Resident Evil 5


With everyone and their mothers making games with zombies in them, the time finally came on 13th March for the big boys to bring their A game. Capcom are back with the title that started it all. Resident evil 5 has the world on it’s shoulders and it’s time to deliver some zombie carnage of epic proportions.
However like Resident Evil 4, the Zombies are left in Raccoon city and the Majini (which means “evil spirit” in Swahili) are here. This is the first time that the Majini and Resident Evil will be delivered to us in Hi-Definition but will the Hi-Def of the “next gen” consoles show any flaws in the franchise?

Resident Evil 5 has got a lot in common with it’s predecessor which is renowned as one of the best, if not THE best Resident Evil game of the franchise. This is not such a bad thing until you fire up the game and realise that the control system from 4 is now quite archaic compared to standards of action games now.
As most people will know, either from word of mouth or playing the demo, the control system here suffers from the lack of being able to move and shoot. Not having this ability is ridiculous and had this have been added it would’ve played very differently.
It’s not just the lack of moving and shooting that faults the controls but the lacklustre movement of the characters throughout the game. An example of this is no ability to roll out of the way of Majini or kick down a door at fast pace.
Watching Chris Redfield stop and leisurely open a door as the infamous Chainsaw Majini is gaining on you while revving his chainsaw and cackling wildly is infuriating.

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The fourth Resident Evil, was fresh and innovative, especially at the time that it was released. So bringing over over gaming elements from that game feels slightly regurgitated and if you’ve played number 4 then you will notice a lot of similarities. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just lazy on Capcom’s part.
However Capcom did bring a new partner to this dance and she goes by the name of Sheva.

This is the first Resi game with full co-op, your partner in this game is Sheva Alomar.
Co-op is playable over XBOX LIVE and system link and when a friend or random gold member is not around then the AI will control Sheva throughout the game.
The main thing to note regarding this is that the AI is quite bad and will surely annoy you as she fumbles around the levels. AI Sheva is great as a moving storage dump, you can hand off health to her and she will keep you alive but give her any ammo and she’ll spray bullets left and right. Sheva couldn’t hit a barn door and if she did she’d just pump ammo into it wastefully.

Due to the AI being a poor companion it can mar the single player campaign, but find yourself a friend and Resident Evil 5 delivers the fun that you expect.
This iteration of Resi has moved away from being a “survival horror” and become more of an “action horror” game and this lends itself more to Co-op. Teaming up with a friend to take on the Majini is one of the best co-op experiences in this generation of consoles. Anytime you can talk tactics and work together is enjoyable, But add to this the girlish squeals of “what the hell is that” from your partner and it moves into a more social experience.

The monsters are as over the top as usual and even though a few of them are taken straight from Resi 4 they feel at home here. It’s a standard affair of taking care of Bosses of finding the weak spot etc, But with the addition of a second hero some of these Boss fights really are enjoyable when you’re made to work as a team.

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The story here is as cheesy as ever and the voice acting cements that fact. There are twists and turns along the way which will satisfy any fans of the series whether new or old. But don’t expect anything to deep, saying that there are some great nods to the past games which are memorable and somewhat moving.

The gameplay is suitably tense and this is due to enemy and ammo placement. Capcom certainly has a skill in creating an emotional roller-coaster. There are many moments of elation when you’ve entered a new section and filled your pockets with ammo, but the dream of success is crushed when swarms of Majini are thrown at you and you come out of the other side with only six bullets.
There are moments of frustration with the many quick time events thrown into some of the cut scenes. At first they are fun, but miss a button press and you will die and have to sit through what you’ve previously done and this can be quite a lot sometimes.

Getting through the game gives you a real sense of achievement, especially on very little ammo.
As with 4 you can upgrade your weapons and buy equipment to help you out. This time it’s not a shady guy in an alleyway though, All upgrades are done in between chapters. In a way this is better than 4 as you never knew when you’d run into the trader. You will also be brought to this menu if you die, so this gives you the chance to re-adjust if you felt that your equipment let down.

Speaking of achievements, Resident Evil 5 has full support of achievements and trophies. You will have the usual ones for completing the game on different difficulties but there are exploration ones in there too and a few that require you to complete random acts. Looking at the list you will have to play through the game several times in order to get them all.
Along with the achievements and trophies, as with other Resi games, there are plenty of unlockables. Once you’ve finished the game for the first time you are rewarded with new game+ on your menu. This means you can play the game again with all the weapons and equipment from your first playthrough.
A great addition to this is the ability to have infinite ammo on any gun that you upgraded fully in your first playthrough.
Along with weapons to unlock, there are costumes, background files, High detail character models and game features.

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Graphically this game is superb, all of the textures are gorgeous and the details on the character models are tight. This accompanies the terrific sound to be heard. The sound effects from the monsters and guns are a treat for the ears, especially if you have to chance to play it through 5.1 sound.
The only issue I found was there were framerate drops at points and also some quite bad screen tearing on every cutscene, this really detracted from the viewing.

Resident Evil 5 is incredibly enjoyable……….With a second person.
If you are interested in playing Resi 5 but can only play by yourself then it’s guaranteed that you won’t have as much fun as with a co-op partner. The AI that Capcom gives you just isn’t up to scratch.
If you have a buddy to play it with though, then this game is a must have.
It has it’s flaws in the controls and repetitive nature of the game and history of the franchise but is a solid action game that deserves attention.
Resident Evil 5 has great gunplay, fun enemies to slay and incredible longevity. My first playthrough on normal took just over ten hours and I started a second playthrough straight away.
Capcom has given us the best co-op game in years and you’ll enjoy playing it for months to come.

Hi-Score- Longevity, great co-op, fun storyline with incredible graphics.
Lo-Score- Bad AI, clunky and archaic controls and issues with display.

Final score- 7 out of 10

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  1. Nice review think I am goinig to have to go out and see if I can get a cheap copy now! 🙂

    • Dave 1601
    • March 20th, 2009

    im glad that you cant move and shoot! as i feel the game would be too easy if i could just back up while shooting the guy with the chainsaw

    nice review mate even though i think its worth more than a 7 (but thats just me)

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