You can hardly have an excuse for not having heard of the Resident Evil franchise at least once in your life – it’s a hugely popular and successful one, which started out from a series of console games and was later made into a movie with several sequels. Resident Evil 5 sees the return of some familiar characters to fight all new enemies in the same scary setting that haunted the previous games.
The game is set in Africa, though the actual location is a fictional one – a town named Kijuju. You can either play as Chris Redfield, whom fans of the previous games will probably remember (as he was actually one of the protagonists in the very first title), or Sheva Alomar, who’s a new female character, continuing the tradition of giving the player a choice between a male and female character.
There are several new enemies for you to dispatch in massive numbers, collectively called “Majini”. You’ll find them quite different from the ones you had to fight in RE4, and they’ll require a new way of thinking for you to dispose of. Don’t worry though, you’ll be appropriately equipped for the job – there are lots of new weapons for players to experiment with.
You’re no longer limited to just one weapon of each type, as there are now various kinds of shotguns, pistols and machine guns you can play with. The inventory system works like in the previous game, where you can no longer pause to access it and will have to find a safe spot in order to patch up and check on your mission status.
The engine used is the same as in Devil May Cry 4, which should automatically tell you that it features some extremely smooth and fluid animations, both on the main characters as well as the zombies, and there is a good variety of movements for all of the characters. The game no longer feels as stiff as it did, and the context-sensitive actions have been improved as well, being able to detect your desired movement much more accurately now.
If you’re playing on the PC, you won’t need a very high-end machine to run RE5 smoothly, as the engine isn’t that demanding. You’ll need a good CPU to handle the Havok Physics engine which has been utilized through – even though it can create some very realistic ragdoll and environment effects, it comes at a considerable cost to your framerates if your processor can’t support it, so make sure you’re packing accordingly.
There’s an online cooperative mode included, which allows you to play the game with a buddy of yours over the Internet. Like in the previous games, you can also play the mode offline sitting down on the same console (or computer), but make sure your screen is large enough to give you both the appropriate level of comfort.
A delightful horror game with some genuinely scary moments, Resident Evil 5 continues the franchise almost perfectly.