Following one of the greatest games of all time can't be easy. For many people Resident Evil 4 is the perfect game. It's action packed, tense, scary, brilliantly paced, full of "wow" moments, features incredible visuals, is jammed full of replay value and surprises from start to finish. Four years later gamers expect this and more from Resident Evil 5. While in most cases Capcom has delivered the goods, making what will undoubtedly be one of the best games of 2009, it doesn't quite have the magic that made Resi 4 so special.

We won't detail too much of the story as spoiling it would hurt your enjoyment, but you play Chris Redfield (Resident Evil veteran from the very first game in the series), now a member of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), who enters the fictional African country Kijuju in order to investigate a mysterious event in the desert. Cue a zombie outbreak similar to that seen in Resident Evil 4 (where we've got infected humans, not the walking dead), with heads exploding and mutated monstrosities bursting out with a general willingness to cause harm to everyone around them.

There's obviously a shady organisation behind all this, working on a virus for its own evil means. You'll come across a whole host of familiar faces, and prepare to be surprised now and again, too. Part of Resident Evil's charm has always been its cheesy storylines and dialogue, and this is carried off quite superbly here. The main bad guys ham it up quite brilliantly, the plot takes Chris to places you simply couldn't have foreseen as you walk the streets of an eerily quiet small town during the game's opening, and some of the one-liners are truly laugh out loud funny.

Much has been made of Resi 5's core gameplay mechanics, with the characters unable to move and shoot, forcing players to stand still every time they want to fire a gun or slash with a melee weapon. This will be a problem for some people, but if you enjoyed Resi 4 it won't be an issue at all. New to the series is the ability to strafe while walking (you can choose to use a more traditional control scheme if you wish), so once you've gotten to grips with the control scheme you're really quite nimble - especially with a powerful weapon in your hand that enables you to run up close to the infected and take them down in one shot.

It's your co-op partner Sheva Alomar (an agent of the West African branch of the BSAA) that really makes Resi 5 a different Resident Evil experience, whether in the hands of a real person or AI controlled. How good a job the AI-controlled Sheva does depends on the situation. If you want her to kill enemies, set her to attack mode and she'll be great, and she's brilliant at healing you when you need "urb", but if you want her to do a specific task (distract an enemy for example) she's more or less useless. This is where a real person (playing online or via single system split-screen) can remove many of the game's more frustrating moments.

The game is full of moments like this

The game is full of moments like this

When playing with AI Sheva you're going to have to tackle the more complex bosses without much help, moving into the right position to attack their weak spots through your own hard work. If you've got a friend helping you out you can work together to get these bosses exactly where you want them. During general attacks on infected one player can take out the up close enemies, ideally with a tuned-up shotgun, while the other can hang back and snipe. It sounds like simple stuff, but it works really well. There are numerous split-path moments too, so the co-op gameplay certainly hasn't been shoe-horned in. Resident Evil 5 was clearly designed from the ground up as a game best played with a friend.

What makes Resident Evil 5 so much fun to play is the way it's impossible to know what's coming next. You start off in a seriously atmospheric African town, complete with villagers, but you're soon off to an oil refinery, a pitch-black mine, a secret bunker, a yacht and more. Tie these environments to some breathtaking set-piece encounters and you'll be looking back on your time with the game and reminiscing about certain moments just as many people do with Resident Evil 4. There are some spectacular on-rails sections too, and superbly directly QTEs that never make you wish they were traditional gameplay elements.

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pimphater's Avatar

pimphater@ jakeistheman

Yea me ether it looks kinda cool but hey at midnight me and my friend corbin was playing resadent evil and it gave us the freaks man im tellen ya we didnt go to sleep to about morning have u ever got that scaryness feelin?
Posted 21:12 on 26 March 2009
TURBO_RAD's Avatar

TURBO_RAD

I just recently posted a topic about this very subject.....i feel that this residend evil was good...with pretty sweet graphics but seriously way overrated.....too much talk bout how scary it is and how awesome it is when i have played better games....the enemy AI are ridiculously stupid and not scary what soo ever....i wish resident evil would go back to Zombies and Mutants...it was much bttr off....
Posted 19:02 on 26 March 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Agreed Guyderman. Not usually an achievement whore. But as I love the game so much and the achievements are logical and game play related their worth while. There's no kill every animal in the game in seven seconds ore anything retarded like that. Also the comment on the Demo is 100% correct when I played the demo i hated the game but as i pre-ordered and learnt my lesson from previous demo's I still purchased the game and thankfully my instinct paid off.
Posted 10:45 on 24 March 2009
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Karlius

I agree with Karlius - This is the best game I've played this year - and by far the best looking - with diverse locations and enemies - fast paced and tense - cinematography on the cut scenes is simply jaw dropping - Great characters and great story - I haven't reached karlius' level of expertese yet but this is the first game I've played which has made me even interested in trying to unlock the achievements as there is so much to do - Co-op is fantastic and the AI on Sheva on SP really isn't as bad as some reviews have made out - Ok she doesn't mix herbs - big deal! Anyone who is wondering if they should give this game a go - just do it, you won't regret it! (by the way the Demo doesn't do the game justic at all because there is a lot more to this game than just shooting villagers).
Posted 10:43 on 24 March 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

100% Completed the game and it's fantastic. Anyone gibing the game simply hasn't played the game to it's fullest. Game play is immense and graphically superior to every game on the market (Console based). Story is great and the fact it is available on both consoles is a big plus.
Takes an hour or so to get used to the control system but after that it's fine. Stop and shoot makes the game intense especially in the harder levels i.e. professional mode. I urge anyone that wants a challenge to undergo this level of play. I also suggest you grab a friend as completion alone is nigh on impossible. You could always join a randomer's game which is a good feature.(If you doubt my 100% completion take a look at my gamer profile all you need is there.) If i can help anyone send me a PM. Great Review and great game.
Posted 10:33 on 24 March 2009
jakeistheman's Avatar

jakeistheman

This game looks ok but i still dont think im guna buy it on launch day.
Posted 22:35 on 17 March 2009
Corrupt0Killa-TomBut's Avatar

Corrupt0Killa-TomBut

To anybody who is going to buy this game....DO NOT BUY THIS GAME...its awful, this story is boring and pretty generic, game play is awful and it isn't even scary at all, the graphics compared to other games are ok at best...the Resident Evil series are starting to go down hill, when those crocodiles/alligators come at you its like...oh ok i run back because i know it wont get me and shoot. I was stood right next to one knifing it for ages without it touching me once just went round in circles whilst i stood still. DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY.
Posted 13:06 on 14 March 2009
ratshady's Avatar

ratshady

I'm not going to buy RE5 at launch but I might buy it sometime down the road.
Posted 13:25 on 12 March 2009
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis

I’m confused… everyone keeps on saying just how great the game looks but I don’t see that it’s THAT good. I remember when Resident Evil moved over to the Gamecube and it looked awesome way better than any other game that had come before it. Then Resident Evil 4 was one of the best looking games ever when it was released. Resident Evil 5 doesn’t seem as visually impressive as other titles have in the past; I mean it’s good but not an amazing leap forward like other titles in the past have been. Other than that the game should be fun, especially with a friend I think it will be a blast to play through.
Posted 11:03 on 09 March 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer

Yeah followup to the greatest survival horror game of all time was going to be impossibly tough. Not even one person on this planet earth would've agreed that it is gonna be better than re 4. But still it looks awesome will get it on release
Posted 09:34 on 09 March 2009
Wido's Avatar

Wido

The demo wasn't bad but wasn't enough to convince me to buy it on a launch day release. I have played them the majority of them and I know what the storyline is about, so I think I may get it later on.

Nice review as it has now gone up a few notches in my book on my 'wanted list'. That fact that it has because of co-op and playing the demo online with a friend was quite satisfying when defeating that Chainsaw 'infected' man. So yes I think I may get it but not on launch day, I shall wait and see what the others say about it first before buying it.
Posted 06:19 on 09 March 2009

Game Stats

Technical Specs
9
Out of 10
Resident Evil 5
  • Looks staggeringly good at times
  • Loads of replay value
  • Incredible variety
  • Doesn't quite have the magic of Resi 4
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 13/03/2009
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Survival Horror
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 1,162 34
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