If you have played videogames within the past 10 years, chances are you have at least heard about the Resident Evil series. This is the series that essentially put survival horror games on the map. Although not the originator of the genre, it certainly perfected it. The Resident Evil series made you afraid to see what was on the other side of doors or what was lurking just beyond a hallway. Original Resident Evil zombies were similar to those in George Romero zombie movies; they were slow and just lumber place to place. A couple years ago, Capcom decided to change its long-loved series; no longer did you have slow-moving zombies, but smart intelligent enemies. Resident Evil 5 continues that new trend in the series, but does it still hold the same freshness Resident Evil 4 once held?
Resident Evil 5 continues the same third-person shooter gameplay found in Resident Evil 4. You control your character in its walking animation with the camera centered behind you. When you enter your shooting animation, it becomes an off-center third-person camera view. It is a great setup that proved itself in Resident Evil 4. This is a much-improved setup over the fixed-camera angles and blind shooting setup in the original games, before the series reboot, and is very much appreciated.
For the series fans who have played Resident Evil 4?, you can expect much of the same gameplay but with tuned gameplay mechanics. One of these tuned mechanics is the item-select screen. No longer will you have to press start or select to enter a screen that will take you out of the action going on to select the item you may need to get through the following section. The fixed mechanic now lets you stay in the middle of the gameplay the whole time you are playing and allows the interaction to be continuous.
If you have ever played a Capcom game, then you know it is very big on making fun, difficult games. This is present in this game as well. Even among just common enemies, you may be running around looking for the weak spot in their defenses; maybe he is carrying a shield around, and a regular pistol shot isn’t getting the job done, or maybe you just don’t have enough ammo. There will be plenty of these uneasy experiences in which you may think “How am I supposed to get through this alive?” The difficulty does not subtract from gameplay but adds to it. A lot of times, companies want to take the easy road and dim the difficulty, but Capcom has kept it the same way ever since it first joined the videogame business of providing fun, difficult games.
The animation in Resident Evil 5 is superb. Sure, it’s not the greatest thing this reviewer has ever witnessed, and some of it is cliché, but it is always entertaining from start to end. There is even a couple times when you need to be on hands to save yourself from deadly situations. So don’t put that controller down thinking you’re safe, because you never know when a sudden surprise might be sending you back to the last save point.
Now with all the things this game did right, there are a few things that could have been done better. One of the biggest complaints this reviewer has is with not being able to strafe while shooting. With all the advancements in the technology for games, it seems almost ludicrous to not have this feature in the combat system, especially with how difficult the game can be at times. Another complaint is some of the boss fights weren’t too clear on where I needed to be shooting. The first boss fight I encountered I barely got out of because I couldn’t find its weak spot. It’s just something that could be a little touched up. The item selection is also a little small, but that can work in people’s favor for wanting to make the game even harder. The only other thing I can think is that the series supervillain boss fight just seems ... unfulfilling; don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. It’s just that after chasing him down through so many games, I just expected more.
The camera system works exactly as it should and is very easy to understand and use. The only real problem I had with it is that it pans your character too far left, but that is probably only this reviewer’s personal opinion. The camera will show you what you need to do, where your character needs to be and how to get there.
Overall, Resident Evil 5 was really good. I had a lot of fun playing it, especially as a Resident Evil nut. There were a couple times when the script through me in loops and kept me drawn into the story at all times, just begging to see how it would turn out in the end. Capcom did a great job for this game, and it is a nice way to see the series (or at least this particular saga) end. I for one would like to know if Capcom has more Resident Evil games up its sleeves, and how exactly it would go about creating them. But for the time being, this is a great “final” hooray for this great series.