Review: Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil is a game which almost introduced the survival-horror concept to the untold masses during the original Playstation era. The series introduced gamers everywhere to the concept of limited ammo and a blood curdling B-movie-style story. Resident Evil helped to define a generation of games. Titles such as Silent Hill and Dead Space owe much to the Resident Evil series. Resident Evil 4 is the game considered by many to be the best in the series, and some people also consider it to be the best game ever made. Edge magazine put Resident Evil 4 as the fourth in a poll of the hundred best games to play today. Resident Evil 5 follows the same gameplay seen in Resident Evil 4; but is it a worthy sequel, or will people fail to feel the magic?

Players take the role of series regular Chris Redfield, last seen in Code Veronica for the Dreamcast. The story takes place in modern day Africa. It seems to be commonplace that in 2009 games routinely involve terrorists in some way; Resident Evil 5 is no different in this regard. With Umbrella shut down, the viruses they developed have fallen into the wrong hands. Chris is not alone in this tale; early in the game his partner, Sheva Alomar, is introduced. Like Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil 5 ties up almost every loose end of the Resident Evil saga. The game also offers people who are not familiar with the story forty page summary of the whole series.

Resident Evil 5 might as well be called Resident Evil 4 High Definition. The Gameplay remains almost identical in terms of how Chris is controlled. It is sad that this game will never see a Wii release, for anyone who has played the Wii version of Resident Evil 4 will think back to how amazing the Wii remote was. The main addition in terms of gameplay is the two player co-op mode, available in both local split-screen and via network over Xbox Live or PSN. Another new amendment to the gameplay is the item management. No longer will the game pause during that all important first-aid play. This mechanic forces the player to really think about the team work aspect. The ability to use the D-Pad to switch items on the fly is a welcome revision.

The game looks amazing; the high quality textures and the level of detail in the game is astounding. Resident Evil 5 could be one of the best looking games available right now. Problems do exist with moments of interface lag encountered on the Playstation 3 version. Sound editing has set a good standard with music cutting in at the right moments to heighten the tension in the gameplay.

Resident Evil 5 is a good game; any fans of Resident Evil 4 will feel right at home with this, and anyone looking for more of the same quality gameplay should pick this up. Unfortunately, Resident Evil 5 does have a number of flaws which push the game down from great to good. The AI when playing in single-player is shocking, players will often find themselves wanting to turn the game off because of this. The best advice is to use the partner as a mule and to pack her with ammo and items, but never any guns. The other alternative to this is to play the game only in co-op, because this mode is what Resident Evil 5 was made for. The game, like Metal Gear Solid 4, is very cinematic with some of the best-directed scenes seen in video games. Looking back Resident Evil 4 is still the best Resident Evil game. Despite this, fans of the series should have little problem feeling right at home in the latest version.


  1. I couldn’t disagree about AI Sheva more. I’m at 3-3 right now, and up to this point, she’s proven invaluable, thanks to her pinpoint accuracy. She rarely ever gets in your way, usually because she’s shooting the hell out of someone too. You have to make good use of her COVER/ATTACK modes to get the most out of her, but she’s one of the best AI partners in any game.

  2. Well with the retarded enemy AI and the bright sunny environment I guess they had to do something to inject the horror element back into the game, and let’s be frank there are few experiences to rival the blood curdleing horror of having Sheva walk in front of where you’re shooting or Sheva wantonly frittering away your ammo stock pile or Sheva backing you into a corner. In order to create an experience of abject terror Capcom have given us the most broken partner AI ever experienced in a game, more wasteful than Donald Duck circa Kingdom Hearts and more obstructive than your party in KOTOR.

    Oh and BTW, I wouldn’t call it RE4HD, because that would be to imply that it is as good. Sheva is enough to handily insure that this is not so. Further the game has less depth in many of its aspects. There’s less depth in upgrading weapons. There’s less depth in its treasure (i.e. having to hold onto treasure to upgrade it to create greater value). And then of course there’s the complete lack of any sort of puzzle to break up the gameplay. RE5 is still quite enjoyable, but it feels a little like a one trick pony.

  3. Also the weapons don’t feel as chunky and because of the extreme ammount of enemies the game throws at you Capcom have made enemies much easier to go down. The whole game just feels less rewarding. I enjoy Dead Space more.

  4. Finally played the final retail version of this game at a friends house. He had the 360 version, Co-op is fun, only with a human player. Forced co-op is my biggest gripe with this game.

    I really wanted to like RE4, er, I mean RE5…Silly me, RE4 was better. At least Ashly didn’t waste ammo.

  5. Sheva Alomar is a fucking anvil ’round my neck!

    (AI Sheva that is).

  6. I would agree that Dead Space is the better game. I have to say Master Chief you are the first person who does not mind the AI. The common consensus seems to be the AI is woeful.

    I did feel that towards the later stages of the game it started to feel like a bad Gears clone! The game is still very enjoyable, bringing the story to a close was very rewarding for me as a long term fan of the series.

  7. I liked the swamp stage where you got to cruise aroung on a boat an check things out (3-1 if I remember correctly), but the fact remains that this is a very sad recreation of RE4.