The Resident Evil series is no stranger to public controversy. Following the release of the first game, many groups got themselves into a frenzy over the amazingly “realistic” level of violence portrayed in the game against your enemies. After the first trailer for Resident Evil 5 was released it appeared that the tradition of scrutiny would continue. Some people felt that the trailer was a bit on the racist side, and given the fact that it wasn’t much more than a white guy shooting a bunch of black folks, I guess I can see their point.
Capcom, however, believes that it was a simple misunderstanding and the game itself was not in need of alteration. They have also just recently revealed that the protagonist, Chris Redfield, will have an ethnic partner who will be helping him through his quest. It may seem to some like damage control, but Capcom would be quick to shoot down that theory. In a recent interview with Kotaku, RE5 producer Jun Takeuchi noted that the game has “not really” gone under any overhaul as a result of the original trailer’s negative media.
“We wanted Chris to have a partner who was familiar with the environment. She’s been in there since pretty much the beginning,” he notes. “In terms of the reaction, we’re in the business of entertainment… We didn’t set out to make a racist game or a political statement. We did feel there was a misunderstanding about the initial trailer.”
This whole thing is, of course, a touchy subject for anyone to approach. I do, however, believe that the folks behind the RE franchise are just trying to mix things up, and the setting and supporting characters (read: zombies) are just part of that design philosophy. I also think that the approach the first trailer took was not the right one. You could tell by watching it that whoever put it together just wanted to show a certain level of violent gameplay to get the gamers psyched, without taking into account the fact that the game’s story probably makes those scenes fit together in a much less offensive way… at least I hope. How do you guys feel? A simple mistake, or something to actually worry about? Feel free to leave a comment below!
[See also: Resident Evil 5 gallery]