Batman: Arkham Asylum did it properly – and by ‘it’, we mean transition from console to PC. Batman was delayed by just a week or two and, when it did arrive on PC it had massively improved graphics and PhysX options, not to mention stereoscopic 3D support. If, you had an Nvidia graphics card though.
Resident Evil 5 however has got it wrong. It was released on consoles in March, only slipping out for a PC release a handful of months later. We’ve known studios to put entirely new games together in that amount of time.
The most galling thing for PC users though is that Resident Evil 5 isn’t an entirely new game. In fact, it’s really not that different at all and comes with many of the same flaws and problems.
The graphics have been retooled for Nvidia’s 3DVision system admittedly but, no matter how good it looks, the reality is that 3DVision isn’t something most people will be able to do. It isn’t PhysX, where you can just bung in an old GPU and use it as a dedicated physics card. You need the special 3DVision kit and a 120Hz monitor, which aren't the type of things you can pick up cheap on eBay.
Capcom will claim that the actual content has been improved too, but the reality is that it’s a token gesture at best and there’s no extra modes, chapters or content of real note for fans to get their teeth into. There’s a couple of extra costumes and an improved Mercenaries mode which you can fiddle with after you’ve finished the main game, but it’s nothing…substantial.
Without getting too down in the dumps about it though, the good news is that it’s still the same old Resident Evil 5 underneath – and that’s by no means a bad thing.
Stop - it's keyboard hammering time! Yay.
As the game starts off Chris Redfield has been called in to a desert town in Africa to help the anti-bio-terrorism group, the BSAA. That’s the overt goal and the one which sees him partner up with Sheva Alomar, anyway. As the game goes on it quickly becomes apparent that he’s got a secondary agenda involving his old partner, Jill.
Naturally, both plans go mostly out of the window when a full blown infestation breaks out around Chris and Sheva, with the duo suddenly caught behind the lines of an enemy they don’t really understand. They have little choice but to try and fight their way to the source of the problem and put a stop to it – which is what forms the bulk of the gameplay, naturally.
Unfortunately though, just as said when we reviewed the console version, the actual gameplay itself feels pretty stiff and outdated – all turret sequences and key searching. The controls too are especially stiff and cumbersome in places, while in others they feel almost too slick and smooth for the gameplay: the happy middle ground is entirely void.
The combat for example is now pretty easy as, with a mouse, nailing those tricky headshots and taking out multiple enemies can still be done with effortless ease. At the same time though you’ve got to contend with the awful equipment system, which doesn’t pause the game when you attempt to use it, breeding an annoying and artificial sense of tension as well as pure frustration.
From an interface point of view there really is nothing to recommend the PC version of the game over the console versions.