catalystx's Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360) review

Resident Evil is back!

Resident Evil is back with its follow up to the acclaimed Resident Evil 4. Although the graphics have made significant leaps, most of the control scheme from Resident Evil 4 has returned. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the game still feel like more of the same.

The story is more of a follow up to Resident Evil 4 and the Resident Evil: Degeneration movie. It seems to encompass mostly content from those two titles while staying true to the roots of the older games as well. You’ll find yourself in Africa on a mission to end the bio-terrorism plaguing the territory. Eventually you’ll unravel the characters behind the sinister plot and become the only ones to stop it. It is all done in a very campy way which is typical for the Resident Evil series. You’ll see all the plot twists coming a mile away and hear some cheesy lines being delivered by decent voice actors. You won’t care though; the cut scenes are, for the most part, awesome. It’s all done with a visual flair typical with the best Hollywood action movies have to offer.

The biggest change aside from wonderful graphics is also the ability to play the game cooperatively, both split screen and online. The AI can control your partner Sheva if you prefer single player, but the game was designed around having a human partner. The AI simply reacts to situations, it will heal no matter what if health is low, it will shoot if it has ammo, and it will not know which the best target to shoot at is. A human partner can communicate with you and set up flanks, or cover your back. It just makes the experience much smoother and far less frustrating with a friend.

Aside from the fact I can’t move while I’m aiming, my biggest problem with the controls was that the item pickup button is the same as performing a melee attack. I found many times I ran up to a stunned enemy to perform an uppercut and instead picked up an item that was underneath the enemy, losing that window to perform the melee attack. Inventory management can also be a little cumbersome, since you can’t pause the game and move stuff around. Make sure you go into each firefight prepared; otherwise you’ll likely be attacked trying to defenselessly select an inventory item. The only time you get to stop manage your inventory, or upgrade/buy a weapon, is in between each chapter.

The enemy AI seems to act the same as it did in RE4. They will run at you until they are close, then they will walk at you till they are within striking distance. You will fight generally the same enemies until about half way through the game, and then the variety kicks in. You’ll start seeing more gruesome monsters than the typical mindless drone.

Upon completing the story mode for the first time, you’ll unlock Mercenaries mode. This is the same as the previous installments, where you’ll try to eliminate as many enemies in the time limit to build up your score. You also have the option of playing this in online or local co-op which is fantastic.

Your first play through of the story will probably last around 12 hours, but with tons of unlockables, many treasures to find, emblems to shoot, costumes, and weapons to upgrade you’ll want to play through numerous times. Despite the fact the controls are almost exactly the same as RE4; I still had a very good time playing RE5. Between fun gameplay and incredible graphics I’m confident any Resident Evil fan will get plenty of enjoyment until the next Resident Evil title.
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