Following the success of Resident Evil 4 and for the simple fact that this helped Nintendo sell more of there Nintendo Gamecubes then any other game. With us having to wait a few years for the next installment of a Resident Evil game in the series, there was quite a lot of hype around Resident Evil 5 and it had a lot to live up to seeing as Resident Evil 4 was so groundbreaking and changed the way Resident Evil games where played.
The game starts of with a CQ intro showing a unknown Evil character walking over a citizen who seems to be there against his own will and when the man trys to defend himself he seems to have been taken over by the evil virus which will soon turn him into a zombie of some kind , we next see Chris Redfield who we gather is the character you play as with no sign of Leon from Resident Evil 4 in sight, knowing that Resident Evil 5 is now based around a co op factor so this is the first time you will see your partner it will then have a good flash back of his old partner Jill.
When you start playing youre in the heart of Africa and it just feels so much different from the dark and scariness of Resident Evil 4, but thats not a bad thing but it just doesnt feel like I am playing a Resident Evil game it doesnt feel scary enough. As you brake through barrels with your knife and smash through piles of fruit to collect items more often then not its gold coins or handgun ammo you notice you will have to basically have to cater for two people giving your partner ammo and health as well guns as your inventory will become full very quickly as first aid sprays will use up one block each given if you carry a few of them each one needs it own slot , unlike Resident Evil 4 you was able to upgrade you inventory to carry more items but the fact there is two of your now you can swap around the items and also request them from your partner if you need them.
Still upgrading your weapons and combining different colour herbs is still in place which does help when looking for space to carry more items to carry on your quest, when I played through the game I tended to give everything to my partner such as weapons and health so when I was ever in danger of dying AI partner would run along regardless of what hell was taking place and come to heal me even if it put themselves into sudden danger.
Unlike Resident Evil 4 when you save the presidents daughter Amy telling her to hide all the time and catch up when you jump off a ledge your partner in Resident Evil 5 seems somewhat stronger and is able to do quite a lot herself so she is able to hold her own, you still need to do certain things together such as opening a door at the same time and pulling leavers to open gates which makes good use of the co op side of things.
Still keeping to the Resident Evil trend where a certain door will need a few different pieces of a puzzle for it to be opened is still in place and works well being on co op based game one of you can take out the onslaught of zombies and as the other game pick up the pieces of the puzzle. Some characters from former Resident Evil games do make an appearance and each of the bosses follow the same method of attacks to beat them where you have to shot or attack a certain part of their body once there are dazed you can further action them using a QTE method or a stronger attack, but it does follow this for every boss you encounter. There is a few on the rails driving levels which work well and shows off the graphic and the power of the engine as there is quite a lot of baddies on the screen at any given time, the game doesnt suffer from any slow down at this time and there isnt much pop up graphic glitches which means there has been a lot of work on the polishing off of the game where many games miss now days to rush out in time for a certain release date. The voice acting and month movement works very well even for a Capcom game the video clips to in-game graphic clips work very well and keep you indulged into the plot of the story , as well as each loading screen displaying the history of Resident Evil and its outbreaks.
The controls as the same as the last Resident Evil but your still not allowed to move when shooting , which now days is a little dated as you should be able to because it just limits the movement and just slows things down when working on enemy to enemy and your unable to run and gun. After finishing each chapter of the level you will be given an achievement and the achievement system for the levels and the difficulties is tiered which means if you set the difficulty setting to a harder game setting you will get all the other less difficult level achievements as well. Some of the achievements are harder to get then others, which you may have to play through a number of times to pick them up on the way but there is a level select allowing you to play through levels and chapters you have missed to pick up those achievements.
The control system does work very well and it is easy to reload and shot as well as getting out your knife for quick attacks due to the camera angle being over the shoulder means more often then not you hardly have to change it apart from when your running you may have to move the camera angle down slightly as it seems to always move upwards.
Lets talk about the Online side of things now , as stated above I was talking about if I was playing this offline with a AI as my partner but you can play the game Online, when you start a chapter it asks would you like to allow people to join your game when you play online, this means that you will get a message on the top of the screen saying someone wants to join and are you willing to restart the level or make your way to the next checkpoint to allow the person to join the game and take over the role of your partner.
Once online your partner will have all their own weapons and items from their resident evil inventory which means if they have items which you can sell means you can get the money for it , to upgrade or buy items. It doesnt matter if youre the host and someone leaves your game this just means that the AI will take over and carry on , this doesnt effect the play but when you join someone and the host quits it means you lose everything and your progress on the level, lag can also cause a issue online so when joining a game make sure you check on the connection to see how well it will run. You can select chapters and how difficult you want the levels and you can filter this as your search which allows you to go back to levels to pick up items you missed or work on harder difficultly levels when joining someone elses game , remember they are most likely to have all the weapons and unlimited ammo for them so let them lead and you pick off the ones you can if you wanted shadow someone just to get those achievements.
Review by James