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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Platform: Xbox 360|Edition: Standard Edition|Change
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2009
It has enough postives to be a good game, and worth playing, but also enough negatives to keep it far from being a classic.

If you have played RE4, you will find the gameplay very familiar. The controls (stand still whilst shooting, run away, turn around, repeat) remain pretty much the same. While this doesn't stop it being fun, it does make it feel very dated and clumsy compared to games like Dead Space, which showed that you can have fluid shooting-while-moving controls in a survival horror game.

A lot of the game design feels shamelessy recycled from RE4 - enemies, settings, gas cylinders against a wall to push over and shoot when an ememy is following you etc. etc. , even a lot of the music - you really feel like you're just playing RE4 with upgraded graphics but weaker gameplay and design a lot of the time.

The single worst feature of the game is the inventory system - it is an absolute nightmare - easily the worst inventory system in the RE series - possible the worst in any modern game I can think of - it's bad enough having such a badly designed clumsy inventory system - but to also not allow you to pause the game while you access it, is just a recipe for making you want to throw your controller at the screen - you will frequently die because you are surrounded by enemies & accidentally select the wrong item, or can't pick up some ammo for your empty weapon cos your inventory is full so you have to clumsily pass items to your partner to free up a slot - all using a terrible interface while enemies are still attacking you - I'd estimate that during my 1st playthrough of the game, more than 1/2 of my deaths were caused by the inventory system.
I really can't emphasise strongly enough how much enjoyment the appalling inventory system saps from the game - I can't imagine why they ever released it without fixing that one huge issue.

The addition of a partner throughout the entire game is a mixed blessing - it makes the combat more varied - but it takes away the atmosphere of feeling alone trapped in a scary environment - and her AI is patchy at best.

In RE4, the ememies felt a bit like zombies (even though they weren't technically) - but here the enemies are more human than ever, firing guns at you, riding motorbikes. Apart from the parastites bursting out of them, most of the time you might as well be fighting ordinary humans. Although despite the fact that they can run, jump, drive, use complex machinery - as soon as they get within 10 feet of you, they helpfully return to shambling slowly around so you can shoot them.

One particular annoyance I have - is the guys with chainsaws - there are far more of them in this game than RE4 - but unfortunately, fighting them is really tedious - unlike RE4 where battling a chainsaw guy was quite scary but challenging and enjoyable - here it's just not the same - they seem to be able to take a ridiculous amount of damage before going into "stunned" mode where you can melee them or take time to reload or move to a safe distance, plus the badly designed inventory can make switching to grenades or other weapons mid-fight a nightmare - but worst of all, you might be carefully keeping a safe distance, only for your AI partner to go too close and get decapitated and make you have to do the whole section all over again - in RE4 the sound of a revving chainsaw was the signal of a tense and exciting battle - in RE5 the sound makes your heart sink with a feeling of "Oh god not another one."
Combine that with the lazy level design - eg. in the oil-refinery - turn a switch, and a chainsaw guy appears and attacks - go through the hassle of beating him, try to go through the gate to the next area, and another chainsaw guy appears - beat him, carry on and within a couple of minutes, a 3rd chainsaw guy attacks, this time with the added annoyance of 2 friendly characters in the room who can get killed and force you to redo the section - depressing when the designers were so short of ideas they make you fight the same unenjoyable boss 3 times within a few minutes.

Another major criticism, is simply that the level designs aren't very good - it's just nowhere near as much fun to play as it would have been with more effort put into the level design. This is especially true of the boss-fights - they loook spectactular, but gampeplay-wise they are all long-winded and repetitive - none of them come close to being as much fun as any of the RE4 boss fights.

The online co-op play works well, and the replay value is very much like RE4 - being able to go through it again with upgraded weapons, things to collect - in fact it's probably a lot more fun on the 2nd play through - with upgraded weapons and once you've had time to get used to the inventory system from hell.

There is a distinct feeling that this was developed as a 2-player co-op game, with the single player mode being an extra mode thrown in at the last minute without time to fully playtest and fine-tune it. It's as if they knew the controls and abysmal inventory system would make it impossible to get through so much intense combat on your own, but instead of fixing those issues, they just threw in an AI assistant to give you extra some firepower, but sadly didn't have time to give her very good AI.

I don't think anybody could call this a terrible game - people giving it 1 star on here are being over the top (probably out of anger - an emotion that you will experience often playing this game - so I can understand how they feel) - but it is a real anti-climax after the brilliant RE4 - such weak level and boss-fight design, no real attempt to improve the game-engine and controls beyond improved graphics, sub-standard AI for a partner who accompanies you throughout the entire game, and then having what stands out as maybe the worst inventory system of the last decade of gaming, and then taking the inexplicable decision to make you battle against the inventory system in real-time while enemies still attack you.

If someone had never played RE4 (especially the Wii version with it's enhanced controls) and RE5 - I think I'd have to recommend RE4 to them as the vastly better single player game - that's not nostalgia talking, I've been playing through both games simultaneously to compare them.

If they are going to do a RE6, I hope they have a total re-think - this game is really pushing the boundaries of how far they can get away with it using unnecessarily dated contols & recycling old ideas - plus just too much lazy and downright bad design.

Capcom have already announced that the 2 producers who were brought in to create this game, have been dropped and won't be working any possible sequel - it's easy to understand that decision.
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on 16 March 2009
The amount of people who review a game based purely on the demo is quite frankly shocking. A good (or bad) demo is no guarantee as to the quality of the finished game. Essentially you are reviewing a game you have never played and therefore giving a misleading star rating for those who might think of buying it. Amazon - really can you not lock the review section of a game until release day?

Now then on with the review.

I picked up my copy of RE5 along with a red 360 elite the day before release day and after playing extensively both on my own and in co-op over Xbox live I can say that I have some mixed feelings about this game. Firstly as an addition to the RE series it is more than worthy. Many people I speak to think RE4 to be the best of the series, I think this is better. However I am of the nostalgic old school who want to see more of the RE1 or RE2 style of game, with more of the survival horror and less of the action style (and yes with proper, slow walking zombies!).

Graphically the game looks amazing. In my opinion the only other games that look this good (playing in full HD 1080p) are COD4, GOW2 and Fifa 09. I would go as far as to say it may be the best game I've ever seen on the 360 in terms of graphics. Gameplay is also fantastic. It is pretty much the same as RE4 so if you liked the way that played, you'll like this. My only complaints with the similarity's to RE4 are when killing a 'zombie' they drop various items from ammo to money. This really takes away from the classic survival horror RE format. Another is when passing between chapters in the game you can buy items, sell items and upgrade weapons from a shop. Where is this magic shop? Again I really think this takes away from the survival horror aspect and is turning RE into more of an action RPG.

There are however differences from RE4 which are mainly due to the co-op aspect of the game. Now it doesn't matter if you plan to play on your own or with a partner this is a co-op game. There are many points during the game where you require both players working together to proceed, most are simply a large door that requires both players to open (more a block to stop one player going to far ahead than anything else). Most of these co-op essential moments are unnecessary and some can even be avoided - I don't really see the point. If you play on your own the role of Sheva, your trusty sidekick is played by the CPU. Playing on Amateur or Normal she isn't that much of an issue however anything harder and she really is useless. I would suggest giving her a pistol with about 10-20 bullets and nothing else (or the cattle prod when you get it as it doesn't run out of ammo!). If you give her more ammo/other guns she will waste them. Another rather annoying habit is that she will heal you even when not seriously injured - using a full health spray or red/green herb mix when your health is at 50-60%. For these reasons (as well as it being more fun) I would suggest playing co-op with a friend, although one slight grievance is when playing co-op on one Xbox the screen split isn't great. The split is horizontal and not all the way across the screen (as if playing in two windows within the screen). I think this would be much better if it was the full screen split into two (or maybe even vertical). Again having to play the full game in co-op takes away from the survival horror aspect which RE games are famous for.

Overall I think this is a very, very good game but it doesn't get 5 stars from me because of the frankly unnecessary co-op system. While those who favour the direction RE has gone in since number 4 will maybe think this a good addition to the game, I think this is going too far away from the original format. This, in my opinion is nothing like a survival horror (there's that phrase again!) game is more of an action/shooter/RPG. Get rid of the co-op, shop, zombies dropping items and bring back ye old RE format for number 6 please!
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on 20 July 2009
I have played through this game twice (on easy and then the 3rd difficulty) and I can honestly say that I will play through it again.
Initially I found the controls awkward, and as one very decent review on here has already pointed out, the inventory system is cumbersome to say the least. however, these are both things that I have gotten used to and now don't feel hindered by in the slightest.
A lot has been said about how the series is losing it's 'horror' element in the more action-oriented RE4 & 5. Personally I found number 4 horrific at times (the Regenerators, even on their own had me mortified more than any other RE enemy), but number 5 just isn't horror. That's not to say that the game should be criticised. What it is is a compulsive, highly playable action shooter with the most gorgeous graphics on the 360, in my opinion.
The choice of setting is inspired, but I don't think that the variety of environments in Africa has been exploited on this game. The early chapters, wondering through shanty towns seem authentic, but later levels could be set just about anywhere else with lakes and caves. This is a minor criticism however.
My major problem with this game is it's simplicity, caused by linear level design, self contained and obvious puzzles and the games extremely short length. RE4 took me about 13hours to finish, this took nothing like as long.
However these flaws are compensated by the games replay value. For all of us achievement freaks, there are alkinds of weapons, treasures etc to be gathered, plus screen filters that can be used to give the game a different look. Gimmicky, yes, but it all adds.
I loved resident evil 4 for it's gameplay. The worst we could have expected from RE5 really was an inferior clone of 4, which is what we have sadly, but still a supremely enjoyable game while it lasts.
A lot of people seem to be critical of Sheva's AI in the single player mode. Whilst i can understand some gripes, I can honestly say that for large portions of the game, I forgot that there was any co-operative element to the game. If you're deciding whether or not to buy this game, I wouldn't be put off by the idea of having a computer controlled partner. One or 2 sections may have you tearing your hair out because of her stupidity, but thankfully even on the harder difficulty (I have unlocked but not tried the 4th hardest difficulty by the way) you'll discover you'll only rely on her to keep herself alive and leave her to it.
The enemies in the game are as usual ridiculous and over the top (and usually always very impressive). Lickers are particularly gruesome.
Despite the length of time it took for this game to hit the shelves, it is, as i said, remarkably similar in feel to RE4. If you played and enjoyed the awesome Dead Space, this will really keep you entertained. It's not as good, but certainly worth the admission fee.
Very decent stuff.
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on 18 March 2009
No-one seems to be able to review RE5 without comparison to one or more of its predecessors and I am no exception, but I will at least try to keep this short.

1. If you loved the early RE games but hated RE4, you will hate this too.

2. If you loved RE4, you will like this but probably be disappointed overall, particularly by the clunkiness that having a full-time AI partner has introduced. Managing your inventory is now more complex and Sheva, your new partner, is frankly not that much use - darting around like a springer spaniel, occasionally squirting you with a herb when you don't need it. Obviously a lot of this frustration goes away when you are lucky enough to have another human being controlling Sheva but you will still be disappointed by how much has been recycled from RE4.

3. If you have not played any of the other RE games, you will spend most of your time wondering a) what the hell is going on and b) what is up with the controls, but consoling yourself that at least it looks fantastic.

All things considered, RE5 is not bad. In fact it is OK, but I was hoping for something better. Wait for it to get cheaper, which it will - soon.

UPDATE - If you want more detail, check out NP's review from 27 March - it is spot on.
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on 6 October 2014
Not as bad as it was made out. Is an enjoyable game. Gameplay and graphics the best yet for a resident evil game. However the story is atrocious, Chris isn't really an interesting character. Plus you have a companion with you for the whole game helping you out. This takes away the creepy isolation element that has served the franchise so well in the past. The mercenaries mode is the best yet and hours of fun can be had on that alone.
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on 15 October 2009
Lots of people have compared Resident Evil 5 to its contemporary competition (Dead Space) or immediate predecessors (Resident Evil 4) and have noted that the control system is flawed and that the game is essentially a RE4 rehash with less invention. Having recently rerun through Resident Evil on the Gamecube, itself a remake of the original on the PSone that started the franchise all those moons ago, I haven't been able to look at the latest installment in the same way since. The transition has witnessed the evil pretty much disappear and the action cranked up to the max. Resident Evil used to be about dark settings, creepy music, sparse but tough enemies and slow burning tension. The best thing about replaying the Gamecube version was the realization that there is not enough ammunition in the game to kill every monster that appears. This heightened the tension to heights the action sequences in RE5 will never reach and created real anxiety. There was a sense of tactics about the old games that meant that you had to be intelligent with where and how you used you ammo, in Resident Evil 5 you have a vast selection of heavy artility weapons and endless ammo. It makes shooting zombie after zombie after zombie, in bright settings and hardcore music fun but ... it's not the gloomy, atmospheric Resident Evil that I fell in love with. I'm not saying that the direction the franchise is going in is the wrong choice but I would welcome a return to old school Resident Evil with improvements attached. The old RE's suffered from lots of running backwards and forwards over familiar settings and some rather irritating and silly puzzles, additionally the camera angles where sometimes so bad that you couldn't actually see what you were shooting. I'd like it if the next Resident Evil installment had different game modes that incorporated all of the best elements of all of the previous titles to offer an action romp for those that just like blasting stuff and a single player atmospheric mode that appeals to those of use that prefer the old school style.
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on 21 March 2013
I was well gutted with this game, I loves four and thought this was going to be like it but no, it's terrible, just like 6 is. Why must they fill these games with explosions and action, It's not really a survival game any more it's more of a mainstream action game.
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on 22 June 2013
The name resident evil echoes horror but when purchasing this game i had already been told to expect something different, that normally means bad to me but i was pleasantly surprised at the enjoyment i got out of this game and found myself hooked, the game has solid controls (sensitivity of character was abit slow to me at first but becomes fine after a few hours) and great AI, but the best part is the missions, normally i like a GTA style open world game but i found myself screaming out for narrow paths and one way only simply for the thrill of knowing your walking straight into your next enemy head on, the enemies themself are great with the bosses feeling very threatening and tough to beat, overall this a must check out game which will keep you hooked for the 8-10 hours campaign.
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on 4 August 2009
Yeah it's awesome, i'm not a big time gamer, but this res 5 game was addictive and loads of fun combining some hardcore zombie shooting, big boss killing, logical problems to solve, timed missions and great guns to buy! not interested... Play Snakes and Ladders!
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on 24 October 2009
I was surprised with this game. I actually hadnt wanted to play it because i was never a big fan of the resident evil games and it came with my new xbox console. My brother decided to put it into the machine and i watched him, thinking it wouldnt be that good. It turned out to have surprisingly good graphics with a nice flow to the movement of the game. However, this is not what got my stuck to it like glue.

Me and my brother made a bet that I couldnt get through the entire game on the hardcore difficulty first off without any weapon upgrades and such and this is how i got into the game.
It was atcually really challenging to do without playing the game once over. But i did manage it.....just to point out.
But this game is quite challenging if you do it that way which may interest some hardcore gamers not to mention the story line is quite in depth.
But also I think it would help if you played some resident evil game prior to this one as the story for me was a bit confusing at some points as i didnt know who these people were but the game does offer an insight into the history of resident evil which you unlock in the bonus library.
The movement of the charactes can feel a bit chunky but all in all its very good, the graphics are impecible and again it is very challenging if you play it on the second to last difficulty setting (you can only unlock the hardest after completing the game on hardcore, then you unlock professional.) But it does have an easy difficulty which casual gamers may enjoy.
The fact that the second character in the game is computer controlled did frustrate me a little bit as she never really did help you to the effect that you wanted her too. While doing it on professional difficulty she didnt really help at all but I suppose thats why its called professional difficulty, it makes it harder for you.
All in all an awesome game that can challenge gamers but not so much it leaves them annoyed at the game. Very happy gaming.
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