Review: Resident Evil 5

re5-2Every now and then in a generation, a game really comes along and surprises you. Just when you think that you won’t play another really great title for some time, something lands in your lap and is a joy to play again and again. Resident Evil 5 has been that game for me over the last few weeks.

I have a small confession to make that I know will hurt my gaming cred amongst some of the faithful Resident Evil-a-holics here- I’ve never played Resident Evil 4. Yes, I know that it was probably the best game on the Gamecube and one of the greatest games of all time possibly, but I just never played it. Not because I didn’t want to, I just really never got around to it. Things like that happen when you get married the same year as a blockbuster video game. You tend to miss out. Though marriage still rocks.

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the review of Resident Evil 5. In short, it’s awesome. The story picks up with RE regular Chris Redfield as he researches a viral outbreak in a make-believe region of Africa. Before slaughtering its citizens mercilessly, Chris hooks up with the uber-babe Sheva for some awesome co-op action. If you think she’s hot now, wait til you see her alternate outfit.

The game doesn’t take long to get really heated up, and before you know it you are in the thick of a zombie outbreak that you must cure with your bullets of justice. Storywise, things pick up from there and move along at a fairly brisk pace. The script won’t win any awards anytime soon, but the cutscenes are awesome, and unlike our friend MGS4, actually include a few quick time events to keep you enthralled as you watch.

re5-4If your’e familiar with Resident Evil 4 at all (which I wasn’t before doing some research), RE5 controls in largely the same manner. While there has been a lot of fuss about not being able to run and shoot at the same time, this didn’t bother me at all past the first level of the game.

We all know that shooting zombies (or rabid villagers) is a steady trope in video games these days, but Resident Evil 5 really pulls it off in flying colors. The main word to use for how the game plays is polished. In terms of game design, there’s nothing here that really breaks the mold, but the gameplay is solid, and constantly filled with things that mix up the mechanics every now and then to keep it from getting stale. Sometimes you’re behind cover, other times you’re driving a boat, or mounting a machine gun turret. There really is a lot of variety over the course of the game.

Speaking of variety, let’s get to weapons, co-op and replay value, which is where Resident Evil 5 makes its presence known, and where it shines the brightest. I’ll go ahead and say it: if you play this game, you must experience it with someone else. The co-op is unbelievably fun, and ranks among the best co-op I have participated in during this generation of video games. Taking down enemies together and co-coordinating strategies makes every encounter exponentially better, and being able to trade items between one another is just icing on the cake, especially when you’re running low on ammo.

re5-1And this brings me to the most fascinating part of RE5. The game literally changes genres as you move through it. Where at first you’re hording ammo and trying to conserve your items as much as possible, later in the game you are an arsenal-wielding maniac. Buying new guns and upgrading them into monsters of destruction has never been more fun, and adds some serious replay value as well.

The game moves from survival-horror into something else entirely by the time it’s over, and right now I’m having a blast replaying all of the levels and upgrading my weapons even further. You can even purchase add-ons like infinite ammo, triple barreled shotguns and freezing rounds for your grenade launcher. It’s an action fan’s dream, though it may put off a few people that love Resident Evil for its survival horror feel.

Overall, I’d consider Resident Evil 5 to be one of the best co-op games that I have played in years. If you’ve got a friend that you love to kill zombies with, this is the game to get, and there’s a ton of options there for you to replay it again and again. I have to be honest and say that I really can’t fault this game for anything, and it’s score is only barely hindered by a few tedious boss fights and some annoying patches of gun-toting zombies later in the game. For real- if you can, go play Resident Evil 5.

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

16 thoughts on “Review: Resident Evil 5”

  1. Jus like watching a good movie over and over again, this game you can’t get board any way how.(Is that a new expression? “any way how”!?)

  2. Great review Eddy. The third paragraph was awesome. I’m looking forward to getting this game right after my exams are done. Maybe ON that day! But till then, I must wait patiently and make do with the demo 🙁 Also, RE4 was great and the first scary game I’ve EVER played. Regenerators still give me the heeby-jeebes!

  3. Yeah, it is pretty fun. I still need to buy this. While I love RE 4 and this one from what I have played so far, RE 2 has always been my favorite and I’d really love it if Capcom would release at least one last “classic” RE style game.

  4. The first four chapters seemed to move slowly to me for whatever reason, but if I may say something without spoiling anything, chapters five and six are freaking awesomesauce. Yes, co-op is a must-play if you intend on getting this game. Play with someone online if you have to, just play co-op, damnit. It’s great.

  5. Wow. I love this game and I loved RE4, but for Eddy, who had severe doubts (rightfully so) about this game to give it such a glowing review, speaks volumes as to the game’s quality. Great review!

  6. I couldnt agree with you more. This game is great, Im kinda glad I read a review by someone who hasnt played RE4… 5 is a awesome game but when the topic of 4 comes out everyone bitches and whines that its more of the same or shorter then 4. Take the game for what it is… oh and the replayability is insane

  7. I really, really enjoyed RE 5. The beginning is really well done, and reminded me a lot of Black Hawk Down and Metal Gear 4.

    The further and further I got with the game, the less I started to like the mechanics (especially the really poorly done cover gimmick). I personally don’t have a big thing against not being able to move and shoot (especially since I have the longbow. Sweet, sweet one-shots), but not being able to reload on the go really irks me, mostly against the bugs who will gut you in one blow if you’re not fast enough.

    The Mercenaries is also a really good mode, and especially with a buddy.

  8. Yeah, those Reaper bugs are nasty and mean, and can really close a gap on you quickly. Those sequences really had me wanting a running reload animation.

  9. Yeah, I borrowed the game from a friend a few weeks ago. My only real complaints were A)Zombies with guns (I’m calling Zombie BS)
    B)The Versus bullshit (It was IN the game already, you had to pay to unlock it!) and C) It was WAAAAY to easy to unlock unlimited ammo, all you had to do was play to the first checkpoint of 4-1 over and over and over and you would be pretty rich pretty fast (at least 100,000 in about an hour, if your slow about it). I unlocked the M500 and unlimited ammo for it in about an hour. With that, the burst pistol, and the triple Barreled Hydra, professional is a JOKE.

    But, otherwise, solid game. I just can’t justify buying it for 60 now that I’ve unlocked so much. I might get it if it’s on sale or when the price eventually drops.

    But, great review. However, may I suggest a review to do next? I’m pretty curious to see what you guys thought about GTA: Chinatown Wars. Once again, outstanding review. Keep up the fantastic work.

  10. Well, you’re complaining about something that’s not there, seeing as they’re not technically zombies…

  11. Hm, I only finished #3 and played peices of 1,2 and 4. Nemesis (3) was amazing though. My console career ended shortly after PS2 was released so I havent had a chance.

    I’d play it if it was PC though, forsure. Always love me some slaughter.

  12. [quote comment=”5963″]Well, you’re complaining about something that’s not there, seeing as they’re not technically zombies…[/quote]
    Heh heh. Yeah I was gonna say something like that. Anyone who played RE 4 and actually paid attention to the story would know that the true culprit is a parasite called “Las Plagas” that is controlling their actions. They are still 100% human, they’re just being controlled to attack you so them having guns and various other weapons shouldn’t be out of the ordinary.

  13. Pomer, I will review Chinatown Wars in a few weeks. I have to get past Dragon Quest IV first and then I am going to hit it hard.

    One thing about your post: The DLC was not already on the disc, you can tell by the size of the download. If it was a key, it would have been like 1000 KB, but it was 1.7 MB or something like that. It just used the same environments that were already on the disk.

  14. As much as i’ve seen of on-disc unlock codes, they generally tend to be about 108.00 KB in size, if I remember correctly.

  15. [quote comment=”5976″]As much as i’ve seen of on-disc unlock codes, they generally tend to be about 108.00 KB in size, if I remember correctly.[/quote]

    yeah, something closer to that.

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