Once again, Resident Evil haven't evovled, but it still means, that RE5 is a great game.

User Rating: 8.5 | Resident Evil 5 (Collector's Edition) PS3
The Resident Evil franchise has always been slow to evolve over the years. Ever since the 1st game was released in 1996, the franchise relied on fixed camera angles, tank like controls (which are still in place today). Ever since Resident Evil 4 was released in 2005, the franchise ditched the fixed camera for an over the head shoulder perspective and more action. RE4 re-invented survival horror in 2004, earning numerous awards, and some even regard it was one of the best games ever made. 4 years after RE4 and Resident Evil 5, is finally released, but is this a worthy follow up to RE4?

Story
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The game takes place 10 years after Raccoon City. Chris Redfield has joined B.S.A.A, a organization that fights bio-terrorism. After arriving in Africa, to find a man named Irving, for a deal with a virus. He teams up with Sheva, as they together go after Irving. However something happens, the villagers of the African town starts becoming aggressive and violently attacking everyone. Now Chris and Sheva have to find out what is going on. The story is mildly disappointing, it's supposed to tie up the plot holes in the RE franchise and it does this very poorly (unlike Metal Gear Solid 4). The single player campaign itself offers small revelations and there are some revelations in the files as well, though these should have been cut-scenes instead. That being said though, the story is decent and is at least a bit intense an epic, though the game's big twist is very obvious and predictable. Overall the story is decent, epic and intense, but it could have been way better and still leaves things out in the open for a sequel.

7.5

Gameplay
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The gameplay is more or less just RE4, with a few small improvements. For one thing you can strafe now, items can be selected via quick select and there are more physical attacks now. The biggest change to the gameplay, is Sheva, throughout the whole game, Sheva will follow you and help you with shooting monsters and open doors, gather keys and so on. Her A.I. is mixed. She can take care of her own if she's in trouble, she'll give you the ammo for the weapons you have,and she'll heal and help you when you need, sounds good, but she does have a few issues. Sometimes she'll just stand still and refuse to move, resulting in a few deaths, she can get in your way and if you happen to be in her way, she'll just shoot you and not move unless you do (granted you don't lose health from friendly fire and vice versa), and she uses ammo rather quickly, which means you need to watch out for what weapons she have.

That's not all the problems; the biggest problem is the controls. You can't move while your shooting, which is really, really stupid, though RE fans will probably have no problems getting used to it. It does bring a certain amont of suspense but it's just a sign, that the RE franchise haven'' evolved since RE4. It means that the new strafe option is actually quite useless. The new item management system is a problem too. Chris and Sheva can each hold 9 items, they can share items between each other, but you can't decide how much. For example if you wanna share some rounds for a handgun with her, Chris will likely give her all the ammo, it's really annoying. Luckily all these problems can be solved by playing it with a buddy. Co-op can be played both off and online and it's better to play, granted your buddy is willing to play through the levels, as some of them can last upwards an hour. When Chris or Sheva loses a lot of health, they will get into the dying state, and they need each other, in other to get out of that state. What's annoying about this is that you have to rely on your buddy to come and help you, you can't use health items during the dying state, which is really annoying when you need help and Sheva's long away from you.

All of this means, that the game just isn't scary, it focuses a lot more on action this time around, and no focus on the horror element. It's disappointing, considering the franchise is the founder of the Survival Horror Genre. There are puzzles in the game, but they're really easy to figure out and for some reason, there's just less quick time events this time around.

The real highlight though, are the boss fights, each has special weak points and their a joy to fight. They provide a good amount of challenge and looks awesome as hell.

The weapon upgrades returns, but this time there's no merchant that you can talk too (sadly). All upgrades takes place between levels. It's actually quite addicting, and there's a infinite ammo bonus when weapons are upgraded fully.

The game takes around 10-12 hours to complete, which is shorter than RE4's 20 hour campaign. Afterwards, there's the mercenaries mode, which is surprisingly addictive. There are weapons to upgrade, character figures to be bought costumes and filters to unlock. The achievements/trophies for the games provide a great replay value too, requiring you to do everything in the game.


8.5

Graphics
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The game is beautiful, the environments, character design, monster design, everything is so beautiful (though nothing that will look better than Killzone 2). Only problems are frame rate issues, which happens a few times, though their kept to a minimum.

10

Sound
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The music is actually quite good and helps with giving that cinematic feeling. The voice acting is generally good, though the lines are a bit cheesy sometimes, which RE fans will probably welcome.

8.5

Overall
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RE5 doesn't re-invent the survival horror genre like RE4 did, the game is just RE4 on the next generation, with no real gameplay improvements, save a few minor, and the story isn't the revealing one we've been promised. That being said though, RE5 is still a blast to play through, just don't expect it to be better than RE4.