Title: Resident Evil 5 HD
Platform: PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Release date: June 28th (digital) / July 12th (retail)
tl;dr: Resident Evil; no scare, only action.
Price: $20 / £16 / €20
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Resident Evil 5 was first released in March 2009 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. It was also the first RE game to feature competitive multiplayer and introduce expansion packs to the long running franchise. Both add-ons, Desperate Escape and Lost In Nightmares, were released months after the game’s original release and were lengthy DLCs; with various difficulty settings, both expansion packs provided a hefty challenge for all players. In 2010, Capcom released Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition for PS3 and Xbox 360 with added content and PS move functionality for PS3. Resident Evil 5 became the best selling Resident Evil game of all time, and still is as of March 2016.
Resident Evil 5 takes place five years after the events of Resident Evil 4. The former Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) member Chris Redfield now works for the B.S.A.A. (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance). Along with his new partner, Sheva Alomar, they are dispatched to Kijuju, Africa to apprehend Ricardo Irving who is looking to sell a bio-organic weapon (B.O.W.) on the black market, so the B.S.A.A. agents must stop him before it’s too late. As they arrive, however, they discover that the locals have been infected by parasites and the BSAA Alpha Team has been killed. And things go from bad to worse.
Resident Evil 5 is a third person shooter, while most of the time players are running and blowing Manjinis up, the game features a few linear vehicle sequences in order to mix things up. One of the game’s boss battles has players on a boat shooting up a giant B.O.W.. RE5 continued its predecessor’s trend by adding QTEs (Quick Time Events). Fortunately, I feel that Capcom implemented them well in RE5 and this mechanic isn’t overused. Players will encounter QTEs during a few set cutscenes or when in linear vehicle sequences to dodge enemy attacks so it doesn’t break the game’s action-oriented flow.
Once players are done with the game’s campaign, which can take anywhere between 6-8 hours, there’s additional content for them to chew on. As players progress through the main game, they will unlock (just like the good ol’ days) the game’s two expansions: Desperate Escape and Lost In Nightmares. The former features a more tense, puzzled focused experience starring Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as they hunt down Wesker prior to the events of Resident Evil 5. While the latter is more akin to the main game as it features Jill Valentine and B.S.A.A. agent Josh Stone trying to escape following the events of the game.
For a more arcade-y experience, players can boot up the popular Mercenary mode. This is ideal to play in shorts bursts, as players must kills as many enemies in the time allotted. While running around the map, hunting Manjinis, players will find statues to break which will extend the time allowed to reach the highest score. Additionally, pulling off melee kills will add five seconds to the clock.
Instead of using the traditional (and magical) item box from other Resident Evil games, RE5 takes a book from RE0 and item management is handled between both characters at all times. Both Chris and Sheva have nine spots in their magic “purse”.
Each block can carry a set amount of a certain type of ammo. For example, if you reach X amount of shotgun shells, additional shells will take another spot. This is why it’s important to reload weapons during quiet times and mix herbs. To be as efficient as possible, players must equip each character properly while leaving room for health items or other goodies picked up along the way.
In between chapters, players can manage both characters’ inventory by swapping out/buying/upgrading weapons. In order to buy weapons, players will find gold coins throughout the campaign. Players can also hunt down jewels and treasures by exploring every corner of the game which can be sold in order to accumulate money quicker.
While the game does have an emphasis on playing co-op with a buddy, the A.I. for Sheva is quite efficient. Always at the ready to cover Chris and ready to revive him when near death. Caught in the clutch of a Manjini? Fret not, Sheva will kick it away in a matter of seconds. The same can be said for enemy A.I. They can be quite aggressive and smart; if players take too much time aiming, the target will zig zag around in order to dodge the player’s bullet. This, however, only applies to smaller generic enemies. Bigger and badder B.O.W.s will simply rush you in order to try and pound some sense in Chris and Sheva’s heads.
As mentioned above, RE5 was the first RE game to feature competitive multiplayer. Those tempted by the online component can player Slayers and Survivors. The former features two teams where players, either flying solo or with a buddy (Team Slayers/Team Survivors), kill Manjinis in order to rack up combos and obtain the highest score. The team with the highest number of kills win. Survivors is similar, but this time killing the opposing team members also counts as combo kills. Both competitive mode are actually really fun and addictive. Having players on the same level makes for a much more enjoyable than having to play against people who are high level with crazy powered weapons like some games offer.
Although Capcom didn’t go all out for the current-gen version of Resident Evil 5, the game does look very good as the developer gave the game a slight visual upgrade. Cutscenes also look more fluid. While everything is not perfect, like the lip-synching, it does the job very and looks much better than some PS4 and Xbox One games. Audio wise, the game is on point. While not as grandiose as the Resident Evil 2 soundtrack, RE5’s does have its moments of tension thanks to the audio and makes the whole experience a lot more tense, though this RE game is more action driven than scary.
Resident Evil 5 was great way back in 2009, and still is today in 2016. While mostly devoid of scares, the game will provide hours of fun for those looking for an action packed game. Sure, there are a few slow, more tense, sequences, but once players are dropped in the middle of waves of Manjinis, they have to be quick to react and lay waste to the B.O.W.s. The campaign includes four difficulty settings for players to tackle; add to that fun multiplayer along with Mercenary and Mercy mode, players will surely get their money’s worth. A few annoying mechanics such as not being able to shoot and run, along with a few minor QTEs won’t deter the player’s experience. A must buy for fans of action games and RE devotees.
- Great co-op game
- Smart A.I. partner
- Loads of content for a great price
- Lack of scares
- Can’t shoot while moving
Resident Evil 5 is rated M for Mature due to presence of blood, gore, intense and strong violence. Was there ever a family friendly Resident Evil?
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by Xbox UK