*CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS*
I should start off by saying that I am a big fan of the resident evil franchise. That is why I am not very satisfied with the outcome of RE5. The developers (Capcom) took everything that was good with the RE4 formula, added some tweaks like co-op and basically dished this game out. But is that a problem? No, because I and many others enjoyed the update to the series Capcom made for RE4. The gameplay in RE5 is nothing short of excellent, just as good as RE4 plus a solid co-op and the extended mercenaries mode. Marvellous isn't it?
The thing that really turned me off with RE5 was the main campaign (story mode). Where was the story? It was non existant. Chris just suddenly arrives in Africa to investigate some reports and suddenly all hell breaks loose.
Capcom has actually turned their back on their original concept and embraced what Hollywood did with it, make it appeal to the MTV generation. RE5 is all about visual flare, but has NO substance what so ever. You will see our beloved characters flip around like olympic gymnasts, with some dialogue thrown in that seems to have been written by a five year old.
I dispise the Milla Jovovitch live action movies and this game really felt like watching one of those movies, no story, fancy effects and action sequences, and NO ambience what so ever.
Gone are the days when RE actually had you tense.
This game marked the return of our old beloved main protagonist Chris, and his rival Wesker. These two are the driving forces behind the story of RE, and this game was to be the final chapter in their storyline. So how does Capcom end it? By completely tearing apart these two characters.
Capcom really fell for the American action hero standard and buffed up Chris. I could live with this, but what I couldnt live with was the script. Chris isn't a very bright guy according to RE5. This is about as much depth as we get from him:
Sheva: "Why is Wesker bad?"
Chris: "Because he is evil!"
Chris will never say anything that will make you even remotely interested in the non existant storyline or even start to build some sympathy for the main characters.
By the end of the game you have no idea at all who the character Sheva is, other than that she is a good soldier.
And wesker, oh boy... remember back in the days when he was actually cool? In the earlier games Wesker was more of a business man. He had no morals back then either but it was greed which drove him to what he did. Selling different samples of viruses to terrorists/highest bidders. As everyone knows he was one of the people responsible for the creation of the T-virus, etc.
In code Veronica we even see that Wesker has some decency in him, sure he despises Chris but he has some dormant respect for him, as his rival.
In RE5 Wesker is a boring 2D villain which we could find in any subpar comic. He isnt even introduced until the end of the game and all he has to say is that he will be a god and thats basically it. He is visually very entertaining though, the model/texture work is very true to the character and his action choreography is very tight. Visually Wesker is cool, but his character is extremely superficial. He got the better end of voice acting though, creds to the guy who did the voice over.
I hope I'm not the only one who blasted through ganados/zombies thinking "what the hell am I doing here?"... and who the hell was Irving and Excella? And even the old man Spencer! None of these characters were developed at all! Usually people complain about poor character development but here we had no characters to begin with. For the first 60% of the game there is no story at all, and after that the rest is about Wesker wanting to become a god and of course... END THE WORLD.
It made me sad when I realized that this was how they would end the great story of RE, by making it a dumbed down action movie à la Paul Andersson/Milla.
If you have played MGS4 you will understand where I'm coming from. It is VERY possible to include a compelling, rich story to a videogame. Hideo Kojima ended his franchise in such a glorious way. Snakes honor completely restored and we were blessed with a story that we wished would never come to an end. The Chris/Wesker storyline deserved an epic and memorable ending.
I hope I have made my point clear, I love the RE games and wanted so much from this but instead they took one of the great franchises and completely tore it to pieces. Even RE4 had some form of story and likeable characters.
FLAWS: No ambience what so ever (This doesnt feel as an RE game at all), no story, superficial 2D characters, too short.
GREAT: Visual direction, graphics, outstanding gameplay.