Minor changes with a fresh coat of paint.
When playing Resident Evil 5 you wouldn't be alone if you thought to yourself that many elements were identical to Resident Evil 4. The way the controls handle, a lot of the gameplay mechanics, and a lot of the enemy animations mirror exactly what was found in Resident Evil 4. Considering that there was a four to five year gap between the two titles I can't help but frown upon the developers for this. Still, I had a lot of fun with this game and if you're a fan of the series you will have fun as well.
Chris Redfield heads to Africa to investegate intel he received informing him that a friend he thought had died was actually alive. While there the indigenous people of Africa have been infected with a virus that resembles what Leon Kennedy experienced years ago in Europe and before you know it you're being attacked. A new comer to the series named Sheeva joins him on his adventure in hopes to restore order to her people and her country. A few characters from the series past return and almost everything gets wrapped up by the games end leaving room for a new story in the series future.
Bottom Line: It's a decent story with some exciting but predictable plot twists.
The basic mechanics are identical to Resident Evil 4. Your gun has a laser-sight and you move around like a tank shooting many of the same looking enemies. A lot of the animations the enemies have are ripped straight out of Resident Evil 4 which seems pretty lazy to me. The boss battles however are big, loud, and epic. They're all unique and look great. Unfortunately, there were a few times during the boss battles where the game felt like it was forcing you to play a certain way which I didn't care for. You may die a few times before you realize to yourself, "Hey, this is what I need to do!", and sometimes it felt a little too forced. The inventory system is cumbersome and annoying, but it's not a deal breaker. The only times it really shows how flawed it is is when you're in combat. Trying to pull out a specific item or weapon can lead to a error in your selection or a cheap hit by the enemy.
Bottom Line: Same solid gameplay found in Resident Evil 4. Game mechanics feel a bit dated, but it's still fun.
Graphics and Sound
While the core game mechanics are almost identical to Resident Evil 4 the graphics are something to see to belive. The textures look great and the shadows are extremely realistic. Subtle things like a cool "eye adjustment" effect that takes place when you enter or exit a building are really nice touches. As mentioned before, the bosses look great and are the star of the show. The sound is also great. The enemies speak to each other as they hunt you down, which can be really creepy sometimes especially when they do a battle cry. A brooding track plays during battle that helps keep you engaged and tense. Everything you're engaged in combat it kicks in and it won't stop until all of the enemies are dead. I also really enjoyed the music that plays at each chapters end. It's very relaxing and has a nice "African" vibe to it.
Bottom Line: Great graphics and sound!
Resident Evil 5 is a solid game. It looks and sounds great and most importantly it's a lot of fun. Some things left me feeling like the developers cut corners and I got frustrated by a few of the design choices on more than one occasion, but being a fan of series I was able to cope with these disappointments. I really hope they kick it up a notch with the next installment, but Resident Evil 5 worthy of the name and a welcome addition to the series.
Bottom Line: Buy