VG247 has it on good authority that some British Resident Evil 5 reviewers have been specifically told to avoid writing about, taking video of, or image-grabbing the island section from the game’s third chapter.
We’ve been told that players encounter spear-wielding Africans in the specified section.
The instructions were given in the form of a covering letter sent with review code.
The game has been constantly accused of racism, a debate kicked off in earnest by Newsweek journo N’Gai Croal last April, who said it contained “classic racist imagery”.
Producer Jun Takeuchi has defended the project at every turn, even going as far as to say there are black members of the game’s Japanese development team.
IGN is going live with the first review – an agreed exclusive, we’re told – at 4.00pm PST today. The general review embargo lifts on Monday.
We’re unaware if American journalists have been put under the same restrictions.
We’ve contacted Capcom for comment.
Update: We’ve been given some of the wording from the letter this morning. Apparently, it says, “Please don’t mention any action/story/enemies from the Native Village,” and, “No screenshots of the Native Village”.
Also, UK reviewers have been told not to show screens of unlockable costumes.