Resident Evil 5

Plagued by violence and language, a very good game hides underneath.
Cameron (Evili) - Guest Reviewer
Content at a glance:

Language: "F" wordd and everything below are used.

Violence: Decapitation, gore, and bodies everywhere are just the beginning.

Sexual Content: Slightly revealing outfit, and one extra costume that is rather revealing.

This review has been based on an Xbox 360 version of the game. Therefore, while it’s unlikely, there could be differences in the PS3 and PC version that aren’t mentioned in this review.

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Resident Evil 5 was released in March, on Friday the 13th. Even if you aren’t a superstitious person, just the fact that Capcom released their game on what people think is such an “unlucky” day should tell you that they had high hopes for the game. And for good reason too, as Resident Evil 5 takes after its older brother, Resident Evil 4; and the story takes place only a few years after the events in Europe with the Las Plagas.

Chris Redfield is in Africa, on a mission representing the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, or BSAA. There had been reports of a new bioweapon somewhere within the Kijuju Autonomous Region. But that isn’t the only reason Chris is on the mission. Earlier he had heard of reports that his old partner Jill Valentine being in the region. The mission had become personal for him, and he promised himself to see it through no matter what happened. Before his mission gets started he meets his new partner, a local named Sheva Alomar. It is revealed that Sheva is also on this mission for more than just a job; she has a personal stake in it as well. Almost reluctantly Chris shakes her hand, and they get started.

The game is played with a “behind the shoulder” camera view, not unlike the one in Resident Evil 4. The controls have had a overhaul, making the game play more like Gears of War or Dark Sector. The option for the old system found in Resident Evil 4 is also available for those who prefer it. I found the new style to be more fluid and easy to use. Unfortunately, you cannot run and shoot at the same time, which is a feature that was silly not to be added. The game also makes good use of “action cut-scenes”, something that was popularized in Resident Evil 4. During some cut-scenes, the game will make you press a certain combination of buttons, which will make the character on screen react. For example, you might have to hit the triggers at the same time to make your character aim steady and shoot an enemy that is attacking your partner. If you happened to mess up the combination of buttons, your partner dies. This plays a big part in the game.

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The inventory system was changed back to the same way that the old games had it; you now only have nine slots to fit in our guns/ammo/herbs. It gives the entire game a sense of fear, as you can only hold just enough ammo to survive. Also the game no longer pauses when you enter your inventory; it pops up on screen, and you have to make your choice while everything is still going on around you. This aspect adds more intensity to the game as you can only switch guns when you have enough time. This new change might seem like a step backwards at first, but once you get used to it you will find that it will grow on you.

Being in Africa Resident Evil 5 is the first game in the series where the setting is mostly in daylight; or our characters never seem to stay out after the sun goes down. Some might think that this takes away the “fear factor”, and while I agree that it does a little bit, I believe that the game still gives you a good sense of “being hunted”. You never really feel safe. Sure, the AI isn’t the smartest bunch of bad guys, but some of the bigger ones can give you a hard time. And when a bunch of them get together, your chances of survival are very slim. That’s why we were given Sheva, Chris’s partner who is with you the entire game. Not only does she help you fight off the baddies, she is also a vital part on a few puzzles that you have to solve. She was a good idea. To bad her AI is about as smart as the gum on the bottom of my shoe. When she isn’t getting killed by some enemy that she can’t defend herself from, she can be found not finishing the puzzle that is required to continue the game. Not only is she not combat worthy, she doesn’t know how to use healing items. Chris could be down 10% of his health, and she would use a first-aid spray on him which heals 100% of his health.

The more I think about it, the more I think that maybe Capcom made her dumb on purpose to get us to play Co-Op. The entire game is available to be played either over Xbox Live or PSN with another friend or split screen with a friend in the room. It even supports system link. This is one of the biggest features of Resident Evil 5, for a few reasons. One, there were some parts that would have been like pulling teeth trying to get through it with the AI. And two, this is the first time that Co-Op has been used in a numbered Resident Evil game.

Not only does Co-Op work, it works great; no lag at all. And considering how much power it takes to run this incredible looking game, it boggles the mind about how they do it. Resident Evil 5 is easily the best looking game currently available for the home consoles. I have never seen better looking environments in any game before. Character models are high quality, and look great all around. They give the characters a real “living” feeling. The voice-overs are not terrible; certainly better than any past attempts in the Resident Evil games, but they still don’t sound like they had a multi-billion dollar budget.

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NEGATIVE CONTENT
As much praise as I’ve given this game, the scale is going to be tilt content wise. It is very gruesome. The first enemy you see has a bug of sorts being shoved down his throat, and soon afterwards his eyes start to bleed out. When you shoot his head it explodes, and tentacles come out of where the head used to be and wave around until the enemy finally falls down and dies. Some enemies sprout even bigger tentacles out of their heads, some of which bite off the head of the player’s character. The “chain-saw” guy has no problem digging around in your chest with his machine, then slicing you into pulp, right down the chest. Some of the bigger bosses gather up dead bodies and use them as parts of itself, making itself bigger. Enemies can be stabbed, impaled, burned, sliced, decapitated and even more. You can even stomp down on enemies heads when they are on the ground, to make sure they are dead. And what applies to the enemies also applies to Chris and Sheva. The enemies can kill you in many different and gruesome ways. At the very beginning of the game, you walk by a group of men beating a bag with a person in it very violently. This game is not for those who have a weak stomach.

There is also quite a bit of language. The “F” word was said no more than three times. Gods name was used in vain up to about eight or nine time. S***, ba*****, son of b****, hell, and d*** are all used quite often, scattered throughout the game.

There is no option to turn off either the blood or language.

Sheva shows some cleavage with her normal costume, and there is an unlockable costume that puts her in a very skimpy bikini, and adds body paint all over her body. Besides the above mentioned, there is no sexual content in the entire game.

Also, some of the enemies have tribal painting all over their bodies and wear masks.

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POSITIVE CONTENT
As the story progresses, we find that Chris is fighting for his old friend. Even after years of searching, he is determined to find her, even if she isn’t alive anymore. Likewise, Sheva is fighting for something, and she will not give up. Both show incredible dedication. Throughout the game, Chris and Sheva create a “partner bond”, and soon become each-others saviors. Without one, the other couldn’t have made it.

Resident Evil 5 is a brilliant addition to the Resident Evil series. It took the flaws from Resident Evil 4 and perfected them. There are still little problems that nip at the heels of RE5, but for the most part if you liked RE4, RE5 is a must have game. The violence can and will be a turn off for a lot of people, and that’s very understandable. It would have been nice if a filter was added. But for those who can get past the content, underneath is a game that any action/survival horror fan should play.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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