Review: Resident Evil 5 [PS3]

I have to preface this review with the fact this game is relatively old (circa 2009).  However, I think this is a “classic” PS3 game and a great stand-by game to newer, more complicated games.  We will chat more about the issues of complexity and simplicity later.

In the game, Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar team up to combat a legion of enemies – from new “Majini” to B.O.W.s.  There are several modes of play available in the game, including:

  • Story (Cooperative play with either AI or human, both online and split screen)
  • Mercenaries and Mercenaries Reunion (Cooperative play to slay Majini and bosses for points – either online or split screen)
  • Versus Mode (Competitive play with other human players – online only)
  • Lost in Nightmares (A DLC prequel of story mode)
  • Desperate Escape (A DLC extension of story mode)

Versus, Mercenaries Reunion, Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape are all “premium” content.  However, this premium content does come directly loaded on the “Gold Edition” of the game.

When I picked this game up in 2009, I was relatively “new” to PS3.  Now, I have played video games all of my life – but this was the game that really got me back into gaming.  The controls are relatively simple and you can customize them using four preset control options, Types A-D.  Do yourself a favor though and choose “Type B” for your control style.  If you plan on playing in any Versus mode, this is the control type you will want to be familiar with.

In my opinion, the storyline is strictly OK.  Capcom departs from its “Survival Horror” format for this game, in exchange for a “mission-shooter” style game.  I could go either way on this, but most people expect Resident Evil to follow a “Survival Horror” format based on the previous games, and the departure from this was biting for some folks.  I did enjoy the story though, however you should not expect to be “spooked” or truly frightened by this game.

When I initially played this game, I played Story mode split-screen with my friend.  I must say that the split screen function was particularly disappointing, and I would not recommend that anyone play in this mode.  The screens are disturbingly small and the PS3 doesn’t seem capable of handling the dual inputs.  The game would lag in places and seemed unresponsive at times.  Moral of the story: I would not recommend split screen -play online with a friend or by yourself.

After we played story mode for a while, I was impressed with the game and started exploring the other modes.  Then, I discovered it. Mercenaries.  This was the game I was looking for.  It had everything I wanted in co-op play, and more.  In this mode, you play against 150 total enemies, attempt to dispose of them as fast as possible for “combo” points while gathering time totems during the process.  I must say, I was giddy with excitement when I discovered this mode.  This was the first multiplayer mode in a long time that I really wanted to play!

On April 7th, 2009, Capcom released Versus mode.  I must say, I love playing versus mode for its simplicity and predictability.  For me, the simplicity of Versus works.  There are four modes in Versus:

  • Slayers and Team Slayers (Dispose of Majini and bosses for points)
  • Survivors and Team Survivors (Frag other players for points)

There are no crazy “level up” schemes, no overly complicated maps, and no unattainable unlockables.  The weapon sets all feel familiar, and players of the game should be acutely aware of the capabilities of the games engine.  Levels are predictable if you have played a certain number of times, and items/weapons “appear” in cycles that can be predicted.  Some people might say these things are the downfall of the Versus DLC, but I think they are a huge plus.  The game does have its complexities, and requires the perfect mix of control mastery, inventory management and teamwork to survive in.  Sometimes (OK, most of the time) I want a game that is simple to play but that I will enjoy over and over and over again.  Versus does that for me.

Overall, this is one of my all-time favorite games.  For me, it ranks up there with the original “Goldeneye” – and I think history will judge it well.

Pros:

  • Easy controls
  • Simple online modes
  • Great graphics with minimal glitching

Cons:

  • No “shoot-walk/run” capability
  • Simple online modes

Rating: 8.5/10

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