Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Resident Evil 5

What an interesting game.

I picked it up a bit later than it was released on a steam sale over Christmas. I'd played a bit of Resident Evil 4 on the Wii, but never finished it. Since I've started playing Mass Effect 2 and it's pushed all the other games on my list down a rung, I thought I should publish this post.

Resident Evil fits in such a strange genre of games . . . this "Horror/Action" where the only horror is the fact that you can't move properly while rather slow moving enemies crawl towards you at a snail's pace absorbing large amounts of ammunition. I guess I'd seen the play style before in Dead Space, but that was some time ago so I'd forgotten what it was like.

I keep wanting to be able to turn properly, aim and move at the same time and all those normalities you expect if you've played a lot of action or first person games. Having said that, the game is mighty compelling. There's something satisfying about it and the flow of the game, along with the variety of scenes and small challenges makes it quite an interesting game and worth playing . . . even if it doesn't get to the top of my list of current games.

I was struck again, however, by the Nvidia vs ATI (graphics card manufacturers) war that has been leaking into games recently. Batman: Arkham Asylum had it also . . . where it was developed alongside Nvidia and they helped them out a lot in making sure that the game looked absolutely stunning in their 3D system . . . but for some reason, ATI cards were unable to turn on Anti Aliasing (AA). AA is a reasonably simple graphics feature in pretty much all modern games that helps to soften the jagginess of pixels you can get when you try to draw a diagonal line using only a square grid of dots.

RE5 has an issue where if you are using an ATI card and have AA enabled, the ingame cutscenes (pre-rendered short video bits) don't display . . . you only get a black screen. It's another game that Nvidia specifically helped develop and that offers proper support for Nvidia's 3D Vision system. I don't really know whether this is Nvidia trying to drive the competition out by making sure things only work on their hardware or ATI being slack in implementing AA properly on their cards . . . but it's mighty annoying.

I'm not sure if it's too much to ask, but I'd like for software written for the PC to work on both kinds of PC graphics hardware . . .

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