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Inhospitable Tenants – Resident Evil 5 Review

“Fear you can’t forget.” Don’t know if that slogan holds true, but I sure will be remembering how awesome the action was in this high octane third person shooter – which in a stark shot of irony is probably what made this the least dramatic entry in the series. Resident Evil 5 may not live up to its predecessors, but it packs a wallop in many ways you might not expect.

Many debates have raged on heatedly surrounding this game. Its pedigree, its content, and its indications of where the series may be headed. Whether it is or is not Resident Evil is really all about how you look at it. Gone are the myriads of puzzles, the plethora of labyrinths, and the miscellany of frightening thrills that have been a part of the series since the early days. What you get today is a straight forward action shooter.

Now for those of you going “I knew it, it’s not the same!” let me remind you of what has since happened to Resident Evil’s competition since days of yore. Alone in the Dark and Silent Hill. Does anyone talk about them anymore? Positively? No, not really. There are worse things than franchises changing over decades. Not changing, or becoming boring come to mind. What Resident Evil 5 has done is attempted to carve out its own niche` in the corner of 3rd person shooter market, and has done a very good job at creating a unique experience while doing so.

For the most part, the game controls very similarly to Resident Evil 4, with the exception that you can move your character with the camera button instead of merely moving the camera around the player. Something I noticed heavily when going back to replay the game – I couldn’t get back into it. RE5 had spoiled me. Moving and shooting at the same time was never an issue to me. It added suspense, required strategy, and made aiming a lot more important to the gameplay. Yeah, it’s not realistic at all, and would get anyone in that situation killed. But did anyone ever ask why Mario jumped on turtles?

With RE4, the game took on a new light with the fast moving, pack mentality of the Las Plagas. Dubbed “Majini”, The Progenitor virus has since been mutated and the enemies have an even wider array of methods of killing you. The AI, while simplistic and single minded never really feels out of character given the subject matter. Not entirely zombies, but not specifically humans either. Whether they flank you or they sneak up on you is irrelevant to their intelligence, the fact that they are fun to fight is all that matters.

Playing bass to the lead guitarist that is the normal enemies are the bosses and mini bosses. The boss battles in this game are epic. The scale is pretty incredible in some instances, and graphically they are some of the most impressive designs in video games. The mini bosses whether toting chainsaws or just going fisticuffs always add a layer of tension to any encounter.

Your partner Sheva, while not being the most impressive AI character will sometimes be your best friend, others you will hate her more than Wesker. For the most part she tends to collect items, heal you, cover you, and act as bait to help you. Then there are those times when she will not find cover, take unnecessary damage and waste a healing item, or will just flat out get killed. I respect Capcom’s decision for a complete co-op experience seeing as how playing this with a friend is an absolute blast, but more communicative commands would’ve been appreciated for those whom aren’t able to play co-op. At least Ashley could always hide in a bin. Still, given that this is Capcom’s first entry into the territory they have to be given serious props for not failing even harder.

The save system, while confusing at first, can become very beneficial to you later on during the game. You can farm areas for ammo, gold, or healing items in an earlier spot when trying to tackle an even more difficult area. While you do tend to miss the overall adventure aspect of Resident Evil 4, the mission structure allows you to easily jump to a favorite section.

This game was built with replay value. Unlockable weapons, a harder difficulty mode, and other goodies will keep you hanging around. The Figurines – 3D models of enemies and characters encountered in the game – show off the attention to detail paid by the creators. Dead Rising, Lost Planet, Devil May Cry 4 – they all share the same engine and similar look of Resident Evil 5, but this game was what it was made for. Visually stunning at times, it’s only competition for best visuals this year so far is Killzone 2.

For anyone who played the demo and had reservations, I really don’t understand what your problem is. I can’t. I’m trying to be open minded and everything. I just can’t understand you. Buy this.


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