All gripes aside, it’s generally
easy to spot the appeal of Resident Evil games. They’re full of guns and
zombies, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re usually in the upper-echelon of
graphical prowess whenever they’re released. Granted, some things have changed
over the years. Jill isn’t around anymore, and the game’s pace has become a bit
more arcade-like. That hasn’t stopped players from sinking their teeth into each
new Resident Evil that Capcom offers, and with Resident Evil 5, the developers
seem to have outdone themselves once again.
Granted, the title of “greatest
Resident Evil game” is a hotly contested issue among diehard fans, but this
should be seen as a positive sign. If folks seem to have trouble deciding which
is the best, surely the developers have consistently dedicated themselves to
achieving a high standard of quality. Of course, one of the biggest draws for
any game is found in its visual style. This is one area where RE5 shines
brightly, no questions asked. Detailed textures in the hair and musculature of
characters, dynamic physics and luscious bump-mapping, lifelike animations and
intense lighting – the list of graphical goodies is virtually endless. There can
be little doubt that Resident Evil 5 has never looked as good as it does on the
PC, making this title an outstanding tool for tech demos, or just showing off
the power of your processor.
The setup for this incredible zombie
fest is a bit more tightly packed and thoughtfully layered than what you might
expect to find in your average shooter. The premise quickly shifts from simple
to shocking, and despite the game’s Japanese origins, all the voice work is
nicely executed. Resident Evil 5 is a game that feels expertly paced, offering a
very pleasant variety of gameplay scenarios to ensure that the game stays
intensely exciting without getting too exhausting. The writers were not even
afraid to throw in a bit of humor, which is a nice plus, as any scenario
involving zombies should never take itself too seriously.
Veterans of the series will obviously get a big kick out of Resident Evil 5, but
fortunately, previous experience with the franchise is not mandatory. Everything
from intense shootouts to frantic boss battles will take the player on an
outrageous rollercoaster of adrenaline-fueled combat. Much of the time, it isn’t
just the big scary monster that’s making you sweat, but the quiet moments of
palpable fear, passing through a dusty, quiet street, knowing that something is
always lurking and waiting to kill you.
One of the big frustrations with the
console version of RE5 was the inventory system. For newcomers, the system takes
some getting used to, because there are limits on how many objects can be
carried around. Searching and scavenging are still an important part of the
game, of course, and you’ll still be trying to conserve your ammunition as much
as possible. That being said, the keyboard makes item selection a breeze.
Instead of cycling around with a console controller, you just tap a button to
whip out your shotgun, and you’re good to go. Another positive aspect of the PC
is the good old mouse control, making aiming and firing at incoming zombies far
less frustrating. These improvements might not come as a surprise, but they are
certainly welcome and may even persuade console players to give the PC version a
The second protagonist, Sheva, remains the defining element of Resident Evil 5.
As an AI player, she holds her own pretty well in combat, but her behavior can
be a bit inconsistent when things get rough. This is why the two-player
cooperative mode is so fundamental to the game. Having a living, thinking human
to assist you on each mission really brings the experience to a whole new level.
This also allows for the implementation of more advanced strategies, an
important asset to have, as we all know that video game zombies will not play
fair. There is really no question that RE5 was meant to be played this way, but
it certainly stands tall with its single-player mode. If you missed out the
console release, you have absolutely no excuse for passing on this version.
There can be little doubt that Resident Evil 5 will make the other games in your
software library quite jealous.
Review Scoring Details for Resident Evil 5
No, you can’t run around while firing blindly at incoming zombies, but that only
makes the experience more harrowing. Great use of varied mechanics and a
multitude of gameplay scenarios.
With a well-powered PC, this is one of the prettiest games out there. Prepare to
Great foley work, and the ambience really lends itself nicely to the atmosphere
of… well, horror.
There are definitely some frustrating moments, but the challenge is mostly
A sequel perhaps, but a triumph all the same.
This is one co-op experience you will not soon forget. Hopefully the console
“versus” element will become available later on.
Resident Evil 5 isn’t exactly perfect, but it’s so close, none of its flaws
upset the experience as a whole. Buy it for yourself, but bring a friend for