A big disappointment
Being a big fan of Resident Evil 4, I approached RE5 with caution. And the result, quite a big letdown. Yes, the game delivers on graphics, sounds and cinematics, they are all extrordinary, everything has top notch Hollywood production values. But what the game delivers on presentation, it misses on gameplay. RE4 worked because in essence it was a corridor shooter. It worked because of the limitations of the older generation of consoles that couldn't surround you with enemies. So although the controls were lacking, you could manage quite easily due to the essence of the game. In RE5 this has all changed. The environments are much more open ended and you can be flocked by hordes of rushing enemies coming at you from all sides. This is where the control scheme rears its ugly head. It simply doesn't feel fluid any more, it fells like a pain. And where there is pain, there is less fun to be had. Capcom should have copied the control mechanics of the excellent Dead Space or Gears of War and things would have been much smoother. Dead Space worked because it too as RE4 was a corridor shooter in its heart and it too didn't overwhelm you with enemies. RE5 has other shortcomings as well: A shorter campaign; an almost broken single player mode with a dumb AI partner which loves wasting ammo and acts more as a mule for carrying inventory items; and an atmoshphere which simply isn't scary anymore, gone are the days of playing in the dark. Having a partner with you also removes the sense of dread that past iterations had.
To sum things up, RE5 isn't a terrible game, it just isn't a very good one. I think the high scores being handed out by reviewers and web sites are attributed a lot thanks to the exceptional production values and the fact that people just want to love this game as much as they loved RE4. And since both games are similar in many ways, people miss the point as they are also very different in the way they play out. A 3 out of 5.