I have taken a trip back in time to revisit a not exactly memorable, yet (at least as far as I can remember) an enjoyable title – Resident Evil 5. Back in the old days, it has been considered a great action game with an immersive cinematic atmosphere. So, will Resident Evil 5 stand the test of time?
The Atmosphere is Still Great…
When reviewing old games, one must take caution to not let nostalgia slip in. I will attempt to do so and focus on the raw experience that I had during my playthrough. I shall begin with the game’s number 1 positive – the atmosphere. Even after years, Resident Evil 5 still feels as an action movie, and not in a bad way. From the beginning, as I was dropped in the middle of Africa, I (Chris Redfield) was left with my partner Shiva, to face a “new kind of zombie”. Even though the zombie genre has been milked dry and got pretty boring over the years, I had to cut the game some slack. After all, the game’s been released back in 2009 – Those were simpler times. I have noticed a few other developer’s choices that reflect the simplicity of the past, but seem rather distasteful in the present times. As a man, I did not really mind seeing a closeup Shiva’s cleavage or buttocks in every single cut scene and I find the unawareness of the possible reactions of future audiences quite amusing.
… Though the Action is not.
As for the actual gameplay, well… it’s not that great. The game is playable, yet I find it very hard to enjoy it. The graphics are the least irritating aspect. Even though the wrinkles are quite visible, the resolution is fine, and the textures are quite alright – nothing to be stunned by, but decent. On the other hand, the controls are clumsy at best. The UI doesn’t help much with that, and neither does the inventory system that forces you to use only one weapon, as swapping them is too tedious. In addition, as in any other Resident Evil game, you can’t walk and shoot. A fan might object: “It’s a signature feature of the franchise and…” no, just no! It ruins the dynamic of the game and makes the controls feel even clumsier. To end this rant, last point of my frustration are the zombies themselves… They are slow, dumb and simply act as a buggy mess. They may not be buggy, but they sure do act as if they were and I shall judge them based on that. They walk around in circles with one arm in the air and from time to time, some of them notice you and slowly head in your direction – Can you feel the tension? Though I must admit that they are very skilled motorcycle riders – Yes, that is the level of consistency that you can expect from this game. Overall, the only thing that kept me going was nostalgia.
The Rotten Cherry on the Top of a Garbage Pile
Now, that would all be fine – It’s an old game. Nobody is going to play Resident Evil 5 in 2017 for its top-notch action. The UI is expected to be a little disappointing, the NPC’s dumb and the controls reflect the standard of the era. It’s the experience that really matters, right? Well, I’m glad to inform you that the gameplay will not ruin the experience, since the Games for Windows Live will take care of that before you even begin playing!
To briefly mention the Gold Edition – there are 2 extra missions, some costumes a few new characters and a new game mode, all for one half of the cost of the original game.