Despite their status as a Long Runner and critically-praised franchise, Resident Evil has some gameplay mechanics that should have stayed buried:
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- Across all Resident Evil games, the player lacks the ability to take rounds out of one weapon and put them in another. Once you feed a gun some rounds, they belong to that gun forever unless it's a specific weapon that holds multiple ammo types (and even then, you can only take rounds out by loading other rounds in). While it's not an issue in the original PS1 game as there's only one kind of gun for each ammo type or in the later games that were much more action-oriented and ammo conservation wasn't a necessity. This is monumentally annoying in the games in-between, where ammunition and item space are seriously limited and there are multiple guns that share the same ammo, like the regular and assault shotguns in the REmake or the handgun and Colt SSA in Resident Evil 2. Even in the Resident Evil 3 (Remake), where you will find multiple copies of the same gun, you have to carefully ration away one of the gun's bullets and then discard it if you want to use them rather than being able to empty the bullets into your inventory.
Resident Evil 1
- The bazooka's multiple ammo types can become this. In later games, you're able to switch out rounds as you please - for instance, placing acid rounds in the grenade launcher will remove the flame rounds already in it and put them back in your inventory. In this game, you can only load six rounds at a time, and you can't take a set of rounds out once you've put them in. For fights made easier by using specific rounds - i.e. using acid rounds on Yawn - this can mean wasting the rounds the weapon comes pre-loaded with. Thankfully, this problem was eliminated in the Remake.
- Simply deleting extra items from your overstuffed inventory to make room for anything plot-relevant or otherwise necessary isn't an option; you have to trek to a Safe Room and dump them in a box. While it makes sense that you shouldn't be able to permanently drop your full stock of shotgun shells or an important key, this is also the only game in the series that won't let you simply use up a healing item to free space if your health is already topped off.
- Enemies in the original game are given attack priority over you, which already sucks, but because of poor programming, this also gives them the ability to cancel out your gunfire. Hunters, in particular, are very apt at slashing you at the exact moment you try to shoot them, causing you to waste a shotgun shell or precious magnum round as it harmlessly vanishes with a tiny puff... just in case you needed another reason to hate those sons of bitches. Zombies can also pass you around like a prison cigarette and stunlock you to death if you're caught between two or more of them, because shoving one away will not push back any others that are in close.
- The 1st-person knife fights in the Nintendo DS port Deadly Silence's Rebirth Mode are novel and interesting... at first. They become extremely tedious and aggravating after you've been forced into your 30th or so randomized encounter, hard-to-dodge enemies like Cerberus and Hunters start showing up in them, and worst of all they stop leaving you any extra health or ammo for your trouble. By the time you reach the guardhouse, they've quit being a fun twist on an old formula and instead they turn into a contrived way to burn through your supply of healing items.
- Not being able to skip the door opening scenes. While it's justified with the original versions using them as load screens, and the PC and DS versions can skip them, it goes from atmospheric to frustrating if you keep having to backtrack in the other ones. Better yet, the improved technology behind the Rmake allowed the developers to do away with the loading screens completely, but they were left in as a stylistic choice, which would have been a much cooler idea if Capcom hadn't evidently forgotten that they've made them optional before and could've easily done so again.
Resident Evil: Remake:
- The One Dangerous Zombie mode. The problem by itself isn't that it means an instant game over if you even accidentally attack the wrong enemy. It's that you can't turn it off, coupled with the fact that several areas of the mansion are very narrow hallways with few ways around. The one saving grace is that once you leave the mansion and enter the guardhouse, Forest never comes back. The HD re-releases also added in a Very Easy difficulty that outright disables One Dangerous Zombie mode.
Resident Evil 2 / Remake
- The One-Shot demo only allowed players up to 30 minutes of playtime, though you could reach the end of the demo before time was up. Many hated the limitation at its release, as it was too strict and discouraged the player from exploring. As such, some found a way to reset/freeze the timer so that they could play as long as they wanted. Capcom later released an altered version of the demo called the R.P.D. Demo, which removes the time limit, and for the later release of Resident Evil 8: Village, a demo with a time limit was released (also with 30 minutes) that had a much-stricter focus — and an alternate demo that allowed players to explore a different area at their own pace, effectively being the best of both worlds.
- The player character will automatically climb up and down anything that isn't a door, without the need to press the action button. This becomes especially aggravating when you're trying to explore the room for resources or trying to distance yourself from something.
- The "Adaptive Difficulty" is this for some players, since it penalizes the player for making significant progress without expending much in the way of resources by increasing zombie damage and decreasing the damage of the player's weapons.
- Not only does poisoning still drain your health, but instead of this being just a nuisance, now your character will very frequently stop aiming just to complain about being poisoned or suffer its effects visibly. Thankfully, the only thing that can give you this status are the G-Adults, who only appear in parts of the sewers, but those guys are already pains in the ass for their own reasons.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis / Remake
- In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, your main source of ammunition in the game is gunpowder, together with the reloading tool. The bottles come in three varieties, A, B and C (and the last one is only available after already mixing the first two together). This can be a huge pain in the ass to manage — not only do you have to do more inventory shuffling than before, keeping track of the combination mixes, but the game randomizes the location of pick-ups. You can find yourself easily screwed over if the game decides to be stingy and not give you any gunpowder needed for magnum ammo. What's more, the game does not allow you to combine double or triple A and B powders together to make double or triple C, even though the number of ingredients is exactly the same. You always have to combine single A and B together to make C and then combine those. Resident Evil 3 (Remake) fortunately makes the gunpowder mechanic much more simplified and provides actual ammo drops for players to use.
- The dodge mechanic, while Not Completely Useless, can be a bit clumsy and random, as there's no guarantee it'll actually work. Not helping is the fact that the mechanic is only mentioned in supplementary material and not the actual game itself, and can require a lot of practice to get right. In the 2020 remake, the dodge mechanic was greatly improved from its original incarnation, and was played up in pre-release marketing, to a much warmer reception.
Resident Evil — Code Veronica
- In Resident Evil Code: Veronica, the dual-wielding weapons can be this if you end up with more than one enemy that's not a zombie. Your characters will split up the gun fire to two different targets at once, range be damned. This can be fatal if a nastier monster is closer to you. Tapping the opposite shoulder button will let you focus on just one enemy, but this does not occur by default if more than one is in front of you.
- The D.I.J. Diary in the Battle Game. It's a nonsensical document hidden in a slot machine that replaces a special weapon or ammo for each character. Usually, this is just a minor "haha, very funny" type of annoyance, but you can still find the stupid thing when playing as the knife-only Wesker, who cannot kill the final boss without the Magnum he's supposed to find there instead. And this slot machine turns up shortly after the halfway point in the Battle Game, meaning you've already wasted a lot of time and effort on a very challenging mode before you get to find out whether or not the game thought it'd be funny to completely screw you over.
Resident Evil 0
- In Resident Evil 0, the lack of an item box, which has been a series staple in nearly every other installment and allows the player to stow away the items they've collected for later use, caused significant problems due to their absence. In this game, excess items can either be dropped in a specific location to come back to later, or stored with the partner character who, like the player character, has a limited number of item slots. Key items, like the inventory-slot-consuming Hookshot, also take up valuable space. Additionally, moving from one major hub location, such as the Management Training Facility, to another can involve multiple trips back and forth to ferry items over, which would be completely eliminated if there were just item boxes. For comparision, the Resident Evil remake featured unconnected item boxes as a particularly difficult challenge mode wherein the player had to carefully select what to take with them, and this game took place in a largely centralized mansion rather than being spread out across numerous facilities and a train.
- Rebecca is disgustingly frail. While this may have been intentional to put more emphasis on Billy being the fighter of the two, there's a difference between "can't take much punishment" and "three attacks put Rebecca into orange caution status." It's frustrating using double the healing items necessary if you're not careful, but the game also has various enemies, such as Eliminators and leech zombies, who are hard to avoid regardless.
- The hatred for the partner system was justified by some due to poor programming and inconsistent application. You can burn through ammo a lot faster then you intend, and the system requires you to keep an eye on two separate characters' health bars (if one dies, game over), and some of the puzzles relying on it are notoriously fiddly the "retrieve the Fire Key" puzzle has it worst because, if you accidentally call Billy to rejoin Rebecca after raising the cage, you get a Non Standard Game Over as the cage drops on top of her and kills her.
Resident Evil 4
- In order to provide some realism, Resident Evil 4 was programmed so that Leon cannot hold his gun completely still. As a result, if the player takes too long to shoot, Leon will shake slightly and lose his aim. While this isn't much of a problem against slow or static enemies, it can lead to Fake Difficulty when handling enemies that constantly move around.
- This game introduces real-time reloading, meaning you can't reload your gun by combining it with its ammunition on the inventory screen like in previous entries. Instead, the player must trigger an animation where Leon manually inserts the bullets into his equipped weapon, which leaves him vulnerable and unable to run for its entire duration. Predictably, the stronger the gun, the longer its reloading animation is.
- The absence of item boxes forces the player to carefully manage their inventories, since not even the largest Attache Case can hold every weapon in the game. As a result, once the inventory starts to get cloggy, the player has no choice but to either discard some of their equipment or sell them to the merchant. Either way, the items will be lost forever.
- The Action Commands penalize the player for dropping their guard during cutscenes, as almost all of them come without warning and result in a Game Over. Made even worse during the infamous Leon vs. Krauser knife duel, in which you must do several QTE's (which can be unresponsive even if you press the right buttons) spread over one long unskippable cutscene. And if you lose then it's instant game over and you must redo the entire scene from the start.
Resident Evil 5
- Resident Evil 5:
- The very core mechanic of the game, the two-person team, was barely tolerated at best and outright despised at worst. Sheva (or Chris in the New Game+) has such abysmally stupid AI that, between blowing ammo that you could use to effectively take out enemies, wasting first-aid sprays on papercuts, running gleefully into the blades of the Chain Saw Majini, and giving you a Game Over after getting her head immediately sawed off as a result, and as numerous "solo-mode mods" have proven, the game is actually easier without her "helping" you. She only becomes a welcome addition to the team if you manage to beat the game and unlock the Longbow, which has unlimited ammo and high damage at the cost of lacking an aiming reticle (which has no effect on an AI partner), which means she's actually able to carry her weight.
- The fact that your AI-Partner could say no when you needed an item or issued an order. You don't get full control over item management like you did in Resident Evil 0: this time around if your partner has an item you want you need to ask for it, and the partner can actually refuse, leaving you in a tight spot if you really need those shotgun shells but Sheva for some reason decides she can do better with them. What was meant to add to the game's immersion and make you feel like you truly are part of a team instead only added an unnecessary annoyance factor, made only worse by some dodgy game mechanics that would sometimes make an item request impossible because the game thought you were too far apart to do it.
- In Mercenaries, have fun being randomly grabbed by Majinis while you are desperately trying to keep your combo up. Bonus points if the Executioner is around.
- While the PC controls are in general somewhat wonky (for example, by default the quick turn is relegated to the C key, but the locate partner button is bound to Q, next to the WASD keys, when the other way around would be much more useful), for some godforsaken reason Capcom decided to map one of the QTE dodge buttons to E+V. This is extremely wonky, as the other two options (A+D and both Left and Right mouse buttons) are far more natural and closer together on the keyboard. This is because, on console, E is the inventory button and V is the voice button, both of which are mapped to the face buttons. This means that QTEs are much harder on keyboard due to the distance between the E and V keys, a factor that doesnt exist on console.
Resident Evil 6
- The fact that this game is a further step toward Actionized Sequel is one thing that divides the fanbase. The fact that ammo drops are generally random and players are very often to be understocked is another thing, especially how the game has large amount of mandatory combat sequences.
- The fact that unlike the great majority of games including previous RE games, pause button and menu or inventory button are separate for pretty much no reason. While the inventory button doesn't pause the game can be tolerated, the menu button didn't.
- The Campaign Convergence system. Though an innovative and awesome idea, the concept of different players' campaigns interacting with each other is not perfectly realized. Whenever a Convergence sequence is reached, the game slams on the brakes and has a minute-long search for another campaign that is suitable to coincide with your own. Not only is this flow breaking and interrupts the tension of the campaign, but statistically it's fairly unlikely that your game can coincide with another player's as most players just push the skip button to progress through the game.
- The DLCs Survivors, Onslaught and Predator have examples of these:
- Survivors enables quick-shot, meaning users of assault rifle characters such as Helena, Sherry, and Chris can literally hose the player down due to the stun lock, sending them into an incessant loop of being shot until they're sent into dying state and killed. Thus far, depending on the stage, they become zombies who must kill human players to be revived, but should they be knocked down, a player can toss a flash grenade and literally stun the zombie on the ground helpless for an unknown period of time unless they're killed (even controls can't break the stun). Also, those who find one of the power weapons such as a grenade launcher, combined with the now-removed "Training" skill which enables infinite ammo and grenades, for example, can toggle the camera while firing, unleashing a barrage of explosions that can wipe out a team easily. Shotgun users (Leon, Carla, Chris) can abuse this as well, along with the weapon-swap/switch mechanic, which can also kill players easily. Lastly, when a player rescues a teammate from dying state, an opponent with a remote bomb can slide in near you and place it there, abusing the invinicibility frames and waiting before setting it off. Unless another teammate comes in to interrupt the remote bomb user, it's literally back to dying status before standing back up.
- Instant kills in Mercenaries can be the bane of some. It's not too pronounced normally, but there are a few instant kills that don't even give you a chance to revive, or ones that knock you down instantly with a chance to revive but have a lingering threat, with "Requiem for a War" being one of the worst levels in mercenaries simply due to Ogres and their array of instant game over moves, including throwing cars with wonky and generous hitboxes. The chainsaw enemy that can show up in a few others is also bad due to quick insta-knock down and the mechanics in this game being much less forgiving.
- Mostly at the beginning (but still found throughout), the game will decide to disable certain actions of your character. For example, during a tense scene you'll lose the ability to open your inventory or make your character run, instead forcing you to walk ever so slowly across the wide sprawling room.
- The "Health Tablets" as well. When you pick up a herb you can't just use it, you have to convert it into a health tablet first then use a separate button to eat the tablet and restore health. Figuring this out is a major Guide Dang It! for a lot of players, and many players never figure out how to use the First Aid sprays at all.
Resident Evil: Outbreak
- In Resident Evil: Outbreak, the Virus Gauge adds a pointless timer to levels and forces you to waste pills that you could use to recover health on keeping it down instead. In theory, it was added to discourage hogging servers in an era when online gaming was dodgy with limited server space, but the game's nature as Survival Horror meant lingering in levels was a bad move to begin with, rendering it redundant at absolute best.
- The Ad-Lib Syste forces the player to use pre-recorded dialogue strings to communicate with their teammates, rather than just having a voice system. Word of God explained this was a deliberate decision for the immersion rather than a limitation of the technology, as it kept the characters saying in-character things in their in-character voices, keeps out profanity, and even makes it so you need to be within hearing range of a character in the game world to hear them. While that at least makes some sense, the biggest issue is a good portion of the game centers around coordinating your allies into doing specific tasks or trading items, which is near impossible when you can't talk to each other. At the time, it was common practice for fans to assign specific meanings to specific ad-libs to tell teammates which task to perform or which item to look for. The only way to play the game in multiplayer these days is via emulation on fan-created servers, and thus, the ad-libs can be bypassed altogether using services like Discord.