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Daily Linksplosion: Thursday, March 19, 2009

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One response to “Daily Linksplosion: Thursday, March 19, 2009” »

  1. Jon Conley says:

    Having played through the game, multiple times, I’m having a hard time taking this ‘RE5 racism’ debate very seriously.

    [This post contains extremely mild spoilers in regards to RE5.]

    In many respects, the game feels very much like a carbon copy of RE4. Which is to say, the game is a bit of a cartoon. The Zulu Warrior enemies are very similar to the cloaked, shield-and-flail-wielding Zealots from the previous game. There is a giant Mayan Temple in the middle of Africa; which is just as jarring as finding nothing but medieval peasant towns and castles in 21st century Spain.

    It is firmly planted in a fictional, Japanese, alternate, bat-shit universe.

    The one key difference between the two games, is that the town in the start of RE5 feels fairly realistic. And, perhaps, this is where people begin to feel uncomfortable. There are produce stands, butcher shops and old televisions. It feels like this could be a small African town. Granted, there’s a feeling that things have gone terribly awry. The produce has spoiled, the meat hanging by hooks may be from a human. The buildings feel as if they haven’t been repaired or maintained in forty years.

    It certainly feels like a hostile location. When you start the game, you are walking (un-armed) through the central road of the village. All of the civilians give you dirty looks, One group appears to be beating a burlap sack full of chickens (I say this because the bag appears to wiggle, but does not appear big enough to conceal a human). and Sheva is felt up by a checkpoint guard, when he checks her for weapons.

    Violent and hostile. Tensions are coming to a boil. But it is not racist.

    My theory is that the majority of the population is already being controlled by the parasites. Given the context of the public execution, it seems as if the infected ‘zombies’ are somewhat sentient. There is a man with a megaphone, yelling to an audience of the infected. The victim yells “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!” before he meets the end of an axe. Seconds later, you are fighting this giant crowd of sort-of-zombies.

    Suddenly, I’m reminded of the Zealot monks from RE4; worshippers of the plague; attacking me while they chant their prayers.

    There are paper document reports and journals, that you can choose to read or skip entirely. If you take the time to read the reports, you find out that this infection has been spreading for months now. It seems to reduce the brain functions of its victims so that they crave violence. It appears to be a pleasurable activity for them. This change in the thought process causes them to don the tribal garb of their ancestors (perhaps as a form of intimidation).

    All of this is told from the perspective of a frightened african teenager, as he himself experiences the changes.

    In RE4, it seems as if the Ganado were religiously motivated, and willingly injected themselves with the parasite. To me, they seemed like religious crazies that rejected modern society, in favor of their parasitic god. In RE5, it seems as though the Africans were forced to ingest the parasites. So, in a sense, you’re shooting victims (that will otherwise chainsaw your head from your body).

    Then again, you’re playing Resident Evil. The fiction in this universe is extremely convoluted and insane.

    Needless to say, I didn’t feel as if I had been playing ‘D.W. Griffith’s: RE5’.

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