Published Mar 23, 2009Resident Evil 5 is definitely an interesting evolution of the franchise. While not making as big a leap as RE4, the latest game in the series does make some interesting changes to the formula. For one thing, it takes place in Africa, somewhere the series has never been. You play as series vet Chris Redfield, who has come to the town of Kijuji to investigate a case of bio-terrorism. And, as per usual in a Resident Evil game, you drop into the situation woefully unprepared for what awaits.
We won't go too deep into the story because, although it does provide a satisfying wrap-up to many of the franchise' loose ends, it's not the most memorable part of the game. It's also not the visuals, although they are definitely stunning. No, the best feature of Resident Evil 5 is the new ability to play the game with a partner. That's right, now you can have a friend play as Chris's partner Sheva, either locally or over Xbox Live. While you can play the game alone, with an A.I.-controlled Sheva, playing RE5 cooperatively gives the game a whole different feel.
That's because co-op isn't just a feature of the game but the cornerstone of it. Nearly every aspect of RE5 is more fun with a friend, and often even the levels feel more comfortable and manoeuvrable when you have someone else to play with. Like RE4, you'll still spend much of the game running away, turning around to take a few shots with your weapon and then repeating this process until all the Las Plagas-infected enemies are out of the way. But there are moments when splitting up and strategizing can save your ass, and you just can't accomplish this with an A.I.-controlled Sheva.
There are other minor touches, like being able to access your inventory with the press of a button, that make the game more convenient. At its core, though, this is still Resident Evil: you can't move while shooting, you're going have a constant want for ammunition, and there are moments when the stubborn controls will get you killed. If these things have kept from enjoying Resident Evil before, this game won't change your opinion.
In fact, the biggest flaw of RE5 is that it isn't as drastic a shift as its predecessor. But the co-op is a fantastic addition the franchise, and if you're a fan of the series, this is definitely one to pick up. (Capcom)