Resident Evil 5
I had mixed feelings when the review version of Resident Evil 5 was pushed into my hands. On one side I certainly wanted to check out this topgame but as biggest wuss of the crew this would be a hellish assignment. With soaked hands I started to quickly realise that this game isn’t so frightening at all anymore. How a survival-horror game became a survival-action game you can read below.
This time Resident Evil isn’t located in an abandoned house or a freaky town but the sunny Africa. You play with old familiar Chris Redfield who has become member of the BSAA, an organisation against bio-terrorism. Together with Sheva Alomar, member of the African branch of BSAA, you need to investigate what’s going on in Kijuju.
The game is built from the start with a co-op option in the back of the mind. During the single player you’ll often have to give a colleague tasks like opening a door, turning levers or holding a lamp. But of course it’s much more fun when the AI of Sheva gets taken over by the skills of one of your buddies. Your screen then gets split in two, left top and right bottom a square, to start shooting zombies together. Of course there’s also an online co-op present which compensates for the lesser offline version and allows for the fullscreen experience of your adventures.
As I already said before the horror is almost completely gone in the game. You do feel rushed, tense and paranoid but at no time did I get scared out of my seat by a zombie or a raging dog. The controls still feel “Resident Evil”: slow and sturdy, and although this isn’t a downpoint the makers may start thinking about other ways to build tension. The opponents are often equally well-armed as yourself which results in taking more cover and shooting more careful than before.
A new feature in the game is the possibility to upgrade your weapons. Those that you find or buy during the campaign can be improved in different aspects. Little modifications like capacity, reload speed, fire power and critical hit rate will come in handy as you progress. Also the large diversity of arms is welcomed with open arms. Shotguns, rocket launchers, machine guns, rifles, … you name it! All have the same function: taking down the for once dark-colored zombies.
Resident Evil 5 is certainly not repetitive. Tons of different enemies, surroundings and as earlier stated weapons make for the necessary variation. From an abandoned African village through a dark mine or a swamp area where your hovercraft comes in handy. Also the many endbosses, where you each time have to find their weak spot, make for plenty of excitement.
Graphically things look more than ok. The characters are so detailed that you can even see Redfield’s veign pulsate on his muscular (long live steroids!) arm. Thanks to the life-like animations and camera control the game looks a lot more filmic and tons better than the Resident Evil movies. Gorgious sundowns, dusty roads and overall very atmospheric environments make for a realistic experience that lifts the game to a higher level.
Also quite a lot of extras after and during play of the single player campaign are offered. Each level can be finished again in a better time or you can go look for remaining emblems, gold pieces, weapons or treasures that you hadn’t added to your collection. Also new costumes, game options, graphical filters and more can be unlocked which assures that you’ll play the game more than once.
After finishing you can also get started with a completely new mode called Mercenaries. Here you need to kill as many opponents as possible and try to survive until help arrives. This can also be played in co-op which will bring a lot of fun.
Again Capcom manages to reach the high level of quality of its predecessors with a new Resident Evil game. Polished graphics, a large diversity and intense gameplay as well as a fun co-op make a beautiful game. The horror is a bit missing though, something that will sadden a lot of people. Wussies like me, however, can now say with a tough look in their eyes that they’ve dared to play a game like Resident Evil in the dark!