oxm opin­ion

Squeez­ing even more fun out of your games

XBox: The Official Magazine - - CONTENT -

Telling some­one you got scared play­ing Res­i­dent Evil 6 is far like­lier to earn laughs and ridicule than hugs of sup­port. This series has had a fear prob­lem for a while now, with re­cent in­stal­ments be­ing about as ter­ri­fy­ing as an episode of My Lit­tle Pony: Friend­ship is Magic. Some blame this on Res­i­dent Evil 4. It’s one of the great­est games ever made, but many be­lieve its ac­tion-shooter ap­proach blasted the ‘sur­vival’ out of sur­vival hor­ror. But what if 4 wasn’t a shooter? With this in mind, I dis­carded all my guns and de­cided to see how far I could get just us­ing my knife - the game’s most use­less weapon.

The game opens in a mys­te­ri­ous vil­lage, where the pro­tag­o­nist, Leon S. Kennedy, is faced with a new kind of hu­man enemy. Zom­bies are gone, re­placed with the sin­is­ter Gana­dos (they’re a lot more fright­en­ing than their stupid name). Con­sumed by the Los Pla­gas par­a­site, Gana­dos are ruth­less killers who’ve lost all their hu­man­ity, but are smarter, faster and dead­lier than zom­bies, with a high-pain thresh­old that can with­stand mul­ti­ple gun­shots. Not good news for me, con­sid­er­ing I only have a shiny tri­an­gle on a stick.

But I have a win­ning tac­tic. RE4 in­tro­duces ac­tion moves that can be trig­gered if you make a Ganado re­coil. Shoot them in the face and they clutch their hand­some mugs in agony, or go for the kneecaps and they fall to the ground. This leaves them ly­ing de­fence­less for a few vi­tal sec­onds. But stab­bing Gana­dos in­volves get­ting way too close. Un­less I want to be stran­gled or stabbed my­self, this isn’t a good idea. It’s hard to pull this off against one Ganado. Against mul­ti­ple ene­mies clos­ing in, it’s plain sui­cide.

If this isn’t bad enough, some jerk has tied ex­plo­sive trip­wire be­tween sev­eral trees. This is usu­ally an easy trap to by­pass, as you can shoot the ex­plo­sives from a safe dis­tance away. With­out guns this is ob­vi­ously not an op­tion, but I know a much cru­eller way to by­pass it. I lure Gana­dos to­wards me with my de­li­cious brains/feet/ thighs (what­ever these non-zom­bies en­joy eat­ing) and then watch gig­gling as they run into the trip­wire, blow­ing up a deadly ob­sta­cle and scor­ing me a gun-free kill in the process.

But there’s no trip­wire to ex­ploit in the main vil­lage, mak­ing this my tens­est visit ever. It was al­ways a some­what one-sided bat­tle,

“When up against a sack-headed, chain­saw-wield­ing ma­ni­a­cal doc­tor, my knife might as well be a spoon”

con­sid­er­ing the vil­lagers were fight­ing with axes and knives while I was blast­ing their heads off with a shot­gun. Now that we’re all us­ing knives, it feels like a fairer fight. Un­til I hear that revving sound, the metal shriek that an­nounces the en­trance of Dr Sal­vador, a sack-headed, chain­saw-wield­ing ma­niac who can kill you in one swing. Against him, my knife might as well be a spoon. It’s time to run for my life now.

Nowhere to run

Early Resi en­cour­aged a ‘flight over fight’ ap­proach, with their crap shoot­ing con­trols and lim­ited ammo. Play­ing RE4 this way brings back old mem­o­ries, but it also evokes a feel­ing the pre- RE4 games rarely in­spired: the dread of be­ing sur­rounded and hav­ing nowhere to run. Fans can moan all they want about RE4 tak­ing away the scares but that’s non­sense when you’re run­ning out of ammo and the vil­lagers are clos­ing in for the kill. Armed with noth­ing but your rub­bish knife, it’s even more ex­cru­ci­at­ing.

In the end, my un­do­ing isn’t through stran­glings or be­head­ings, but a tiny lake. To pro­ceed, you need to shoot down some crates that float down­stream and be­come plat­forms. Now, you’re prob­a­bly think­ing, ‘Why doesn’t this dunce just use a gun to shoot down the crates?’ Prob­lem is, I dis­carded my gun at the start. So I’m trapped. The last sound I hear are Gana­dos clos­ing in as I aban­don Leon to his fate and turn the con­sole off. If you can’t wait for Res­i­dent Evil 7 to try reboot­ing the hor­ror back into the series, con­sider a no-guns playthroug­h of RE4 for a ter­ri­fy­ing re­visit. Now, any­one up for that hug? Do we re­ally need to tell you who Tom is? He’s all over this damn mag­a­zine

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