Product Type: Capcom PS3 games
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A Disappointing Addition To The Series
Resident Evil 5 (PS3)
Member Name: Andy.mack
Resident Evil 5 (PS3)
Advantages: Decent graphics and sound effects
Disadvantages: Poor gameplay and controls
There are a few games that over the years have really become successful franchises and it would be fair to say that the Resident Evil series is certainly one of those. With action figures, movies and a number of game releases that have really made the Capcom designed franchise into a very profitable venture. With the release of Resident Evil 5 I wasn't really sure what could be added other than a graphical improvement, however I was keen to see if there was going to be anything more to it than this.
Following on from developments in previous Resident Evil games we see Chris Redfield on the hunt for Bio weapons as part of a new task force. Sent to an unnamed African state he is tasked with supporting a raid in a village square as the team attempt to recover some bioweapons, however things quickly go wrong and once again he is cast into a sinister plot that could, if things go wrong, become a major worldwide incident.
One of the key differences to previous Resident Evil's is the lack of the Z word. The developers have attempted to create a more intelligent opponent than in the earlier games and so the enemy this time are much smarter, faster and provide a bit of a more difficult opponent. Whilst this development was perhaps a necessary one it takes the Resident evil concept away from the out and out Zombie killing game that it once was.
Instead this has been replaced by a state by which the villagers retain their normal functions, with the addition of a parasite that turns them into killing machines. This would have helped to add to the games longevity had it not been for the controls, but that's a point for later in the review.
By changing the tact of the game though it loses the true feel of a Resident Evil game and becomes another mutant killing extravaganza instead. I personally felt that the appeal of the games and the real factor that set it apart was the zombie aspect and with that now gone it losses a lot of its charm.
Even the characters don't feel like they fit into the series, which is a real disappointment when you consider that Chris Redfield has appeared in previous games within the franchise. Firstly the addition of a partner doesn't work and although it is intend as an aid to help your character it does nothing more than hinder you. I found I spent the majority of my time saving her from being attacked. There is no real characterisation to speak of and that was disappointing and left them feeling quite flat and didn't really help with the appeal of the plot.
If there was one aspect that the game really impressed with was the graphics. The settings for each stage of the game are well designed and look very realistic, which does make the game play a little more bearable. There is easy distinction between people and your enemies and the design of the game works well. The infected villagers look very impressive and the detail and colouring help to really make the game visually look quite realistic and was really the only reason I didn't give up on the game after the first stage. Even the cut sequences work well and retain the look of the characters from the third person shooter perspective.
With the impressive look to the game I also thought the sound effects and mood music worked really well. The enemies sounded convincing, although gone are the zombie groans that would have made this game a far better experience. As you would expect from the efforts that have gone into the look of the game, the sound effects from the simplest gun shot to the interaction between characters works well and sounds realistic, which gives the game another tick in the box and perhaps a second star in my overall review of the game.
Game Play & Control
This is where my biggest disappointment and the main reason why I found myself unable to recommend this game come from. The controls have been revamped and the result isn't good. Rather than being a simple to use third person shooter the game is far too complicated and with a three button combination required to fire a simple bullet it has perhaps taken the development too far. The controls aren't particularly sensitive either and this makes it a real struggle to get to grips with your character. I was really disappointed by this as the controls for third person shooters don't need to be over complicated and in fact are far more enjoyable when you don't need to press every button to perform simple actions.
If that wasn't bad enough the addition of a partner makes things even harder and although she does contribute by killing various enemies, more often than not she is a real hindrance and doesn't add anything to the actual game play. When you couple this with overly complex controls and a very unresponsive style of game play it just didn't work for me. Even when you take on the multiplayer with each of you taking control of one half of the partnership it does make the second person a tad more useful but the controls and movements of the characters are painful resulting in a very unsatisfying gaming experience.
Given the history of the franchise I have to admit to being very disappointed with the outcome of Resident Evil 5. Whilst it looked and sounded great it just didn't deliver on the game play. With clunky and unresponsive controls to a lack of ammo and useless partners the game was a real disappointment. I always felt in the past that Resident Evil games worked better as a single character on screen at any time and having experienced Capcom's latest release it only served to reinforce that theory.
By trying to evolve the series and create more intelligent enemies they've lost some of the appeal and charm of the original concept. Whilst the graphics and sound elements do win it some plaudits, those lost from the other aspects of the game are the one that matter. It took me around 13 hours to complete the whole game but looking back I really wish I hadn't bothered. Overall it was a very disappointing experience and one I certainly wouldn't be repeating.
Other Platforms: PC & Xbox 360
Age - 18 plus
Summary: A very poor 5th installment
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