We got a chance to spend a little time yesterday with the latest installment of Resident Evil 5 from Capcom. Many will assume its the same thing all over again. Just another polished up release that features better graphics and more zombies to kill. However you would be wrong. Yes the basics are all there, kill the zombies save the world. However the graphics are extremely over the top and lifelike that I got nauseous at some points how realistic it looked. A nice touch for diehard Resident Evil fans will be the return of Chris Redfield from the very first game. He is buffed up to the extreme and sans beret this time around. Players will get to learn what Chris has been up to in the last 10 years ( his timeline away from Resident Evil 1 to RE 5 ) and what in his past his haunting him. He is a member of a the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), and obviously was sent to investigate some unusual virus turning people into zombies and powerful ones yet. The bulk of the story takes place in an African country of Kijuju and your trusty companion on this adventure will be a woman named Sheva Alomar who is also a member of the BSAA too. Loading screens feature tidbits from Resident Evil games past, which being a history buff even in a game genre I thought was pretty cool.
The controls are pretty basic and for those who laugh in the face of simple button mashing, you’ll be glad to know there are presets for different controller options to choose from with the ability to use different buttons, triggers, and joysticks for other actions.
The main focus of the game is the ability to do online co-op. Which is definitely a lot of fun and VERY helpful. Resident Evil 5 is all about working as a team, especially when you need a shot of some health juice if you are dying. You can even give each other bullets and swap guns if your partner is empty. Together you pull levers and team up to kill big bosses at the end of levels too. My colleague was using a rapid fire machine gun to kill this awful looking octopus/human/mutant and the power of two was increasingly apparent as we fought this thing together and kill it we did! Online Co-op will not require you to need a huge LCD as the screen doesn’t split and you can easily see where your partner is. The best part about this is you can do your own thing clearing an area and the same for them. So the need to move from one area together to another is not necessary. So I suggest getting a headset if you don’t have one just so you know were your partner wondered off too in case if you need a lever pulled. However the same doesn’t hold true for co-op on the same console. If you play with another player the screen will be split which may be a bit harder to play as the zombies and other flying creatures really require a nice size viewing angle to kill them all quickly.
I think any diehard Resident Evil fan will not be disappointed. Even newbies to the genre will like it. The game is pretty easy and just requires stealth, accurate aiming, and eyes all over your head. Basically what you need for any game. I was extremely pleased with the camera as it was easy to move and actually focused on things I needed to see. The fact you can select different controller options was a nice touch too especially for those hardcore gamers who enjoy change and customization. Resident Evil 5 will be released on both X-Box 360 and PS3 on March 13th and will retail for $59.99.