Merry October 15th everyone! For my next Halloween blog I ask you all to cast your minds back to 2005 – a simpler, beautiful time – does anyone remember the Playstation 2? That ancient relic of a bygone age where the Playstation 2, Xbox and Gamecube ruled supreme before all of this Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii (still vaguely a cube-like shape) nonsense came and took a dump on their motherboards – oh my HOW FAR WE’VE COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well I’m specifically thinking about a game in a certain long-running zombie series that became one of my favourite games of all time. Of course I’m talking about RESIDENT EVIL 4!
I remember it was ironically (considering the theme of this series of blogs) Christmas ’05 when my brother unwrapped a slimline DVD-looking package and revealed that glorious front cover – simple, stark, grimey black and red – and I knew this was going to be a dark Christmas…in the best possible way. Now up until this point I had never owned a Resident Evil game even though I’d heard so much about them and had a few demo levels on a scattering of Playstation Magazine giveaway CDs (remember when you actually got DEMOS and not just a crappy DVD full of trailers on front of your gaming magazines- how I miss those days!!) but I was a sensitive soul when I was a wee nipper (still am a wuss to this day) and the idea of Resident Evil scared the shit out of me. Not as much as Silent Hill, but still enough. But by this point I’d gotten into the Z words – Shaun of the Dead broke me in then 28 Days Later knocked me for six – and I was excited for what dark powers Resi4 held…
As soon as we turned it on we were hooked. Literally we couldn’t get enough of it. My main memory of that Christmas holiday consists of sitting in my brothers room with all the lights turned out, gaming solidly until maybe 3 in the morning it was crazy! I don’t think I’ve ever been so addicted to a game not even bloody Super Star Wars for the SNES (and that is a fantastic game I might add). The story pulled you in – a mind controlling parasite called Las Plagas used by the Los Illuminados cult to zombie-fie Eastern European villagers, Leon sent to rescue the president’s daughter uncovering this whole shit storm! – it was just mad. The villains were just fantastic, obviously you had a hella load of your classic zombie fodder lurking in shadows ready to give you a scare but I remember the first time we came across these big zombies with bags over the heads and chainsaws (how cool is that – a zombie with a chainsaw!!) that were almost frackin’ impossible to kill, most of the time they’d just slice our head off in horrifice gory detail. When we saw the Las Plagas burst out of their human hosts body for the first – FRACK ME – it was horrific. When we completed it we were disappointed – just because we didn’t want it to stop, I think we might have even started a new game straight away :p.
Maybe this Halloween it’s time to crack out this monumental game (I hear good things about Resident Evil 5 but I never got into it quite as much, dunno what it was – it just missed that creepy atmosphere that 4 had in spades) dim the lights, barricade the doors and sit down with the boys and talk about how we’d survive a zombie apocalypse….