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Damnit Sheva! My Resident Evil 5 review


One of the year's most anticipated releases is finally here, and fans are wondering if it will be the best in the series. It can't be helped if Resident Evil 5 is compared to Resident Evil 4: both games are very similar in terms of gameplay, it would be impossible to ignore. So does Resident Evil 5 hold its own? Read on to find out.

If there was any problem with Resident Evil 4, it's that it was sort of a "gaiden" (side story). It kind of happened separated from the mains storyline, and Sadler (the final boss) had little to do with classic Resident Evil lore. Resident Evil 5's story gives us more of the mysterious corporation/big picture story that we know and love. While all its major plot points are fairly predictable, there are a few huge surprises that RE fans won't want to miss out on. The story also takes the time to flesh out the characters, something RE4 also didn't do, and has more recognizable characters. Chris and Sheva have multiple heartfelt chats with each other, and the subject of "partnership" is a huge central theme.

While the story is above average for an action game, faulty mechanics are the main problems with Resident Evil 5. The inventory system has its ups and downs, and the control scheme is starting to feel dated. Each character is given 9 inventory slots; that's it. There's no possible upgrade or unlock that gives you a bigger space. Because of this, it can get extremely frustrating when you need to pick up an item, but your ammo is taking up a slot, forcing you to reload first. Once you become a pro, however, you'll be curving your hand in a disfigured claw-like fashion to hit the d-pad and quick change items while running from enemies, and re-arranging your items in a lightning quick fashion.

Getting it out of the way: a walk and shoot mechanic would have been nice. In order to compensate for this, characters are given an improved melee system. You and your partner can now chain together melee attacks to conserve ammo, and stomp or stab fallen enemies. Even with this addition, however, the action can get a bit overwhelming, especially on some boss battles.

Once you get used to it, Sheva's AI is decent; but just decent.. She'll plow through any amount of enemies just to heal you, and she's a better shot than most standard players with the sniper rifle. Any of her quirks can be eliminated by taking away the pistol from her right away, and giving her a rifle or machine gun as soon as it's available. While this is an easy solution, and increases her productivity ten-fold, this doesn't mean that she still doesn't have problems. She refuses to fire a ton of different weapons, and you can't tell her to "retreat". If all hope seems lost against an adamant foe, she'll most likely get hit a few times before following you away. Also, while it's great that she heals you, she does it a bit too often instead of conserving healing items for when it counts. It's also obvious that Resident Evil fans wanted the ability to play alone. Unfortunately, that option isn't there. When you beat the game, however, you can play as Sheva, changing the experience entirely.

What's even better than dealing with an AI partner? Playing with a friend! Tit-for tat, it's the best co-op game ever made in my opinion. Boss fights were made for you and a friend to sit down and blast through, plus most of the levels are better experienced with another player. Your tactics completely change, you each get your own achievements and cash, and you can play your character in any way you like to complement each others style. The only complaint here is that the game might be too easy with a skilled friend in comparison with older titles in the series. Ultimately, co-op mode and single player mode feel like two different games.

Actual gameplay itself is a blast. With multiple vehicle sections, even one that plays like a lightgun game; each level feels fresh. As usual, Resident Evil 5 will host some of the best boss battles you've ever seen in a video game. In fact, I'd even go so far as say one of the encounters is the most fun battle ever. While a vast majority of the fights don't offer many "new" concepts, Resident Evil 5 does it better than any action game on the market.

Classic Resident Evil "as you know it" has completely changed however. Gone are actual puzzles (you can't consider the ones in 5 puzzles), and side paths. Most of the game is fairly linear, in favor of increasing the action. Also if you're wondering: the game is "creepy and disgusting" at points, but not scary at all. Part of the reason for this is because you're playing it with someone else. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say "I miss it".

Don't be worried about the game not giving you your money's worth: there are enough unlockables to last you months. Sheva mode feels like a different game, and it will take you weeks to earn the money to fully upgrade your weapons to earn the secret ones. Mercenaries mode also returns, and in a big way (it could have its own review). Also be on the look out for 30 secret emblems hidden throughout the game; it's worth another playthrough just to get them, as they unlock extra content). For clarification on the game's length; a standard solo playthrough took me 9 hours. This involved a few boss fights that took me a few tries, and mild exploration. It will take the average player a bit more time depending on how much you're willing to explore; I got lucky and figured out a few of the boss battles right away.

Survival horror may be dead, but action rose from its ashes. For all intents and purposes, this isn't the "definitive" Resident Evil game, but it comes pretty darn close. At its core, Resident Evil 5 is an amazing co-op shooter, with tons of additional content. It's not quite "survival", and it's not quite "horror", but one thing's for sure; it's fun.

9.5 Presentation
The graphics are unreal, with an insane amount of attention paid to detail. The environments and enemy sets, like RE4, are varied enough to keep the game interesting.

8.5 Gameplay
There are a few problems with the inventory system, Sheva's AI, and the control scheme is starting to show signs of aging. Capcom does a great job including QTE sequences with normal gameplay, and you'll be having too much of a blast to really care about the controls (plus you'll improve as you play it more).

9.0 Sound
Every sound effect is perfect. The music in the game ranges from standard to epic (mostly during the boss battles). The voice acting is also above average, which is welcome for a series that usually has a sub-par effort.

9.5 Replay Value
The ability to play through the entire game again as Sheva is a nice inclusion. Add in online Co-op story play, tons of unlockable weapons, and the biggest Mercenaries mode yet (also online), and you'll be playing this one for a long while.

9.3 Overall
Resident Evil 5 is not quite as good as RE4, but it includes probably the best Co-op mode ever made, and more content than its predecessor. While it's not the strongest in the series, Resident Evil 5 holds it's own against some of the best action titles.

(My review is a tad short because I'm co-reviewing it with a buddy of mine)
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About Chris Carterone of us since 3:56 PM on 01.05.2009

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!


Twitter - @DtoidChris

I'm married, and I've been playing games since I was 4. I still remember buying my own NES system at Sears and going home and playing Mario/Duck Hunt. Fast forward to the present, my wife and I now own a PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U.

If I had to choose a system I had the "best times" with, it would be a two way tie between the Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2. My favorite game series is Mega Man Classic, but I own every Metal Gear, Devil May Cry, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Wario, Tony Hawk, main series Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil game ever released in the US (and a lot more), so it's a close call!

There are too many good games out to count now, but I'm always itching to play my backlog of old PS2 action titles. I'll play anything and everything action-adventure, so if you have a game in mind, drop me a line! I have strong opinions regarding the financial decisions of many publishers, but at the end of the day, I'm willing to give anything a chance; especially if it comes recommended by a community member.

Oh; and in 2012 I started contributing to Destructoid.

Currently backed upcoming crowdfunding projects:

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Shenmue III

I also backed the Tiny Cartridge Patreon in 2014 for several months, but no longer back any gaming Patreon campaigns currently


Here is my story, from my humble beginnings as a c-blogger.

Carter's Quests (previously Magnalon's Quest):

2011 - Zelda
2012 - Resident Evil
2012 - Tony Hawk
2012 - Kingdom Hearts
2012 - Wario
2013 - Mega Man Classic
2013 - Devil May Cry
2013 - Mega Man X
2013 - God of War
2013 - Metroid
2014 - Diablo
2015 - Batman: Arkham
2018 - Souls/Dark Souls

Future - Pokemon
Future - Splinter Cell
Future - Mega Man Spinoffs
Future - Elder Scrolls
Future - Mario
Future - Platinum Games
Future - Kirby
Future - Clover
Future - Castlevania
Future - Metal Gear
Future - Tenchu
Future - Ninja Gaiden
Future - Onimusha
Future - Ape Escape
Future - Disgaea
Future - Twisted Metal
Future - Deception


Promoted (before I was staff):

Playing with Others: Phantasy Star Offline

Magnalon's quest to beat every Zelda in 2011

Tips for Securing Your Xbox Live Account


My top 20 games (in no particular order):

Resident Evil 5
Fallout: New Vegas
Dragon Age: Origins
Demon's Souls
Skies of Arcadia
Lunar 1 and 2
World of Warcraft: All Expansions
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Tenchu 2
Devil May Cry 3
Phantasy Star Online
Ape Escape 1
Rockman & Forte (Mega Man & Bass)
God Hand
Jet Set Radio Future
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Donkey Kong Country 2
Final Fantasy Tactics


God of War (2018)
Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Bayonetta 2
NieR: Automata
Guilty Gear Xrd
Mario Kart 8
Gravity Rush 2
Dark Souls III
Shovel Knight
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
Uncharted II
Yo-Kai Watch
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Ori and the Blind Forest
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Dark Souls II
Deception IV: Blood Ties
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Strider (2014)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy
The Wolf Among Us
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Super Mario 3D World
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Dead Rising 3
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
Pokemon X & Y
Super Mario 3D World
Grand Theft Auto V
Dragon's Crown
Gravity Rush
Dragon's Dogma
Persona 4 Golden
Pokemon Silver
Tomb Raider (2013)
Brave Fencer Musashi
Shenmue II
Dark Cloud
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Asura's Wrath
Mutant Mudds
Far Cry 3
Binding of Isaac
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
Zone of the Enders 2
Kid Icarus: Uprising
God of War 2
Batman: Arkham City
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Diablo II
Diablo III
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Tomb Raider II
Metal Gear Solid 4
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Zombies At My Neighbors
Super Bomberman 2
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
Onimusha 3
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)
Power Stone 2
No More Heroes 2
Ultima Online
Aladdin SNES
Super Punch-Out!!
Demon's Crest
Secret of Mana
Shadow of the Colossus
Borderlands 2
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy X
Super Mario RPG
Super Mario 64
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario 3D Land
Mega Man 8
The Lost Vikings
Bujingai: The Forsaken City
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Odin Sphere
Donkey Kong Country
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Call of Duty: World at War
Chrono Trigger
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Half Minute Hero
Kirby Super Star
Super Meat Boy
Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony
L.A. Noire
Outland (XBLA/PSN)
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Mighty Flip Champs
Child of Eden
Kirby's Dream Course
Shadows of the Damned
Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR)
Rayman: Origins


The following are a few beloved fictional characters, compliments of SuitcoatAvenger

-My favorite video game character of all time: Magic Emperor Ghaleon.

-Legato Bluesummers from Trigun: classic villain.

-Although obscure, Zero Beat is among my favorites.

-My original avatar.