With the arrival of Resident Evil 6 (yes I will review it, in about two years), I finally decided I should probably sit down and play Resident Evil 5 (okay, I’m really late on this one). Now I’m no expert on Resident Evil, as I’ve only beat Resident Evil 2 on the Nintendo 64 (a pricey purchase at the time) and Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube, however after beating Resident Evil 5, I can firmly say that it’s a good game, but far from being great or scary…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Sent in by the BSAA, Chris Redfield has a new mission. It takes him into
South Africa where he encounters a new horror and relives an old past.
I’ll get some complaints out of the way first by talking about the controls. Not being able to move and aim at the same time, is annoying as hell. I understand wanting to create tension, but come on, at least try to make it somewhat realistic. It’s been awhile since I beat Resident Evil 4 and I don’t really remember how the controls were on that game, but I think I remember them being like this and having the same complaint back then. Your reticule for your gun can also be hard to make out, which results in spent ammo. However, at least the controls aren’t as awful as the original games (now there is a control scheme that will having you screaming your head off).
Next complaint is the item management system. If you want to access your items, you have to hit a button, which will bring up a menu system, but it doesn’t pause the game. Which, once again, creates tension, but also frustration. Also, in my 15 hours of playing the game, I still couldn’t figure out how to use the inventory menu. So I was constantly either shoving stuff off my to my AI partner (more on that monstrosity later) or just dropping the item altogether. Another thing, constantly running out of ammo can be quite annoying at times and not being able to buy any, was a really pet peeve of mine. I know what you’re going to say, “don’t waste your ammo” and you’re right, it’s partially my fault for not having enough. Something I discovered near the end of the game, was the stun rod, which worked wonders and saved a lot of ammo. I highly recommend using it for most encounters with people.
Now, as I mentioned before, I played this game with the computer and not co-op with a human partner, which this game offers and I highly recommend doing, due to the fact that the A.I is pretty damn awful. She constantly gets in the way, doesn’t really help you when your being swarmed by enemies, steals pickups/ammo and happily marches into harms way. One point in the game, where the objective was to hide for a certain amount of time, I had to constantly spam the button that tells her to come back. She would acknowledge the command for a second and then merrily march off to have her ass handed to her. I honestly think I would’ve died less if she wasn’t around.
Okay, so that was a lot of complaints, but what about some good stuff. Why say it’s a good game when I’ve been bashing it constantly? Cause everything I’ve listed above you can work around. You’ll get use to the controls and menu. You’ll learn to just take everything for yourself and let your partner walk around in a circle, while you go about killing everything. These are all things that, yes, will lower the score some, but doesn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the game. I thought the story was interesting, even if it was convoluted beyond belief, more so with my lack of knowledge in the series. There are plenty of great set pieces that involve some action and sweet boss fights. The game is a beauty to look at, with some nice character models (although, Chris looks like he could bench press a house) and environments, which consist of African villages, before moving into a more industrial type setting, which harkens back to the good ol’ days.The music is really well done and I rather enjoyed the end credit song. As for the voices, most are great with only few cheese filled lines and stiff deliveries. Nothing that would rival the first few games.
I own the Gold Edition of Resident Evil 5, so after finishing the game, I decided to play the two DLC’s that are included. First up was “Lost in Nightmares”, which tells the story of Chris Redfield & Jill Valentine at the Spencer Mansion. Very much a throw back to the original Resident Evil and one that I enjoyed immensely. It’s only about an hour long and you can’t save, but you do get checkpoints if you die. If you enjoy puzzles and some nice creepy atmosphere, you’ll really like this one. Next up was “Desperate Escape”, which allows you to play once again as Jill Valentine and discover what happened near the end of the main campaign. This DLC is definitely more like Resident Evil 5, with constant enemies coming at you and no puzzle solving to be had. I enjoyed it though and think it should be played so you can see the other side of the story. It’s about it hour long and once again, you can’t save it.
Resident Evil 5 also offers a few other game play modes, such as Mercenaries, which is basically a horde mode, where you must survive as long as possible. Also included is an online versus mode. I didn’t really play much of either of these two modes, so I can’t really say anything positive or negative about them.
At first glance this game looks like it shouldn’t belong in the Resident Evil universe, but as you progress further and start to explore underground facilities and meet some old friends/enemies, you’ll start to see that this really is a continuation of the series. In order for something to grow, it has to expand on it’s offerings and provide something new and fresh. With that, I applaud the developers for broadening this series. It may have some problems and you may occasionally find yourself cursing at the game’s faults, but if you stick with it, I think you’ll be glad you did.
Story – 3.5/5 – The history of Resident Evil is already convoluted, so why should Resident Evil 5 be any different.
Gameplay – 2/5 – The controls will take some getting use to and the inventory management is a pain. Your partner deserves to die.
Graphics – 4/5 – Some great visuals, with a lot of interesting locations and a variety of different levels.
Sound – 3.5/5 – Voice acting is pretty good, with a few cheesy lines. Music helps set the tone for the great set pieces. Overall (not an average) – 3.5/5 – This is a good game, with some problems that will take some getting use to. I liked that the series has changed over time, but I do wish it could’ve been a little more scary.