Resident Evil 5 (RE5) is a third person shooter set in the fictional version of Earth in the Resident Evil series. The game is a zombie game in basic terms but there’s a lot of lore and some really weird stuff going on.
Before playing this game I had a quick go on RE4 and the most noticeable difference between the two is the tank control movement which only effects the aiming in RE5 as the characters have more free movement. Although improved from RE4, there is a huge flaw in how movement works and that is that the character stands still to aim, shoot, reload, melee and access the inventory which leads you vulnerable. This flaw is both good and bad as it is stupid from a survival perspective but it does make the player consider positioning and tactics.
A big feature of RE5 is Sheva. Sheva is the companion character that if played solo is controlled by an AI (two player is self-explanatory). At the start of the campaign I liked Sheva, as a semi-competent AI she could access healing items quicker than me, she could give revivals, be an extra target for enemies and was genuinely helpful in combat as I learned the controls. Later in the campaign though, Sheva became a liability. She wasted healing items as soon as she acquired them, wouldn’t work to any sort of strategy and couldn’t handle fights with tougher enemies very well, sometimes not shooting at all.
I found the actual game design and map design to be quite good with enough variety to remain interesting. There are plenty of different enemy types to keep a player on their toes and weapons enough to have a few ways to play. Between levels, after death and upon loading the game up an in game shop and inventory management screen came up letting players prepare for the next challenge by buying or upgrading items.
Levels are split into chapters that can be revisited at any point. These chapters can be played on any difficulty with each of them getting its own ranking for how well you play. Plus there are hidden collectibles in many chapters with special unlockables that can be acquired in menus. There’s even two bonus levels based on flashbacks and some extra game modes.
Up until the last few levels I had quite a bit of fun with this game. I don’t like how enemy difficulty comes from stupidly big health pools; I don’t like later game design given how bad Sheva gets; I do like how the game has many difficulties that are all separately tracked and allow equipment to carry over. I also find the Wesker plot interesting which I might look up lore for later, although the Wesker fights were annoying as they were mostly just order puzzles while a super monster or shadow ninja tries to slap you around.
The game is packed with content that plays quite well. I enjoyed most of the game to the point where I’d say it wasn’t good as a horror game but it was a decent shooter with a few tense moments. The one thing that ruins it is Sheva’s AI late game with the better way to play the game likely being two player. Overall a high average, just missing good because of design choices that work against solo players.
I played on normal difficulty without replying levels and it could be quite hard. I dread to think how hard professional difficulty is with the AI.
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