Developer(s) – Capcom
Publisher(s) – Capcom
Director(s) – Kenichi Ueda & Yasuhiro Anpo
Producer – Jun Takeuchi
Released back in 2009 as one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year, the fifth instalment of one of Capcom’s flagship franchises was met with mostly positive reception from critics, and went on to become the highest selling game in the series at that point. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Resident Evil series, and in my opinion, this is the worst entry in it that I’ve played for a number of reasons.
Graphics – 7/10
From a technical standpoint at least, the visuals in the game are top notch. The attention to detail is extremely impressive for the time, and the use of lighting and shadow add to the overall atmosphere of the game beautifully. However, from a conceptual standpoint, I found to be below par compared to anything else I’d seen of the series at that point. I felt that setting such as the mansion and the police station in the original trilogy would better serve to build up tension throughout the course of the game, since places like that would normally be considered safe, and so it would be easier to take players by surprise. It didn’t help matters to see that some of the game is also set in the daytime, which made it even less scarier.
Gameplay – 6/10
To a certain extent, the same logic concerning the sense of isolation could be applied to the game’s style of play. Playing out more or less identically to Resident Evil 4, it is a linear third person shooter with not as many options in terms of exploration as in the original three games, and not a great deal more to offer beyond that. Since the player and his partner stick together for the majority of the game, there’s more of a sense of security to be felt throughout, which is the last thing players would expect to feel whilst playing a survival horror game.
Controls – 5/10
The game’s control scheme is also extremely flawed in my opinion. Though I think my main concern about was added purposely in order to create tension within it, it greatly backfired on the developers. In the game, it is impossible to move and shoot at the same time, which some players may consider adds to either the challenge or the horror aspects of the game, I merely couldn’t help but think of how impractical it is.
Lifespan – 5.5/10
The game can be made to last around 8 hours, which really falls within the average of how long a game of this ilk can be made to last, so to me, it isn’t anything overly impressive. There are a couple of collection side quests to add to the game’s longevity, but it seems to me like an insult that the only option beyond this to make the game last longer is to purchase the DLC. I begrudge games lasting any less than 10 to 15 hours anyway, but when I know that a game could have been made to last with the right amount of content, I can’t help but criticise it.
Storyline – 6/10
The story follows former S.T.A.R.S member Chris Redfield, as he travels to Africa to stop the sale of a deadly virus on the black market, with the help of his new partner Sheva Alomar. The plot later unfolds into a scenario, which plays out more or less identically to the events of the first Resident Evil; it’s the same basic premise, with largely even the same characters, just in a completely different setting. To me, it didn’t add anything to the horror or suspense aspect to learn that I was basically going through the same situation as was portrayed in the original game. It’s even more puzzling why this would have happened, since this game had four writers attached to it, whereas the original game only had two.
Originality – 5/10
In terms of uniqueness, there is hardly anything positive to point out that would differentiate this game from any of the previous four games; the gameplay is identical to that of Resident Evil 4, the plot is more or less the same as the first game, and the setting are nowhere near as imposing or as scary as they ever had been throughout the franchise previously. Shinji Mikami was the man who knew best what to do with the series, and since his departure from Capcom, it has suffered in my opinion.
In summation Resident Evil 5 is the worst game in the series that I’ve played. It falls far short of the quality of the previous four games, and is one of the worst survival horror experiences of the seventh generation.