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Resident Unbelievable Sarky casts a critical eye on the Resident Evil series

I

like a dose of Survival Horror, me. I adored the bleak, creepy atmosphere of STALKER. I squealed equally in fear and delight over the Shalebridge Cradle from Thief: Deadly Shadows. I do not, however, like the Resident Evil series. Well, let me clarify; as games, I like them well enough. But they’re bloody awful Survival Horror, and they should stop claiming otherwise. Ok, fair’s fair, Resi 4 was pretty good survival horror, at least if you ignore Midget Napoleon and his silly accent, but the rest were terrible at it. There are several reasons why. And yes, I’ll expound on a few of them. Let’s start off with the very first game. Now they got a few things right survival-horror-wise with Resi 1; The zombies were creepy; the scarce resources added a nice sense of desperation as you tried to run from as many fights as you could so you’d have enough bullets and health to survive the fights you were stuck in; I’ll even (mostly) forgive the arbitrary camera angles, because it was in the Long Long Ago when consoles had little power, and it can be an effective tool sometimes. But now, let me remind you about the absolutely terrible voice acting,

which turned every line into comedy gold (“master of unlocking”, anyone?). Survival Horror requires getting the atmosphere right, and when it sounds like you’ve hired a bunch of hobos who can barely read, never mind infusing their readings with even a glimmer of emotion, then that atmosphere is just not going to happen.

The scripts had to have been written by a pack of chimpanzees with a glue-sniffing problem.”

On that note, and this has remained true of every Resi game since, the scripts had to have been written by a pack of chimpanzees with a glue-sniffing problem. The best voice talent in the world won’t save bad dialogue. And of course there’s the plot. Umbrella are the most incompetent megacorporation ever; how do they expect to make money by turning the world into zombies? Their security is woeful. What’s the first thing their

sarky Ciarán “Sarky” O’Brien is originally from Galway, where he spent long nights in front of a computer screen ranting about how amazing Baldur’s Gate was before he first got bitten by the tabletop gaming bug. After a brief fling with wargaming he settled down into an relationship with tabletop RPGs and video games. He writes for any convention willing to pay him in single malt, hugs and baked goods.

genetically engineered monsters do after being created? That’s right, they BREAK OUT. All it takes to penetrate their super-secret labs is a protagonist so thick that it takes a dozen encounters with zombie hordes and grotesque monsters for

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The Gazebo - Issue #3  

The Gazebo is a free, quarterly e-zine dedicated to gaming in the UK and Ireland.

The Gazebo - Issue #3  

The Gazebo is a free, quarterly e-zine dedicated to gaming in the UK and Ireland.

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