Resident Evil 5Publisher:
Xbox 360, PS3Release: Story
Silly, over-the-top, stupid, cliched, and great. It adds perfectly to the Resident Evil lore and is a nice conclusion to a long, great horror story. Unless you've played through the whole of the series, you won't be able to make heads or tails of this. Honestly, I don't see any way for Capcom to expand on all the complex relationships and story that's been years running. I'm guessing RE 6 will have to have new characters and storylines, because this one pretty much wraps it up.Sound
Let's get something straight here: the dialogue in Resident Evil 5 is terrible on purpose. Veteran RE players will remember such horrible lines as "Jill, the Master of Unlocking" and some of Salazar's and Ashley's worst lines in RE 4. At this point, I for one am completely convinced that with the kajillions of bucks Capcom has to drown this game in, they can afford some decent voice work. And they could surely leave out such ridiculousness as a midget screaming "I just had an extreeeme makeover!" before mutating into a monster. They just choose not to. It's tradition at this point.
I didn't take off so much for the dialogue as I did the myriad recycled sounds from Resident Evil 4. They show up to the point of annoyance, and a lot of characters give lines nearly identical to those in previous games. They didn't reuse the right sounds, either. I would have loved the chainsaw sounds from 4 blaring in my ear, but this one feels somehow different.Graphics
They're amazing. There's honestly not much else to say. Characters (especially Sheva) are beautiful, enemies are mostly well-made, and levels are smartly designed. I took off for two offenses: racism and racialism. Now, as for the racism, you may have heard some complaints early on that the whole concept of a white male killing a lot of blacks. Luckily, there's no intentional racism in this concept. What grinds my gears is some of the very stereotypical enemies. Just because the game is set in Africa, do you really need tribal warriors dressed in full body paint who sacrifice babies and animals? Well, one particular enemy type is heavily implied to do just this. This was a nice little twist in 4 when you saw the little bones being cooked in the fire at the end credits, but it's just too overdone and overstated at times in this installment, and it feels like Capcom just did this to be entertaining.
Now on to racialism. I know I just bitched about the stereotypical "Dark Continent" enemies. But it seems just as dumb to have Africa be so racially diverse. You're in Africa, fighting AFRICANS, not Chinese, not white punk rockers, not that one guy who looks like Saddam Hussein. I'd take tribal baby-eaters over blond white dudes any day in a game set in Africa.
Note the blonde man in the back.[/spoiler]Appeal
Online, the game's claim to fame, is great and well-implemented. The game isn't really scary, which bothers me since this is a RE game after all. But you will definitely feel a thrill whenever you see your partner get bum-rushed by a pack of zombie-dogs, or when the chainsaw Manjini raises his weapon to strike down your friend as you watch unable to help. The worst thing to me is that the game really could
be scary. There's plenty of times when the game perfectly demonstrates how it could just as easily scare the living shit out of you as give you an adrenaline rush: the return of the classic Lickers from the early games is one of my favorite gaming moments so far this year. But for some reason, they chose action over horror. I will never know why.Gameplay
Still can't move while shooting. Dead Space lets you do this, and is just as scary and challenging as any RE game. The new inventory system is good, although I wish the old Attache Case was available in Single-Player. I don't like how much easier it is to get money and upgrade weapons; by the end of the game you'll be pretty much unstoppable. Sheva isn't the worst AI ever, but I recommend hoarding the ammo in Single-Player. Sheva tends to have no qualms wasting up your hard-earned pistol shots. I generally hand her some handgun and a lot of Rifle ammo and head in first. In the end though, it's not bad.Overall
This isn't as revolutionary as RE 4, and not scary like numbers 1 to 3. But this is a good time nontheless. If you have played any RE game in the past, I want you to go out and get this game now. Newcomers need to skip this like it's hot. Oh, and Xbox players? You need to pay for Xbox Live. It's just as much of a requirement as the hunk of plastic in your hands while you play.