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Resident Evil 5 Review

Resident Evil 5 Review

The latest game in the Resident Evil saga follows Chris Redfield as he travels to Africa on a mission to take out some bioweapons terrorists. Meeting up with his mission partner, Sheva Alomar, they both quickly discover that not everything in the town is normal - or at least as normal as you can get when it's controlled by bioweapons terrorists.

A couple of the characters, player character or enemy, also have flashbacks which give you some back-story from pre-Resident Evil 5. At first it may raise some questions, the first one likely being ‘When on Earth did that happen?' As the story progresses though, more of the filler story is told, and fits together quite well, tying up loose ends from almost every other Resident Evil game. There are still some left hanging about though, so hopefully they'll be covered in Resident Evil 6...

The movement and combat in the game is an over-the-shoulder, manual-aim type of view, the same as in Resident Evil 4. While this detracts from the suspense from previous Resident Evil games - where you had to move around a corner to shift the view, and likely get chomped on - it also allows many more items to be placed around, mainly by hanging from walls, ceilings, trees and other such places. The controls are a little awkward to start off with, but as you play you'll get used to them eventually, apart from maybe the drawing of weapons and knives - it's easy to get them mixed up and it can be a bit annoying when you blast off a rare magnum round by accident.

As with Resident Evil 4, there are many variants on most weapons, so you can have your pick of the bunch. All variant weapons can also be upgraded in three areas: firepower, reload speed, and clip capacity. Most can also be upgraded in another specialist area, from critical headshots or piercing damage, to a shotgun's spread range or a rifle's zoom range.

The bosses in this game are far harder than any other Resident Evil boss I've faced off against. This may be to do with the fact that you have a sidekick shooting away with you, but I was disappointed with myself for the number of times I was killed by the one of the bosses. Even some of the regular enemies are criminally tough, and all this playing on Normal mode. If you get through Veteran, you will find a new mode available to you - Professional. However, in solo play it is VERY hard, to the point where I died over a dozen times on one single boss. The main reason for this is that your AI partner, who is usually an asset, suddenly becomes as thick as a rock, even just standing next to you whilst you are dying.

This instalment of Resident Evil also introduces co-op play to the series and comes in two flavours: split-screen local and full screen over Xbox Live. The view in split-screen for each player is set on top of each other and skewed off to the relevant side. However, about a third of the screen is simply wasted blackness, though this is only really a major issue on small TVs. There are three modes for online play: Rogue, which is your solo mode; Invite only, in which you can invite your friends or they can request to join; or Open, where you can team up with any random player from around the globe. Both co-op modes are much better than solo mode, because you have a human you can plan with and instruct, rather than just hoping the AI will do what you want them to, which makes it easier to play and more fun.

The save method of the first Resident Evil games has gone - the game autosaves after you finish each chapter part, with checkpoints in each level just in case you fall foul of the enemies. Luckily, a checkpoint pops right before every big fight, so you don't have to trek through a long level just to get killed in the big firefight and then have to do it all again.

The inventory system is a little different too - each character has nine inventory slots, and all items except guns, herbs, and first-aid sprays are stackable. You can also assign four ‘quick-equip' items, for the directions on the d-pad. This really comes in handy when you need to switch weapons quickly, especially as the game continues whilst the inventory screen is open. At the end of each level, or when you die, you have a chance to re-organise your inventory and buy or sell items. This is where you get access to item storage, like in the earlier Resident Evil game, but it is inaccessible whilst you are actually playing. Treasures are items that take up no space, and can be sold for more than most items, meaning that treasure will be your main source of income in this game, which in turn allows you to buy new weapons and upgrades.

One aspect of this game that really shone was the loading times. The loading screen contains a complete history of Resident Evil - this information is also contained in a menu off the main screen, which is good because the loading times are usually so short, you won't be able to read more than a line unless you can read very fast.

There are a fair few bonuses to collect in this game, from figurines of characters and enemies, to alternate costumes, graphics filters, and fact files. The files are unlocked by completing the story chapters, and contain histories on key characters and organisations in the game. This also includes a 44-page history of Resident Evil itself, from back before Umbrella was founded, right through until Leon and Ashley escape at the end of Resident Evil 4. There is also the ability to buy infinite ammo for any weapons you have completely upgraded, which is invaluable in the hardest difficulty setting. These rewards are not bought with money, but rather by reward points, which are gained by doing well in either the story mode, or the minigame The Mercenaries.

The Mercenaries makes its return for a third Resident Evil game, and it is in the same sort of format as it was in Resident Evil 4. You choose your character, each of whom has a set inventory of weapons, and you must then do your best to survive an endless onslaught of enemies over various locations, mostly story areas. This carries on until you either run out of time, or die. By doing well on levels, you can unlock other levels and other characters to play with. By killing enemies quickly, you can build up a combo and score more points. Each level also has a special enemy or boss, which gives you many more points for killing than the normal enemies. It is worth noting that co-op mode is also available here, so you can work for the points alongside a friend.

Now, Resident Evil was always supposed to be a survival horror game, one filled with suspense and a few puzzles. Unfortunately, since Resident Evil 4 the suspense has all but gone, and the puzzles in this game mainly consist of a mirror puzzle and the riddle of where all your ammo has gone to. However, this is the only Resident Evil game that has actually made me jump because something unexpected has happened - this usually involves enemies dropping practically onto your head, although there are also a few moments where you see a monster and quietly swear to yourself. The explosive traps are also well disguised in this game, and there were a couple of times that I ran into one and it made me jump wondering what had happened.

Since Resident Evil stopped with the zombies, and geared more towards general bioweapons (Resident Evil 4 & 5), the genre has felt much more action-like. In particular, this episode of Resident Evil sees the foes attacking you from a motorbike while you blast back at them from an armoured truck, in a scene not unlike that of Grand Theft Auto IV or Call of Duty 4. Resident Evil 5 is also host to one of the most blatant rip-offs of The Matrix, from the bullet-time dodges and slow motion sequences, to Neo's sunglasses and long black coat.

Resident Evil 5 is a great game, but like its sibling Resident Evil 4, it doesn't truly feel like a Resident Evil game. Sure, the stories may intertwine well, but the gameplay has changed so much it's like a whole new game. Aside from that, it looks great, plays great, and has a good set of background music to get you in the mood of the game. Co-op mode makes life much easier, and the final boss is one of the best yet, and I took great joy in disposing of him when I eventually figured out how. Out of all the games I have started playing recently, this is definitely one of my top favourites.

8.00/10 8

Resident Evil 5 (Reviewed on Xbox 360)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

The latest game in the Resident Evil saga follows Chris Redfield as he travels to Africa on a mission to take out some bioweapons terrorists. Meeting up with his mission partner, Sheva Alomar, they both quickly discover that not everything in the town is normal - or at least as normal as you can get when it's controlled by bioweapons terrorists.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
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SamCrossMan-1428101110 - 11:45pm, 3rd April 2015

Gotta agree with you when you say it doesn't feel like a true Resi game. But out of interest, whats with the lateness of the review? Spent all that time trying to find a co-op partner? :D

JK Ferret
JK Ferret - 11:45pm, 3rd April 2015 Author

There have been various reasons... a co-op partner was one, yes. The latest obstacle was my laptop, of course >.<

Beanz - 11:45pm, 3rd April 2015

The latest obstacle was my laptop, of course >.<

Did you not realise you can't play 360 games on a laptop? :p

JK Ferret
JK Ferret - 11:45pm, 3rd April 2015 Author

Aye :p But losing 1500-1700 words about said game, on said laptop, as well as the necessary program to view them, is rather a factor ;)