Today, I received my thick Gamefly envelope in the mailbox, and instead of seeing a bright shiny copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum shimmering out at me like a batarang shimmers in that crisp Gotham moonlight, within the dusty confines of this particular Gamefly package I only found a dirty, scratchy, remnant of the woes of gaming past. It was labeled Resident Evil 5.
Now don’t get me wrong, Resident Evil 5 was on my queue, but it was a few spaces down, you know, with other games that I wanted to play shoved way out in front of it. I had stacked a barricade of quality games between me and Chris Redfield’s ‘roid muscles, I promise you this. Batman: Arkham Asylum, for instance, it was there in the number one spot. And Prototype, it was stabbing folks with its little anti-hero-claw-hand-things there at number two. Even Wolverine: Origins was ahead of Resident Evil 5, both of which I only have a morbid curiosity about, but the former of which has Wolverine, so it naturally gets priority. But for some reason, today, Gamefly said no, let’s not send him something he wants to play, let’s send him Resident Evil 5.
Remember what you heard about Resident Evil 5 back when it came out? That it was racist? That to counter the racism, they gave you a black partner who’s more Halle Berry than, you know, black? Did you hear that this Halle Berry can’t do anything on her own? You probably read that you have to babysit her constantly, because she always ends up getting shot, or stabbed, or burned in a furnace, instead of just, god forbid, actually assisting you? Do you remember hearing that the controls were broken? That you still move like a tank? That you can’t walk and shoot at the same time? Did you see screenshots showing that it’s nothing but Resident Evil 4 with slightly prettier graphics and none of the charm?
Well, I remember. I remember hearing all of those things. And guess what? Now I can’t forget. Tonight, when I popped in that disc from Gamefly, I immediately discovered that all of those things people said, they were all true. Games have moved forward, but Resident Evil has not. It sits in the same backwards, un-evolved world that its creators imagine Africa to be. And there are simply too many good games in the world to waste your time on something that fails in so many ways.
If you must scratch that T-Virus itch (you should really get that looked at), just play Resident Evil 4 again, at least that is tinged with nostalgia. And Spaniards.
I will be putting RE5 back in that big blue mailbox at the end of my block first thing tomorrow morning. And Gamefly? Are you listening? Please, if you have any good left in you, please send me Batman: Arkham Asylum. Or, you know, something else on the top half of my queue.