Review: RESIDENT EVIL 5 (PS3 - X360 - PC)

Since our first encounter with a cerberus from Resident Evil 1 to the stunning recreation of such foes years later in the GameCube remake, Resident Evil has been home to claustrophobic set pieces that reach their climax at the tune of a chilling orchestra, under the watchful eye of Capcom. As the series made it's transition to Resident Evil 4 much had to be changed to adapt with the times, this rebirth of the franchise was most welcome as it moved away from a chess board style system to a more hands on 'above the shoulder' style of play..

So as the franchise hits a fifth round on the seventh generation of consoles, why does one feel this premise has strayed the path to become more a Metal Gears of Evil than a Resident of all that is unholy?

Major gripes with Resident Evil 5 are that it's not scary in the least.. What we have here is a war'esque action game that could have happily replaced Majini hordes with rebel soldiers in your path to that final showdown. Compared to other Ressie games the plot has been simplified and is notably shorter and weak in comparison too, although newcomers progressing through the story can unlock character files to shed some light on the series history. Resident Evil 5 outputs around 8-10 hours of gameplay for an intermediate player, although the 'flick a switch~take on enemies' formula becomes tedious for completionist during those 'unlock it all' play throughs.

There are some memorable moments in the game with Chris working through an aztec ruin, solving puzzles and dodging solar powered lazers working alongside his partner Sheva Alomar. The addition of Sheva as a compulsary CPU co-op character has both it's nices and vices. On the plus side is the reward of team work, the negative point being the impact on survival horror knowing a helping hand is always there. Having Sheva tag along does encourage the player to wake up and stratergise on harder difficulties where sharing supplies and planning your approach is imperative towards survival and unlocking all the extras.

This latest instalment begins with much potential that later becomes medocre level hopping. Definately give Resident Evil 5 a spin, just don't expect the cult quality of Resident Evil 4 where rituals such as enemies dumping bodies at sea and sacrificial burnings were nothing short of the survival horror we all knew and feared.