Resident Evil 5 is all about scale: more enemies, larger areas, and bigger bosses. Luckily, the game balances things by giving you a partner, the lithe and lethal Sheva Alomar, and the muscle to punch a zombie so hard that it explodes. We had the chance to take our increased firepower and continue on from our previous previews to further explore this undead-filled adventure.
We started off with the full version of the boat level mentioned in our river-raiding preview. As mentioned there, we were hunting after the mysterious Irving, who had narrowly escaped us by boat, prompting Chris, Sheva, and Josh to give chase. Though we were trapped a couple of times by locking gates, the majini defending the switches had foolishly placed brightly colored explosive barrels and tanks within gunshot and thus were easily dispatched.
Once we got out into more open waters, we literally bumped into Irving and his luxury yacht, which seemed to have received a couple of aftermarket upgrades, including mounted chainguns and rocket launchers. A quick cutscene later, we were faced down with the largest monster seen thus far, a water-bound beast that can only be described as a kraken and that attacked us with tentacles and bites from its massive maw.
Though we were disappointed that this kraken was out of reach of Chris' biceps (which may or may not be named Doctor Python and Agent Cobra), we were more than thrilled to use the yacht's probably illegal modifications against it. After blasting through some tentacles and taking advantage of quick-time events to keep out of Davy Jones' locker, the kraken (now on its last legs) unwisely opened up to reveal a critical weak spot. Needless to say, it was all over after that.
After the defeat of the kraken, we headed out to explore a cave that the mysterious character in the plague-doctor outfit had recently traveled to. Once inside, we discovered a massive underground temple and did the first thing that came to mind, which was to pillage all of its valuable treasures and straight punch, hook, and uppercut any zombie that got in our way. However, things weren't quite so simple, considering that the place was quite thoroughly booby-trapped. The moment we entered the main approach, we imprudently stepped on a pressure plate that triggered the collapse of the support pillars in the hall and initiated a lengthy quick-time event sequence complete with perilous leaps over unstable ground.
Once inside the temple proper, we began to encounter resistance of the unliving sort, which came after us in huge waves, and like most zombies were weak against bullets to the brain. To conserve ammo in these critical moments, we also offered them free tickets to Chris' gun show, but they didn't really enjoy that either. In between moments of battle, we engaged in a complicated puzzle that involved a series of pull-levers that required Sheva's help to engage, during which the appearance of the large room that we were trapped in radically changed.
Midway through the puzzle, we found a grenade launcher and a stock of flash ammunition conveniently lying around, which we would later put to use against one of the giant scorpion-bat minibosses previously encountered outside the mine earlier in the game (check out the preview on that area here). As anyone who played through Resident Evil 4 should know, the Las Plagas parasites do not enjoy flash-bang grenades (or rave clubs with strobe lights, for that matter), and this thing was no exception; a few shots from our sweet new weapon and some good old-fashioned buckshot later, we were clear to further chisel our physique on the undead in different areas.
Resident Evil 5 will be coming out on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 13. A demo is currently available on both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live if you'd like to try out two areas from the game. Be sure to check back early next month for our full review.