Believe it, this game is good, and the co-op works!

User Rating: 8.5 | Resident Evil 5 PC
I know I'm late in the review process, but that's only because I've only been scouting for the games that I think really matter. It was a long time before Resident Evil 5 reached my vision and fingertips, but it was a wait that was worth it…
The story definitely strays away from the rest of the original Resi games, save for Resi 4. Part five actually picks up on the story of Leon's latest adventure concerning the dreaded, yet enigmatic Plagas. Now, new factors lead to the spread of the parasites, such as underground companies much like Umbrella (to hell with that drug manufacturing crap!), a more mentally retarded Al Wesker, and a determined Chris Redfield, who now works for the BSAA, an anti-bioterrorism front funded by the government. The game is set on Africa, a great place to incubate the deep and evolving tale of the Resident Evil universe. The story's a lot easier to pick up than Resi 4, and unfortunately, the twists are a little uninspired; they didn't actually have that kind of edge in evolving the tale. Those insane and sometimes funny plot twists played a great role in making the fourth installment a blast.
Definitely leagues away from what Resi 4 had to offer. It's a beautiful game that handles light and shadow aspects well. Characters and monsters are wonderfully rendered by the people who made promises of an eye-stunner. They really lived up to that promise. Aside from some minor framerate issues (one won't really mind them-with deranged villagers coming at 'em from all around the place), it really works well on a well-graded PC. Sorry for those whose units are entering 'senescence'. This game is for the big leagues. But if you want low graphics that mar the very thrill of playing one of the most graphically advanced games of our time, then buy it and feel like you're eating stale bread.
The music is a mix of African tribal tunes and techno orchestrations. Imagine that and you'll never know how it really fits into a game that pits players into a world much devoid of technology. The weapons bring a realistic blow to Chris and Sheva's every press of their weapons. Even the melee attacks sound painful. The voice work is amazing. Though some of them seem to sound overly done, it's still nice to hear properly voiced characters in this game. Special sound effects like of a viscous black substance dripping from the walls, or the screeches of the weird beings, or the steady noises of Africa add to the overall realism and integration of the surreal that Resi 5 can deliver.
This is the answer to Resident Evil: Outbreak's convoluted co-op scheme. The campaign is meant to be played with two characters. Capcom has really fixed the stupid co-op of the Outbreak series, even if they have to strip two characters from the four original intents, and leave two characters plopped on the game world. Playing Chris feels like Christmas, but without the 'wanted' gifts. Sure he can do lots of things to his enemies, like sucker-punching them or kicking them in the balls, but he's a bit slow and his ability to turn around the back is unrefined. He's a bit better than Leon, though. Now, Sheva's a different story. I have never seen or experienced an A.I. this smart. Sheva can really take care of herself and she's one heck of a marksman (woman). If you want a detailed observation of her capabilities as a smart gal, watch her in the 'light' arena somewhere in the middle of the game. Managing the inventory is good, though Sheva doesn't know how to conserve rapid-fire ammo. It's not really the puzzle-oriented game that we've come to love with part 4, but it greatly makes up with its frantic fire-fights. It works whether one's playing with an A.I. or a human friend. And, oh…the boss fights are huge, but they lack in number and frequency.
It's not Resi 4, and it never will be (unless Gold Edition really beefs up the experience like the time Resi 4 actually reached PS2 soil-remember the extra features?), but it's a damn fine experience that players will love.