The Resident Evil series is one that I have never had a great relationship with over the years. Many times I have tried to play and enjoy previous games in the series, but I could never quite learn to appreciate, let alone enjoy them. This isn’t to say I thought they were bad games, but there was several aspects of the games that annoyed me too greatly. The biggest problems in the past being the fixed camera angles, which was remedied by RE4, and the annoying inventory management systems.
Of course, it goes without saying that these past days were attempted on the console versions of the games and not the “what mouse?” PC ports. Despite this, the inventory and camera systems would eventually get the better of me and I’d give up. Luckily, with RE5 follows the example set by RE4, keeping the third-person view, although it is now a much closer, over-the-shoulder view. You now struggle to see around the Herculean shoulders of Chris (protagonist) , but you get used to it. Also, the inventory system is improved, but still needs to come a long way before it can be considered good in my eyes.
In typical Resident Evil style, RE5 has its fair share of quicktime events and they are, as you’d expect, incredibly annoying and almost always momentum-breaking. This is much the same for the amount of loading screens and many cinematic sequences scattered throughout the levels, making the game feel very fragmented.
Apparently they don’t teach multitasking at the sports camps Chris attended as a child because he can’t seem to walk and use his hands at the same time. Why in God’s name can you not hold something as simple as a knife in front of you and walk forward at the same time? Keeping your main character handicapped, you cannot jump or roll either unless you’re first prompted by an action.
There are hints of RPG elements when it comes to your inventory, shop, and upgrade systems. You can buy, sell and upgrade all the weapons you wish. However, the developers deemed it too convenient for you to actually have ammunition for these weapons and to combat this, you cannot buy ammo for any of your weapons from the shop, no matter how large your bankroll. Although, I will admit, having to preserve and ration ammo does add to the game’s survival feel, but this is a bit extreme. Also, I found it interesting that you can upgrade some weapons to have a higher chance of a critical headshot. There’s such a thing as a non-critical headshot? Silly me, I always considered the head to be a one shot, one kill kinda deal.
Your buddy AI may not be the brightest or best at fighting, but she makes for an amazing scrounger. With ammo so scarce, this is quite a helpful talent, but in all reality, why aren’t you playing co-op? Perhaps it’s to see the look on Sheva’s face as she stares into your soul after you steal all her ammo. Oh, that’s just me?
- Graphics: 9
Combine DX10 with the 3D support from Nvidia along with the different visual styles you can choose from (much like SF4) and you have quite the combination that will bring you a fantastic looking game. Even in DX9 and without all the extra features, this game still looks great and performs well.
- Storyline: 5
I’m sorry to say, but this whole Resident Evil storyline arch is still getting stale, but as any gamer knows, you don’t need a storyline to give an excuse to kill zombies, so it is nice that it’s there if you care, but I lost interest in the RE storyline years ago.
- Gameplay: 7
Although the gameplay is entertaining and solid, the restricted movement of characters in and out of combat really hurts the flow of the game.
- Controls: 8
Surprisingly, the controls are well laid out and work very well, but if you feel that the true spirit of RE is only felt through a console, there is full controller support for the PC.
- Lasting Appeal: 7
While I can’t say I would enjoy playing through the game several times over, it does feature full co-op support for you and a friend to keep yourselves busy for many hours.
Overall: 7 Olives