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Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360) artwork

Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360) review


"Biological plague or psychological identity crisis?"


I realize this game has been reviewed to death but I figured I would add my own two cents considering I am not a regular fan of the series. The only Resident Evil game I have played in the past was Resident Evil 2 and I never played the much acclaimed Resident Evil 4 so I will not be comparing this game to that classic. I will be judging Resident Evil 5 on itself alone and what it tries to be compared to what it ends up being.

First off, I played this game through on coop with a friend as it clearly was not designed with single player in mind. I will not comment much on single player as my time with it was limited but thanks to the limited A.I. of Sheva, your partner, you spend a large chunk of your time babysitting her and monitoring her inventory instead of enjoying yourself. It's perfectly playable on single player, but this game was made for a cooperative experience.

Moving on to coop, Resident Evil 5 is a fun game with a friend. It is not the best out there and suffers from some awkward game design decisions but you should have a good enough time playing through this game with a human partner. During my playthrough I noticed that the game had a rather dated feel to it underneath the gorgeous coat of polish. The graphics in this game are quite impressive, even in split screen coop. The screen is split in a way where the top view is not directly above the bottom view, but where the top screen is to the left of the top portion of your tv and the bottom screen is to the right. There is a blank black space to one side of each screen which I felt could have been used for U.I. data such as ammo count, health and the mini-map so none of this obstructs your view when playing the game. The blank space is just a waste of space in my humble opinion.

The characters are quite detailed, they look good, the enemies are just as impressive and the bosses can be a sight to behold. The environments are just as meticulously detailed with some impressive lighting effects in certain levels but there is not nearly as much object interaction or environmental destruction as I would have liked (such as shooting out lights) and the level design is very linear. Nice looking levels but I feel as if I am being pushed along from point A to B on a set and predetermined path which makes the levels feel much smaller and confined than they should.

The gameplay is where the mixed emotions come with this game. Yes it is fun, but it seems as if it could have been much better had they just added in some basic controls that are commonplace today. I never did quite get used to having to stop dead in my tracks to aim my weapon and fire, it's just awkward. The game does not even allow the player to reload while on the movie, you have to come to a complete stop. Stopping would be fine if it was to steady your aim but it would just make sense for the game to allow you to shoot, or at least reload, while on the move to provide for a more fluid gameplay experience. There are also no evasive maneuvers in the game either which make the controls feel even more restrictive and there is no designated melee button, just a QTE option which appears if you stun an opponent with a gun shot. This QTE driven melee I found to be unintuitive and a hassle. The one move you have in the game to make your character more nimble is a side strafe, which is as basic as it gets, but at least it's still there. You can sprint too, thankfully.

The aiming and shooting itself works just fine though. It's a pretty old system, but I took pleasure in using it. Challenging enough where you have to steady your aim to get that perfect shot but accessible enough where you don't waste too many bullets and suddenly find yourself out of ammo. Shooting and killing is fun and the weapon selection is decent but nothing too special. There are a couple special weapons in the game which are very cool to use but they can only be used in certain spots.

The sound of the weapons is a little underwhelming, particularly the shotgun which just didn't have the Boom I would expect it to have. Environmental sound effects were much better and the voice acting was decent. The story was forgettable, but perhaps that is because I'm not too familiar with the RE lore considering I only played one other game in the series.

The one game in the franchise I played before this, RE2, was true survival horror. It scared the crap out of me in certain areas, I will never forget that room with the two way mirror where I just knew something would jump out of it, and eventually something did, as soon as I stopped expecting it. That game got me every time, it was an amazing experience. I knew going in that Resident Evil 5 would be an action game so I will not take points off like some for it not being scary at all, but it's not a grade A action experience either. It just isn't as good as other top quality, high octane shooters out there because of the restrictive controls. Even Dead Space, which is a much slower paced game that relies on horror more than action, felt more flexible with it's controls. I just didn't see the reason to keep the constricted survival horror controls of the old days in what is now an all out, unapologetic action shooter. It feels like this game has an identity crisis where it can't completely let go of the past, yet wants to evolve into something else. Still definitely worth a look, I just hope the series finds itself in the next installment.

There is also a horde like Mercenaries mode at the end which I played for a bit but I am not too big a fan of these types of modes.

Pros:
- Graphics
- Boss Fights
- Coop Gameplay
- Fun Action

Cons:
- Gun Sounds
- Restrictive Controls
- Convoluted Story with a predictable twist
- Frustrating Single Player thanks to bad partner A.I.
- Linear levels with a set path that feel confined

3/5

Daemonocracy's avatar
Community review by Daemonocracy (May 21, 2016)

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