A Great Experience
Resident Evil 4 changed the way 3rd person shooters are played and was one of my favourite games of the last generation. The idea of Resident Evil 5 instantly excited me I was looking forward to see more inovations and new changes to the gameplay. When the first detail leaked out I was instantly disappointed and it put me off buying the game at launch. Its now a few months later and I have finally played through the game and my opinion has changed completely.
Resident Evil 5 puts you in the shoes of Chris Redfield who is now a member of the BSAA a team who specialise in dealing with biological warfare and breakouts. You start of in Africa meeting Sheva your partner for the game who will also serve as the second character in coop. Thats the first important thing about the game, Sheva is with you all the time so if you are playing through on single player you have an AI partner following you around. There were a couple of parts where she died and frustrated me but overall the AI is good and you can use her as a healer if you want which avoids you having to worry about healing mid fight. Either way you should be happy with Sheva if your playing through on your own but playing with a friend is the best way to go.
The gameplay has not changed much from Resident Evil 4 which means while it takes a while to get used to standing still to shoot when games such as Gears of War have improved on 3rd person shooting since the last game, it is still very solid. In Resident Evil 4 whenever things got a bit crazy you could pause the game and change weapon and just catch your breath. That has gone in this sequel you now have to manage your inventory in real time which again takes a bit of getting used to but works rather well as you can map 4 items to directions on the D pad. The rest of the gameplay is the same really, you will smash open boxes to find the little bits of ammo to keep you alive and mix herbs to heal yourself. At the end of each level you get graded and given a nice upgrade screen to improve your weapons and this really adds a lot of replayability to the game. You find yourself going back trying to get all your weapons fully upgraded and all important S ranks in every level and it really is a lot of fun.
As soon as you start the game you realise that Resident Evil 5 is one of the best looking games of this generation the lighting is brilliant and everything just looks brilliant from the huge bosses to the small crates you smash open. The cut scenes are also brilliant looking and very well made giving the story a very cinematic feel. The story itself is nothing special and a little bit predictable but it does a solid job of tying everything together and goes back to a lot of older story lines in Resident Evil to tie things together including the events of Resident Evil 4.
Overall Resident Evil 5 is a brilliant game while some of the gameplay is a bit dated it all still feels brilliant. The visuals and sound add to the world and really make the whole game into a top quality package. The mercenaries mode, weapon upgrades and unlockables add a lot of replay value. If you are into survival horror or even just shooters Resident Evil 5 does not disappoint and while on the surface it is a very small step forward the game as a whole really is very good.