Review by renaclaudeshaus

"RE5 is the epitome of wash, rinse, repeat."

Introduction

The Resident Evil series has been with us for roughly thirteen years. Over the years, we were witnesses to the great gameplay and intriguing, if not most of the time, repetitive storyline. Is RE5 a must buy? Is it something that you should be proud of having in your collection? Find out in my review.

Graphics - 9/10

This is hands down the main asset and possibly the saving grace of the game. The production values really shine in the graphics department. The graphical improvements from RE4 are very obvious. Great character and environmental details are wonderfully applied. The cutscenes both in-game and prerendered are awesome to watch over and over. That said, I can't say the same for the other criteria.

Gameplay - 5/10

RE5 tries so many things. And that means it got several game mechanics from several high profile games out there. Think RE4 with the following additions: you can strafe, you can hide behind cover (at key moments, not every time you want), you can assign weapons to the four directional buttons on the controller, and you have a partner.

One might think those are cool. However, they are not. Strafing is good but you are still forced to stop and shoot while fighting monsters. This results to denying RE5 the fast-paced action it obviously was trying to deliver. In RE4, the stop and shoot was an okay, "fixed" thing. But now, it is no longer the case. Hiding behind cover also feels unnatural and tacked on. And last, the co-op. Capcom should have made the co-op portion of the game 'optional'. Meaning, you can play the game alone without an AI-controlled character. This means that if you want to get the best out of the co-op experience, you need to play it online since Sheva can really annoy you in the most dire situations which are far too many in this game.

One annoying fact about the whole RE5 experience is it's 'wash, rinse, repeat' mentality. You are given a map to explore which is medium in size at best, kill hordes of enemies, get the key from the area sub-boss, open the gate that leads to the next area, wash, rinse, repeat. The radar also gives you the impression that each map has a definite finish line that you need to get to. RE5 dumped exploration for fast-paced action. Action that is awkward and clunky at best, and frustrating at the least.

Sound - 6/10

There's nothing really special to talk about in this department. Most of the sound effects (from the enemy grunts and wails to exploding heads) are undeniably recycled. If you played RE4, chances are huge that your ears will feel overly nostalgic by the 'hand-me-down" sound score that is RE5. Some orchestral soundtracks give the game a little bit of character however.

Story - 6/10

The story cutscenes are so nice to look at and watch, but the story itself is trying to be epic. Behind this attempt to be great is the simple fact that it's still, and always will be, about a virus. The bio-terrorism plot could've fleshed out some nice story points, but sadly, it didn't. There's little to no character development in the two main heroes' part. The only positive things you can look forward to are the uncovering of what happened to Jill, the greatness of the prerendered cutscenes themselves, and story files that tell you more about the past RE games and characters.

Controls - 4/10

Quote: "What was fixed before, IS broken now.". I am pretty sure you know what that means. During the development cycle of RE5, Capcom has stated that they don't need to fix something that isn't broken. Well RE4 was one of the greatest experience I've had in gaming. In RE5, I can't say the same. Chris still moves like a tank, just as Leon did in RE4. But considering the waves and waves and waves of enemies it will throw at you, you will pray that Capcom could have tweaked the control system to better it and not just copy it straight from RE4. Sure the switching of weapons is real time now, but it doesn't make up for the clunkiness of the controls.

Verdict - 6/10

Rent the game first. You can probably get the taste of the limited experience it has in store in the period of your rental, anyway. The main campaign is easily 10-12 hours long. The Mercenaries mode and Online Co-Oop can get you competing for the best times in the leaderboards but they offer nothing beyond you can't imagine. For completionists I guess I recommend getting this game. There are tons of things to unlock, but the process of getting all of them might require you to rely on guides and tips rather than just your own skills, wits, and interests.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/20/09

Game Release: Resident Evil 5 (US, 03/13/09)


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