The lights are on
"Awful" is how one friend
described Resident Evil 5. He's a big fan of RE4, but dislikes RE5. More
opinions from RE fans on the internet further solidified for me that RE5 seems to
be a bad game. I was getting very nervous as I approached the end of RE4...will
I like the next installment? Is it really as bad as people say? My worry was
mixed with confusion having seen critics' reviews that praised RE5. I didn't
get it. Critics loved it, but many average gamers didn't? Whatever the outcome
was going to be, I wasn't going to back away from it. So, now that I've played
it for myself, I believe it's time for a fair view of RE5 for what it is: a
pretty great game. It does divert from what made RE4 so successful in several
ways, but didn't that same tactic work for RE4? Going off the beaten path to
appeal to the ever-changing tastes of gamers? Capcom likes to experiment, and
they completely succeeded with RE4. I think they went about the same path to
make RE5, and in doing so, created the most action-packed and bold RE yet.
However, it goes a bit overboard on the action and has unnecessary changes that
make it inferior to RE4 in some ways. These complaints aside, there is no
reason why anyone should skip out on RE5 due to the controversy surrounding it.
It's got excellent graphics, good game mechanics, an interesting story, and exotic
environments unlike any of the other RE games.
excerpt below in italics)
Chris Redfield travels in a jeep alone towards
his destination. He's been assigned by the BSAA to meet a fellow operative
named Sheva Alomar to investigate some suspicious activity in Africa. Chris
eventually meets up with her and she fills him in on recent info for their
mission. After a short walk, they meet with a secretive local to gather their
gear and weapons; you never know what to expect. Coincidentally, everyone in
the streets seems to disappear in a hurry as if they thought Chris and Sheva
were coming for them. Getting back on the streets is met with a load yell from
a man, which they quickly run toward to see what's wrong. When they find the
man, deranged locals have surrounded him while they put a grotesque organism in
his mouth. He collapses to the ground and emerges seconds later...attacking
Chris and Sheva! They have no choice but to kill him, which is how they
discover that the organism was some sort of parasite that took over his body.
It's possibly a version of the deadly Las Plagas that Leon Kennedy encountered.
What's going on here? They have no time to think because more locals are after
them, and they are unthinkably thirsty for violence.
Chris and Sheva couldn't live without each other...in terms of survival.
RE4 has a surprisingly compelling
story compared to its predecessors. Thankfully, RE5 also manages to pull off an
entertaining and intriguing story that has lots of surprises in store (there's
an excellent plot twist too!), even though it can be linear and slow paced at
certain times. Another thing that was really cool wasn't exactly RE5's story,
but the story of the history of Umbrella. It's retold during loading screens
that lists those who founded Umbrella, what their goals were, what they
accomplished, and more. It's presented in a concise, logical order that's
actually fascinating to read; the story of RE begins to seem less convoluted as
you read it. There are also plenty of bios of the characters and events. So, if
you've never played an RE game before and want to know about the story, don't
worry! RE5 provides a sufficient overview containing important information of
the entire story.
If you're a newcomer to RE,
you won't have a problem adjusting to this game. If you're a long-time fan of
the series, I'm not quite sure how you'll react. RE5 incorporates the same type
of look and feel of RE4 (Third Person Shooter style with tank controls). However,
RE5 is heavily centered on nearly constant action and has a revamped control
scheme. Thankfully, those that love RE4 have an option to switch to its control
scheme or try a hybrid of the two. Moving on, there is one thing I was slightly
disappointed in about RE5: the inventory system. Everything in every RE game is
laid out in a clean manner where you have a case that contains all your items.
To use, combine, or organize them at any time, you literally pause the game,
take your time to mess around, and proceed back to the action. In RE5,
everything must be done without pausing. You want to combine a red herb and
green herb? You have to take about 8 seconds to do it no matter what's going on
around you. Although this is more realistic, I found it frustrating at times
where (for example) I wanted to quickly pick up an item as zombies are chasing
me, but had no time to because my small inventory was full. I'd have to
manually organize it on the spot, which is impossible because death would be
certain in a situation like that. Speaking of inventories, you actually share
one with your partner (Sheva). This way, you can exchange, give, or take items
from her (if you're playing alone). This is a neat idea that works well to an
extent, but it falls short for a couple of reasons. Sheva is an AI that
normally acts on her own. It's cool when she picks up ammo and hands it to you or
when she heals you. However, problems arise from this. If we're low on health
and I have a red herb and she has a green one, she'll go ahead and use the
green herb (even though it's much better to combine the two). If I give her a
shotgun, she'll use a pistol the entire time...even during intense combat. If
she's performing poorly and dies, I suffer the consequences because you have to
start over at a checkpoint. The point is that she can be hard to trust, so I
normally have to stockpile on items and give her excess stuff that is useless
to me until needed. Regardless, she's a big part of the game; an integral
character you must rely on. Adding such an important AI partner like her was
new for RE, so I'm actually impressed with most of her performance.
Oh, Sheva. We all love your moments of stupidity.
Sorry for the tangent
there. Going back to the inventory system, a part of that is the store, which
is also a slight step down from RE4. It's a menu you can access at the start or
end of a level where you buy, sell, upgrade, exchange, and give items; it's
where you best manage your inventory. It's less impersonal and fun than getting
to interact with the famous merchant in RE4 at certain points within levels.
Although it functions in the same way, this is where RE5 felt more "arcady"
than the realistic feel of coming across a shady merchant in the dark. You also
come across the same type of enemies that were in RE4. The difference? They're
even faster, stronger, and smarter. Many will dash in your direction and madly
throw themselves at you. A fair amount can wield guns (yes, I said guns).
Others can even ride motorcycles. These zombies are a bit too smart for zombie
standards, but I suppose it's for the best since the reasons behind this fits
the story. I could continue talking about the differentiation of RE5 from its
predecessors, but it'll suffice to say that it all depends on your playing
style. I think it strays a bit too far from what makes RE a survival horror
game, but it's still a great game with lots of explosive action. For anyone
that loves big set pieces and excitement, you'll want to play this.
is the first game in the series on this generation's consoles. On the negative
side, a few environments are bland and some textures are blurry. However, the
lighting is very impressive, character models look fantastic, facial animations
are extremely detailed, and environmental effects such as water and fire look
great. What I love about RE5 are the levels, which can range from an underground
temple to exotic grasslands. I was constantly impressed by the diversity of the
environments, which were all skillfully and naturally laid out. The enemies are
also creatively designed to look like creepy freaks of nature, especially the
bosses. Definitely some of the best character design in any RE game. There are
better looking games on the market, but RE5 is by no means an okay looking
game. For a first run on the PS3 (the console I played on), RE5's visuals are
very good and could easily compete with graphically intense games.
Teamwork is essential. Turn that oversized valve, Chris!
To my surprise, not much of the
music was memorable in this game compared to many of the great melodies in other
RE games. It complements the game well, but I don't remember any particular
ones that really stood out. I'm not complaining about the music because it's
not bad listening to it separately, but it didn't stand out for me.
The sound effects are just
as great as they've always been. Guns sound pretty realistic; you could tell
where you are just by listening to your footsteps (which means they're great);
echoes and ambiance sounds can make environments creepier or tense, and more.
I've always been impressed with the thoroughness of this category of audio in
the RE games.
Voice acting: the absolute
worst thing of RE's past. The great thing is that RE5 has the best voice actors
and actresses that I've heard yet. They convey emotion and power behind their
voices in a way I wasn't expecting. There are some forced and flat lines here
and there, but the majority of the voice acting is very well done.
You'd expect most campaigns
to not be that long these days. I'm glad to report that RE5 (on Veteran) is a
lengthy 15 hours. There're also two excellent DLC missions that add to the main
story of RE5, a Versus mode where you can compete against others, awesome online
co-op, and Mercenaries. There're also costumes to unlock, trophies to earn, and
levels to max out on in stats. I've got to hand it to Capcom when it comes to
the amount of content in this game. You're definitely getting bang for your
In Co-Op, never leave a partner behind. Stick together and kick butt!
After looking up some
quotes online (because I'm not cool enough to have any off the top of my head),
I found an interesting one from a man named Joey Skaggs. He said "Any deviation
is looked upon as a perversion, is feared, and is usually a target of hatred
and prejudice." I think RE5 is a great example of this to loyal fans of
Capcom's beloved series. I agree that it slightly strays from the path of what
makes RE so loved; that love being RE's ability to provide suspenseful and
spine-chilling experiences. However, this is no reason to not like RE5! If it
stood alone, it would be held up as a great game that manages to mix action,
survival, and a bit of horror in an exciting way. I'm glad that Capcom likes to
mix things up with RE. Sure, it may not meet all of our expectations, but at
least they aren't pumping out the same game every time. If they're willing to
innovate and make some slight stumbles in the process, Capcom can learn from
their mistakes and come back with another game that's better than ever. I'm
looking at you, Resident Evil 6! So, if you're interested in checking out RE5,
I recommend doing so. The Gold Edition (the version I purchased) only costs $20
these days! It's definitely worth that admission cost. And with that, I
conclude my "Entering Resident Evil" series of going through all five of the
main RE games. Now I wait for RE6. Thanks for checking out my review!