Tuesday, December 11

Resident Evil 5 Review

I played on: PS3
I paid: £4.65
Available on: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Notes: N/A

The Resident Evil series has very slowly been mutating into an action game with a horror theme since the 3rd instalment. Resident Evil 5 sees this transformation all the way through to the end as it’s pretty decidedly an action game. The progression into action makes sense for the series. The saddest thing is that Resident Evil 5 never really commits to this new action style with anything new and instead tries hard to be more of Resident Evil 4.

On a surface level, the gameplay feels almost identical to Leon’s adventure in Spain. You run around with the camera over your shoulder, you can attack using your guns or save ammo and use your knife. Defeated foes drop items or you can break apart some of the many boxes to find health, ammo or valuables to sell. Although the merchant is gone you can still buy and upgrade guns between missions. The similarities go deeper though with a lot of the bigger moments and mini-bosses copied right from the last game. Once again you fight a version of El Gigante, have to survive or kill a chainsaw welding local and more. While in Resident Evil 4 these moments were fresh and exciting here they feel cheap and lazy. The moment to moment gameplay in 5 is still as fun as it was in 4. Fighting off the Plaga infected locals has the same thrilling and additive edge as it did previously. You constantly feel like you’re just about to run out of ammo or health and the tension is great. It’s just the moments that break up this standard gameplay that now feel lacking and dull. This isn’t a bad game. In fact, when it does its own thing it’s a very good game with great action. it’s just that so much of it is a less impressive clone of Resident Evil 4.

Without a doubt, the best thing about Resident Evil 5 is its story. You play as Chris Redfield investigating a dangerous BOW-arms dealer called Irvin. Reports indicate a new strain of the Plaga Leon encountered is active in Africa. It’s been 3 years since the prequel DLC Lost in Nightmares and Jill Valentine has been presumed dead all this time. Chris has some Intel that points to her being alive and in the area. The BSAA teams Chris up with a local agent called Sheva Alomar. She is a great new addition to the series with her loyalty and passion for her teammates mirroring Chris’ friendship with Jill.

This is also the climax of the story between Chris and Albert Wesker. Since Wesker betrayed Chris and Jill at the end of the very first game this rivalry has been building up. During Code Veronica Chris and Wesker had a very dramatic encounter with Wesker displaying superhuman speed and strength. Resident Evil 5 allows us a chance to learn more about Wesker and the entire past of the series. One of my favourite moments of Resident Evil 5 is when you find a tomb containing some very strange flowers. If you read the notes scattered around the abandoned Umbrella facilities then you will learn that these are what started everything. The Progenitor virus was extracted from these flowers and that was mixed with leech DNA to create the T-Virus and so on. Any fans that love to dig their teeth into well written and detailed series lore will love this game.

While Resident Evil 5 has it’s problems with reusing content and very often awful friendly AI on single player it’s far from terrible. I love the farewell we get to the Chris and Wesker story as well as all the amazing series lore found here. If you’re a series fan or even just a fan of Resident Evil 4 then I’d say pick this one up because I’m sure you will have plenty of fun even it’s far from perfect.

Recommendation Rating: 7 out of 10.

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