Resident Evil 5 Review (Xbox360)

Going through some radical changes, the citizens of Kijuju are under the deception of a mad corporation. Manipulating the people with their biological weapons, the corporation is infecting people with parasites and people are losing control of their bodies. What parasites are they exactly? Well carrying over from Resident Evil 4 is Las Plagas, a parasite that attaches itself to a host (usually human) and becomes one with the central nervous system to the point where the host loses all rational thought. If the hosts receive an advanced form of the parasite, theyíll retain their human-level intelligence and be able to communicate with other infected humans while using weapons and tools to their advantage. When a citizen in Kijuju becomes infected, they are then known as Majini with several variant types such as the ďExecutioner MajiniĒ that wears a dark hood, wields an axe and has incredible superhuman strength. So letís discuss the world of Kijuju, Africa and how it holds up in comparison to other Resident Evil titles.

The biggest change to the series is the introduction of cooperative action Ė a first for Resident Evil. Via online or split-screen, players are able to grab a friend or stranger and play through the game as either Chris Redfield or Sheva Aloma, a fellow B.S.A.A. (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) agent. Being able to use Shevaís acrobatic skills, players will able to enter into areas they normally wouldnít be able to get to without her assistance. Players are also able to utilize the seamless integration of drop-in play at the drop of a dime. The second player is able to outfit their character and then the game is restarted at the last checkpoint. After the missions, each player will receive points to prove who the better player was. If you arenít playing with a friend, you can toggle off friendly fire to make sure a stranger isnít screwing up your online cooperative play. Even with an extra hand lending their assistance through the storyline, you still must face insurmountable odds of thousands of Majini as they are out for your blood.

RE5 doesn't fail to impress graphically.
You can see the anger in his eyes.

Survival being the key to Resident Evil, there are other B.S.A.A. agents that youíll encounter along your journey to expose the truth behind events of Kijuju. Theyíll help reveal information on what to accomplish next and how to stay alive Ė but in effort to avoid spoilers, Iíll leave my details on the storyline at that. Youíll have to guard certain agents while they also watch your own back Ė plus, speaking to the few citizens that havenít been affected may be minimal, they will provide valuable information along with taking a break from the action.

So what other changes have been made to Resident Evil? Well beyond the removal of the natural fear and horror elements, Resident Evil 5 revolves more around intense action. The computer AI for Sheva usually stays out of your line of fire and helps revive you when you take a lot of damage. This helps keep the action at an all-time high while never holding you back from having a thrilling roller-coaster of a ride. While each character does have a limited number of inventory slots, there are a handful of weapons to choose from on your mission such as the M92F handgun, the Hydra shotgun, VZ61 machine gun, S75 rifle, a grenade launcher, stun rod and much more. In the end, itís best to give Sheva a few good weapons so she go to town on enemies so you donít have to run the gauntlet of Majini all the time.

A shot to the arm; thatís got to hurt.
Wesker returns, badder than ever.

Built as a cooperative game, itís recommended that you play Resident Evil 5 with a friend to share the thrills since this clearly isnít the spooky and eerie classic from yesteryear. The split-screen play isnít typically cut vertically or horizontally, but instead they are split into offset rectangles that are in the upper left and lower right of the screen. While it may surprise a few players on its peculiar look, itís definitely a nice change up from the usual cooperative split-screen play.

For length purposes, Resident Evil 5 will last normal players that are speeding through the storyline about 10 hours. If youíd rather find all the hidden collectibles and fully upgrade your guns, expect around 18 hours or so of gameplay. On top of that, after you finish the game, thereís the Mercenaries Mode that you can unlock. Similar to Gears of War 2 Horde Mode, the objective is to survive through the onslaught of enemies until help arrives to save your sorry butt. If youíd rather play alone without any help, that is acceptable but there are options to play online or over split-screen with a friend. There are a total of eight environments that begin with a two-minute countdown where players have to survive the waves of enemies that are out for their flesh. Players wonít want to hole themselves up and guard a particular area for too long as Capcom has delivered incentives for players to keep pushing forward such as a Combo Bonus and Time Bonus. These two bonuses help tally up more points so you can brag to your friends in the online rankings of how good of a RE5 player you are.

Cooperative work is needed to progress.
Look out Chris!

Now for the controls, if you didnít enjoy the demo, then my best advice is to get used to it as RE5 hasnít changed since the demo. The control scheme isnít the most form-fitting to be introduced this generation, but it does a serviceable job once you get used to it. Youíll strafe with the left stick and rotate the camera with the right stick while shooting with the right trigger. The inventory is mapped to the Y Button while the actions performed with your partner are done with the B Button. There are also context-sensitive actions that are indicated on the screen to let you know which button you have to press in order to dodge or fire a shot. Overall, the controls arenít friendly to newcomers and will annoy players who donít give themselves time to adjust.

So what does Resident Evil 5 boil down to? The end game for me has always been determining if the game frightened me and provided terrifying results. Due to that RE5 doesnít follow the common formula for a RE title, the results are much different than I expected. Concentrated much more on action rather than suspense, RE5 is a balanced game that does a sensible job changing up gameplay mechanics to show players something new in the genre. Albeit much of it revolves cooperative play Ė a feature that a majority of next-generation video games are touting Ė Resident Evil 5 is unique enough to justify a purchase. If you can accept an evolution of the franchise, then you best be prepared for one hell of a ride.

Top Game Moment: The moment you find out you've been betrayed all along and that someone quite well known to the Resident Evil universe may still in fact be alive.



By Nakerman (SI Veteran Newbie) on Mar 12, 2009
Played a couple of hours of this now, really enjoying it so far. I still can't help but want a Resi 2 remake though.
By crawlroman (SI Core) on Mar 13, 2009
Yup,I also played it at a friend and I didn't want to leave the screen=D
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Mar 13, 2009
So, can you tell as a little bit of the gameplay. Please tell me how the game starts? :)
By grimreaper (SI Member) on Mar 13, 2009
A remake of Resident Evil 2 that would be something
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Mar 14, 2009
Yeah, and all the others before RE4. :)
By benny180 (SI Core) on Mar 14, 2009
resident evil 3 was my first,i got the predecessors after i crapped myself through that one!
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Mar 14, 2009
RE3 was mine first as well. I remember the scene where you are on the streets with crashed and abandoned cars around you, with a shotgun with no shells inside. :P
RE: Nemesis, right?
By benny180 (SI Core) on Mar 14, 2009
yes indeed, remeber my firs encounter with nemisis,scary times,but still good!
By grimreaper (SI Member) on Mar 14, 2009
Those were the times, i miss those times. And yes Nemesis was indeed scary he always appeared out of nowhere.
By benny180 (SI Core) on Mar 14, 2009
yeah, the worst part was you could hear him before you saw him, now that was good directing,good time!
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 15, 2009
OK, I tried the demo for Xbox 360 and I have to say that I can't really understand all the hype. The game mechanics is awful! Is this because I'm not used to console shooters perhaps? Anyway, what's up with not being able to move and aim at the same time? I'm really impressed though with console players skill with the toad-like controller though - to be able to aim and fire down zombies in that game was frustrating shit - and nothing for me.
By benny180 (SI Core) on Mar 15, 2009
i dont think you where ever able to move and aim.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 16, 2009
benny, I think not. I read about it in an article, but it is still stupid IMO. Looks good, good setting that is kinda creepy. I could really see the guy urging the masses on as a clip from the news just change from poor people on the verge of ruin for zombies...

I won't even open up the debate further then that - I think most of the newspapers and gaming sites are doing that just fine...
By jormarakas (SI Veteran Member) on Mar 17, 2009
Huhuhu, Im not into these kind of games, i cant concentrate while im shivering from all the excitement =) But playing this is great with a big screen and powerfull surround sounds in a darkened room, it really brings the game alive, too alive for me :p
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 18, 2009
I see this is going to be released for the PC. If they fix the control problem they had with RE4 this will be on my HDD before it hits the shelf. I've always enjoyed the tone set by this game series, and seeing they are going back to the start I'm in. The co-op still needs to be addressed (dumb AI companion) but it still looks a darn fine romp.
By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Mar 19, 2009
My house mate bought this a couple days ago. I'll need to see what the fuss is all about!
By Revan (SI Elite) on Mar 20, 2009
I just got the game (for PS3). So far it's been better than RE4 was. But I just hate that you can't shoot and run at the same time. Freaking annoying! Why Capcom did this, I don't know. But it hasn't gotten in the way...yet. If I start getting killed because of it, well, then I'll blame the controls. :P
By Ska (I just got here) on Apr 08, 2009
It's interesting to watch anyone play this. I don't think I ever actually played it though.
By melzerith (SI Core) on Jun 30, 2009
All's I can say is it'll give you nightmares. Bad spooky sweaty piss your pants nightmares.