With critical debate expanding to include more (and more esoteric) facets of game construction, it becomes increasingly important for those outside of design -- both reading and writing -- to immerse themselves in the relevant terminology and principles. To put it in a less bombastic way, you need to know what you're talking about. It's a little ironic that a game built around precision aiming has become the victim of some questionably placed shots.
To my mind, this infamous inability to move and shoot simultaneously is a miring of deliberate design, not "bad controls." Poor, inaccurate controls impose an impediment to gameplay, preventing players from performing whatever actions the game has allowed -- and in this case, shooting and moving is not permitted by gameplay. The controls also don't let you roll, fly or slap Sheva upside the head every time she gets a chainsaw massage, but I don't see Controls Guy getting blamed for those shortcomings either.
This infamous inability to move and shoot simultaneously is a miring of deliberate design, not "bad controls."
I'm not saying the blame is unwarranted so much as it is misplaced. It's odd how many come from the background of having loved Resident Evil 4
, but stride into the sequel with difficulty, or worse, with fond memories of how Capcom's reinvention ditched those clumsy tank controls -- it didn't. If anything, Resident Evil 5
brings in the big change
with its fancy right-stick camera and strife-free strafing, while maintaining RE4
's real innovation, the over-the-shoulder camera. I've seen comparisons drawn to two other prominent games, Dead Space
and Gears of War
, as a means to highlight Resident Evil
's seeming antiquity and stubbornness, but to me, those games only reinforce Capcom's intentions.
At its corpse-riddled core, Resident Evil 5
(and its immediate predecessor) is a resource management game, wrapped in a classic, zombie film archetype (see: George Romero's Dawn of the Dead). Every battle is a question of resource expenditure: enough bullets for a kill; enough time for a head shot; ample room for escape. When you succumb to the inhuman opponents -- slow, uncoordinated, but numerous -- it's usually due to a very human fault: greed. Perhaps you stood your ground for too long, hoping to murder another miscreant, or perhaps you got weighed down by pockets full of treasure and fell to a force that's ... well, easily avoidable.
It's a matter of holding onto what little power you have, and not to flagrantly exhibit it in the face of impossible odds. That would be the terrain of traditional shooters ... and it may surprise you to think that a shooter like Gears of War
isn't even remarkably distanced from this principle. Aside from featuring fairly similar controls and identical camera placement (one of the few times where tank controls actually make sense!), Gears of War
expresses the "shoot or move" limitation in its raison d'être: take cover or you'll die
. Is shooting from behind stationary (stationery, if it's another one of those drab office buildings) cover all that different from the combat in Resident Evil 5