So back in 2013, I typed a very incomplete (and angry) review for Resident Evil 5. I also made assumptions in the review that proved to be very wrong. Having finished the game this time, with a different co-op partner; I now intend to rectify this by giving Resident 5 a proper review this time round.
I still dislike quick-time events though. I also have come to the conclusion that whoever Wesker has as his personal wardrobe stylist needs to be fired. Unless he dressed himself, then he needs someone to be his wardrobe stylist cause his fashion sense sucks.
I am going to say this first that Resident Evil 5/Biohazard 5 is not a survival horror game. It is an action game. The majority of the game has you (either as Chris Redfield or his new partner Sheva) pretty much tearing those Majini zombies throughout all six chapters. As you spend most of your time either being weighed down by ammo, first aid sprays/herbs or top-notch weapons…..you will pretty much be shooting anything that moves. There are no jumpscares, no overwhelming sense of dread or tension.
Although my co-op partner was more weighed down by first aid sprays considering he had to baby-sit me to make sure I didn’t die like a noob. While I was spending more time scavenging around for ammo. At chapter six, we both were scavenging for ammo since it became a race to see who got ammo first. Especially at the finale when we both barely had any ammo, but we somehow managed to pull it off.
Grudgingly, I must admit that I did have some fun this time round playing Resident Evil 5. Especially since I had a different co-op partner, and it did help that he certainly knew what he was doing and where he was going. So I had that going for me during this play through.
Melee attacks become more important in Resident Evil 5, not only for taking down enemies but also to save those precious bullets. Although I am not a fan of having to hold the spacebar down, to ready my machete before I could actually use it. I suppose this is my issue since I gotten used to the “press one button to melee”.
The one thing I do not agree with is not being able to walk while shooting. Much less dodge away from enemy attacks. Therefore your movement is severely restricted. Do you keep moving or take a gamble to stand still (with or without cover) to kill the enemies? According to Capcom, this is due to the series’ roots in survival horror. I somewhat disagree with this. Yes, having your movement restricted does increase the fear factor to a certain degree, but Resident Evil 5 is not necessarily following the footsteps of the first four games. It has taken more the direction of an intensive action game, therefore players are going to expect to at least be able to walk while shooting.
With that being said, it was very odd to see puzzles being involved in what feels like “gotta-go-fast” gameplay. It felt very out-of-place for me, since you had to move mirrors to the right place to get to the next area, running around ancient ruins to pull levers down and so on. Speaking about that, is it just me or is it odd how you were unable to jump or climb over knee-high objects? Since you were then forced to take the “proper” path which was a roundabout way of the same path you could take if you could get over that knee-high obstacle. In comparison to other games, the player would just jumped over it at least.
I do have to say that having cooperative gameplay in Resident Evil 5 worked surprisingly well. As both players only have an inventory up to nine slots, you have to heavily rely on your partner. Not only for support but for inventory management and covering the larger maps since enemies can appear anywhere. Some of the stronger bosses will need you and your partner to take them down. It is actually a lot of fun playing with a partner. I think that is one of the strongest points for Resident Evil 5.
Although I think Resident Evil 5 relies little too much on quick time events, since they became a hindrance during certain points. If you failed, you had to restart from the last checkpoint you were at. Whether it used quick time events more than Resident Evil 6 is up for debate.
While Resident Evil 5 took the franchise in another direction, but also manages to successfully build on the foundations set by the predecessor. Although it may be up to debate how successful that would be, in my opinion it did a pleasantly job well done.