This isn’t much of an in depth critique so much as a summary of a Resident Evil fan’s opinion. I’ll leave the critiques up to the people that hate the game before playing it. Yes, that was a cheapshot. Anyway, I knew exactly what I was getting into when I forked over the cash for Resident Evil 5, and after a complete playthrough, I was not dissappointed.
The game plays much the same as it’s predecessor, Resident Evil 4, with the same mechanics for movement, aiming and shooting and quick time events. No, you still can’t walk while shooting. Stop crying about it. It’s a Resident Evil game, you’re not allowed to. Where it differs is that it now uses a real time inventory management, so you’d better keep a healing item on one of the D-pad hotpots. The new system does create a little bit of “holy shit” urgency when you need to pop our some first aid spray when you really need it.
All I’ll say about the controls is that, yes, it is akin to controlling a walking tank, but that’s the charm of the Resident Evil series. When you pick up a Resident Evil game, you know that one) You walk like a tank, and two) you don’t move while shooting. The other is the pixel point accuracy you’ll need to activate a switch. With the behind the shoulder camera, I often found that I was a bit left or right of the switch I needed to pull, or door button I need to press. But again, nothing you can’t work around, and I did expect it, though I’d hoped Capcom had fixed it.
Where the game failed is the story. Starts out mysterious and gripping (like most Resident Evil games), but by the end I’m no longer looking at the game with sparkles in my eyes – I just want to kill the end bad guy and be done with it. Though I didn’t have that feeling with Resident Evil 4 – which was deservedly a game of the year of its time, so I don’t feel like it’s a regression so much as it is a remission. The plot went back to being contrived and bloated with retcons rather than fresh like the previous incarnation.
Lastly, Quick time events. What I originally saw as a minus grew to being an almost plus. At first, I was annoyed I was never able to just sit back and watch a cutscene unfold without getting caught off guard with a press “A” fast or die. The first two nailed me in my face and made me angry. From a genre stand point of survival horror, it made sense. The characters never get to relax, why should the player. That being said – they’re still dumb. Get rid of the goddamned things. Forever. Or else.
To summarize. If you like Resident Evil as a series, more specifically, Resident Evil 4, then you will enjoy playing Resident Evil 5. If you’re expecting a Gears of War clone, Left 4 Dead or anything other than a Resident Evil game, you will be dissapointed.