When Resident Evil 4 dropped down in 2005, it was hailed as an instant classic and often goes down as one of the greatest games ever made. With that reputation Resident Evil 5 has a lot to live up to. After four years in development, Resident Evil 5 is finally ready for its outing. There are some things to note, however, such as the idea that much of the horror is gone. So you probably won't be scared at any point while playing the game, but you will definitely be thrilled and you'll have a lot of fun.
Resident Evil 5 sports a story which continues the conspiracy and most of it happens to be presented very well. The game is absolutely gorgeous looking in every way and runs consistently. The voice acting, for the most part, is pretty good. For many Resident Evil fans who can still remember the bad voice acting of the first one, it's nice to see just how far the series has come. Does Resident Evil 5's gameplay live up to its graphics and sound? Yes. The gameplay is perhaps the games strongest suit.
A lot of the gameplay is similar to Resident Evil 4 in terms of its shooting mechanics. If you mastered the fourth installment, you'll be set to tackle what lies ahead here. The controls are easy to get acquainted with. You've got a large assortment of guns, even though you won't start with a good haul. Along those lines you've still got a trusty knife at your side that's a lot easier to use. As you gun down most of the evils that await you, you'll also notice that when they stumble you can approach them and a button prompt will pop up letting you perform special attacks. It helps if you want to conserve ammo.
Conserving ammo might not be a problem, however. For what it's worth, there's quite a bit of it, not to mention some of your enemies might drop more. You'll be charged by hordes of bad guys all at once and have to take them on. Those who struggled with Resident Evil 4 might be surprised to find that the difficulty in fifth installment has been toned down considerably. You can absorb a bit more damage than you could before, and healing items restore are also a lot more plentiful along with ammo. This doesn't mean the game is entirely easier, just a bit more inviting.
What's new for everyone, however, is the co-op mode and having a partner by your side. Playing co-op is a very fun, very exhilarating experience. No matter how you slice it the game is more fun with a friend. It can also be done online. It might seem gimmicky at first, but it all works out really well. There are moments where you'll be split up and have to send one partner somewhere while another provides cover fire, but for the most part, you'll be sticking together. It all comes together and works really well. You'll want to get a friend and play together whenever you can.
If you feel like going at it alone, however, the AI will happily control the other character. In many games when the words "AI" and "Partner" come up it usually spells disaster... but this isn't so in Resident Evil 5. You'll control Chris in the single player experience, but Sheva will be alright in holding her own in many instances. She shoots and dodges enemies fairly well. In short, you shouldn't have to babysit her. This doesn't make the AI perfect. While she isn't useless in a fight you might notice that Sheva goes through ammo quite fast, sometimes even shooting enemies that aren't fully within reach. There's also not a whole lot of commands you give your partner either. You'll also find yourself having to organize her inventory. Constantly. It's not a bummer to play on single player, but some of it can feel like a chore.
There are two things that might make gameplay take a little getting used to. The first is the menu system. It is now in real time. You only get nine spaces (eighteen, if you count your partner), and it never expands. Also, you can't move while the menu is open--despite it being in real time. This makes it hard to access healing items in the middle of a fight. However, Capcom has remedied this by having the directional pad be shortcut keys, which helps things along. One thing that might not seem as good is that you can't move while you shoot. Some argue if you could do this then Resident Evil 5 just wouldn't feel like Resident Evil. I can accept that, but some might not like the idea that in thirteen years Resident Evil still makes you stand perfectly still to raise your weapon. It's a minor complaint, however, as you'll rarely be so over taken that you should have to run and gun anyway. Besides that, the game is still easy despite this, it is obviously a design that Capcom intentionally left unchanged. You'll notice that while you can't move while you shoot, enemies are more than willing to slow down to give you a moment to aim. Nevertheless, there's an intensity to the gameplay that feels perfect. It's a lot of fun to play. You can't move while you shoot, but the lack of being able to do so never really presents itself as a problem. All this amounts to some pretty exciting gameplay. There's never a dull moment. And when the action slows down it's only a matter of time before it picks up again.
If there was anything that truly might upset some fans, it would be that the horror element of the games is just about completely gone. You'll more than likely never be scared. There are a lot of thrilling moments, well designed enemies, bosses and level designs, but some might not like that Resident Evil 5 turns its back on horror almost entirely. You'll find some gruesome things, and plenty of blood and gore, but don't expect to be frightened by anything the game throws at you.
In spite of the box art for the Playstation 3 being present, it should be noted that this game is also on the XBOX360. There's nothing in the 360 version so far, that isn't in the Playstation 3 version of the game. If there was any difference worth any note, it would be that the controls are slightly altered. Where as in the Playstation 3 version you'll use R1 to aim and L1 to shoot, the XBOX360 version assigns aiming and shooting to the triggers. It's the only difference worth nothing, but you might also want to know that you can change the control scheme if the default gives you trouble.
They also look nearly identical, no real huge differences that would really make you want to choose one version over the other as is shown below:
Resident Evil 5 is a solid game, in part because it's just amazingly fun to play. The fact that you can now go about it with a friend makes it much more exciting. It might not be scary, but at least it's still fun. Whether you pick up the Playstation 3 or XBOX360 version, you should have some fun and enjoy it either way.
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About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes (Sean_Rhodes)
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Years after surviving the events in Raccoon City, Chris Redfield has been fighting the scourge of bio-organic weapons all over the world. Now a member of the Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSSA), Chris is sent to Africa to investigate a biological agent that is transforming the populace into aggressive and disturbing creatures. Joined by another local BSSA agent, Sheva Alomar, the two must work together to solve the truth behind the disturbing turn of events.