Resident Evil 5

Jun 23, 2009

Well, I beat it today, so I thought I'd leave some impressions. I liked the game a LOT. It answers a lot of questions I've had since Resident Evil Code: Veronica, and even some I've had since the first Resident Evil game. If you're really into the story of the series and are looking to get into a lot of the backstory as well, then that alone will be worth it to you to play through this game. I love how it ties up pretty much ALL of the loose ends, but leaves the future totally wide-open for events to come. The only thing that MIGHT turn off some purists is, without trying to spoil anything, some of the action in the game. Resident Evil 4 took the series in a nice step toward the future with the enemies being intelligent and all, but there's something that bugs me a bit about fighting against enemies who are fully aware of themselves being a monster, and even more so becoming a monster being part of their "plan". I'm not sure I like that whole idea. Something I loved about the older Resident Evil games is the fact that what you were up against were mindless creatures that wanted to kill or feed for no apparent reason. This Resident Evil game sort of pits you against those who created the whole mess, if you get what I'm saying. I'm really not trying to spoil anything, though, so I will say that no matter what it is you're up against, it's almost always something extremely terrifying. This game really has some of the creepiest monsters you will fight in any Resident Evil game - some new, and others - well, old, but updated. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say that the Lickers return in this game - though, for a short time. If you remember in Resident Evil 2, the Lickers were very scary - but also fairly easy to kill. In RE5, whenever you encounter them, you really get this, "Oh SHIT...." feeling that comes over you.

The game was fairly easy overall, but there are a few challenging moments, namely - the last boss in the game. No matter how easy the rest of the game was, that last boss took me at least 8 to 10 tries to beat, and I played through on "Medium" difficulty. I was kind of scarce on ammo, and it can feel that way through most of the game. But - that's definitely a good thing. The ammo you can obtain varies depending on the weapons you have in your arsenal. I do like how you don't get more ammo depending on what your weapon of choice is. Meaning, even if you use the shotgun a great deal of the time, the game isn't going to give you shotgun shells all the time, so if you use up those shells, you may not get some back right away. That's what kind of keeps you on your toes the whole time. Another "edge of your seat" feeling comes from the fact that, unlike the previous RE games, your items/weapons menu is accessed in real time, meaning that switching weapons and equipping items has to be done QUICKLY when you're in the heat of battle. It kind of sucks sometimes, but I guess it's pretty cool. Without it being that way, the game would probably be a LOT easier, which would be no fun. One thing that makes RE5 difficult sometimes is your partner, Sheva. She can be extremely useful at times, but at other times, she can be the biggest pain in the ass by getting in your way or taking an item you wanted. Of course, you can switch items via the item menu in real time, but if she grabbed some ammo that you desperately needed in the heat of battle, you'll have to navigate to the real-time menu and work out an exchange. Not the funnest of situations to be in, but hey - it makes for some interesting moments for sure and adds to the challenge.

The game definitely looks beautiful. I run @ 1080p on my 23" Acer 1920x1080 monitor over HDMI, and the game does look good. Although, like most Xbox 360 games, RE5 doesn't display in true 1080p. Instead, it's a 720p signal upscaled to 1080p. The upscaling is apparent, but the game's AA makes it look pretty nicely when upscaled. The in-game textures are nice, although, I have to admit that I am spoiled by my PC. I am used to playing games like Far Cry 2 and Crysis: Warhead rendered at full 1920x1080 with very high resolution textures, so where I find the textures in RE5 are "pretty good", others may find them amazing. It just depends on what you're used to, really. Where the game does shine, though, are it's high-polygonal models and awesome shaders. The graphical style and finesse in the game is absolutely stunning. The cut scenes are done in real-time within the game engine, and they are very impressive. The graphics alone would score the game a 10/10 for me, aside from the textures which, as stated, are definitely nice, but I've seen much better.

The music in RE5 definitely adds to the tension during most scenes. The music is creepy when it needs to be, it's jumpy when it needs to be; sad, angry, etc. I don't know what to compare it to other than a high-budgeted film. The music during the boss scenes is especially brilliant.

SO...overall, the game is very fun. It has great graphics, the story resolves a lot of issues yet leaves the series wide open for more. The gameplay, while annoying sometimes due to your partner, is fun and challenging without being too hard, and sometimes - a little too easy. Great game overall. Lots of little extras and goodies to be unlocked throughout the game, and after as well.