As the name suggests, this is the 5th in the resident evil series, inventive names eh? Resident Evil initially started out as Survival Horror games but with the last few games seem to have become more Action Horror. You play as either Chris Redfield, a veteran of the series, or Sheva Aloma, a new addition. You are chasing down weapons dealers involved in bio-terrorism, but the situation
spirals of control until you are fighting to save the world. The game spans a number of chapters, unfortunately each chapter end totally destroys what little immersion you will have built up.
Unlike its predecessors, RE5 is mainly set in the bright and sunny African plains. Despite rotting carcasses and Las Plagas (who I will moan about later) the bright sunshine totally destroys any chance of creating a scary atmosphere. Now they are well done locations, fairly varied, from the
sunny town to the oil field to the tanker, and make for a good game, but not a good Resident Evil game, something I find in a lot of RE5.
I’ll mention the Las Plagas first, they are not technically zombies. They are people who have been given a parasite which mutates them a little, more so depending on how far into the game. They have three different mutations they can undergo, four if you include exploding. Also the Las Plagas can still use weapons, so they use anything from a thrown bottle or a chainsaw right up to stun batons and gatling guns.
There are a fair amount of weapons you can use in RE5, various handguns, shotguns and rifles, all of which can be used to great effect. You find money and treasure you can sell to upgrade your weapons and eventually, with time and effort, you can unlock infinite ammo for all of the weapons. At this point you’ll find you’ll forget about all the other weaponry and just rely on the magnum and rocket launcher.
The actual combat in RE5 is fairly straightforward, you cannot move while shooting (something that has been hotly debated throughout the series as to whether it is a good or bad thing, I personally think it adds tension so is good) but the aiming is good, with each weapon having a laser sight to aid shooting. As everyone knows you kill a zombie quickly by shooting it in the head, but as that can cause further mutation RE5 has taken the simple pleasure of a headshot away from us.
Multiplayer is initially included at quite a limited degree in RE5. The campaign can be played twoplayer, both split screen and over Xbox live, which makes it more fun but actual multiplayer was initially limited to The Mercenaries, a game type where you (and an optional partner) are in one of the locations of RE5 and have a time limit to kill as many enemies as you can. This is fairly enjoyable, particularly when working with a friend. This carries over to the Versus DLC where you can do this mode competing either against another team or on your own against three other players. The Versus DLC also includes a Survivors mode where you are in the same areas with the same enemies
about, but instead of killing them you are trying to kill the other players.
I do like RE5; however it is not a good Resident Evil game. It defiantly lacks any sense of the horror the older games had and it doesn’t have any of the puzzles that they were full of. RE5 is a good action game, its fun shooting the zombies and as a fan of the series I’m always happy to know more of the storyline, but if you are looking for the gaming gold of the first few games you’ll need to go old school. The Lost in Nightmare DLC does a lot for addressing this, but it is only a DLC. Fans of the series have put a lot of faith into bringing the series back from the brink, but at the moment look to
Dead Rising 2 for more fun killing zombies and Dead Space for survival horror.