Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5 heads a different direction, but remains a great entry to the series.

By King, Posted 29 Jul 2010

The survival horror genre can be scary. Not just for the scary creatures, dark corridors, and sudden scares it produces, but also the sense of being alone. If defending yourself from monstrous, blood-thirsty villains wasn't bad enough, the fact that the only person who can get you out of this mess is you, is what really has you jumping out of your seat. The same series that made this a staple is gaming is now switching things up. You no longer will have to worry about being solo dolo, the main character, Chris Redfield, is accompanied by Sheva Alomar throughout the entire campaign.

For those familiar with the Resident Evil series, you know right off the bat who Chris Redfield is. On the other hand, if you haven't played past RE games, it will be difficult to grasp what's going on here as there are many references to old titles. Chris is being deployed in Kijuju, Africa, where he teams up with the good-looking Sheva Alomar to investigate a bio-organic weapon deal going on. There's no need for a spoiler warning, we all know the plan didn't go as expected. You'll run into some infected humans, and that's where the action begins, leading to bigger obstacles. The story in Resident Evil 5 isn't the main attraction, some fans have even been a little disappointed by it. Some issues with poor storytelling definitely don't improve. It does it's job, and can be enjoyable, but don't expect it to be on par with something you'd see on the silver screen (unless it was one of the RE films that is, this is better than that).

With Sheva by your side, the gameplay feels much different. You are responsible for keeping each others health up, and may trade ammo and weapons if necessary, bringing new strategy to the game. You can also give commands to your partner, telling them to “Go”, “Come on”, “Hurry up” “Stay here”, or if you just want to tap the button over and over because you get a kick out of bossing your partner around. The concept works very well if you're willing to say goodbye to traditional Resident Evil 5 in exchange for something a little different. It's not as scary, but constant co-op makes for some fresh, and exciting gameplay.

Resident Evil 5 Review

Since you rely so heavily on your partner, A.I. is a big factor. Sheva (or Chris if you've beaten the game and choose to play through again as Sheva this time) will most of the time act very intelligently, if you're caught in the grasp of an enemy, she'll pull off some swift melee combos and knock that sucker off of you, she doesn't get lost, she's ready to heal you anytime you're low on health, and overall, acts almost as well as an average human player would. It's only on the harder difficulty settings and/or later levels that you run into any problems with your A.I. partner. Some enemies require different strategies that the computer can't understand and adapt to like a human would be able to. The other is that they can be very trigger happy rather than carefully placing shots like you'll probably find yourself doing, making some situations tougher when you were already tight on ammo.

As long as you have a friend or a system hooked up to the internet, you'll never have to worry about messing with the computer controlled player if you don't want to. The best way to enjoy Resident Evil 5 is two player co-op with a real partner. Setting up a game online is easy. You can either continue from where you last left off in the campaign or select any level you want to play. The three options you have are: Rogue, Invite Only, and Open. Rogue is your standard single player. Invite Only is as says, the only way someone else can join your game is if you send them an invitation. Open allows anyone in the world to join your game, and you'll usually be able to find someone fairly easily. If you're the one looking to join an Open game, it's as simple as choosing from a list of available games. You have a number of options to choose to sort by, including difficulty and chapter.

Once you choose a game to join, you are taken to the set-up screen where you can organize weapons, ammo, health boosts, and other items to your nine slots, and trade with your partner. This is the only downfall to playing online because you can't trade weapons, but everything else is about as good as you could ask. When you both agree that you're ready, the game begins and you're off to kick some butt with your friend (or stranger). Either way, having a real person play along with you is the way to do it, not only because of communication, but also because the sense of playing with a living being just takes the atmosphere up a notch.

Resident Evil 5 Review

Despite the big addition of partner play, the basic gameplay of Resident Evil 5 feels very similar to its predecessor. You still can't move while you aim, and aiming itself is challenging yet rewarding. It can take a while to get used to moving your red dot around and having you feet glued as you aim, but once you get the other shooters out of your brain, Resident Evil isn't as hard to control as it may sound. The nine item inventory I mentioned earlier has to be managed in real time (which means no pausing to take a break from the swarm if as you switch weapons) keeping the action tense and forcing you to think fast. In fact, you'll always have to stay on your toes, because RE5 brings back the interactive quick-time cutscenes.

For being a game that relies mainly on its campaign mode, there is surprisingly a lot of replay value here. If you're into unlocking things, you'll have a field day with RE5. Outfits, treasures, BSAA emblems, weapons, infinite ammo, and much, much more are hidden within the game for you to acquire. There's a Mercenaries mode like in past RE games, and because every level can be played with a buddy, play through the campaign in Resident Evil 5 is more inviting than in the majority of games. If you don't mind paying a little for it, there is downloadable content for you to get even more out of RE5's engine.

As a reviewer I'm put in a tough position with Resident Evil 5. It's not the game fans of the series were asking for, but it would be hard to deny that it is an excellent game. It looks great, plays well, and offers a good amount of play time for your money. What really makes Resident Evil 5 stand out is the element of co-op. As simple of an idea as it may be, we really haven't see it utilized as well as it could be this gen, and offline or on this is one of the best games if you're looking to play through a campaign with another human. If you aren't a die-hard fan of the franchise who wants it to stay to its roots, Resident Evil 5 is a fun action game to play with a friend.

Logan Smithson, NoobFeed

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  • Very nice review. I hear so much about this game. Never had the chance to play it.


    Posted Jul 29, 2010

  • I love this game, even though I played all but the last level early this year I didn't beat it till last week :P


    Posted Jul 29, 2010

  • Everything about this game is just perfect, except one big lacking. Its crappy control.


    Posted Jul 29, 2010

  • @WillX47 : What made you put it off so long? :lol


    Posted Jul 30, 2010

  • Chris is a lucky mane in his virtual world. 


    Posted Jul 30, 2010

  • I hope Capcom realises how much further RE can go if they bring the control system into the 21st century.


    Posted Aug 09, 2010

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Capcom
Developer(s): Capcom
Genres: Third-Person Shooter
Themes: Zombie Apocalypse
Release Date: 2009-03-05

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