Resident Evil 5 has its flaws, but is a great game overall.
Resident Evil, a series that defined survival-horror, has been around for thirteen years. Capcom, the creators of Resident Evil, released Resident Evil 5, the seventh game in the main series (0 and Code: Veronica make Resident Evil 5 the seventh game in the series instead of the fifth), in March, 2009. Four years prior, Resident Evil 4 was released, and the game was highly received with its new gameplay and new style. Does Resident Evil 5 live up to the success that its predecessor was? Let's find out.
First off, the game is a beauty. It's one of the best looking games around. The pre-rendered cutscenes brings the entire game to life. The characters look almost real. In the actual game, the textures are beautiful and the zombies look quite scary when they're about to kill you. Unfortunately, as great as this game is graphically, it doesn't have that horrific feel that the other Resident Evil games have. Resident Evil 4 was much more ominous and scary than this game.
Lag is almost nil in this game. It happens mostly when a horde of zombies come and they're all knocked back with the Hydra shotgun. This makes the game more enjoyable. Graphical glitches can be a real pain.
The sound is just as it was in Resident Evil 4. The voice acting is just as good as it was in Resident Evil 4, and the spooky music gives the same experience. It might be a bit repetitive from Resident Evil 4, but the sound in this game is great. There are some unique orchestral tracks in the game that are great.
The story is quite good, but it has too much of a reference to Darwin. Without giving too much away, the story is about a new virus that is planned to be released so it will kill off those not fit to survive in this world. The antagonist thinks like Darwin, but is more sinister than Darwin.
Gameplay has the most problems, but also some benefits that make it more realistic than Resident Evil 4. It's an enjoyable experience with similar controls to Resident Evil 4 (there are some differences on the PS2 version of Resident Evil 4 and the PS3 version of Resident Evil 5, which is rather annoying), but there are a few things that are very irritating.
The main problem with this game is the AI. The AI partner, whether it's Chris or Sheva, has issues. First off, the partner will spam ammo like crazy and always rush to fight the enemy. Unless you are behind a wall or something and attacking the enemies from afar, the partner will rush in and could be killed. This is very bad during some of the boss fights.
Second, you have to go to something to command your partner to use it. It's very annoying, especially with the boss fight that's halfway through the game, where you have to command the partner to go to different mounted guns and then go to one yourself.
The worst comes last instead of the best this time. The AI partner will continue attacking enemies even when you're dying. This is very, very bad on Professional mode. On Professional mode, dying lasts three seconds, so the fact that the partner will not put resuscitating you at the top of the list is just terrible.
Another thing about the game that isn't too great is that it is much easier than four. The challenge, along with the horror, has been minimised a lot in this game, which is quite unfortunate.
But this game has many positives which cover up the negatives. First off, the attache case from Resident Evil 4 is gone and is now replaced by a live-action menu that can only hold nine items per characters. With two characters, that makes eighteen slots total. This might turn some players off, but for others, it offers a more exhilarating experience when it comes to switching weapons and choosing what to bring. Without the option to take the time to adjust stuff during the level, it adds a new level of gameplay.
The controls might turn players away from this game, being very weird and different from other shooters, but anyone who has played Resident Evil 4, or any of the older Resident Evil games to be honest, will accept the controls with open arms. The controls are different, but are very fluid and work very well.
The replay value of this game is incredibly high. Beating the game once, which will take around ten to fifteen hours, is only the beginning of this game. There are harder difficulties to play on no matter what difficulty you started the game on. Professional mode can only be unlocked by beating the game once.
Mercenaries is back and better than ever. Introduced in Resident Evil 3, it was taken a step further in Resident Evil 4 by giving four characters and four stages to choose from. Resident Evil 5 has the best example of Mercenaries yet, with eight levels (seven based off the game and one unique level) and ten playable characters, each with different weapons and abilities. Well, there are only four characters, but each one has different variations (Chris, for example, has BSAA, Safari, and STARS).
Versus mode, which can be purchased from the Xbox Live Marketplace or the PlayStation Store for $4.99, is an add-on released on April 7, 2009 that includes two modes, Slayer and Survivors. (There are team versions of this game, too.) It's a unique experience that pits Resident Evil players against each other. The control scheme is a bit weird to be facing against other players with, but it works.
Leaderboards are introduced to this game, which allows players from all over the world to compete against each other to see who is good enough to be at the top of the leaderboards.
Does Resident Evil 5 live up to the success that its predecessor was? No, but overall, Resident Evil 5 is a great addition to the series and should be picked up by newcomers and hardcore fans. With its amazing visuals, decent sound, good storyline, and high replay value, Resident Evil 5 will deliver satisfaction.