Wednesday, April 8, 2009

EXP Podcast #20: Resident Evil 5 Debriefing

Grab you shotgun and your thinking caps, because this week, we are devoting the podcast to a thorough discussion of Resident Evil 5! We put in some marathon couch co-op sessions, analyzing everything from the control scheme to the game's character development. As we discuss in the show, Resident Evil 5 quickly became a controversial game in a number of respects. The game has sparked debates over everything from game design to social responsibility, so we take some extra time to delve into this surprisingly complicated game. We encourage everyone to read the show notes for some background on the ethnicity discussion, as some very smart folks have calmly, patiently, and rationally explained the issues behind the game's imagery. These are some charged topics, but as always, we welcome feedback and discussions. Feel free to send us an email or post your thoughts in the comments.

Some discussion starters:

- When does a control scheme move from being a "style" to simply being outdated? If you have played the game, do you think RE5 crosses this line?
- Resident Evil has always featured arbitrary, yet constant rules. To what extent do you appreciate "game-eyness" in your video games? What do you think about the "if-then" gameplay we discussed?
- What kind of co-op games most effectively make use of two-player teamwork: do structured, explicitly-designed two player challenges or more free-form, player initiated cooperation make for better cooperation?
- What are games' obligations towards social responsibility? How can games address complicated issues like race, class, gender, and politics?

To listen to the podcast:
- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show Notes:

- Run time: 50 min 16 sec
- N'Gai Croal's original comments on the RE5 Trailer: "Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal On The ‘Resident Evil 5′ Trailer: ‘This Imagery Has A History'"
- Shawn Elliot: "Primal Fear: Haunted by Ghosts of Predators Past"
- Shawn Elliot: "Racial Imagery in RE5 Trailer?"
- Evan Narcisse on Crispy Gamer: "Thought/Process: More on Resident Evil 5 and Uncomfortable Echoes"
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. I'm a bit late to the party, but, I have to express my deep appreciation for your incredibly intelligent and insightful discussion about this game.
    I haven't played it (and likely won't, until I feel like spending more of my money on a 360/ps3), but, I've followed the series, and #5's release, closely, and really enjoyed your chat. Awesome stuff, gentlemen.
    I look forward to listening to more.

  2. Never to late, we always say, and thanks for the compliment.

    What is the nature of your interest in RE? Do you like the game mainly for for the gameplay, or are you interested in the story as well? If it is the latter, you'll be happy to know that RE5 unabashedly references previous games.

    There isn't much memory refreshing though, so unless you are a die hard RE fan, Wikipedia is your best bet for figuring out what's going on in the story.

  3. Great post, keep it up.
    Lol i love it when people say that the latest game RE5 is racist. It just happens to be that the game is based in Africa, and guess what would happen if Human Infected Beings, as i call them, were located in Africa? Yup they would be black.

    Anyways I am not offended by it and I am a black person, so i do not see why is there a problem with this issue. I think people discussing this issue do not play the Resident Evil Series.

    I thought i would share something with you guys. Since Halloween is coming up, I received my own personalized BSAA id card from

    The design is the same as the one in the game,

    I hope i win this years Halloween Costume!

    Take care,