Overall Score 6/10 | A Flawed But Fun Co-Op Experience – BY ERIK PILLAR
Resident Evil 5 takes an old formula and gives it a slightly more modern twist alongside an excellently thought out multiplayer function.
Plot and Character:
You step into the universe of Resident Evil years after Racoon City fell to zombies and sometime after the events of the fourth installment in the series. You play as Chris Redfield and Shiva – a new character to go along with an old. You’ll fight hordes of weapon wielding zombie hybrids, giant tentacle monsters, and strange chimera-like creatures as you pursue your goals and uncover a new threat and old enemies alike.
The plot twists are seen miles ahead, the dialogue is hokey at best and downright cheesy to confused at worst, and the overall story is a hodgepodge of decisions and reasonings only a mad man could hope to follow. That being said, Resident Evil has never been about an incredible story of amazing characters – it’s about hard battles, interesting puzzles, and the many varieties of the undead you’ll find set along to a spoofy story. The plot will serve as only a backdrop for you to experience the game for what it really is, a fun but challenging shooter, and that’s all well and good enough for me.
Mood and Atmosphere:
For the most part I was sucked into each level and zone of the game. The graphics are pretty darn good for a dated game, the music is slight enough to not be getting in the way and is used to build tension effectively, and the overall map design and limits on ammo against the hordes of weak and powerful enemies you’ll face makes for a sometimes neck bunching experience.
I was never blown away by this game’s atmosphere, but neither was I really disappointed. The final chapter of the game dragged on a lot in a needless attempt at padding the play time by the developers, but I can forgive that for an otherwise well-paced game.
Resident Evil 5 plays like a game that’s only goal in life is to force your blood pressure through the roof and get you rage quitting as much as possible. Both on PC and console the controls are stiff, annoying, and make up most of the challenge to the game. Quick time events in particular were ridiculously more difficult with a mouse and keyboard, and I ended up leaving those sections mostly to my control wielding companion or just taking a hit or two extra to be healed later.
Some of the limitations of this game are keenly done and serve a purpose. Your inventory is quite limited, ammo is scarce, and you can be killed very easily if you’re not paying close enough attention – with several enemies being able to do so in one hit.
Resident Evil 5 wants you to fight smart, conserve ammo, aim well – and always be on the lookout for an easier way to take down a hard boss. I appreciate that in a game, even if their method of adding challenge often felt less like intention and more like poor mechanical design choices.
On the downside is that on more than a few occasions I found myself scratching my head at the choices the developers made in level design and in just how un-user friendly their game could sometimes be. My issues were nothing to warrant a refund or to quite playing, but little problems like special weapons needing to be fully put down in order to take out another gun type, or being forced to often juggle inventories around between my friend and I to open enough space up to combine healing items was tiring and could have been easily fixed had more time been taken on the game.
I had a lot of fun with Resident Evil 5, despite the myriad of technical flaws and spoofy writing, and it was a true joy to play the game alongside a friend via its fully integrated co-op function.
Be warned though, if you’re a more modern gamer and have little time or care for a game with no handholding and sometimes downright broken controls – you’ll want to pass this one by.
I’m also unsure if I would have enjoyed the game had my experience been single player. Lots of the bugs and problems were entertaining with a friend, whereas they might have just been annoying and difficult on my own.
Resident Evil 5 was developed and published by Capcom and released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC in 2009. It was re-released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016.
Pick this game up for PC over on Steam the cost of $19.99