Friday, April 29, 2011

Resident Evil 5 - Video Game Review of the Month - April 2011

Genre: Survival Horror
Rating: M
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: March 2009
Co-Op: Yes
Split-Screen: Yes
Tip: Rent it and play story mode with a friend
Game Summary: Resident Evil 5 submerges its player into a world threatened by political unrest and bioterrorism. Introduced with a brief monologue by Chris, the protagonist and ex-Special Tactics And Rescue Service (STARS) operative plagued with the guilt of his old partners death, the game begins. The story takes place in the fictional African town of Kijuju. Chris is sent there on behalf of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) to meet up with Sheva Alomar and track down Ricardo Irving. Irving, a former TriCell Pharmaceutical Company researcher, plans to make a large sum of money selling bio-organic weapons (BOW) on the black market to political radicals. Chris and his new partner, Sheva, soon find that their assignment goes far deeper than illegal black market activity. With the help villains Albert Wesker and Exella Gionne, Irving plans to infect the world with a super virus, Las Plagas, mutating the entire human race into grotesque, murderous abominations, but not if Chris and Sheva have anything to say about it. Motivated by the impending fate of the world and a data file indicating that Jill, Chris’ old partner, could still be alive, Chris and Sheva set out to stop Irving, Gionne, and Wesker once and for all.

Review: Graphics wise, Capcom delivers both inside and outside of the cut-scenes. The characters motions are fluid and lifelike and the environments are rich with detail, making for a visually pleasing experience.

As for gameplay, the camera is un-adjustable and far too close to your character. It often makes it difficult to see oncoming enemies as well as where you are trying to go. The point and shoot setup is also frustrating. For one, your character is unable to walk or run while aiming. And two, the aim movement is relatively slow. Strangely enough, these two elements combined with many enemies having plentiful amounts of health, creates a strategic element to the gameplay. A good portion of the enemies require some planning and maneuvering to defeat, which only adds to the fun.

Like the previous games in the series, the game incorporates some puzzle solving aspects. This part of the game seems to be over hyped, however. The most complicated puzzle consists of a turn or two of a mirror to reflect a beam of light. Let's just say that it is no Portal or Portal 2.

For a game that prides itself off of being in the survival horror genre, it seems more fitting to call it an action horror. I say this because you never feel like you are in extreme danger. The game also includes conveniently placed, but oh so classic exploding barrels and Gatling guns. In survival horror’s defense, you are given a limited amount of ammo with the intent of making the gameplay more suspenseful. Additionally, there are some enemies (mini bosses and bosses) that are able to kill Chris and/or Sheva in one attack.

The main factor that kept me interested throughout was the weapon upgrade and purchasing system. By picking up in-level gold and selling unused items, you can purchase new weapons and upgrade many aspects of them (damage, reload speed, clip size, and critical damage chance). The game also features a ton of other un-lockables (new costumes, 3d figurines, game modes, and more).

In short: The game is definitely a fun one. The graphics are great. The story and voice acting are adequate. And there are tons of items to unlock. I would recommend playing this one co-op with a friend. But even if you don't have a friend to play it with, the AI is interactive and fun to play with too (I recommend not giving ammo to Sheva, though. She seems to waste it). It took about 8 hours to beat the story mode solo, but do not be deterred. For the hardcore gamer there are plenty more hours in store to unlock everything in this game (but it can get a repetitive process killing mutants none stop). Either way, rent it. Play it with a friend, and become the greatest mutant/zombie killing force there ever was.
  1. Great graphics
  2. Co-op Story
  3. Tons of weapons and upgrades
  4. Mercenary mode (kill as many mutants as you can within a time limit)
  5. Tons of un- lockables (characters, costumes, weapons, figurines, ect)
  6. Replay value (if you can get passed the repetition of killing mutants all day long)
  1. Repetitive
  2. Unable to adjust camera
  3. Stationary shooting and clunky aim (however, this creates a strategic style of play)
Score: 7.5/10

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