Resident Evil And Dead Space Are ‘A Couple Of Degrees Away From Being Gears Of War’

Resident Evil And Dead Space Are ‘A Couple Of Degrees Away From Being Gears Of War’

When is a game straying destructively from it roots… and when is it simply adapting to the desires of its audience? Take the Resident Evil series. Some would say Resi 5 was when it really broke from the formula by adding co-op, while others would argue the fourth game, with its over-the-shoulder view, was the true mould-breaker. Is there space (or money) in AAA survival horror for a more “classic” experience?

Alien: Isolation creative director Alistair Hope believes so, going by a recent interview with Edge. Isolation, in development by Creative Assembly, will hark back to horror gaming’s days of “hiding in the cupboard”:

“I think this team really got a lot out of Dead Space 1 and Resident Evil … But those franchises moved in a direction that isn’t… Well, I think that fans of those originals have been marginalised and sometimes it feels like these days they’re just a couple of degrees away from being Gears Of War.”

Edge also chatted with lead designer Gary Napper, who admits indies have “embraced” the genre more faithfully, but feels it’s not something “you [often] get to do … in the triple-A space”. The article goes on to mention that CA is “digging back into the archives for inspiration”, name-dropping titles such as Limbo, Thief and Condemned.

Personally, I enjoyed both Resi 5 and Dead Space 3‘s co-op modes, but I think Resi 6 took things too far. Hopefully Isolation can serve as a reminder to the likes of Capcom and Visceral that there’s still life left in survival horror’s roots.

Alien: Isolation and Creative Assembly’s bid to save big budget survival horror [Edge]


  • Resident Evil 4 didn’t break the franchise, it still kept true to its roots. Enemies aren’t a headshot away from not being a problem, they’re smart enough to surround you and the player can’t be quick enough to aim in two different directions. The amount of ammo may be higher, but you do burn through it at a rate that makes you aware you can run out if you spend all your time trying to fire and forget. Enemies can stagger you, not simply cause a health bar to go down, when the player is aware of that they’re more afraid to approach them, knowing that they can get stunned and jumped on. When you’re aware that many enemies have one-hit kill attacks, even at full life, you try and stay away from them as much as you can.

    It stays true to it’s survival theme, which has always been the stronger half to the ‘survival-horror’ tagline.

    Dead Space 2 managed to keep the spirit, only real problem is that they included a few more set pieces, which is why people think it’s more action-oriented. But still, you were keeping a close eye on your inventory and ammo count, much like RE4.

    RE 5/6 and Dead Space 3 were just desperate attempts at reaching the CoD audience who will never be aware of their existance even if they do fully copy them. Although Dead Space 3 is worse because pretty much all changes to that franchise was done by EA and not by the developers.

    • Exactly, MOST people who complain about the RE series often do so unfairly.

      “It’s not scary any more” No duh, you were a kid when you played RE and the Zombie/Horror Genres were new ground. 20 years later you are completely desensitized to violence and horror, the genres are a dime a dozen and you wonder why jump scares are the fall back.

      “It’s no longer about the zombies” (Popular one) It never was about the zombies, they were always just the result of the Virus’s and their many forms, it was about biological weaponry.
      The fact all the Virus’s used the G-T virus in their versions, you get the Zombies.

      “It lost it’s roots, It’s just a shooter now” It always was a shooter. If we were still shooting 2-3 Zombies in an ally or running away from the overwhelming hoard of 5, you would get bored. As the games evolved more and more zombies/enemies were added and with it came more ammo and weapons.
      You still have to play tactically until you have lots of gear, conserve ammo, avoid conflict, just like the old ones.

      • You dont know what your talking about.
        RE 1,2,3 were scary as fuck when I played them years ago. They were Survival/Horror ames played from a 3rd person view. Zombies werent holding guns or weapons, the settings were scary and kept you on your toes the whole time.
        RE4 was still great. The setting was dark and misty, the Zombies started to feel less scary though. But the Enviroments made up for that.

        RE5 was where the series went the opposite direction. It was sent it day time, thd zombies were more human and less zombie. Their wasnt a second of RE5 that kept me on my toes.
        RE6 attempted to go Survival Horror with Leons campaign, but failed very, very badly.

        But Im not saying I hate the games, the Co-op was bloody fun. But I want classic Resident Evil where u worry about ammo and supplies. You didnt know what your next move was cause it got unpredictable, and we knew it.

        But Capcom have learnt. They took the risk that make Great Developers.
        They tried to make RE 5 and 6 work, but it didnt.
        Rockstar, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Bethesda and alot more of the great developers we have now, have had to learn from mistakes and failures.

        • I remember me and my housemates crapping ourselves playing the first 10mins of Resident Evil 2. We were all in our 20s, we weren’t kids.

          That was a good, scary game. Res 5 was a load of rubbish. I got about half way through before I put it away. I just didn’t care and there were no scares.

        • Horror games that truly scare you are rare, especially Big budget games, the last one I played, that truly gave me a fright was F.E.A.R (the first one).

          I didn’t mind RE5/6, and I think that’s because I never got to play 1/2. the only problems were the glitches, especially on the PC version.

          I look to “indie” games if I really want to play games that really spook me

        • I don’t? You basically started saying the same thing.
          “1,2,3 were scary as fuck when I played them years ago” Yeah they were but how about now? Sure a bit of nostalgia, but they don’t hold nor have have the scare value as they used to. Because you are desensitized to the game and violence/horror.

          That nostalgia doesn’t make them scary, but you remember them as scary and therefore maintain that they remain so.
          Why do you think gamers go on about how great those old games are across all genres? Because they had something new for us that spurned our imaginations and made an impact.

          I loaded up RE2 a few months back, had an absolute blast! Did I get scared though? No.
          Did my heart stop when I heard the tell tale sound of paws on concrete? No.
          Did I fumble as I challenged the many Tyrant forms that left me a jittery mess as a boy? No
          The point is, as great a game as it is, it isn’t scary any more in the least.

          So tell me, if a game can no longer scare you, why do expect later instalments to follow suit when it can never drive you to the same peaks?

          Don’t know what I am talking about? At least I don’t expect everything to live up to the greatly exaggerated and glorified childhood memories.

          • It’s not about desensitizing, it’s about how the games are made, and the experience that you get from that. Resident Evil 1 had a feeling of isolation. You were trapped in a mansion in the middle of a forest. If you play it with the lights on and surrounded by a bunch of your friends with some background music, you’re going to have a different experience than if you played it alone and in the dark. There was often silence, maybe some wolf howling in the background, and then you might hear a zombie shuffle as it noticed you. Ammo was not abundant and you frequently had to run past monsters to survive. If you are familiar with the game, then you may not appreciate the sound of paws on concrete, but that’s like blaming a mystery novel for not having mystery after you’ve already read it and know everything that’s going to happen! If you are completely familiar with it, it is no longer survival, and probably not as horrendous for you since you are comfortable with your safety.

            Now take RE: Revelations. This is an awesome game, and released not TOO long ago! It has a similar feel of seclusion and isolation and it’s far, far closer to RE 1-3/CV. I wouldn’t say that I was scared like I was with the earlier RE games, but it was many steps in the right direction. Fans of survival horror want that believable feeling of jeopardy/precariousness which Capcom had strayed from.

          • I’m sorry but this is like saying ‘I’ve watched a Nightmare on Elm st ten times, why doesn’t it scare me any more?’ It doesn’t because you know it beat for beat, you know when Freddy will strike, you know what’s about to happen…

            It’s less desensitisation and more knowing the product. If I was desensitised to horror games, I’d be able to play OUTLAST for longer than thirty minutes at a time. Seriously that game scares the crap out of me. The same way Res 1 and 2 did. Res 3 had fright in it too in the dread feeling you got with the Nemesis hunting you down.

            No offence but all I see in your comment is ‘Well it didn’t have this effect on ME as a kid so it mustn’t have had this effect on YOU!’ which is the worst angle you can approach this from. You can’t apply your personal experiences across the board and expect everyone else to have the exact same. My mate played Outlast from start to finish and called it lame. I think it’s one of the single best survival horrors I’ve ever seen for instance.

            It’s not a case of being 12 when you played a console game or 21, it’s the current generation you played it in when it’s released. Of course in its state these days you’re going to think it’s a bit of a joke, but in the prime of time when it was released, those games were considered the cream of the crop of games graphically.

            Or for a truly terrifying time we can all go play ET on the atari…

          • It can be a case of being 12, but for most, it’s a case of being my age. Hence the average gamer being my age these days. Between 21 – 23 years old was the average age in the mid to late 90s. Not doubt plenty of 12 year olds did play it (Hey mum I want this new Resident Evil game for xmas!) but moreso you’re looking at that age bracket for it.

          • Sort of, except more along the lines of. “I have watched all the Nightmare on Elmstreets and they progressively become less scary, now they are just a fav series of mine”.
            Knowing something is desensitization. The older we get and the more we experience, the smaller the world becomes. (Very broad) Of course the more we play a game the more we get used to it and it’s surprises, but over time that begins to take hold over other games. Same with films etc
            It’s not opinion, it’s just what happens.

            I shouldn’t have concentrated on age as I was more implying the passing of time and did mention that it’s the games that strike a cord in our memories with new experiences that last, our classics if you will. The Doom’s, the Halflifes, the Marios, the Metal Gears, the 6+ disc Amiga days, the 64, console, PC,, what ever your generations toys, we all lump the most nostalgic praise on our old time favs.

            OUTLAST is a great example, it uses time tested methods of darkness, ambiance, jump scares etc.
            And to say you aren’t desensitized? What if you could have played OUTLAST when you were experiencing RE for the first time? 30 minutes of game time per session? Prob more like never turn on your PC again.
            Now what if you could have played the later RE series back then? I am sure they would have had their scares and moments. Who knows, just a ponder.

            These things DID have an effect when I was younger/less experienced gaming wise w/e And they still do now. Yeah I was shit scared traversing Racoon City as a greenhorn rookie STARS cadet, but 20 years on I don’t feel as threatened by the world as Leon “Survive all the things!” Kennedy. The game progressed it’s story and I agree it’s become harder to keep the same feel to the games, but we do become increasingly harder to please. I still like the series for what it is and have my own gripes, but I don’t blame it for trying to progress, we are a vocal bunch these days xD

            I hate the fact that games these days don’t seem to scare me as they used to without resorting to the sometimes obvious jump scare. And to be honest, out of all the games from the “last” gen, the only horror game that got me was Silent Hill: Shattered Memories on the Wii. It wasn’t fantastic, but they just went simple. Detailed small environments, Great torch and shadow physics and no combat. It managed to freak me the hell out when a lot of the other big games couldn’t.
            I should stop ranting, it;s not even hot any more

          • They don’t scare you as much because big companies seem to be less interested in taking risks in game design, stories and challenges as opposed to throwing in generic ‘whatever works’. i.e. RE6… however too much ‘whatever works’ often… doesn’t.

          • Shit stops getting scary when we have played the game and know whats gonna happen next.
            The start of last year I bought RE 1-3 on PS3, and I had forgotten pretty much most the play through. I pretty much forgot how shit scared i would get to take a next move. Those games still hold up very well. I didnt even want to shoot half the time cause I was low on ammo.
            Silent Hill is another example. The oldergames still give me a scare.

            You whole argument sucks. You obviosly have very little knowledge of what makes a good survival/horror game and of the Human Brain. One game in the series fails, doesnt meAn shit.
            RE:Revelations was a great Survival Horror, was a good push in the right direction. So your wrong, a game can still scare ya even if the game before it didnt. Outlast is a game you need to play at night with no one else in the house.

            A Survival Horror game fails when it takes away that urgency to survive, that feightness of whats around the next corner, your urge to run, thinking of how to use your supplies, isolation and a good, scary Enviroment.

            Dead Space 3 failed cause it had nothing that I listed above. Same goes for RE 5,6.

            How come the new Silent Hill games(Downpour,homecoming) can still give me a fright. Cause it has what it need to make a Survival Horror game great. Yes it has flaws, but u didnt have access to heaps of ammo, your melee attacks worked on 1 or 2 enemies, but most the time, u could either stay and attempt a hard melee fight, or run. The games Enviroments were great but the story was alright and the gameplay needed more work. But the Warning system was what made u too prepared for attacks.

            And yh, When it comes too RE, I do live in the past cause, well not so much now cause RE revelations gave me hope. So does Outlast and amnesia.

          • I basically answered in full to weresmurf above to some points on what I mean.

            But in short, I agree with everything you in part. The classic games are my fav, they hold special place in my gaming history as with you and many others. But I don’t blame them for trying to progress through a long history of fans through the generations.
            I would like to see a return to a more classic game, but there is plenty out there.

            Genres blur and sometimes it works or sometimes it doesn’t, horror survival is just a name and lets face it, if something is trying to kill you? It’s survival.

            Our classics will always be the best games ever BECAUSE of the experiences, but experiences are hard to recreate. That’s just the way we are, nostalgic. We love these new games and they sometimes find that place in your list, but nothin beats the classics.

            (See, we have the same thought, just a different way of seeing it )

  • For me the worst offender is the Fear franchise. The first game was this super tense experience that, yes, it did have some action sections, but they never felt too over the top or detracted from the horror. The sequel was actioned up, but still kept true to the spirit of the original. Then Fear 3 came along and subsequently ignored what the series was about. All sense of tenseness and horror and even good story was dropped in a rush to turn it into a CoD clone bro shooter that was more about racking up points than being scared out of your pants.

    That’s the main reason I’ve been wary of trying Dead Space 3 even though I loved the previous two games; because it looks like they’ve done a repeat of what happened with Fear.

    It seems something all horror suffers from. The longer the franchise goes on the less the horror matters. I wonder if in a few years, assuming this game does well enough to spawn a few sequels, we won’t end up with Alien: Isolation 3: Modern Warfare.

  • “Resident Evil And Dead Space Are ‘A Couple Of Degrees Away From Being Gears Of War'” like, for instance the title of the game. and….well, that’s about it realy:)

  • Jam it to all the Dead Space 3 haters. It added a breadth the series needed and I loved it.

    Besides complaining about it becoming more action oriented are ridiculous when that had already happened in the second game. Dead Space 2 is Dead Space 1 with a less cohesive plot device and more action brah. The exact same shit that DS3 gets criticised for.

    If DS3 has been on another space ship/station with corridors and hallucinations it would have been criticised for being derivative. DS 1 is perfect for that. It’s been done. Time to move on

    • I don’t criticise DS3 for action. I criticise it for intrusive micro transactions in a full price game, no coherent plot, completely generic run and gun mechanics, forced multiplayer, and absolutely no idea of style, tone, or consistency.

      Army of Two: The 40th Day was a better co-op shooter. Oh, and it was a co-op shooter, not a survival horror game. I forgot that in the list up top.

      Dead Space was derivative for the whole station thing from the get-go. The story is essentially System Shock 2 but with a love story. The overall feel and the gameplay mechanics were what made it worth playing. Both of which were thrown into a concrete box and shot into the sun for 3.

      • Haha I actually boycotted dead space due to the system shock similarities at first. Being such a huge fan of SS2 I thought it was just a giant rip off. Ends up it was, in a good way 😉

        • What’s the logic there? Boycotting a game that’s similar to a game you (assumedly) enjoy?

      • What killed Dead Space 3 for me was some of the general mechanics of the game. I can ignore micro transactions if they are just for lazy people who want shortcut their way through (even though I totally disagree with it by principle) … but what I couldn’t stand was the whole advanced weapon crafting system (otherwise known as: ‘hey, you can find these different gun pieces and blueprints and have a thousand different combinations’). What happened to the whole weapon leveling system from Dead Space 1 and 2? It was simple and straight forward. You made whatever gun you liked better by upgrading it’s path … you didn’t have mess around with swapping out weapon parts or finding blueprints to find a half decent gun. It felt like it took away from the focus and enjoyment of the game for me. It was this advanced weapon crafting system that basically stopped me playing the game not long after you find out that Ellie and Robert are actually hooked up. Too bad because I was actually enjoying the story itself.

    • Dead Space 2 was pretty much the same as Dead Space 1x except Better. I was always worried what could be around the next corner, or above me or behind. The multiplayer sucked. But Dead Space 2 was still very, very true to the Horror/Survival gameplay of Dead Space 1, and even earlie Resident Evil games.
      Dead Space 3 wasnt like that at all. It had very little scares compared to DS 1 and 2. The story wasnt as exciting as Dead Space 1 and 2.
      The Introduction of Human Enemies took away the feeling of being All alone and ruined the Survival part of the series. Then the Microtransactions are a completely different story.
      I still enjoyed the crap out of Dead Space 3, still had scares here and their, and some areas did keep me on my toes, but werent often enough. The Co-op really didnt help. Having a friend in the game aswell made u feel safer and Heavily took away the scares.

      • Yeah I kind of agree, I didnt hate DS3, but I liked 1/2 more. But again, not entirely sure how many exactly same versions of deadspace i could sit through.

    • Are you kidding? The same monsters in every room. Every thing was the same. It turned a great series into drudgery. Enter room. Kill monsters. Get near vents. Kill monsters. Hit a switch, kill monsters.

      I paid $1 and it was too much. And I completed DS1 and 2 at least 3 times each. DS1 probably more like 5 times. Loved it.

  • It would be more accurate to say Gears was a couple of degrees away from RE4; credit where credit is due.

    • If you like RE6, then you are the numb minded dumbass that these greedy companys target. And you havent played the older RE games. All though, leons campaign in RE6 wasnt too bad. Everything else sucked, especially Chris’s story, it just was more Gears of War then RE, then the 3rd character was a shocking dooch of acharacter.

      • Hey, I liked RE6 as well (at least more then 5). But I won’t deny the problems it has. Once I stopped playing it like a horror game I actually had fun.

        • That is the smartest thing you have said and it is spot fuckn on.
          When realized that the game wont scare me, and realised it was an action game, the dissapointment went away. Same went for RE5.
          The games are good, great graphics and gameplay. But it isnt RE.
          If they made RE5 and 6 into spin off RE action games, then capcom would have gotten away with it.
          I enjoyed RE5 more because it was knew its identity. RE6 was good for Leons campaign, but the other 2 made be leaving with a feeling that the game had multi-personality disorder.

          Obviously from the critical success Leons campaign was compared to the other 2 messes of a campaign, I would say its pretty Obvious that capcom know they need to go back to the roots of what RE is, what made it successful, what made the characters so interesting and what made us invest so heavily in the story. Then they need to get some very talented script writers to create a story that can scared the shit out of us.

          • I didnt play 6, just 5. I realise it was an action game, but its still way more poorly written/characters spout more 1 liners than any other AAA action game.

      • Nice judgement based on nothing, Ive played all of the main series + RE zero and code veronica. and loved them all.

  • I loved RE2 and RE3. I smashed Mercenaries on RE3 so damned hard back on my PSX it wasn’t even funny. RE1 I didn’t love so much, it’s a clunky mess of disjointed ideas, poor controls and the most god-awful voice acting ever that just frustrated me beyond repair. I’ll forgive it somewhat, because it’s a classic and the progenitor of the series. It had some holy shit moments in there too, but I felt Silent Hill was a far superior example of such a game. Even though they are a little different, I still enjoyed SH more than RE1.

    RE4 didn’t interest me in the slightest, and I’ve attempted playthroughs since, gotten a few hours in on each attempt and found it to be extraordinarily awkward to play. The controls just felt awful. Also, Leon upsets me as a character, and I couldn’t handle it. I think RE4’s legacy has outgrown the original product – I honestly don’t think it’s really that great a game. Hate for RE5 seems to have boosted RE4’s legend even further.

    And just to really upset people, I loved Resident Evil 5. Played it through twice, and still think it’s an amazing game. I won’t try and elaborate further, because I’ve tried too many times and failed. Us RE5 fans are a vast minority. I’m OK with that. I think the African setting throws people off more than they’ve thought about as well. Sure it’s a different game, gameplay-wise – but not only that, it’s in Africa, which is just completely out of theme with the rest of the series.

    Haven’t had a chance to play RE6, but I intend to at some point, so can’t cast judgement on that yet.

    At the end of the day, I love RE2, RE3 and RE5. All for different reasons.

    As for Dead Space, I played the first one through and loved it massively. DS2 bored me about 3 hours in, and I haven’t touched DS3.

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