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Resident Evil 5 - Resident Evil 5

By Stuart Andrews


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Sheva's value lies in the fact that she's available to play as a second hero in online and offline co-op modes. This isn't just a feature tick box thing. Capcom has found some ingenious ways to make RE work as a co-op title, using broken ladders and lever puzzles to separate you, and forcing you to cover, guard and heal each other in ways that make Army of Two's efforts to do the same seem dull and unimaginative. Even playing single-player, I'm struck by how much thought has gone into this, and if you have a friend with the same console or you have a screen big enough to share, then RE5 can be considered pretty much essential.

What's more, RE5 shows that Capcom hasn't lost its way with the great art of the set-piece - a fear that will have been shared by anyone who played the mediocre Lost Planet. RE5's best bits are very, very good indeed, mixing up different strains of Majini to keep you on your toes, then blindsiding you with a surprise assault or some big brute that you never expected. It might not be all that innovative, but RE5 is never boring. It's the sort of game that's very hard to stop playing, because you just have to see what's coming next.

Finally, RE5 is a fine example of how good Capcom is at handling artistic style and mood. Visually it's hugely impressive, perhaps not on the same technical level as, say, Killzone 2 or Gears of War 2, but using lighting and post-processing effects in a range of subtle ways that make the game and its characters look totally convincing, even when the plot and characterisation is - in typical RE style - utterly hatstand.

The character art and modelling is particularly stunning, whether we're talking about Sheva's gorgeous, endlessly watchable curves or the hideous, pulsating organs of some vile, unnatural beast. Chris might be another gun-toting beefcake, but he's an awful lot more solid and believable than your usual Marcus Fenix clone. And while the storyline is faintly ridiculous, making a heroic but doomed attempt to tie the events of RE1 to 3 in with the events of RE4, there's still something horribly compelling about it. As our hero's journey pushes on to the inevitable, overblown conclusion, it's hard not to get caught up.

Is Resident Evil 5 a classic? No, and that's why we're holding off on the awards and dialling down the hyperbole a jot. Yet I can't help feeling that it's a brilliant game, and one that any fan of the series will want to see through to the end. I wouldn't rank it up there with the high points of RE2 and RE4, but I'd certainly put it above RE3 or RE Zero. There's no doubt that EA's Dead Space was a scarier and more imaginative game, but I couldn't say that RE5 is any less enthralling. Let's hope that Capcom will shake things up next time and fix the series' remaining antiquated features, but there's no reason to get too angry or too downbeat about this episode: RE5 is still very good as it is.


Resident Evil 5 plays it safe and a little too close to RE4's established formula and slightly dated play mechanics, but Capcom's assured handling of atmosphere, style and action makes it an experience that's just too good to miss.

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Matthew Bunton

March 22, 2009, 5:17 am

Completely agree that whilst RE5 is a very good game it does not surpass the pinancle of the series which was RE4.

I really enjoyed the game but was also very disappointed in many of its aspects mainly:

Too short.

Difficulty needs increasing.

Not scary at all.

Lacked atmosphere.

Inventory system worse, though the d pad quick selection was an improvement.

Weak storyline with so many cliche and transparent plot lines.

Mercenaries has fewer characters to play.

However it is still a good game just not as good as I was hoping for.

Oh and by the way I have played both versions of the game and unfortunately the PS3 version runs a lot poorer. Elements have been cut such as the birds around the carcase at the begining of the game which fly off when you approach were missing in the PS3 version. The 360 version runs at a very smooth and stable frame rate whereas the PS3 version is all over the place. I cannot understand why more has not be mentioned about this by the various review sites as it is clearly so obvious. I think only IGN have mentioned this difference but even they played it down.

I rated this game a 7.5 overall whereas RE4 got a 10 and to this day is still my favourite console game.


March 22, 2009, 5:37 pm

Having played RE4 on the Wii, going back to a standard controller for RE5 felt backward (well, the demo at any rate). This is not to say I feel Wii controls benefit every game, but I found they really worked with RE4's gameplay. With the way RE5 uses the analogue stick I find you have 2 choices; have it set to a low sensitivity and end up not being able aim quickly enough, or setting it to a high sensitivity and wasting ammo from the resulting poor accuracy. As such RE5 left me in a state of constant frustration with how much better it could have been, even with a simple bit of tweaking to the analogue stick's behaviour.


March 22, 2009, 6:17 pm

Played the first chapter, witnessed the most diverse multi cultural village of deepest Africa.

Yes Chris Evans does his drivetime throught this village as does Ali Baba and Shilpa Shetty.

Sampled ten minutes of the worst hack & slash you can imagine, tried to survive the Jade Goody AI of my partner.

Chapter Two began much better with a listing on Ebay and peace of mind that I will not see this game ever again. Fantastic visuals but gameplaywise the worst I have ever played, its coop only too.

Matthew Bunton

March 22, 2009, 7:30 pm

@hank - Fair enough if you didn't like the game but I think that your AI reference was particularly inappropriate especially today.

Matthew Bunton

March 22, 2009, 7:43 pm

@Stephen - I know what you mean the Wii controls really added to the game however I felt that they made the game far too easy even on the most difficult setting due to the improved accuracy.

On Resi 5 I use the fast setting as I found it to be the best.


March 22, 2009, 11:17 pm

@Matthew Bunton

I feel it was inappropriate that the media tell me of a Jade's legacy. Max Clifford must be pleased to manipulate people like yourself and our celebrity obsessed PM with false compassion, then you patronise me LOL sorry I smelt the coffee a long time ago.

Next you will be telling me to shed a tear for car crash coke up the nose Kerry his other major asset. Maybe you should buy the OK Tribute To Jade Goody Special Edition you are grieving LOL.

Back on Topic THE partner AI is really dumb like a living hollyoaks blonde for those sensitive souls.

Matthew Bunton

March 23, 2009, 12:45 am

@hank - Manipulation no just common courtesy not to speak ill of the dead, regardless of my opinions of them.


March 23, 2009, 12:56 am

@hank - agreed


March 23, 2009, 1:17 am

@Matthew Bunton

Well how very noble of you, i'm sure Mrs. Tweed will be touched.


March 23, 2009, 1:41 am

@Matthew - No problems with most of your points, thought I can't say I have too many issues with storyline or atmosphere (there are some obvious plot 'twists' but I wouldn't say it was the worst RE in this regard.) On poor frame rates, though, the reason I didn't mention it was that it really hasn't been noticeable during my playthrough of the game. I haven't played the 360 version for comparison, but I can't say that I've noticed anything more than a couple of judders at the start of a couple of cut-scenes. To be fair, I've also seen a couple of reviews mention poor frame rates.so maybe it's something I've been oblivious too. It's not something I usually miss, though.

RE5 is a weird one. It's the kind of game where I can easily come up with a list of negatives, yet I've really enjoyed playing it. It should have been a bigger leap on from RE4, though. I hope Capcom will take a few more risks next time around - and give us a few more decent scares to boot.

Martin 6

March 23, 2009, 12:54 pm

Although I agree the reference was ill thought of and inappropriate, I do not like or dislike Jade, I think it is wrong for someone to say something bad about her, when really by their own admission they don't know her to make an proper opinion. After all she was the one with lots of cash cars and houses and other things on TR most of us can not afford. So Maybe just a blonde reference would be more acceptable.

I do however have to note all comments on here are moderated, and some one at TR thought that the comment was not inappropriate and passed it on for us to see!


March 23, 2009, 3:19 pm

Well this comment section has become a circus, I was originally comparing the AI of your coop partner to the dumbest woman I have known if not personally. Yes Jade Goody Tweed came out with the classics "East Angular? it's in Africa innit" and "Rio De Janeiro - who is she". I mention Jade because unless you have been under a rock she is in the headlines as the nation's "chavvy Diana" which I think is an ill thought and inappropriate. Thankfully TR are immune from the long arm of Max Clifford in the business of telling people what is what this is why it's the first stop for tech news. If I have been a naughty boy, it won't happen again.

@martin "After all she was the one with lots of cash cars and houses and other things on TR most of us can not afford." Unbelievable so this is what elevates Jade from us mere mortals and you flame me on my morality LOL

Resident Evil 5 a fantastic game to some a horror to others like comments erm tread with care.


March 26, 2009, 6:29 pm

Gosh, feel the love up in here! I agree with some people that we should have respect for people passed whether we liked or disliked them, we're human after all (aren't we?).

Now, back to the undead, RE5 is a genuinely good game, imo, not a good Resident Evil game but a good action game nonetheless. Although I fear I am going to get shot for saying this, I thought that Silent Hill Homecoming was better on a "tense/bite your fingernails" kind of gameplay. I had more jumps playing SH than with RE. Resident Evil is just not what it used to be anymore, and I've got to say that not being able to walk and shoot is a serious mistake, especially since the "infected" are much (much much) faster than you. I read from an article that this was purposely done by Capcom to increase the pressure on the player, if you want my honest opinion, Capcom never intended this, they just could not afford to go back to programming after realising how big a mistake it was to not being able to walk and shoot: how very lazy!

Anyway, Resident Evil 5 should be tried. It is a good game, nothing new to see here besides from another chapter in the franchise.


April 10, 2009, 7:02 pm

okay, so i have never played any resident evils before, and i downloaded this demo,

all i can say is, its great fun ,but dont really like the controls!! to slow.1

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