By brukaoru 9 Comments
[---^What do you think of the banner? Yay/Nay/Redundant? Make more for future blogs? I was inspired by SuperMooseman's banners on his own blogs. :> --- ]
Video Review:Sorry if the audio is a little too loud... Hope you all enjoy the ending, the audio clips are from Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4. The song that plays was created by a song generator at http://www.sr.se/P1/src/sing/index.htm. It's a little hard to tell what it's saying, but the lyrics are: "You are the master of unlocking..." I know it's really lame, but what do you expect from me? :P
Text-Version of Review:Resident Evil 5
ESRB Rating: M for Mature, recommended for ages 17 or older.
For a long time, the Resident Evil franchise had been a perfect example of what the survival-horror genre was. With fixed camera angles, "tank-like" controls and grotesque enemies, scares were easy to be found. With the release of Resident Evil 4, not only were most of these features discarded, but the focus was now shifted to provide more action rather than scary elements. The perspective for playable characters was changed to an over-the-shoulder view, something that would go on to influence many other games. Four years later, Resident Evil 5 has released, compromised of the same core gameplay that was introduced in RE4. Although it lacks innovation and modern-day advancements, RE5 has a good amount of offerings to set it apart from it's predecessor.
After the fallout of the Umbrella Corporation, Bio-Organic weapons started appearing on the black market. Terrorists, guerrilla fighters and unstable state governments were now able to obtain those weapons. With the threat of another incident like Raccoon City, the Global Pharmaceutical Consortium created the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) to neutralize bio terrorist hot spots. Chris Redfield, an operative of the BSAA, learned of an upcoming bioweapons deal taking place in Africa and requested permission to participate in the operation. Once he arrived, he became partners with another BSAA agent, Sheva Alomar.
Starting the game in single-player, players control Chris Redfield. In cooperative gameplay, one player plays as Chris or Sheva. For solo play, the artificial intelligence of the partner is decent. Obviously, it won't be nearly as accurate as playing with another human being, but for the most part it does a reasonable job defending itself as well as providing aid when players are low on health. Players can command their partner to attack or cover at any time, as well as trade weapons and items with each other. Most locations will have a number of enemies that must be taken out before one is able to progress forward and some areas will feature puzzle-esque sequences that require players to work together with their partner to solve them.
The inventory system seems like a nice upgrade from having to select from a menu while the game pauses as was the case in previous games, but in actuality it can also become a hindrance. While being able to quickly select from four different slots on the fly is good, it can make players vulnerable to attacks when trying to select from a different slot in the middle of battle.
Boss battles in the game seem to be toned down in difficulty compared to some of the grand battles that have appeared in the franchise before. There's little strategy needed to defeat a boss when most of them have glowing weak points that are very prominent and noticeable. All the boss fights feel very underwhelming.
While some sound effects in the game were carried over from RE4 (which is a bit lazy on Capcom's part), the voice acting and presentation are very good. The graphics are also very impressive. Each new area is very detailed and expansive, obviously stemming from high production values. Character models also look fantastic.
The ability to play online co-op is by far the best feature. Being able to play with a friend and help each other take down multiple enemies really boosts the fun factor for the game. Players can easily enter into a friend's current progression in the campaign and also leave just as quickly. In addition to the campaign, the Mercenaries mini-game that is unlocked after completing the campaign once can also be played solo or in co-op. Mercenaries pits players against enemies that continue to appear with the goal of achieving the best score possible until the time counter reaches zero.
Like Resident Evil 4, there really isn't much of a plot in the game, but information collected throughout give more insight to the overall storyline and events that lead up to the current circumstances in the game. Some of the choices made with the plot points may be seen as a poor choice with longtime Resident Evil fans.
For newcomers to the series the controls may be difficult to get used to, so much in fact, that it may be the deciding factor of whether one can enjoy the game or not. Relying on an old configuration and not a modern day control scheme may not be difficult for series veterans, but for people who have gotten accustomed to the controls of other shooters, it may be prove to be more than frustrating.
Resident Evil 5 is certainly not trying to be innovative, it merely builds upon the same formula of it's predecessor. Although there could have been enhancements made to make the game more playable and more modern with today's standards in shooters, it's a solid game on it's own. In a lot of ways, RE5 falls short of outdoing the previous game. It lacks some of the tension and atmospheric elements that made Resident Evil 4 enjoyable. It's also unfortunate that boss battles aren't very difficult and that the story is somewhat disappointing, but it's core gameplay still remains engaging. Having co-op may be a good enough reason to justify the game's very existence, but even the solo campaign is worthwhile. Although it may forever live in the shadow of RE4, it has more than established itself in today's market.
This review is based on the 360 version. The game is also available on the PlayStation 3.
Special note: In the review, I mention the fact that the glowing weak points on bosses are annoying, but that didn't bother me for bosses in Lost Planet. The difference being that Lost Planet is an original game, but implementing this into a game that's part of a big franchise that has never had it before bothers me. I don't know... Maybe I'm just crazy.