I already know a few people are expecting me to pan this game because it’s similar to Resident Evil 4. Am I going to? Let’s find out!
Resident Evil 5 was released March 19, 2009 for PS3, XBox360, and PC. It became the fastest selling game in franchise history. There are a few a good reasons why, and we’re about to go over them!
The story of RE5 takes place five years after the events of RE4 and sees classic cast member Chris Redfield heading to Kijuju, Africa on orders from the B.S.A.A. (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) in an effort to stop a black market deal from spreading virus samples.
When Chris arrives, he’s met with his new partner, Sheva Alomar. Being native to the area, Sheva does her best to help Chris through his arrival and makes sure he doesn’t catch flak from the unruly villagers that don’t like Americans.
Unfortunately for Chris and Sheva, you can’t stop Some Ol’ Bullshit from happening, and they find themselves trapped in hostile territory, being ordered to carry out the mission. Chris even comments on having the feeling of being expendable at one point.
From this point on the story tends to move relatively quickly. From chasing the seller from the black market deal to running into an old enemy, a lot seems to happen pretty quickly.
I enjoyed the story well enough and didn’t find anything too out of the ordinary for the RE series. I suppose it could be summed up with “You’re stuck in an area where everything wants to eat, kill, or infect you. Good luck getting out!” Pretty standard fair for the series, but it doesn’t detract from the game’s overall fun factor.
King Of Pride Rock
Resident Evil 5’s sounds are a bit of a mixed bag.
The music itself is either nonexistent or used in a way that it’s only really noticeable during intense situations. I guess it isn’t really that big of a deal, considering you’ll rarely be in a situation where you’ll feel like you’re supposed to be creeped out. Don’t worry, the creep out factor comes in in one of the DLCs, which I’ll get to later.
The sound effects in the game are awesome. When you fire the hand cannon, it sounds like a fucking cannon. The Hydra triple barrel shotgun, sounds as badass as a triple barreled shotgun should sound. Over all, the weaponry sounds awesome all around. I’m particularly fond of the Stun Rod’s BZZZZZT.
One thing the series has improved on monumentally is the voice acting. RE5’s voice acting is pretty good for the most part. I found myself a bit underwhelmed by Wesker’s voice. I can’t really think of a better way to word it than — he sounded a bit too much like a bitch. Otherwise, the other characters sound pretty good.Chris sounds like the gruff bastard he’s turned into, Jill doesn’t have random words in British accents in the middle of her sentences, and I know a lot of people find Sheva’s voice annoying, but I’m rather indifferent to her. Irving definitely had the best voice over, though. Seriously, the guy’s twisted and you can tell the voice actor had some fun with it.
The creatures definitely have their own unique sounds as well. You’ll learn to hate the sound of Lickers’ suction cupped walking and Reapers’ insectoid rattling. The humanoid enemies are pretty similar to the ones from RE4; they speak in their native tongue, and some even cackle freakishly while attacking you. It gives the enemies a very imposing feeling.
Overall, the sounds of RE5 do a perfectly good job.
…To Die For
Resident Evil 5 does a fantastic job of showing off the different areas you might find in real world Africa. From the Savannah to the Marshlands, the settings are beautiful and detailed. Each one has its own unique feel, but while the world is varied, colorful, and creative, I feel the enemies didn’t get quite as lucky with their designs.
There are four or five models for the male enemies you find in towns, one for the female enemies. They all have semi-varied coloring for their clothing, but I guess it doesn’t matter too much when you’re blasting them to pieces anyway.
When you come across the tribal enemies, you’ll notice, very quickly, that they only get two different models. Normal and large. There are some differences in the normal sized ones, like some wearing head dresses, but that’s about it. I also find it odd that all the tribal women died where the ones in towns didn’t, so don’t expect to see female tribal enemies.
The military enemies you fight seem to have gotten the best luck when it comes to overall design. I’m fairly certain there are more military enemy models than town and tribal models combined. The down side is that some of them wear body armor, which really slows you down if you happen to be going for melee kills. That said, it does put you on your toes, and so does their excessive use of guns, grenades, stun rods, and rocket launchers.
I know, you’re thinking “You’ve gone on and on about the settings and enemies, but what about the main characters?” Well, rest easy, we’re about to tackle that one right now.
Chris looks like he’s been hitting the gym constantly. He’s massive. I don’t think he’s quite as big as most people like to joke about, but he’s definitely bigger than he was in the past. He also has the look of someone who’s seen far too much shit in their life, which I think is perfect considering the kind of crap he’s been doing since he was 23. One thing that’s definitely worth noting, is the nice costume selection he’s got. Sheva has one as well, but we’ll get to that when we talk about her.
I love Chris’ alternate costumes. Specifically the Heavy Metal and S.T.A.R.S. ones, though I’m not too keen on his Warrior one. I find the Safari outfit charmingly goofy, but I don’t think I’d ever use it.
Sheva’s design doesn’t really do anything mold-breaking. The one thing that bugs the hell out of me with her design, and Jill’s, is the high heels. What the fuck are these women doing in combat situations wearing high heels? Seriously. No one in their right mind goes into a dangerous situation thinking “I definitely need to go with the stilettos on this one.” Even her tribal costume manages to work in high heels. Speaking of which, let’s talk about her special costumes, because they’re infinitely more interesting that her basic outfit.
Like Chris, I’ve got two clear favorites with Sheva. Her Fairytale costume is an awesome nod to Little Red Riding Hood, but given that it’s a Capcom game and they always reference themselves, I’m going to say it’s B.B. Hood (basically Little Red Riding Hood with a better arsenal than any army). Of course, her Tribal costume is the other favorite. Aside from it being sexy, it’s also something you don’t see that often which makes it stand out even more.
One of her other costumes is Business, which turns her into Hunnigan. Another neat little nod to Capcom’s universe. Her other costume is Clubbin’. Honestly, I had to look up a list of her costumes because I’d forgotten about this one and couldn’t be bothered to check the game. It’s, eh, for lack of a better description, fucking stupid. It gives her this short white-ish hair, gold mini-skirt, boots and jewelry. The whole thing just looks ugly. Moving on.
Jill’s design in RE5 is jarring when you first see her. The battlesuit is awesome, without a doubt, but the blonde hair? Not a huge fan of it. I understand, it was part of the story but, yea, still not a fan. Also not a huge fan of her light blue eyes being as light as they are. It almost looks like they’re glazed over and she’s just comatose, and that’s even after to set her right.
Her B.S.A.A. costume found in Lost In Nightmares and The Mercenaries is pretty good, though. Very standard Jill stuff; blue pants and shirt with her little hat.
Last, but not least, Wesker. I’m not sure what animal he skinned to make his outfit, but if it was for the strategic purpose of distracting the enemy, it works. Every time I see Wesker I find myself just gawking at him wondering what poor creature died to make that outfit. Maybe it’s meant to be symbolic? I don’t know, but I suppose it’d make sense if it were supposed to be a reptilian skin. I mean, he’s got slit-eyes like a snake…or Voldemort, and honestly, I’d be a hell of a lot more terrified of Voldy.
Anyway, to sum up the graphics — they’re awesome. I’m close to bordering on saying they’re better than RE6 as I’ve been jumping between the two lately. While them being better is, obviously, debatable, I think I prefer the colorful landscapes and areas in RE5.
It means “no worries” which is perfect considering I don’t have to worry about snapping my controller in half from shitty gameplay like I wanted to with RE4. RE5 curb stomps the shit out of 4 in the gameplay department. Capcom finally got the memo that the right stick had become the norm for looking around in third person shooters, and gave us the ability to do so! As a side note, I’ll be bitch slapping RE4 around in its review about this control thing.
Anywho, RE5 still stops you from moving when you aim, but the fact that you can aim more naturally with the right stick means that you don’t have to fumble for leg or head shots and, for me, negates the issue of being rooted in place. I’ve actually taken a bit more of a liking to 5’s controls over 6’s more action based ones, which I never thought would happen but it did.
There are a few odd things still left in from 4’s control scheme, like needing to aim before being able to reload. This isn’t a big problem as you can reload much, much faster through the inventory with a bit of practice. Speaking of the inventory…
I understand a lot of people hated it. I can definitely see why. It’s rather limiting, but it’s still more space than what was available in RE/2/3/C:V. I know, people liked the graph paper inventory of 4, and honestly, that was a pretty cool feature. On the bright side, key items aren’t kept in your main inventory, they’re put in a little bubble at the top of the screen. Don’t argue, it’s magic.
I also like that treasures (gems, rings, and artifacts that you can sell) have their own section in the big inventory. It’s always nice to finish a gaming session, go to the shop menu, and get a nice bundle of cash for your treasures. It’s especially nice when you’ve lost track of just how much you’ve stockpiled and get a boatload of cash.
Like any Resident Evil worth its salt, 5 has a few awesome unlockable weapons. You can unlock a massive gatling gun for Chris by maxing out a particular machine gun, or a bow an arrow for Sheva by maxing out a certain sniper rifle. I definitely like the ability to unlock new weapons, and unlimited ammo, by upgrading old ones as it gives you even more reason to go back and play through the game. That’s in addition to all the hidden B.S.A.A. emblems you can find through out the world, and I’d recommend a guide for that. Some of the hiding spots are pure bullshit.
The extra modes like Mercenaries and Mercenaries Reunion are a blast. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m terrible at 5’s Mercs, but I still have a ton of fun whenever I play it. The fact that I’m struggling to even break 40,000 points definitely lets me know that I need to put in more time, and you can bet I will. I put a ridiculous number of hours into 6’s Mercs and still go back to it from time to time, something I definitely plan to do with 5.
The one thing that does hang over the gameplay’s head like a bag of rotten eggs waiting to fall is the partner AI. It is, on occasion, window-licking retarded. After playing through the campaign four times, I’d occasionally be frustrated and cursing at Sheva for not moving fast enough. Soon after, I realized that probably had something to do with her path finding. She’d run a little ways, stop, redirect herself, and then carry on. I usually stocked her up with the healing items, a rifle, and whatever extra ammo I planned to use later.
I didn’t have too many issues with her, but I did gain a few deaths while trying to get to her so she could save my ass, only to find her surrounded by a mob that immediately turned its sights on me. I’m fairly sure it was a trap set by the AI to punish me for not upgrading its guns.
Overall, RE5’s gameplay is awesome. It’s a huge step up from 4’s horribly broken control scheme, but just reserved enough from 6’s balls-to-the-wall action setup that it finds a perfect middle ground. I like the minimalist inventory during missions and being able to store things between said missions, as well. From tons of unlockables to extra game modes with their own unlockables, there’s enough here to keep you busy for a long, long time.
Under The S.T.A.R.S.
Given that my experience is with the Gold Edition, I’m going to cover the DLC that’s included with it here.
In the Gold Edition you’ll get all the DLC available. Costumes, Mercenaries Reunion, Desperate Escape, and Lost In Nightmares. At this point, I’m fairly sure it’s cheaper just to by the Gold Edition if you don’t own the game yet.
That said, even if you only own the base game, it’s still worth dropping the cash for the DLC. Desperate Escape and Lost In Nightmares both add another chapter to the game that expands the story in some way. Desperate Escape focuses on Jill and Josh’s escape from the Tricell facility after Chris and Sheva first battle Wesker, and Lost In Nightmares expands on Chris’ flashback when he’s telling Sheva about what happened to Jill.
I wish Lost In Nightmares was longer. Much longer. It’s 100% pure fan-service done properly. Jill and Chris are sent to intercept a key witness, only to find themselves in a mansion that’s eerily like the one from the original Resident Evil. A few classic puzzles make their way to the expansion as well, like the one involving the shield plaques and piano, for example. There’s even one involving a square crank, which Chris comments on.
A neat little easter egg during the Nightmares campaign is when you check the main door to the mansion three times. After the third time, you’re put into the classic fixed camera system.
Like the main game, there are a few emblems in Nightmares that you can hunt down for a trophy or achievement.
As for Desperate Escape, I’ve yet to finish it, but it’s definitely a great addition for anyone wanting to flesh out the story a bit more. It’s also great to see Jill and Josh get a bit more screen time.
Another great DLC addition is Mercenaries Reunion that adds a few classic cast members, and new ones, to the roster. It’s worth noting that all the characters are unlocked from the beginning with Reunion, but you’ll need to unlock all the maps again. Either way, I’m fine with that seeing as Reunion lets me play as Barry Burton and Rebecca Chambers. As for the regular Mercs members, they’ll get some of their alternate suits with new loadouts, like Chris in his Warrior costume.
While we’re talking about Mercs Reunion, I want to touch on three quick things.
- Barry Burton is a straight up badass. Any character with a kill move called “Miranda Rights” or “Burton Boot” automatically wins.
- Rebecca Chambers’ cutesy Japanese mannerisms seemed a bit awkward, but entertaining.
- Why are Barry and Rebecca the same ages they were in Resident Evil 1? It’s been 11 years in the Spencer Estate incident. You’d think they would’ve aged. That’s just nitpicking to nitpick, though.
Overall the Gold Edition is definitely worth picking up. It’s a steal at $20USD, and if you already own the base game but no DLC, it’s still worth the price of admission.
Circle Of Life
In the end, I don’t think I can recommend Resident Evil 5 enough. I’ve sunk over 30 hours into it at this point and can see myself sinking plenty more in.
You might notice that I didn’t mention the Versus game modes, and that’s purely because I haven’t played them but definitely want to so I can make RE5 my first platinum trophy game. From the videos I’ve seen of Survivors, it seems to be like Mercs but for teams that can kill each other. Slayers seems to just be PvP, which just seems like a really bad idea for any RE game.
That said, even without Versus, RE5 and its DLC packs are absolutely worth your money. I’d definitely suggest Gold Edition as it’ll save you a bit of cash on the DLC. Also, I need to point out that buying it used for PS3 is perfectly safe, the DLC is all on the disc, but the XBox360 version requires a DLC code so that one should be bought new when possible.
That’s all for now!
You folks have fun, take care, and I’ll see you next time.
Oh, one more thing — I know the pictures aren’t up to their usual quality, but like I said in my “…” post, I don’t have any way to grab screenshots from the PS3. For now I’m going to have to settle grabbing ones from official sources. So, sorry about that.