We continue with our Halloween horror game reviews with Resident Evil 5, currently the final installment of the core Resident Evil series.

General Information

Title: Resident Evil 5
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
System: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC
Release Date: March 13th, 2009
Genre: Survival Horror

Available from Amazon.com

The Premise

Following the fall of Umbrella Corporation, Chris Redfield has become a founding member of the Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) – an organization meant to investigate outbreaks of T-Virus style bio-weapons. With his new partner, Sheva, he investigates an outbreak of Las Plagas in the heart of Africa. However, an old enemy, Albert Wesker, lurks in the shadows

High Points

Having a second gun watch your back and revive your character helps a lot when dealing with large numbers of enemies. Also, the melee attacks work a lot better, and both characters can string them together for even more damage. The weapon upgrade system works better as well.

Low Points

Your AI controlled partner isn’t a great shot, and isn’t good at switching to more powerful weapons when the need is called for. Unfortunately, most players through co-op tend to hog ammunition and health resources, making co-op a crap-shoot. Also, the inventory system is simplified, but not as well – instead of a upgradable briefcase, you have a 9 square grid to hold weapons, ammo, and health items. Unfortunately, you are also unable to purchase ammunition, save through upgrading your weapon’s ammo capacity – leaving you with only what you can scavenge. Health and ammo in weapons are also not re-filled between chapters.

The quick-time events are more plentiful, and I’ve also noticed that the game has more enemies with one-hit kill attacks. No opportunity to be revived, no opportunity to get out of it with a QTE, you just die. Not fun. I think I encountered more character deaths going through this game, then I did in Resident Evil 4.

Newcomers will also be fairly daunted by all the connections to the earlier Resident Evil games involving Umbrella.

Content Notes

No nudity, but considerable amounts of blood, gore, and profanity.

Scores

Originality: While the game changes up its setting by changing the location, we’re fighting enemies we’d fought previously, with lots of connections to earlier games, and even re-introduction of enemies from the Umbrella saga. 1 out of 6.

Story: The story is moderately well written, and is structurally a little better then the earlier game, but there are still points where I had to stop and shake my head (the infamous “spear-chucker” Las Plagas). 3 out of 6.

Graphics: The graphics are better then the graphics in RE4, though the graphics are still heavily dominated by earth-tones. 4 out of 6.

Sound: The game’s sound design is just as good as the sound for Resident Evil 4, though as I don’t speak whatever language the Las Plagas zombies are speaking here, I can’t get an idea of what they’re saying. However, all of the sound design does an excellent job of building suspense. 5 out of 6.

Playability: As in the earlier game, there is a New Game+ Mode, which lets you carry over your weapon upgrades. It helps that you can also carry your weapon upgrades over to online co-op as well, making experienced players an asset to co-op, if they share ammunition with their partners. 5 out of 6.

Immersion: All the complaints of earlier games are still here, with the added annoyance that while you’re able to use cover in this game, it’s only in select areas, while enemies can use it more or less wherever they want. 4 out of 6.

Overall: As with Resident Evil 4, I did enjoy this game. As with Resident Evil 4, I will probably never play this game again. 4 out of 6.

In total, Resident Evil 5 gets 26 out of 42.