Resident Evil 5
Xbox 360 / Capcom
Resident Evil is back again for another creepy installment with Resident Evil 5. I found this game to be so much evil fun, it was wicked. A little different than what you might expect from a Resident Evil game, as it is more action based than horror suspense. But still there's enough evil from the local residents to scare your hats off.
You play as Chris Redfield (again), who is in charge of stopping the spread of an evil bioweapon fallout. You must track down the Umbrella Corporation and put a stop the the evil that changed the people of Kijuju (an African country) into Majini (zombies). This time around though, you will have help from the likes of one Sheva Alomar, your partner. She'll have your back and for most of the time that's great, but sometimes when you really need her help, she'll be off collecting more ammo and herbs for healing. I complain, but actually that stuff comes in handy - and it's very scarce - so good on you Sheva.
Sheva is controlled by 'Player 2' in a co-op style gameplay. 'Player 2' can join or leave the game at any time, which is really convenient if your friends really suck at video games and you don't want your high scores brought down. The zombies are much eviler in RE5 as opposed to previous titles. They move so much quicker and are more intelligent. For example, just in case there wasn't enough evilness coming at you previously, zombies now carry and use weapons like flaming bow and arrows, hunting knifes and other really evil items.
With these local evil zombies running after you with weapons there's sometimes only one thing to do: run. However, if you want to shoot your gun while running, it becomes a case of walking and chewing gum. That's right, the two tasks cannot be done at the same time. Which can be annoying, but also adds to your stress level which keeps the game at a creepy high. Other (new) restrictions include a real-time inventory. The game does not pause while you check for health herbs and bullets, so be quick otherwise the evil will be upon you before you have your gun reloaded. I think this feature, alongside the no-running-and-shooting rule are signs of the programmers being extra evil. There's just so much evil everywhere you look.
The controls for everything other than the inventory are exactly as they should be. They're just so easy to pick up and run with. Usually my review game copies don't come with manuals and some titles just leave me scratching my head. You shouldn't need a manual to play a game, it should be intuitive, which is exactly what RE5 is. Yes the characters are a little restricted with their movement and use of items, but that is part of the game design and what helps build the urgency and franticness of the gameplay.
RE5 looks amazing. The graphics make you feel like you're in a film. The cut-scenes look great, even though the acting is very cheesy. The character animations are spot on and the when they talk you can even see their tongues working in their mouths.
The story isn't that long and if you have a comfy enough lounge, you could finish this in about ten hours. But that's okay, you can re-do the story mode with extras unlocked and secret weapons or try out the Mercenaries mode, where you battle against an endless amount of evil zombies. This is a great game, not just for Resident Evil fans, but for all fans of evil. The graphics are stunning and the action is thick with excitement. If I could only buy 20 games this year this would be one of them.