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Resident Evil 5. The game with the name that caused as much controversy as it did excitement leading up to its release, the official 5th game in the franchise released earlier this year also caused fans to reassess their opinions of the franchise when the main forthcoming message from Capcom was that of 'Resident Evil with co-op'.

A few months on and with the controversy and shock having died down, a review of Resident Evil 5 (hereafter RE5) can be done with attention being paid to what should have always been the centre of attention itself; the game.
Graphically on a HDTV RE5 looks amazing, no doubt it. You can really see where some of the time of the last 4 years it has been since the last main game in the series was released have gone. Certainly one of the prettiest games of this generation, everything from the look of the characters to the locations are high in details and bring the game to life. The facial detail of the characters in particular is impressive, looks great and the cut scene direction (courtesy of Jim Sonzero) gives this game the feel of a Hollywood action movie (and a decent one at that). This game will certainly stand the test of time graphics-wise and will still be looking good in 5 years time.

Enough gushing about the graphics; let's move onto the gameplay. Staying true to the system created in Resident Evil 4, RE5 has you move around the environments in a 3rd-person perspective with the camera moving into an over-the-shoulder view when it comes to aiming. The audience appears to be divided over whether not being able to move whilst shooting is good or bad for the game in today's market with loyalists saying it stays true to the game's origins whilst newer gamers seem to feel the idea is out-of-date. Concerning RE5 the choice the developers made feels right and fits the game well. The feeling of having to pick the right spot, shoot, then move out of harms way feels much more tense and exciting than running and gunning through multiple enemies.

It is often said that RE5 doesn't have the traditional feel of horror that its older brothers do but it doesn't pretend to either. The gameplay has evolved and with that the game focuses less on fear and more on situations of panic (which it does a good job of establishing that mood in the opening chapter.) The game also has its fair share of QTEs (as seems to be the staple of action games nowadays) which punish you if you get them incorrect and reward you if done successfully as well as the probably the most significant update to the system, the inclusion of cooperative play.

Again when Capcom made the public aware that they were going to make this a major feature of RE5 people were up in arms, saying that they preferred the solo-based gameplay of its predecessors. People should remember that although the game is (to be honest) best played with a friend it can still be perfectly played through just fine in one player too. Granted, there are occasional irritable situations where your partner (Sheva Alomar) will either stand around to be mauled by the enemy, give you loads of ineffective ammo or heal you with health sprays and herbs when you have a mere scratch on you. However, most of the time she's really useful, will assist you accordingly much more than she will prohibit you from progressing through the game. As previously mentioned the game is best enjoyed playing co-op with a friend but certainly caters plenty for the individual player too.

Add to this he bonuses you get for completing the game (including the great Mercenaries mode, something that could be game in its own right), alternate costumes and a decent online facility for co-op play and you have a very decent update for the newest installment in the Resident Evil franchise. Good to play alone of with a friend, give it a go and lose yourself in the world of RE as you may find despite all the backlash you might just enjoy it as this comes highly recommended.

1 comment:

bboykrillin said...

Nice work Paddy, i'd change a couple of things here and there (you use franchise twice in one sentence at the start), and like i've already said include some preview pics on some of the things you talk about, characters, locations, gameplay or even production/promotional artwork, anything to give all the text a breather and give the public something visual to see.