Capcom Resident Evil 5
Capcom's survival horror series is back with Resident Evil 5 -- and this time it's left the lights on.
- Stunning high-contrast visuals, plenty of goo for gore-hounds, nifty co-op mode, familiar goofy plot
- Controls still grate, annoying AI, it’s essentially a prettier version of Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil’s belated next-gen debut is finally here — and it rocks. While the survival horror elements have been toned down, and many old glitches remain, we still love it to death. Highly recommended.
Price$ 119.95 (AUD)
There are few pairings sweeter in life than video games and zombies. The two go together like chocolate and peanut butter, or bikinis and Jessica Alba [or Speedos and Daniel Craig. — Gender Equity Dept.] Even when they clearly don’t belong, they can’t help but be awesome (for putrefied proof, look no further than the Nazi zombie mode in Call of Duty: World at War). We don’t know what it is about those shuffling pus-bags, but we can’t get enough of 'em.
We were therefore giddier than schoolgirls when Resident Evil 5 arrived at our office. As we unfurled the plastic wrapper and stared at the curiously zombie-free cover art, our heartbeats began to quicken dramatically. This is it. The grandaddy of zombie flavoured-survival horror has finally shambled onto our next-gen consoles.
Without a doubt, the guys at Capcom are the Caliphs of corpses and cadavers. Sure, Sega may have beat them to the punch with House of the Dead (and Ubisoft got there before everybody with Zombi), but Resident Evil will always be at the top of the undead pile. We could probably spend the whole review gushing about the series and zombies in general, but all you really want to know about is Resident Evil 5. Is it better than the 4th game? Does it add anything new to the table? Are there actually any zombies in it? Like Rhodes from Day of the Dead, the answers are a bit all over the place. [Oh dear — Ed.]
As you’re all surely aware by now, Resident Evil 5 puts you in the shoes of BSAA operative Chris Redfield: the head-popping zombie survivalist from the first game. With new partner Sheva Alomar in tow (controlled via AI or a second player), you’re sent to investigate a biohazard in a nondescript African nation, which naturally turns out to be a hotbed of parasite-infected lunatics. (Like Resident Evil 4, the enemies take their inspiration from 28 Days Later, which means they’re not technically ‘zombies’. Tsk.)
As is par for the course with these things, the entire country is out for your blood within minutes of your arrival, leading to a revolving rollercoaster ride of escapes and set-pieces. We don’t have to tell you that the storyline is completely bonkers — this is a Resident Evil game, remember. Rest assured, fans of the series’ B-grade histrionics will be well served by the cheese on offer. (It’s even got Wesker in it, hamming it up as only Wesker can.)
So is it actually any good? The amount of enjoyment you get out of the game will depend on what kind of Resident Evil fan you are. If you’re a series veteran who loved the conserved tension and teasing puzzles of the original, you’re going to be bitterly disappointed. Despite Capcom’s assurances to the contrary, this is a balls-to-the-wall action game for the brain-dead Rambo set — or Operation Wolf dressed up in monster’s clothing. Like its predecessor, the game derives its horror from a swarming mass of enemies, rather than the limited ammo and shambling adversaries of past Resident Evil games. Whether this is a good thing is debatable.
On the other hand, if you thought Resident Evil 4’s fast-paced action was a change for the better — and it seems that most people do — this fifth instalment will deliver in spades. In terms of gameplay, it’s essentially a next-gen retread of the fourth game with the action dialled up to 11. More than ever before, the emphasis is on killing hordes of enemies, with an occasional token puzzle to break up the gunplay. Doubtlessly, many of you will love this beefed-up formula, but we prefer the tightly coiled atmosphere of the originals. (Clearly we’re getting old.)
Naturally, all this extra combat translates to new and deadlier threats, including gun-wielding enemies — a series first. This changes the dynamic of the action significantly, with faster reflexes demanded from the player as the bad guys attempt to take aim. Unfortunately, the inclusion of shootouts only highlights the deficiencies of the series’ long-maligned control scheme. Needless to say, you won’t be diving over platforms or sliding under cover in the style of Gears of War or GTA IV. We hate to say it, but the character’s glacial turns and lethargic targeting are really starting to show their age. On the plus side, you now have complete control of the camera via the right analogue stick — a change that is welcome, if farcically overdue.
We also weren’t fond of Chris’ AI companion. Apart from providing the prerequisite eye-candy, she doesn’t really seem to offer much to the gameplay (and occasionally proves to be a bit of a hindrance). Personally, we’re getting a bit tired of AI companions cropping up in third-person shooters. If we wanted to play with a chum, we’d invite a real one over. Plus, her constant presence drains the game of most of its tension – it’s hard to feel afraid when you’re hardly ever alone.
The similarities between Resident Evil 4 and 5 may also be a little too close for comfort for some. With the exception of the prettier graphics (which are jaw-dropingly gorgeous) and the two-player co-op mode (which is excellent), there’s hardly anything new or different here. But why should there be? For reasons we can’t quite fathom, the gaming press seems to expect Capcom to reinvent the wheel with every Resident Evil game. Indeed, the first sequel was delayed and completely rewritten because journalists complained it was too much like the original. What’s all that about exactly? To our knowledge, no other franchise gets picked on quite so much when it comes to a lack of innovation. It all seems a bit unfair to us.
All up, Resident Evil 5 is a worthy (and bloody) slice of survival horror that improves on its beloved predecessor in most areas. Despite removing most of the original game’s soul, it remains a fun and action-packed experience from start to finish. If you enjoyed Resident Evil 4 (and who didn't?) chances are you won't be disappointed.
Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPe-Learning Developer (Captivate 8)VIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCData Migration Consultant - LeadNSW
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - ApplicationsNSW
- CCApplication Solution Designer (Automation) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCTest ManagerWA
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTGraduate Software EngineerNSW
- CCGIS Developer - GeocortexWA
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- FTTelecommunications Services Manager - Voice/Data/UCQLD
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorWA