Resident Evil 5

While this title has been out for a while, I’ve only just recently gotten my hands on it.

Genre: Horror/Third-Person Shooter
Players: 1-2 Co-Op (Online available via download OR Gold Edition)
ESRB: Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
Platform: PS3*/Xbox 360

Resident Evil 5 is the most recent installment in the Resident Evil video game line. It’s essentially my first experience with the series. I remember playing through about five minutes of the first Resident Evil and chickening out. I was pretty young.

The game follows Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar, agents for the BSAA investigating bio-terrorism activity in the jungles of Africa. This, of course, results in discovery of Umbrella and Tri-Cell activity. This leads to a quest to find Chris’s old partner and, ultimately, Albert Wesker, a perennial Resident Evil character.

The first thing a player will notice, and the last thing my brother noted before putting down the controller, is the fact that the player cannot strafe while looking down the sites of a weapon. For some people, like my brother, this is going to break the game. For many others, it’s a feature that, since it’s implementation in the first Resident Evil, has or will become appreciated. All I can say is stick it through the first level regardless of how you feel about it. The first level can definitely be extremely difficult as the triggers to proceed are location based as opposed to time, it seems, and it can be hard to establish where those locations are.

This feels a lot like previous Resident Evil games. Ammo is a commodity, no strafe, etc. They parted from the awkward camera angles in the fourth installment, so the camera sits conveniently over your shoulder. Genereally, this means that for fans of the series, you’ll certainly enjoy this installment, though I’m told Resident Evil 4 is a touch better. It doesn’t do scares like F.E.A.R. or the first Resident Evil, groundbreaking in its day, but that doesn’t detract from its quality as a survival shooter, regardless of how scary or not scary it may be.

One of my favorite aspects is the weaponry. While you don’t necessarily have a huge assortment of weapons, it’s makes it feel more realistic. Where in other shooters, your handgun is essentially useless, this game makes note of the fact that while you might have automatic fire with a machine gun, the rounds do less damage and it can be less accurate. Upgrade your handgun as you go and it will treat you very well as a core weapon all the way to the end of the game. Beyond that you can look to unlock a fun longbow after completely upgrading your other weapons.

The graphics are pretty solid, especially considering that this was released pretty early in the PS3’s life. The mouth animations seem awkward off the bat, but you get used to it, and the infected enemies are nice and gross and such.

Replay value is there if you’re a fan of the series. Chapter select makes it easy to do just the missions you want to while generating cash to upgrade your weapons.

Occasionally big enemies can have awkward weak spots that are tough to spot, and sometimes you want to kill your A.I. partner, especially when Sheva gets routed by the chainsaw guys instead of running away. For the most part, however, Sheva will be vital to your success and she does a pretty good job at not sucking while, at the same time, not playing the game for you.

At this point, I haven’t had a chance to try out the online or multiplayer, and I hear multiplayer is really where this game shines. I’ve played better things, and it isn’t one of my favorites, but I felt an odd satisfaction upon finishing it, so I encourage you to pick it up. At this stage, it’s a steal for under twenty bucks, unless you’re jumping for the Gold Edition, which is a bit pricier.

Bottom Line: 8/10

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