Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Resident Evil 5 (2009)

Genre: Action/3rd Person Shooter | Players: 1-4 | Developer: Capcom

I acknowledge that RE5 is not a survival-horror game. It’s a buttery-smooth 3rd-person shooter set in sun-baked Africa. When you’re in Spain, you kill zombie Spaniards. When you’re in Africa, you kill zombie Africans. Fuck you, Adam Sessler.

To get it out of the way, the story is pretty by-the-numbers, but tends to play like a buddy cop film that’s in on the joke, using hokey meta-dialogue to its utmost advantage. Unfortunately, some important details are relegated to text files. 2018 Update: Chris is a cynical—but, resolute—bastard and I find legitimate sentimentality in his journey as it plays out in 'full' across the Lost in Nightmares campaign and the game proper. I believe that the details of the classic games are best relegated to those files, which now exist simply to explain why the antagonist is the way he is.

Ultimately, RE5 succeeds entirely because of the gameplay, which improves greatly upon the engine debuted in 4. Weapons and items can now be mapped to the d-pad, and the menu has been shrunk drastically. Pausing is for sissies. Infinite ammo is available for all weapons, even if you initially have to dig through menus to turn the option on in TWO SEPARATE PLACES. You can personalize your arsenal quickly through regular playthroughs or grind in levels designed for amassing money and the points necessary to unlock each weapon’s infinite ammo, additional costumes, visual filters, and collectible figurines. Your arsenal carries across into the Veteran and Professional modes and you’ll need it. You’re dead in 1-2 hits on Professional.

The biggest addition, of course, is the co-op. My online experiences with friends were the best I’ve had to date. Playing with strangers comes with all the usual pitfalls and it should be noted that if you’re thinking of using cheats, a person with a cleared save file will have to host any online sessions. In terms of playing alone, I found the AI to be incredibly helpful on my first playthrough. After that, Sheva became incompetent in equal measure to my mastery. Her biggest flaw is her propensity to use healing items the second she gets her hands on them. 2018 UPDATE: I believe there is a reason for this, which I will relate, here.

In addition to co-op, the kill-streak-for-points fan favorite Mercenaries mode returns with both co-op and a competitive iteration in the form of Versus. Characters can be unlocked via earned points on each map or purchased with bonus points. The Gold variant of the game comes with all DLC released up to that point, including two new scenarios giving over control of notable NPCs and providing an immense amount of fanwank for fans of the first Resident Evil.

If you want a big, knowingly dumb, but superbly executed action-shooter with Resident Evil trappings, don’t pass this by. 2018 Update: If you want a slick, playable action-movie with nuanced protagonists who are emotionally resonant, and an appropriately imposing and infuriating villain, cherish this.

Buyer’s Guide: Available on the PS3 and Xbox 360. The entirety of the extra content of the Gold version of the game is provided via dlc codes for the 360, because of the size-limitations of its discs. If you want to permanently have the additional content available to you, get Gold on PS3, PS4, or Xbox One. This vanilla iteration appears to have been on PC, as well.

3½ ‘Ikuze, aibou’s out of 5
With properly functioning AI, it's 4½ Guttural Screams out of 5


Dr Faustus said...

I have the regular edition.
I wasn't enamoured with the 1 player campaign but online co-op with a friend was good times. She'd already finished the campaign before I even purchased my copy so I was the noob who was constantly letting the side down.
Time zone differences made lengthy sessions difficult and it was eventually abandoned. I've no idea how the story ends. :(

Impudent Urinal said...

The new inventory system was ass. God forbid you had to trade for anything.
Otherwise, yeah, I really enjoyed it even though it wasn't really horror.

3 Boulder bitch slaps out of 5.