Resident Evil 5
Rated M for Mature
*Blood and Gore
The time has come for another chapter in one of Capcom’s most well known and well loved franchises and with it comes questions about racism and complaints about overpriced DLC. These unnecessary concerns are put to bed quickly once you start playing Resident Evil 5.
The main character, Chris Redfield and his partner Sheva do start out in what feels like a Black Hawk Down setting but the environments change quickly as you progress and you start to forget that you are even in Africa to begin with. The “zombies” are a good mix of ethnicities with the exception of the wetland Majini, all of which are visibly of African descent. They really did it the only way they could to make it feel like a more realistic experience. As far as paying to download a multiplayer component, I really don’t see it as a necessity at all. This game has no versus feel to it in any way. It was built especially for co-op or single player, but those who disagree with me can certainly ante up the dough for an extra mode. All I know is that after surviving through a majority of the storyline, I’ve come to realize a few things. There are absolutely no racist aspects in this game, I don’t need there to be more content to add multiplayer, and this is one of the best looking console games of all time.
That’s right, I said it. This game is better looking than Metal Gear, Killzone 2, and the Gears of War series. The graphics are that good. You will be blown away by everything you see on the screen. From the biggest enemy, down to every strand of series newcomer Sheva’s hair, this game just shines. You will see one of the best video game explosions (all the explosions look great, this is about the big one) of all time in this game. You will be amazed. Bottom line. The cutscenes are made with the in-game engine but the gameplay looks so fantastic that you can hardly tell when one ends and the other begins. Not one detail was overlooked in Resident Evil 5 and there’s not much more I can say. You really have to see it to believe it.
Playing through the game by yourself will definitely give you the story, experience and feel of the game, but at a very minimal level. To truly enjoy this experience, you should jump into the co-op ASAP. Cooperative play is just too much fun. You can join a friend online or have them join you and they will bring all of their own weapons and ammo/items to the table. All items collected while in game with someone else are saved to each player’s own game and all gold is given at the full amount to both people. The only bummer is that a joining ally either has to wait for the next checkpoint to get into the action or the hosting player has to revert back to the previous point to join each other. It’s not a huge deal and hey at least you don’t have to rely on the spotty A.I. Sheva, when computer controlled, is serviceable but I have to tell you, she is an ammo hog. She absolutely does not know that Capcom has designed Resident Evil games so that conservation is the key. She’s no better with First-Aid Sprays either. That in itself provides the need to find a human partner, especially at the higher difficulty levels. All of that aside, the game seems to have been built specifically for co-op and it truly is the way to go. Some of the moments in the game are just gonna be better with a friend, kinda like seeing Bigfoot. At least you will have proof of how cool it was.
A lot of people are going to miss out on this extraordinary game because they are going into it already complaining about the controls. I really can’t comprehend this because when RE 4 came out it was praised endlessly for its new control scheme. Not much has changed from 4 to 5, like the use of timed button presses for quick-time events, but it does seem as if they have made some changes from when the demo was released until now which is a good thing. And while I do agree the controls are a little clunky, there are four control schemes and I’m sure you can find one that will work for you. I’m certain controlling either Chris or Sheva will become second nature to you in no time at all.
Resident Evil continues to be the superstar in its genre. This game is truly is a must play. The story is average but will be enjoyed by series’ fans and those new to the series will get the history of RE via the loading screens. There is just so much to do here. Between collecting treasures, unlocking and upgrading weapons, beating the various difficulties, unlocking achievements (which are nicely paced) and finding all the hidden insignias in the game, Resident Evil 5 will be in your 360 or PS3 for some time to come. The replay value on Capcom’s gem is unbelievably high if only to unlock the rocket launcher with unlimited ammo. That’s reason enough for me.