Resident Evil 5: Is it worth it?

So earlier last month, Resident Evil 5 came out and many made a mad dash for their local Gamestop as well as any other retail store selling this game. Many of you are probably still agonizing over whether you should buy this game or not, and that’s understandable. So here’s my break down of some of the features of this game:

The game is set in Africa. You’re playing as Chris Redfield, on the hunt for a bio-terrorism threat. You soon discover that the Las Plagas parasite have evolved, making their victims stronger, faster, and more dangerous zombies than you’ve previously encountered. You also have backup. You are partnered with Sheva Alomar, an African native and member of the Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA). You and your partner take on new enemies, nastier monsters, and come across some interesting discoveries. This game offers single and co-op mode. But before I get into that, let’s talk about the controls:

Now there have been a lot of complaints about both the control scheme, and the inventory system. The controls have not changed much since Resident Evil 4, so you’re not able to move and shoot at the same time. Those who have played previous installments will be used to that. There is a button combo that turns you 180 degrees though. You and your partner have nine slots each and there is no option for expansion. The inventory system also loads in real time, meaning you can’t pause to access it anymore. To even things out, there’s a D-pad available made of four of the nine slots given to you for quick access items. Many argue that these hindrances serve to help build tension, and increase the feeling of terror that many feel the game is lacking. Imagine the scenario: You’re being attacked from all sides. You’re firing head on into a group of zombies, yet you can’t move and fire simultaneously so you don’t know if and when something will attack from behind. On top of that, a huge fucking monster is coming to hand your ass to you. You use the D-pad and find the weapon just in time to blast the mini-boss into oblivion. Sounds exciting, huh?

Herein lies the problem. On top of not being able to move and shoot at the same time, the overall aim and movement is pretty slow. And while I can understand stopping to aim on some level, it’s not realistic when you’re using a knife. Knife fights require the use of your whole body, not the position of the knife. Let’s not mention the countless times your vision gets screwed up because the 180 turns seldom leave you with a view of the enemy that’s behind you. On top of that, these bastards will hold you down whilst they wait for the mini-boss to appear. One hit from some of these bosses end in instant kill. Assuming you manage to get away from your captors, you still have to access the D-pad in time not to get killed. By the time you get your weapon out and look up, you’re dead. Distraction much? I guess that’s what the D stands for. There’s nothing remotely scary or creepy about this scenario. I felt more annoyed than I did tense. You can’t create a tense atmosphere with shitty controls. You just can’t.

Here’s a look at another problem. The game itself forces you to play with a partner. Anyone who prefers to play solo would have at least appreciated the option to play completely alone. But you’re pretty much stuck with Sheva, and people either love her or hate her. When playing as a single player, Sheva is basically being controlled by the console. I can’t say that she’s completely useless. She will pick things up that you normally can’t carry, and will give you ammo if you need it. She also has your back when you’re being attacked and will heal you on her own if necessary. She’s also a pretty good shot and does her share of damage against enemies. Fairly intelligent for an AI. The problem is Sheva can be a little…retarded at times. She’s a bit trigger happy, and will overuse ammo without judging how much to use for which enemy. She also tends to run off on her own to fight which would be fine if her death didn’t result in a restart of the game. Not so intelligent. In this way, it really does seem like you’re babysitting. In a real scenario, Chris would have to keep going without her. There’s no reason it couldn’t apply here.

None of her shortcomings are present in co-op mode. It’s easier to tell a friend who you want to attack, and hopefully they have the good sense to use proper discretion when it comes to ammo. Unlike playing with the AI, you can actually plan things out in co-op mode. You also have the advantage of using the split screen, which helps each player focus on their own game. I have noticed that when playing online you might encounter a problem with sharing weapons. You can’t actually share weapons. So if a noobtard decided to join your game, they would be stuck with the bare essentials if they have not yet acquired weaponry of their own. Strangely enough, you can share ammo and other items. Overall, playing in co-op mode is a whole lot more fun than as single player. So guys, hand a controller to your girlfriend and play.

The enemies are abundant: you have dogs, spiders, bats and much more. The Bosses are bigger and badder than ever, with some that can only be described as hentai tentacle porn monsters. Your enemies can leave you scratching your head sometimes. They will chase you, and when you shoot they will duck behind walls for cover. But in the tradition of Resident Evil 4, they run up to you, stand there for a few seconds, then attack. You could literally reload your weapon in the time it takes them to attack. You could also save yourself some time by running past them, unless you like to shoot things of course.

You’ll also notice how some battles are a bit ridiculous. Some of the major bosses all turn into hentai tentacle porn monsters after a dramatic cut scene, and the fights follow a pattern of run, dodge, shoot orange glowing spot. And if you get your hands on the rocket launcher, it’s even easier, as only one shot will destroy the monster.
Now let’s look at the weapons. As the game progresses, you acquire better weapons. Here are just a few of the ones you’ll see:

  • M92F Handgun- pretty standard stuff here, it comes fully equipped with a laser pointer, which will make aiming accurate and easy.
  • S75 Rifle- Your standard Sniper Rifle, complete with an adjustable scope. This weapon is pretty powerful, which will be useful when taking on a heavy duty opponent.
  • Ithaca M37- This is your shotgun. I’d use this weapon on the mini-bosses as it packs some serious fire power in the shots.
  • Vz.61 – Submachine gun. Nothing to write home about. It isn’t terribly accurate. It really just sucks.
  • Rocket Launcher- Once you get a hold of this, beating the game becomes quite easy.
  • I decided to talk about graphics last since it’s the first thing that everyone will notice. They are beautiful. From the detailed cut scenes to the bulging veins in Chris Redfield’s steroid-infused arms, there is an abundance of eye candy for all. I personally love watching the splatter of zombie heads as I blow them apart with my handgun. So Pretty!! That being said, the cut scenes are amazing. It looks almost like an actual movie. The plot is quite cheesy and predictable, but still very enjoyable.

    Is it worth it? Overall, Resident Evil 5 is a fun game. It seems as though the series may be going in to the direction of an action game, and many will miss the creepy atmosphere because it’s gone. The fans will miss the feeling you got when you played Resident Evil 2. You’re playing in the dark, your character walking down a dark corridor when they’re suddenly attacked. No change in the inventory system will replace that. Newcomers who have played other games (Gears of War, Deadspace) will find themselves comparing, especially in terms of the controls. You’ll enjoy the visuals as well as co-op game play, and once the game is beaten, you unlock Sheva as a playable character.

    While I see a definite push for multi-player gameplay, gamers should have the choice as to whether they want to play with or without Sheva. Guess you can’t please everybody. If you’re still in doubt, download the demo and feel it out. Otherwise rent it, or wait for the price to drop. There really isn’t anything particularly special here that will make you need to have this game, unless you’re a fan who wants to see how Chris’ story plays out. Then you’ll probably get it anyway.