Resident Evil 5 review
No longer a Horror game, but not much of an action game

The good:

Amazing fun
Storyline much more intertwined with previous RE games
One of the best Co-op games out there
Good Replay ability
Fun Mercenaries mode (with co-op)
Fun extras
Ability to replay chapters

The bad:

Way to similar to RE4
Storyline a little out of whack and brings in more plot holes
Game overall is shorter than RE4
Dumb Character AI
Versus Mode isn't even worth a free price tag (currently its $5)
Easy to unlock everything
Suffers an "Identity Crisis" (read title)
Dumb enemy AI
Most of the stuff Capcom promised us (dehydration, sun affecting your eyes) does not appear in the final cut
Somewhat easy overall


So finally the 5 year wait is over.
The biggest question was, "Is it worth it?"
Well we'll find out in this review.

Before I get started however, I'll have you know that I'm a HUGE RE fan, and yes even a fanboy, I have not let that cloud my judgment however as you will clearly see in this review.

So here’s a brief description of the story (no spoilers)
Chris Redfield is on his way to Africa on another mission, discussing possible rumors of another bioterrorism attack, the BSAA fear the worst and send in Chris to find out what’s going on, along his way he encounters his new Partner Sheva Alomar. Together, they both discover that this “Uruboros virus” is very much real, and it puts the world in peril. Our heroes will do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this and discover the truth.
The Keyword here is Partner.


Resident Evil 5 focuses on this very heavily, but it actually does it quite well. Granted there are a few gripes to be had when having a partner, such as when you take enough damage, you begin to go into DYING MODE. In this mode, you become much slower (a snail will literally zoom right by you), you cannot attack or defend yourself, rather you must wait for your partner to help you. In other words you become a sitting duck until your rescued. The game has one real objective and that objective becomes clear, “Trust your partner” those 3 words are necessary as you’ll be sharing ammo, healing each other, protecting your partner while he/she leaves themselves vulnerable in order to complete a puzzle or something else. The game really does a great job of the whole co-op thing and weirdly enough for a RE game, and it’s first time (excluding the outbreak series) its done a fantastic job of co-op in a so called “Solo” game series.
Note: remember this is judging on how good your HUMAN partner is, not ai, your bound to run into some bad seeds that aren’t the best partner as with all online games, but if your partner is any good you’ll have a great time, which is why I recommend that you get a friend to tag along, or find a friend in these forums!

Co-op: 9/10


The AI however is very random, there are at times where you adore the incredibly smart AI but trust me when I said anything the AI did that left you in shock was entirely by accident. Most of the time the AI will just make squeeze the life out of your controller while you decide whether to throw it at the TV or at the wall. It makes me wonder why they'd make it SO dumb, I'd understand a little quirks, but theres more to it than that. Rarely shooting, When in dying mode they'll just wait 4-5 seconds before they heal you, when there not stuck to you doing nothing there miles away doing nothing and so much more.

AI: (both enemies and partners) 4/10


This game plays EXACTLY like in RE4, there are 4 control types, one of them is the same from RE4, while the others are slightly different. The newest and coolest thing now is the ability to strafe, while Chris can't shoot whilst aiming its good to know that all those years under training in the BSAA didn't go to some waste. Awkard controls aside, the quick QTE's from RE4 are brought back and are a little over used. You can do a special command every time your are saved, or shoot a Majini (the zombies for some of you) in specific parts of the body, such as....everywhere really, in the arm, head, knee, while he/she is on the floor, back, shoulder and hand. Really the only place you won't get a QTE command is in the chest, but there’s a chance that the random physics will have the majini flying even if you shot him with just a handgun. The cinematic QTE's also make a comeback, and while cool, aren’t nearly as cool as in RE4.

The weirdest thing about this game is even though it's an action game, it still uses its "Horror" like control in order to bring a sense of fear into this game. In the end it failed horribly, while moving and shooting would have made this game dramatically easier (its already dramatically easy anyways) its still sometimes infuriating (especially in versus or mercenaries) to not have such a simple ability. In the end, the controls are awkward if you just got out of playing games such as Gears of War or Call of Duty.

Gameplay: 5/10


Ahh Africa...Isn't she a Beaut? However she does look really familiar to this other place, yes now that I see it Africa seems ALOT like the rural regions from Europe. I wonder why? Oh now I see, RE4 was in a rural place in Europe, and it seems that Africa wanted to follow the trend. How cute.
For those who played RE4 they will find that even though there miles away from RE4's setting (continents away to be exact) the setting and levels are strikingly similar. Right from the bat you can tell the similarities. The fences remind me of the fences in RE4, the small huts, villagers and most nearly everything seems to be based off of RE4. While there are some beautiful levels in the game that deserve praise, especially in the first levels, the later games seem boring, old, used up and you just wished you could go back to the village. Some level designs are great, while others are based mostly off RE4, or are just plain dull (mainly in the final levels you will start to see this). Africa isn't so great when it feels so similar to something else, and when we see only so little of it (later levels will have you trekking through labs, ruins and so on and so forth, while only the first few levels will show you its beauty)

Settings: 7/10


Well now it seems like going overboard, the enemies aren't smarter in anyway, in fact they seem to act pretty much the same way they did in RE4. I was hoping, no, EXPECTING differences in this game in terms of enemy, but Capcom or if you want to call out names Jun Takeuchi (producer) seems to lack in originality, in which there’s really no excuse. Capcom didn’t copy/paste enemies from RE4 to RE5, for that to happen, it had to be on the same console, no, they actually REMADE the exact same enemy movements. Obvious there was a lack of originality in this game, however, the enemies still give you a run for your money even with your sexy new partner (Sheva……..or for some of you and you know who you are Chris) so that’s still good. Thankfully some new enemies have been added but it just doesn’t seem enough. At least they look different enough, you’ve got to ask why 3-4 majinis are wearing the exact same clothes. Another thing that every game has is bosses, RE has always been known for its outrageous bosses and this game is no different, the only thing is well….most of them we’ve already fought in RE4. Most of the bosses from RE4 returned except there more beefed up, some of them is a mix between 2 bosses (I can’t say due to spoilers) but gratefully a new boss is called URUBOROS which is also the first boss, and becomes pretty clear that this is the true story around this new virus/plague, the Uruboros. It also has a rather unique way of dealing with some bosses (trust me a regular ol Rocket Launcher won’t due it for the final boss, you’d be rather shocked how to take some of these bosses down). Sadly though, once you clear a boss you realize how incredibly easy it is to take care of him/her/it (mostly it).

Enemies: 7/10


Well UNLIKE RE4 here’s the difference. The story is much more relevant to the RE series. Featuring a cast of Characters from the old such as the famous Chris Redfield (doped up on steroids no doubt) and of course everybody’s favorite badass Albert Wesker. This game will tell the (so called) final Confrontation between the 2 and will even tell us what happened to poor Jill Valentine (Deceased). Mixing this old cast with a new one has made some good stuff, it also makes more sense of the story in the Resident evil series overall. However there are obvious plot holes in the series and this game is no different. These enemies are on an enhancement of “Las Plagas” a virus we’ve all come to know, and no doubt Wesker is behind this, but how did he gain the Las Plagas if he was receiven a fake sample by the lovely Ada Wong?? As you can see, plot holes have basically become another staple in the series. Speaking of staples, the cheesy voice acting is back which isn’t necessarily bad, more like a tribute to the original Resident Evil’s (which had HORRENDOUS voice acting). Not all of them are bad, Wesker and Chris seem more serious and bent on killing each other than ever while others are there for pure comedic relief (Irving who has a small role in the game). The story can get a little dumb at times and leave you wondering why wasn’t it different, but no doubt that the back-story will take awhile to sink in. The files, while there’s a lot less of them in game, you will be received files which you will obtain after completing certain levels. Such as the Chris Redfield, or Albert Wesker file. It goes really in depth and tells us a whole other story. It even tells us more in depth on what happened to the know defunct Umbrella Corporation and its whole story from creation to destruction. Brilliant files aside the story has a few quirks that will leave you wanting more, but it is a good story nonetheless.

Story: 8/10


Oh my, oh my, the graphics are how you say…..Brilliant. Amazing really, Capcom has always excelled in this department, and it shows no different for this game. Easily one of the best looking games this year. The lighting is nearly flawless, textures are represented in a spectacular way, explosions are beautiful and want you blowing everything up with rocket launchers! Enemies and blood look unbelievable, even as I watch Sheva die from a horde of enemies stabbing her and cutting her whilst she screams my name I can’t help but think wow, that’s the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. ….well I think I used up all the words describing the intensity of the graphics. Graphics gets an A. I mean 9/10.

Graphics: 9/10


This is very important to most people, whats the point in buying a game that’s to short or has nothing to offer once you’ve completed it?
Well this game is very short, shorter than RE4 really which is a bad thing. Fortunately not only can you pick up your favorite levels and play with cooler much different weapons. The game can last people a good while, (while others can get everything in this game and be bored in about 2-3 weeks, but those are really only the hardcore players). Just like in RE4 a new mode and difficulty is unlocked. Pro mode is different from the Pro mode in RE4, REALLY different. One hit almost automatically sends you into dying mode, the game turns from fun, to outrageously difficult in this mode, yet another thing capcom is good at doing, making hard games. If you scoffed at veteran, than give this a shot, even if you don’t like to replay the same game twice, I can guarantee its almost a totally different game and will force you to rethink how you’ll do everything you used to do. Another cool addition is the return of Mercenaries, a short mini-game in which you must kill all enemies possible in a certain amount of time. The new thing is this is also co-op available in both online or offline modes!! Trying to unlock a new character or stage or simply trying to beat your highscore will really consume time. Also there are some other extras such as infinite ammo on all weapons, or change the color of the game (to black and white, or a grain-ish quality like in the silent hill games).
There’s much to do once you’ve beaten the game, but many people can say that it is rather easy to get most of these done in a short amount of time. However it is very time-consuming nonetheless.



Overall this game is one hell of a blockbuster game. That’s both its gift and curse, several times you feel that this could have been so much more horror in this game, while it also feels very out of place compared to most other action games, which gives it an “Identity Crisis”. Resident Evil no longer wants to be a horror game, but you can clearly see that it has trouble being a fully fledged action game. Controls are clunky and the game is way to similar to that of Resident Evil 4. If this game had more subtle differences and chose a genre and stick to it, things would have changed for the better.
Overall it is a great game nonetheless, old RE fans will be disappointed, so don’t just get it because of Chris Redfield and Albert Wesker (get it because of Jill!), RE4 fans will also be slightly disappointed that the game chose very little risks other than the co-op.

Overall I’d give this game a buy, but it’s a very difficult game for me to place, if you where a fan of RE4 then this game is for you, if your looking to get into the RE series this game is for you, if you want an above average action game than this game is for you. There are several notable flaws in the game, but it still is an excellent experience.

Just remember folks, SHOOT THEM IN THE HEAD!...or the foot, arm, knee, shoulder….just shoot em.

Overall: 8/10

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5 members like this


0 thumbs!
InsanityS May 31, 09
A shame that the RE series has basically lost the horror element that helped establish it in the first place. I'm all for a more user friendly control interface, but I'm sure the two could co-exist.

Great review there. Seems like the game relies on the co-op experience, but hey if it works then fine enough.
0 thumbs!
Capitalist Swine Oct 12, 09
Ded Valve has grown to hate RE5 more and more over the months and he now swears he rated this 3/5
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