*MAY CONTAIN A SPOILER OR 2*
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Last night, me and a good friend of mine sat in my living room late at night, and in one loooong sitting, beat the game on Normal mode Co-op. We started at about 10:00 PM, and didn't stop until about 10:00 AM this morning. We took things slow, getting strategies for combat, and goofing off a bit. Here are our final thoughts on the game.
I would like to state that, before going any farther, I think this game takes too many things from RE4, and because of it, feels like Deja-Vu. But I haven't played RE4 in awhile, so It wasn't SO bad.
Starting out, I was less experienced then my friend, for he had played the Xbox 360 demo, and was already used to the game. Even though we were playing on the PS3, the controls were about the same. Putting this aside, me being the RE vet, and RE5 being the first RE game for him to play, I took the lead as Chris. I must say I am impressed with how fun the Co-op mode was. It gave a new degree of strategy to the game, different from RE4. In RE4, you had to take on the mob alone, which only gave you a few choices in strategy. But in RE5, you can play several ways. You can stick together, holding your position in a building, or split up, luring the zombies away from your partner. This doesn't really apply to the single player mode though, for Sheva follows you wherever you go.
Meet Sheva, Jills replacement....I miss Jill already
The first levels did a good job setting up a situation. Hostile village, new company as main villain (Tricell), old foes paying a visit. The plot kept me going, made me want to keep playing. I knew in the back of my mind how it was supposed to turn out (damn you no-warning spoiler pages on the internet!), but there were so many ways it could get there, that I just HAD to find out. This is the main reason for our one sitting play through ("But if we stop now we won't kick Wesker's ass!")
Gameplay is very similar to RE4. It has the same feel to it, as well as a similar control style. Some would call this a bad thing, but I can't complain. What I am complaining about, however, is the lack of puzzles. There are few, if any, real puzzles. This takes away from gameplay for me, because I LOVE puzzles. I mean, you had to scavenge for parts of a stone for a door or two, but honestly, thats not a REAL puzzle. A real RE style puzzle would have a cryptic clue, and a little bit of back tracking. But if I think about it, RE4 only had 2 or 3 real puzzles, and RE5 had almost nothing that I would consider a real puzzle, so I guess its safe to say that puzzles won't be a main aspect in RE6 either (But even without the puzzles I will keep buying the games, because the story is so damn addictive). Besides, the new "1-1" level system kind of takes the back tracking part out of the equation, which is another thing I wasn't so happy with, but I understand why this was necessary to the game.
A puzzle from a previous RE game...ah, the good ol' days...
Graphics wise, the game is amazing. Nearly everything was done in great detail. Characters looked gorgeous, and Im pretty sure that every returning character from old games has been redesigned. Chris looks like he consumed large amounts of steroids, and (spoiler in 3....2.....1....NOW ---->) Jill has blonde hair. Wesker has creepy tightpants, and his face seems more square now.
Now, not to say that character redesign is bad, but they made Chris look a bit too bulky. On the whole "Jill is blonde" subject, thats not so bad. She still looks about the same, and I like the new look of her character. But Wesker just creeped me out. Tight pants, god complex, overly gelled hair. Terror thy name is Albert Wesker.
As I said earlier, the plot is intresting. The "zombies" are similar to those of the RE4 variety, and the documents you find will keep giving you a flow of information and plot points between cut scenes. I think my personal favorite part of the plot is the "your my partner, and I won't leave my partner, because I already lost one partner", making the bond between Chris and Sheva grow a bit faster. It also makes Chris's fight with Wesker even more of a grudge match, which is just what I wanted it to be. And the flashbacks are very enjoyable, giving a back story, and filing in some gaps.
Chris: "No kissing on the first date!"
I had to finish the game out in single player mode, for my friend had things to do, but I am kind of glad that I did. It gave me a chance to experience Sheva's (semi-retarded?) AI. One of my family members was also playing RE5 last night, and called me today commenting on her AI. He said that for him, she hogged all the ammo, and healed him often. The opposite is true for me. I often had to FORCE her to take the ammo, she would not pick it up on her own. I also had to heal her, and kind of babysit her. She healed me 1 time for every 6 or 7 times I healed her, and I didn't heal her too much (not unless she needed it). Also, she was not as effective in most boss fights as I would of liked her to be. These flaws aside, she does help out. She was particularly useful in (Another spoiler in 3....2....1....) the boss fight against Jill, where you have to rip off the crest from her chest. And the boss fight with Wesker in the hanger, before he takes off. The AI did very well in both of these fights, and I was happy with its performance.
The new save system kind of made me nostalgic for the illogical typewriters. The game uses an autosave feature, where checkpoints and saving trigger automatically. I find it kind of odd that the typewriters disappear when the game moves to a more poor country that isn't technologically dependent, but they were a common sight in expensive underground labs in America.
You never know what you got, till its gone
The variety of guns is a nice addition, but Im set in my ways. I gave my friend all the new weapons, and kept to 3 main ones. The starter handgun, the first shotgun, and the Magnum (Those were always my 3 favorites in the original RE games, and I continue to enjoy them in RE5). I liked the upgrade system for the weapons as well. I maxed out my handguns upgrades, and it became very powerful, and with such a high ammo capacity, I could carry a lot of handgun ammo in the gun itself, saving me an item slot.
Speaking of item slots, that brings me to the inventory. Because of this games Co-op, accessing the inventory does not pause the game as in previous RE games. The menu is also back to a 9 slot box, instead of the RE4 rectangle, in which you could organize and change things. A huge plus on the inventory is that you can place weapons/objects in a D-Pad shape, and tap the D-pad to change what weapon/object you have equipped. This is useful now that you have no time to waste in inventory, and makes the flow of combat much more natural.
I also have to comment on the Green herbs being a spray now. Isn't that the exact same thing as First aid spray? I mean come on, the original concept for herbs were a plant that could be applied to wounds as a natural remedy for wounds and infections, not a spray. You even pick them up in plant form, so how do they instantly become a spray? Capcom may of gotten rid of the illogical typewriters, but don't worry friends, logic is still no where to be found.
And where are the new monsters? The villagers were very similar to RE4 villagers, both of which being controlled by the Las Plagas virus. I mean sure, theres the Uroboros (I think thats how its spelled), but thats more of a boss monster. I wanted to see more fresh new creatures, but I can't really complain. They added a few new ones, I guess I just expect too much.
The final thing I would like to comment on is the Mercenary mode. I like the selection of characters, and the maps, and I can't really come up with anything wrong with it. Its pretty fun, and gives you a way to practice without playing through the actual game.
Ive decided to rank this game out of 5. No decimals, those are pointless.
The gameplay was great, a few problems here and there, but overall it isn't bad. I just wish there were some puzzles..
Beautiful. Nuff said.
Story and Plot 5/5:
The story is fantastic. It finishes some grudge matches we've all been waiting for, and replaces Umbrella with a new evil corporation, Tricell. This gives me hope for some great new things in the series, seeing as Umbrella is pretty much done
You can play as Sheva for a bit of change your second time around, and you can change the filters and costumes for a little bit of fun, but it doesn't give too much incentive, other then unlocking everything.
Overall 17/20 or 4/5:
RE5 is a great game, but is short of perfection. I hope the next game contains more puzzles, better AI, and some more new monsters.
I recommend this for anyone who likes zombies, shooters, violence, outnumbered fights, or RE games. Its a great game, and if you don't buy it, at least rent it for a week, check it out a bit.
Now, if you will excuse me, I haven't slept in 2 days, so Imma collapse now.