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Resident Evil 5 Member Review for the PS3

Master_Craig By:
GENRE Action 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

Resident Evil is a franchise that many love and few hate, a franchise that has been around for over a decade and will likely continue to exist for another decade. The franchise shifted dramatically with 2005's Resident Evil 4 for the Nintendo Game Cube (before being ported to the Sony Playstation 2, PC and then in 2008 the Nintendo Wii). Four years later after the release of the fourth official installment, comes Resident Evil 5.

Resident Evil 5 is set in Africa. The player plays as Chris Redfield who players will remember from the first game, and Code Veronica. Aside from his new, incredible and possibly steroid induced physique, Chris is now working for the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (or B.S.A.A) and is sent to Africa to investigate and stop the possible dealings of biological weapons. There in Africa he meets B.S.A.A agent Sheva Alomar, a young woman working for the African branch of the B.S.A.A. Together the two encounter enemies very similar to that of the "Ganados" written in the "Kennedy Report". The overall story is a fairly well written story but at times some elements may be confusing if you're not entirely into the overall story of Resident Evil.

RE5 follows the same path that Resident Evil 4 forged before it. The game's camera continues to follow the player in an over the shoulder manner, while the player is capable of free aiming, able to shoot enemies in key target zones (shooting in the legs for example can make an enemy fall etc). The game play of RE5 is very simialr to that of RE4 but the biggest addition (perhaps difference) of all is that throughout the game Chris is accompanied by Sheva through the computer's artificial intelligence or by a second human player in co-op mode, whether it's online or offline split screen.

As mentioned before the controls are similar to RE4 but some might say that these controls are out of date. The player however is now able to strafe while walking but as with RE4, the game does not allow the player to move while shooting. This may add frustration to the game for some players while other players may feel it increases the overall challenge and intensity. The controls work fine for this sort of game, especially in two player co-op. The game could be considered too easy if moving while shooting was implemented but at the same time, perhaps Capcom could have at least introduced such a thing as an optional tool for the player.

When it comes to Chris' new partner Sheva, she can certainly handle her own when accompanying Chris. When controlled by the computer A.I she can be issued minor orders by holding the circle button and using the D-Pad and has her own inventory space. Sheva will certainly look out for Chris but it's also important for Chris to try and look out for her. After all, her A.I is not made of perfection. Sheva can't organise her own inventory and the player must do it for her and she has a tendancy to use ammunition at an unnecessary rate as well as healing items. Even with her minor orders, it is difficult to properly create strategy with a computer controlled Sheva. However if Sheva is in the hands of a live player, then all of these problems are eliminated.

RE5 when playing with a friend, whether it's off or online co-op is incredibly fun. A lot of action and a lot of strategy, it really is a lot of fun to pick up with a friend and just play. Considering all of the above problems are no longer of any concern when a player is playing as Sheva, it's highly recommended that this game is to be played as a duo, not a solo.

The adventure of RE5 is apparently not as long as RE4, being of twelve to fourteen hours as suggested by online game reviewers (where as RE4 is fifteen to twenty depending on one's level of skill and game difficulty). However to keep the player coming back are further difficulty levels (including Professional mode) and the Mercenaries mode, which returns in a fashion just like RE4 but with, yes you guessed it, two player co-op.

Players might be disappointed to hear that the Merchant from RE4, or a variation of it does not return this time around. Instead when the player loads the game or enters a new chapter they are able to purchase new weapons or items and equipment from an options-style shop. Like RE4, weapons can be upgraded at a price and while it's not overly plentiful, money is provided throughout the game from fallen enemies or a broken crate or barrel. Treasure items like gems and whatnot can also be found in the game and can be sold for some cold hearted cash.

Continuing with the new tradition formed in RE4, RE5 is now considered "survival action" (although the term of "survival" can, and has already been disagreed with). There are numerous enemies all with a fairly intelligent A.I. Infected by the Plagas style parasite as seen in RE4, enemies aggressively attack in groups, can try and dodge incoming fire, jump and navigate through the area all to try and kill you, whether it's with their bare hands or a weapon of some kind. The enemies provide plentiful ammunition upon falling and with the amount of action in this game, it really is considered an action game.

Resident Evil knows how to handle bosses and this time around is like no other. Bosses are huge, grossly detailed and powerful. They look fantastic and their introduction is also fantastic, but most bosses tend to act in the same way. The boss has a weak point, you exploit this weak point, it stuns them, you pulverize them. Some may feel that this could be a repetitive procedure but it works wonderfully, making the boss fights of RE5 truly "epic".

People may disagree but RE4, while being four years old is still a good looking game. RE5 is an even better looking game, easily one of the best (if not the best) looking game of '09. Environments are realistic, character models and animations are fantastic, fires and explosions look like they're really happening, the intense music playing at appropriate moments, RE5 certainly excels in presentation. Most of the voice acting is fairly good, unlike previous titles of Resident Evil, but the script can honestly sometimes fall down a little short. Regardless of this flaw, the game certainly deserves an A+ in overall presentation.

Players may disagree, or disapprove of Resident Evil's latest turn. The game no longer has players desparately trying to conserve ammunition while running away from the shuffling undead, but rather players constantly picking up ammunition, delivering powerful melee blows and fighting intensely against hordes of near human enemies. It's an action game, no doubt about it, and players may feel that there is too much action and not enough of the scare factor. It's true, RE5 isn't really a scary game but at the same time it is intense and at times, disturbing.

Regardless, Resident Evil 5 is a truly outstanding game. The two player co-op mode certainly is not revolutionary but it's a hell load of fun, perhaps even the selling point. With unlockables, higher difficulty modes and the ever so popular Mercenaries mode that can also be played with two players? If you're into action games, then this is a game that you cannot miss, even if you're not a fan of the biohazard.

More information about Resident Evil 5
A- Revolution report card
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