Nothing quite says ‘blockbuster’ like Resident Evil 5 – the much-anticipated sequel to the brilliant Resident Evil 4 brought Chris Redfield back as the main character as well as Albert Wesker as the main antagonist, something that most RE fans were really waiting for. RE5 was also the first proper RE on the PS3 so we were also expecting high quality graphics as well as the story progression.
RE5 had the same look and feel as RE4 sticking with the same camera angle, weapons and controls. New into the series was an always present partner – Sheva, who gets into trouble all the time, steals your ammo and gets on your nerves with one liners.
RE5 was also set in Africa, a hot climate filled with diseased Africans, obviously. There were comments from Capcom that the African wilderness and the heat would play a part in the game and it’s mechanics – it didn’t. It was, in my opinion, a poor man’s RE4.
The plot starts with the BSAA investigating some rumours of a new biological threat in Africa. Chris goes to investigate with a few members of the BSAA which soon get picked off one by one way or another. Along the way he meets Sheva and starts to uncover deeper into the plot and who the mysterious lady is that’s infecting people.
At this point, all traces of Wesker have vanished and so has Jill after a scuffle with Wesker and Umbrella’s original owner – Ozwell E. Spencer. A bit f a waste really as it was always a mystery who he was and what he did, and within 2 minutes Capcom had explained it all and missed a major trick. The plot had a major serious feel to it at the start with the Wesker business, Jill disappearing and how quiet it was in Africa. The area was well detailed at beginning and looked amazing, however it soon gets repetitive, silly and awful. The plot spirals out of control, characters that didn’t need to be there were ruining the story – but Wesker didn’t disappoint. He was very cheesy, but he didn’t disappoint.
The plot’s main “virus” was Ouroboros – very similar to the Las Plagas in RE4 and this didn’t make it feel any newer at all, there weren’t too many surprised with the enemies so you more or less knew what to do with them – even the bosses!
Sheva really didn’t add anything to the game at all, her back story was rubbish and her script was dull – I would have preferred to tackle this one alone to be honest. A lot of the time she was a real burden: not just for the storyline but within the game she would get you into trouble and waste YOUR ammo, this was fixed within RE6 but it did leave a lasting effect and in professional mode you really needed to play online or with a friend she was that bad.
Overall, the plot was grandeur that kept repeating itself again and again. This was the game that was finally going to finish off what RE1 and RE:CV started with the S.T.A.R.S vs Wesker, but it didn’t and without spoiling the plot; never will.
Following on with the RE4 controls the game feels almost identical, it really does. I can’t really think of many features that were new to mention here.
There was a shootout scene like RE4, an on-rails scene like RE4, a quiet lab scene, a military invasion, attaché case as inventory, weapon upgrades, chain saw man, giant monster, things bursting out of heads…you get the point.
This is exactly why I didn’t like RE5 that much, it was RE4 with new graphics and that’s it. It had it’s moments but it really should be called RE4.5. The mercenaries made a return, though and once again it was a blast! Same formula as RE4 bit the graphics added a little bit extra, mind you, the imagination making some of the levels leave much to be desired. But overall, mercenaries was spot on.
RE5 also had some DLC adding a few new levels with Jill as well which was a good addition, but again, there was nothing really new in them just a continuation of disappointment!
Later on in the games life they even released some new games modes, but I’d had enough at this point. As a long time fan of Resident Evil this one shocked me how bad they can be, even 6 afterwards was still going downhill in terms of gameplay.
disappointing gameplay. But great if you didn’t play RE4!
Amazing! The article so far has been very negative, but the graphics in RE5 were the best in the series since the remake and that says a lot. Chris Redfields character was incredible along with Sheva and the rest of the cast. Really realistic clothing textures and facial features really set the benchmark at the time on the PS3.
The background detail was also superb, particularly in the urban areas and the swampy bit – the more industrial areas looked great but didn’t quite show off the engine as much as the outdoor stuff. Enemy detail was also vastly improved, particularly with the boat boss.
The new engine also allowed the cut scenes to be more immersive and show a bit more emotion, this can be seen clearly in the trailer that came before launch.
Overall it feels Capcom spent a bit too much time tweaking the graphics than anything else. some of the time there could have been used to improve the gameplay – however on the subject of the graphics alone – brilliant.
Recycled noises from previous installments are on the menu in RE5 and nothing really stood out for me in terms of the music, I still liked the themes from mercenaries particularly the Wesker one but the music was a bit damp and a let down.
The sound effects weren’t much better with recycled noises from 4 and you can even hear some from the PS1 originals!
The voiceovers, though, were a bit improved…sometimes the script was wacky but the voice, again looking at Wesker, were fluid, realistic and appropriate.
Legacy & Impact
The most important (not in a good way) thing to stick from 5 was the partnering system. RE4 messed with it, 6 adopted it but it was RE5 that really brought it in properly. Blood awful idea. Resident Evil started being a game where your character was isolated and alone, how can you be alone with a partner always there, fully armed and constantly talking? That to me, is not survival horror, not even horror let alone survival.
There is a major plot change as well that for me, has been ruined and can never be replaced. A character that has been so cleverly hidden all this time, just leaves. Makes his mysterious appearances in the past a bit pointless. I can’t go into too much detail because it is heavy on spoilers, but it is a loved and famous character butchered in one game with a ridiculous finale.
The game also didn’t shake off the blockbuster feel of the game after this and through to 6. It was massive explosions, big guns and even bigger enemies. Just look at the size of the boat thing! Still, easy work for steroid Chris…