It’s been a recent trend in cinema that movies have been reexamining the value of 3-D as a viable way of making and promoting new films, something our own Matt Raub has been a fan of. Not to be left behind, the video game industry has also taken a look at this gimmick as a new way to bring value to new properties as well. While some of us are old enough to remember the Virtual Boy, Nindendo’s first attempt at 3D technology, we also remember the terrible headache’s that also accompanied it after only a short time playing. Now, Capcom has partnered with Nvidia to give it another shot with Resident Evil 5 coming for the PC in September.
Capcom looked to the PC with its almost limitless possibilities for intensifying the horror experience of Resident Evil 5, deciding that 3-D would be the way to bring the most scare for your buck to players. Everything in Resident Evil 5 from gameplay, cut scenes and even menus are in 3-D. During gameplay and cut scenes, the 3-D effects will focus on “out of screen” effects with items or people popping in and out of the screen towards and away from the player, much like 3-D movies have done. There will also be an adjustable level of depth which players control to give a more distinct visual distance between items in the player’s foreground and background.
Capcom worked closely with Nvidia to make the out of screen effects the best possible experience for the player, focusing on the dramatic visuals already present in the console versions of the game. With tenticles popping in and out of people’s heads and weapons firing constantly, Resident Evil is the ideal title as Nvidia’s flagship for showcasing their 3-D effects. Amazingly enough, Resident Evil is also one of the very first titles to implement the effects showing that the first time can be done right with the proper paring of hardware and software developers.
To experience Resident Evil 5, players will need to make sure their PC has an Nvidia Graphics Card, a pair of Nvidia’s 3-D Vision Glasses, and a 120 hertz monitor. Nvidia has even made the hardware combination available on their website so players can be properly prepared when the game launches. The secret that Nintendo missed with the Virtual Boy was having a monitor producing images at 120 hertz synched to your special 3-D glasses. This is what prevents those aching migraines from coming on. There is also a focus on subtle effects instead of a constant barrage of intense effects to not disturb the experience or the vision of the player. After a twenty minute demo of the game, we didn’t even have the slightest hint of discomfort either during or following gameplay.
The story of the game has been kept intact from the console versions as have the controls of the XBox 360 controller. Added now though are keyboard controls which can be switched off and on between the XBox 360 controller at any time. The movement will follow the classic WASD format with SHIFT to run and SPACE to pull out the character’s knife. There will also be the addition of keyboard button press combinations during melee moments to ensure the character’s escape during an intense confrontation.
Also added to the game is a new sight which makes for a more accurate aiming mechanic, taking full advantage of the 3-D imagery. When a player pulls out a sniper rifle, the target will come out of the screen for them, allowing for more intense aiming. This new method gives Resident Evil 5 the most accurate aiming mechanic since the series launched. Also because of the PC’s potential over consoles, up to three times more enemies on screen can appear on screen at once. A bonus for players comes with new costumes for Shiva and Chris which look amazing on the higher quality visual output. And not to be forgotten, Resident Evil 5 will contain an online only multiplayer Mercenaries mode, supporting Gamertags, Friends Lists and Achievements from Games for Windows Live.
From what we saw, 3-D makes the gameplay of Resident Evil 5 feel like a completely different experience. When done properly, an already amazing looking game can look even more stunning in the 3-D environment between particle effects like dust spraying off a wall that has been shot to the main characters running down 3-D alleys away from zombie hordes. As mentioned before, it is also a perfect fit for Resident Evil’s pop out style of horror storytelling. It was an amazing coincidence that the game wasn’t originally designed for 3-D technology but still was given wild tentacle wielding zombies to combat.
As its September 15th release date draws close, The Flickcast will keep an eye out for more news regarding Resident Evil 5 for the PC. Capcom and Nvidia have put a lot of time, effort and money in to this project and from what we have seen, it has paid off visually. Though this game will not be for everyone as many Resident Evil fans have already picked it up on XBox 360 or Playstation 3 and it comes with a high price of entry to acquire the necessary 3-D technology, it most importantly proves a point. It has shown us that developers are constantly looking forward for new ways to give us the games we love. If the game had been done in a haphazard manner, you would instantly be able to tell but from everything we have seen, Resident Evil 5 earns itself that title of being the flagship title for 3-D PC gaming.