult. 


 
  The bulltet richochet and bullet hit noises were varied denpending on the surface materials they hit and had a very satisfying feel eg. a brick wall would sound very different from a grave stone slab from machine gun spray. I trashed my dodgy keyboard. I nearly trashed my mouse too but it seemed more like the mouse was remotely moofed and didn't fail due to a mechanical failure or stuffed signal although normally the mouse would often disconnect itself at the most stupid of times due to a dodgy USB plug anyway.