You'll love this game if you just want more of the same that RE4 provided.
Aside from the addition of a partner (a really, really hot one) it's basically
the same old thing. That said it's done really well. The graphics are stunning
and the production values are excellent. One problem I had with the graphics
though, is the really quite dreadful tearing and rippling that you get with a
very low refresh rate. Most 360 games seem to refresh at only 60htz so
there's always some tearing. But on this game it's much, much more noticeable
and pronounced, with rippling appearing almost constantly right across the
middle of the screen. I played on a CRT monitor though, so maybe it won't be so
bad on a TV or LCD, I don't know.
Other than that the visuals are spectacular, from the detail on the
characters to the environments and lighting. It's one of those games that makes
you want to affectionately pat your 360.
It's definitely an action game. It's paced well but it seems to be all
about gunning down wave after wave of enemies. I read in another review
it's taken the series from survival horror to action horror, and
that's certainly the case. The combat is done well though, with some genuinely
tense moments. There are some awesomely cool monsters, and the levels are quite
imaginative and varied which keeps them from becoming monotonous. But the game
has done away with puzzles almost completely. There's one but it's so simple
you wonder why they bothered (personally I hate puzzles so
I didn't mind).
The addition of a partner is a welcome change. She's great to have along and
is good in a fight. More banter between her and your character would have been
The game's biggest shortcoming is the story… or lack thereof; just the
same old greedy corporations and their totally irrational obsession with the
development of bio weapons. Throw in a hackneyed Matrix wannabe super villain
with a stupid hair cut and bad English accent (but at least he's better than
the ridiculously comical Spanish midget in the pantaloons from RE4), who's bent
on destroying the world and making himself a god. You have to stop him.
That's the story. What's more the story is set up rather poorly from the start
of the game, which led to me asking myself "What's going on?” "What am
I doing here?” Chris Redfield arrives in Africa but you don't know why.
Obviously it's something to do with bio terrorism but there're no details.
There's something about an illegal arms deal and a guy called Irving and
that's it. That's the mission, just catch Irving. Why, what's he done? Who
knows, no one bothers to tell you. Although the gameplay is pretty compelling on
its own I think a strong story would have really helped make the game a lot
more gripping. And some kind of mission briefing at the start of the game would
give you a sense of what it is you're doing.
Another minor disappointment for me personally is there are no zombies again.
The enemies are the La Plaga infected locals who made their debut in RE4 (with a
dash of the 28 Days Later). You could commend the designers for doing something
different in RE4, but personally I like my zombies. The infected locals are
somewhat zombie-like, sure, but it's just not the same. I want zombies,
A couple more things I certainly did not like; they've done away with the
typewriter in favour of a checkpoint save system. I personally despise the
checkpoint system. Ok, the typewriter wasn't perfect but it allowed some degree
of control over where you saved your game. In addition, the save system in RE5
doesn't seem to work properly. Sometimes when you quit the game after reaching a
checkpoint, then continue the game later, it fails to load that checkpoint and
instead loads a previous one, sometimes quite a ways back. Why it does this
I don't know. If you die it always reloads the last checkpoint, it's only if
you quit the game that this happens. It's like the game is punishing you for
quitting. Also, if you want to go back and replay a part of the game (you can
reload the last checkpoint but let's say you want to go back further) you can't
because you don't know exactly where your save is. You're more likely to find
yourself way back at the start of the chapter.
They've also done away with the merchant from RE4. You still buy and sell
stuff but instead of a guy in the game there's now a buy/sell/inventory
management screen that you access at the start of each game, or when you reload
after dying. It also has a storage section where you can stash stuff you don't
want to carry around but don't want to sell. I didn't like this because it
seemed like cheating. If you die and decide a rocket launcher sure would have
helped you out, no problem just buy one and reload. It also doesn't help
realism. I mean, where is this stuff coming from? Where is this screen that I'm
accessing? I really prefer the merchant from RE4. Ok he was a bit melodramatic,
and you could argue that it was silly that there was this guy that kept popping
up who for some reason was never attacked by any of the monsters or anything.
But I would have preferred they find some sensible way to implement the
merchant in the world, than the system they came up with. Plus I miss the safe
area that the merchant was often found in. You'd go through a door and hear that
music and know you were safe and could relax for a bit.
I had a couple of minor issues with the controls. You still can't move and
shoot at the same time. Its 2009, right? It's not that big a deal except when
trying to use your knife. If you could move you could step up to an enemy, swipe
with the knife then step back to dodge his counter attack. But you can't do
that, you just have to stand there, motionless while he wanders up to you and
attacks, and if he's got a spear or something long like that then you're
stuffed. I also had a problem with having to hold down the A button (with the
left stick) to run. Most other 360 games I've played allow you to adjust the
character's speed by how far your push the left stick forward. You push forward
a little bit to walk, and push it forward all the way to run. If you have to
hold down a button to run you have to take your thumb off the other direction
stick, and this makes controlling your character unnecessarily awkward. I think
it's time the controls took a leap into next gen along with the graphics.