Review by Kayos90

"Resident Evil 5 takes the foundations of Resident Evil 4 to create a solidly stunning game that is sure to impress"

Resident Evil 5 Review

Story ------------- 8
Gameplay ------- 9
Graphics -------- 10
Sound ----------- 9
Tilt/Value ------ 9

Pros: Absolutely gorgeous graphics, Extremely fun boss fights, Cutscenes are fun to rewatch, Voice acting is top-notch, gameplay is very addictive, replay value is unmatched, Co-Op is an extreme fun-factor

Cons: Somewhat stale level designs, Sheva will not always be of help, Online can be a little tedious due to its awkward interface

Introduction:

Resident Evil has had a quite a history behind its back. Originally known for its own original genre called Survival Horror, the series has slowly taken a different turn with each new installment. Most notable of the series is Resident Evil 4. While the game retains its somewhat horror elements in the game, Resident Evil 4 redefined how the series was meant to be played and how it was to be played. Because of the new direction that the series has taken the games following afterwards will be quite different also. The fruits of the series' mistakes and success have finally accumulated into Resident Evil 5.

Story ---------------- 8

Resident Evil 5 starts out with the main character Chris Redfield traveling to Africa as a member of the BSAA to stop bio-terrorism. Ten short years have passed since the destruction of Raccoon City and Chris is still fighting the biological weapons that are scattered throughout the globe. As Chris arrives in the region of Kijuju, he meets up with a young lady named Sheva Alomar. Together, Chris and Sheva are to infiltrate a new hotspot for bio-terrorists and cease their actions. However, what begins to be a simple operation becomes something much more as the unveiling of the mysterious Uroboros Project and the hostile locals. The residents of the region have become dangerous and hazardous as they seem to attack any person they see in sight. Chris and Sheva are stuck in the shanty towns of Kijuju and must quickly make their escape out of the city to chase down the origins of this new bio-outbreak and stop the puppeteer that is controlling everything that happening in this region.

The story isn't instantly gripping nor is it very horrible that it won't entice the player into the story but it is very satisfying. It will be even more satisfying to the fans of the series as they will finally see Chris return along with his new partner Sheva. The game is quite short spanning around eight to twelve hours depending on the player's marksmanship skills but Capcom does an amazing job answering all the questions that were previously left blank. The story will take the players from the shanty towns of Africa to an oil refinery and to a gigantic ship. The locations, although many, transition very well and gives the feeling of fast paced-action story to the player. At many times, the game will feel very much like a movie. However, nothing in this game seems too out of control or inconceivable to the Resident Evil franchise.

If there is anything wrong with the game it's the fact that there are a lot of background references and detail reading. While Resident Evil 4 could stand alone from the rest of the series because it had little referencing the series and background, Resident Evil 5 has myriads of them. In order to understand one of the key events of the game, the player must be fully adept in the history and characters of the previous Resident Evil games. Although this doesn't take away from the whole-hearty goodness of the story, it definitely takes away some of the awe from the game. Another aspect of the story that many players might not enjoy is the fact of detail reading. There are scattered documents or details throughout the level and by reading them, the player has a better knowledge of the story and the history of Resident Evil. Unfortunately, some are too long or boring for players to even care. While others might find it fascinating, it's a concept that many will find boring.

Resident Evil 5's story isn't stellar but it certainly does have that feeling of an action movie. Because of this aspect it does bring up the importance of the story of the game but also amazing cutscenes. If you're playing Resident Evil 5 for just story, you're missing out on the game as a whole.

Gameplay ------------------- 9

The mechanics and the general gameplay of Resident Evil 5 is derived from the same foundations that Resident Evil 4 was built on. Over the shoulder view of the scene, a zoom up of what is in front of the character when aiming, and other innovative features. Resident Evil 5 in a way is an exact copy of Resident Evil 4 in that aspect, however, it doesn't mean that it's a horrible game. The players have an over the shoulder view of the character of the area and can aim with a gun or take out a knife using the R and L trigger respectively. Using various button combinations players will be able to move the character along the various stages of Resident Evil 5. Players can pull off various types of melee moves against staggering enemies that come their way and use myriads of guns to destroy infected humans. This game is very versatile in that the player can do many things but one thing that they cannot do is run and gun. The player can move throughout the various places of a designated area but must stop in their tracks to shoot the enemies. This isn't a bad mechanic of the game as it adds to the tension but could've been changed a little so that the gameplay would remain a little fresh from Resident Evil 4.

However, whatever gameplay mechanics that it doesn't take from Resident Evil 4 and is build from ground up is absolutely stunning. Throughout the course of the player's journey, they will not be going at it alone as they will have a partner. This game is built around co-op and does an amazing job incorporating the feature into the game. The player will play as either Chris or Sheva and an AI, or another player, will control the other character. Although this can take the element of tension out of the game it certainly does not. Having a partner will not insure your safety nor does it give you the feeling of assurance. No, it makes the game much more tense, exciting, and thrilling. There are many sections where teamwork is an absolute necessity and having a partner to go through tough levels will feel remarkably rewarding and fun. Capcom has absolutely nailed how cooperatively play should be handled in a game. The game has a total of six chapters with each chapter separated into multiple levels. You and your partner will finish all of these levels and accomplish victory in the game, but just because it's co-op doesn't mean that it will be easy. The AI of the enemies definitely shows on the numerous difficulties of the game as they are smarter, faster, and stronger. Enemies are tough and they will require strategy from both partners to defeat.

Long gone is the attache case that Leon mysteriously had in Resident Evil 4 but a new inventory feature is replaced with it. Each character is enabled with 9 slots of items meaning a total of 18 slots for both Chris and Sheva. Because of the limited amount of items that the player can hold, it will teach the players which items are a necessity and others optional. Not only is the amount of items the player can carry changed but how the items are accessed. The inventory is done in real time, meaning, if you are browsing through your inventory trying to find a healing item and your enemies are right in front of you, you just might die as you look for the item. This gives a feeling of desperation and tension that players will have never experienced before.

Although your inventory might not be able to hold all the weapons you want to carry, the player has a variety of weapons to choose from. There are various types of handguns, machine guns, rifles, and grenades to use. Each gun has its own strengths and weaknesses and using the right weapon may save the player in a tight spot. Not only do your choices weapons matter for your main character but the guns that players give to the player will also matter. If you give the wrong gun to your partner, then the boss encounter coming up in a few minutes might end up with you dead. Knowing the weapons and which weapons to use is a marksman's skill. The player will start out with only a simple handgun but your arsenal of dangerous weapons will evolve as you hunt down the different types of guns hidden in multiple levels. Certain weapons, however, can only be bought and even then after certain conditions are met. Guns will only be buyable between each mission of the game, after the death of a character, or in the start-up menu. The access of inventory and how it is to be used varies much from the predecessor of the game.

The game incorporates two types of cooperative play. One is done locally through either split-screen or system link, or one is done online through Xbox Live or Playstation Network. Both styles of gameplay are must and will offer something that the players have never experienced before: Unmatched Cooperative Play. As amazing as Cooperative play is in Resident Evil 5 there are some problems with. Players can search for a mission to play using the filters or create an Online Co-op room themselves. If a player searches for a room to play in then the player will find a buddy to play with and put the person waiting to come into the game to be on stand-by until the next check point. This makes the game feel somewhat less-fluid and broken up. If the person has already made a room and is playing through the level, a message will pop up on screen saying that a person is wishing to join the game and will join the next checkpoint. The same situation occurs and makes the co-op experience online seem somewhat gimmicky. However, once the game starts, there is no reason to stop playing co-op. The interface that the player must go through to play co-op is only a minor problem.

While there are many amazing features implemented into Resident Evil 5, there are a couple of features that could've been better implemented or not existed at all. At certain times in the game, the player is given the option to cover behind some object so that he or she will withstand fire and return fire, similar to the cover mechanics of Gears of War. However, this is not possible at every given moment. One can wonder why Capcom didn't use this feature throughout the whole game instead of certain parts. Regardless of the lack of this feature in the entire game, when used it is a resourceful asset that the player has in his or her arsenal. Another mechanic that seems somewhat is the linearity of the game. The locations that the game takes place in will vary but the design of the levels will get old somewhat fast. The reason this is because of how linear some of the levels are. There are no straying from a certain area that you proceeded into or wandering some other parts of the towns. Occasionally there will be a few rooms that the players can go explore but there aren't many. There is no exploration, backtracking, or roaming, only forward. Last but not least is Sheva. Sheva's AI can be very erratic at times throughout the game. For the majority of the game when Sheva is with Chris, she will waste ammo to no end and do somewhat horrible to moderately well. However, when Sheva is separated from Chris then she does amazingly good pulling off headshots every other shot. It can be understandable that the AI must not be overpowering, but the fact that she does many stupid things like healing when only 1/5 of your health is gone, or repeatedly using ammo against an invincible enemy is inexcusable.

The gameplay in Resident Evil 5 is definitely one of the best that the current generation has to offer, but it may not be for everyone. The game is very tense but the lack of run and gun may turn player's off thinking it's a slow-paced game. This is not the case. The shooting is thrilling, going through multiple levels with a mob of angry people chasing after you will give an adrenaline rush, and screaming as you get your head gruesomely chopped off is somewhat morbid. The enemies are fun to shoot down with many types of guns, the bosses are rewarding and exhilarating, and the cutscenes that offer a little surprise are all aspects of the gameplay that many will enjoy when given that second chance. This game caters to the fans but also caters to those who want to try out a game with a different style of play: action-packed, jaw-dropping, and eye-popping.

Graphics --------------- 10

Capcom has an extreme reputation when it comes to graphics. They will make other game's graphics look so obsolete due to their high production value put into making their graphics. Simply put, this game will look insanely amazing now, and will still look amazing 5 years into the future. It's that good. Whether you are looking at the veins popping out from Chris' ridiculously muscular arms or at the glistening of Sheva's eyes when light is shining on her face, the game's graphics is really good!

One of the key elements of graphics in Resident Evil 5 that stands out is the lighting. The lighting effect in the game is done as realistically as possible, so much that it can be called the best lighting effect in any console gaming history. When Chris is inside a dark house looking out into the bright scenery, it is hard to see due to the eye adjustments made inside the house, but the moment he goes out, the screen goes a little white and adjusts to its appropriate color. One can say that this is a key feature in the gameplay department, but it goes much beyond. Capcom has made the best use of lighting ranging from character eye-focus to environmental reflection.

Facial expression is something that not many games put effort into. Capcom doesn't use that type of logic and places intense facial expression even in the minor characters. The player can see what type of emotions that the characters are going through by looking at their faces. When Sheva talks you can see her lips move, syncing perfectly to her words, her cheeks flex in and out, and her throat adjusting back and forth. Not only this but body movements are well done using real actors. All animations are extremely solid and one can make even The Matrix jealous with some of the moves that the characters pull off.

While combining a stunning graphics engine with a fluid animation system, the graphics in Resident Evil 5 is one of the best in the generation or the history of gaming. Everything runs without any errors and all the textures are well detailed. The characters look so well animated and created that they seem somewhat real at times. Resident Evil 5 is a true beast and is on its own level when it comes to graphics.

Sound ---------------- 9

The audio incorporated into Resident Evil 5 is an absolute hulk but does not score a perfect due to some lack of harmony and variety. The voice acting in the game can be summarized with on word: glorious! This game has voice actors that do a grade A job at impersonating the characters as well as show the tension and emotion that runs through the character. One of the best is Sheva. Sheva is an African American in the game and her accent in the game is absolutely gorgeous. The game's voicing seems realistic and definitely immerses the player into the environment that he or she is in. Not only her but other characters that are African American do an amazing job. Among the notable voice acting in the game, Wesker has the voice of a true villain. Returning actor from Umbrella Chronicles, Wesker's voice fits his personality and style perfectly to the core. One can ask if the actor really does look a little bit like Wesker. With all said and done, the voicing in the game is top-notch and absolutely irresistible.

Unfortunately, the musical score in the game does not meet up to the quality that the voicing does. There are songs that will repeat over and over and again and again. Due to this the variety of the score in the game is very small and the music will get old really fast. That doesn't mean that the music itself is amazing, because they are. The songs that play in the intro, the credits, and the fights all fit perfectly to the environment that the player is in, and sounds African. However, the lack of balance between the music is dreadful. There is too much repetition for its own good.

Tilt/ Value ---------- 9

Resident Evil 5 has a solid replay value, especially considering there's no high-level competitive multiplayer like Gears of War or Call of Duty. The features that the game offers after the game and beyond are so inconceivably amazing that the players will come back time and time again. The game is short, but because of this fact it is both a good and bad thing. The player will have an easy time breezing through this game but because it's short the player will come back to achieve that high ranking grade or a high score. The game in a way is very arcade like. The player will often find themselves playing through the game more than once due to various difficulty levels and variety of weapons. There is more fun to be had with the story once it's over.

Along with the replay value of the campaign itself, there are a couple of interesting new features that make the game fun. One prime feature that has been in previous games of the series is infinite ammo. Once the player has finished the game and upgraded a certain gun to the max limit, the player can buy the infinite ammo option for that gun to use in the campaign. This allows just random screw-around time for the player in missions or maybe become the helping crutch to beat that impossible boss on the highest difficulty. Whatever the case, infinite ammo is always there and always fun.

Another feature that player can highly invest their time into is Mercenaries. Mercenaries is mode after the player has finished the game that allows a time limit arcade-like run through of a level. The player starts out with a character in a certain stage with a time limit. Before time runs out players must defeat as many enemies as they can, along with bosses without dying. This may sound somewhat easy, but can be very challenging and addictive. There are multiple characters that can be unlocked and beating the number 1 score on the leaderboards on Mercenaries is surely a near-impossible feat. Regardless, Mercenaries will lengthen the lasting value of the game tenfold.

Conclusion ---------------------- 9.1 (Reviewer's Addition/Deduction)

When it comes down to it, Resident Evil 5 has definitely strayed from the genre Survival Horror, moreso than Resident Evil 4. However, this doesn't mean that the game is bad, but much more bada**. There is a ton of action, a ton of content, a ton of guns, and a ton of zombified people to kill in this game that it is immeasurable to count how great the game is. The gameplay is solid, taking the formula from one of the best games of all time, the graphics are the best of the generation, and the sound is inspiring. One can say that this is an interactive movie. However, it's not, it's much more. Resident Evil 5 will take the player on a journey that they will surely not forget in the near future.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/19/09

Game Release: BioHazard 5 (JP, 03/05/09)


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