Resident Evil 5 doesn’t manage to scare up a lot of terrifying moments, but it does prove to be a superb action game
Going through some radical changes, the citizens of Kijuju are under the deception of a mad corporation. Manipulating the people with their biological weapons, the corporation is infecting people with parasites and people are losing control of their bodies. What parasites are they exactly? Well carrying over from Resident Evil 4 is Las Plagas, a parasite that attaches itself to a host (usually human) and becomes one with the central nervous system to the point where the host loses all rational thought. If the hosts receive an advanced form of the parasite, they’ll retain their human-level intelligence and be able to communicate with other infected humans while using weapons and tools to their advantage. When a citizen in Kijuju becomes infected, they are then known as Majini with several variant types such as the “Executioner Majini” that wears a dark hood, wields an axe and has incredible superhuman strength. So let’s discuss the world of Kijuju, Africa and how it holds up in comparison to other Resident Evil titles.
The biggest change to the series is the introduction of cooperative action – a first for Resident Evil. Via online or split-screen, players are able to grab a friend or stranger and play through the game as either Chris Redfield or Sheva Aloma, a fellow B.S.A.A. (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) agent. Being able to use Sheva’s acrobatic skills, players will able to enter into areas they normally wouldn’t be able to get to without her assistance. Players are also able to utilize the seamless integration of drop-in play at the drop of a dime. The second player is able to outfit their character and then the game is restarted at the last checkpoint. After the missions, each player will receive points to prove who the better player was. If you aren’t playing with a friend, you can toggle off friendly fire to make sure a stranger isn’t screwing up your online cooperative play. Even with an extra hand lending their assistance through the storyline, you still must face insurmountable odds of thousands of Majini as they are out for your blood.
RE5 doesn't fail to impress graphically.
You can see the anger in his eyes.
Survival being the key to Resident Evil, there are other B.S.A.A. agents that you’ll encounter along your journey to expose the truth behind events of Kijuju. They’ll help reveal information on what to accomplish next and how to stay alive – but in effort to avoid spoilers, I’ll leave my details on the storyline at that. You’ll have to guard certain agents while they also watch your own back – plus, speaking to the few citizens that haven’t been affected may be minimal, they will provide valuable information along with taking a break from the action.
So what other changes have been made to Resident Evil? Well beyond the removal of the natural fear and horror elements, Resident Evil 5 revolves more around intense action. The computer AI for Sheva usually stays out of your line of fire and helps revive you when you take a lot of damage. This helps keep the action at an all-time high while never holding you back from having a thrilling roller-coaster of a ride. While each character does have a limited number of inventory slots, there are a handful of weapons to choose from on your mission such as the M92F handgun, the Hydra shotgun, VZ61 machine gun, S75 rifle, a grenade launcher, stun rod and much more. In the end, it’s best to give Sheva a few good weapons so she go to town on enemies so you don’t have to run the gauntlet of Majini all the time.
A shot to the arm; that’s got to hurt.
Wesker returns, badder than ever.
Built as a cooperative game, it’s recommended that you play Resident Evil 5 with a friend to share the thrills since this clearly isn’t the spooky and eerie classic from yesteryear. The split-screen play isn’t typically cut vertically or horizontally, but instead they are split into offset rectangles that are in the upper left and lower right of the screen. While it may surprise a few players on its peculiar look, it’s definitely a nice change up from the usual cooperative split-screen play.
For length purposes, Resident Evil 5 will last normal players that are speeding through the storyline about 10 hours. If you’d rather find all the hidden collectibles and fully upgrade your guns, expect around 18 hours or so of gameplay. On top of that, after you finish the game, there’s the Mercenaries Mode that you can unlock. Similar to Gears of War 2 Horde Mode, the objective is to survive through the onslaught of enemies until help arrives to save your sorry butt. If you’d rather play alone without any help, that is acceptable but there are options to play online or over split-screen with a friend. There are a total of eight environments that begin with a two-minute countdown where players have to survive the waves of enemies that are out for their flesh. Players won’t want to hole themselves up and guard a particular area for too long as Capcom has delivered incentives for players to keep pushing forward such as a Combo Bonus and Time Bonus. These two bonuses help tally up more points so you can brag to your friends in the online rankings of how good of a RE5 player you are.
Cooperative work is needed to progress.
Look out Chris!
Now for the controls, if you didn’t enjoy the demo, then my best advice is to get used to it as RE5 hasn’t changed since the demo. The control scheme isn’t the most form-fitting to be introduced this generation, but it does a serviceable job once you get used to it. You’ll strafe with the left stick and rotate the camera with the right stick while shooting with the right trigger. The inventory is mapped to the Y Button while the actions performed with your partner are done with the B Button. There are also context-sensitive actions that are indicated on the screen to let you know which button you have to press in order to dodge or fire a shot. Overall, the controls aren’t friendly to newcomers and will annoy players who don’t give themselves time to adjust.
So what does Resident Evil 5 boil down to? The end game for me has always been determining if the game frightened me and provided terrifying results. Due to that RE5 doesn’t follow the common formula for a RE title, the results are much different than I expected. Concentrated much more on action rather than suspense, RE5 is a balanced game that does a sensible job changing up gameplay mechanics to show players something new in the genre. Albeit much of it revolves cooperative play – a feature that a majority of next-generation video games are touting – Resident Evil 5 is unique enough to justify a purchase. If you can accept an evolution of the franchise, then you best be prepared for one hell of a ride.
TOP GAME MOMENT
The moment you find out you’ve been betrayed all along and that someone quite well known to the Resident Evil universe may still in fact be alive.