2009 seems a longtime ago, well I suppose it is, after all its been 7 years since the initial release of Resident Evil 5.  Now years on, following hot on the heels from re-release of Resident Evil 6, Resident Evil 5 has now been re-released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, complete with all previously released DLC, which includes the awesome Lost in Nightmares, and the decent Desperate Escape.  It also includes its multiplayer Versus component, which madly back in the day, you had to pay to access it, rather then it being included with the game at no extra cost.

In terms of plot, Resident Evil 5 is set 5 years after the events of Resident Evil 4 with Chris Redfield no longer being a member of S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Service), but is instead a member of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance).  Chris is sent to Africa to investigate and apprehend Ricardo Irving, who responsible for selling a deadly bio-organic weapon on the black market.  With the assistance of fellow BSAA member, Sheva Alomar, Chris must stop Irving before it’s too late.  However, Chris soon discovers a dark secret and his mission is flipped upside down as ties to an old friend and foe are discovered, and are linked to the new BOW threat.


Resident Evil 4 is widely considered by many to be the pinnacle point in the long-running series, with its revolutionary over-the-shoulder perspective and its perfect blend of action and horror.  However, Resident Evil 4 was also considered to be the start of the decline in the series, favouring action over its iconic “survival horror”.  So when Resident Evil 5 was released, it was frowned upon for practically having no horror, and to be fair it was justified.  But using the power of hindsight, it shadowed what was largely a very enjoyable game with an excellent Mercenaries mode to boot.

Playing Resident Evil 5 once more on the PlayStation 4, I discovered that my memories have been somewhat clouded over the years and the game is far more enjoyable then what my mind led me to believe.  Yes, unfortunately it lacks genuine moments of horror that most other games in the series have, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fun game to play.  It’s cheesy, a little bit camp and it’s a blast gunning down hordes of the on-coming enemies.  And on top of that, it has a very rewarding levelling-up system, which is both good and bad.  Its good in the respect that it makes you feel more empowered as you progress, but then on the other hand, after you’ve played through the campaign so many times, your weapons become that powerful that, the game offers practically no difficulty, even on the hardest setting.  So it really is a double-edged sword in that respect.


Now I’m not a fan of any game that involves you being paired with an A.I companion.  As much as I love Resident Evil 4, I absolutely detest the sections that involves you looking after Ashley Graham.  The reason being, that sometimes no matter your best efforts, if you’re paired with a dumb as fuck A.I, events and especially deaths, can be totally out of your control, which result in a checkpoint restart at no fault of your own.  With Resident Evil 5, you are paired throughout the entirety of the campaign and while Sheva will often come in handy when disposing of the enemy (as long as she isn’t being killed), she will often pick-up ammo that you intended to collect and then sometimes she wastes it.  A work around that I found to this, was to ensure that she carried no more than two weapons at a time.  Not only could this insure that you get most of the ammo you need, if you select the correct weapons, Sheva will use more powerful guns in her possession, rather than the handgun by default.

You can switch inventory items on the fly, but considering you can’t switch items in the pause menu, it will cause some problems, especially during the more intense moments.  Annoyingly, Sheva also has the frustrating tendency of standing in front of your scope as you attempt to line-up a precision headshot.  Thankfully, you can also playthrough the entire campaign in two-player co-op and if you can find a friend to join you, not only is it more practical, it’s also even more fun than playing on your lonesome.

Graphically Resident Evil 5 doesn’t seem leaps and bounds above its last-gen release at quick glance, but if you own a copy of each generation, the difference is somewhat noticeable.  According to Digital Foundry, while the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Resident Evil 5 hit a native 1080p, sometimes it does fall a little short in its attempts to reach 60fps.  But it still manages to almost reach the standards of the PC version of the game, minus the constant 60fps.  I’ll include the comparison video from Digital Foundry below, so that you can see the difference for yourself, as it’s better to see the game in action to gain a better perspective.


Long after you’ve rinsed the campaign to death, Resident Evil 5 does have plenty of great modes to keep you busy.  For example, you have the prequel mission Lost in Nightmares, which is as close to Resident Evil going back to its genuine Survival Horror roots as you’re going to get (other than the recent Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0 remasters).  In fact, Lost in Nightmares is that good, I’ve always been disappointed that this wasn’t the direction of the main campaign.  The second story DLC isDesperate Escape, which takes place during the events of the Resident Evil 5’s campaign, and just like the main campaign, Desperate Escape is more about the action then horror.  If you’re wondering why I haven’t gone into details in terms of each DLC’s plot, it’s because I want to keep them spoiler free for those that have not yet played this game yet.

The Mercenaries mode arguably came to life in Resident Evil 4, even though it did show its first form in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.  However, in my humble opinion, The Mercenaries Reunion mode in Resident Evil 5 is the best version in the entire series.  The Mercenaries Reunion consists of eight maps, each offering its own location, challenges and enemies.  The principle of The Mercenaries is simple, you must score the highest score possible and chain together combo scores before the timer runs out.  Killing enemies in a certain way or hitting certain body parts can earn extra points and in some cases, increasing your timer.  This mode can either be played on your own (thankfully with no A.I companion) or with a co-op partner.  You can also pick from six characters which includes Chris Redfield, Sheva Alomar, Josh Stone, Excella Gionne, Barry Burton, Rebecca Chambers and Albert Wesker.  However, each playable character comes in various outfits and weapons, which can result in some ‘trial and error’ to see which character suits a certain map.


I cannot express how addictive The Mercenaries Reunion is, as sometimes just the ‘S’ ranking isn’t quite enough.  You’ll also earn in-game credits by playing The Mercenaries, which can be spent on unlocking extra goodies.  To accompany the two story expansions, you have the Versus mode, which takes inspiration from Mercenaries, giving you the choice of modes that will either have you pitting your skills solo against other players or working as a team.  Just like the Gold Edition of this game on PS3 and Xbox 360, the new-gen version of Resident Evil 5 also includes additional Mercenary character load-outs and character skins to be used in the campaign.

All in all, Resident Evil 5 can be seen as a disappointment when looking at a certain perspective, however, this shouldn’t deter from the fact that this is still a fun game (possibly better then what you remember or led to believe) and its packed with some worthy content that no only adds to the lore, but also exceptional modes like The Mercenaries.  This may not be the scariest game you’ve ever played in the series (by a county mile), but its possibly going to be one of the most fun.  Thankfully if Resident Evil 5 still isn’t your cup of tea, we’ve got that Resident Evil 2 remake on the way, along with Resident Evil 7 on January 24th.  Oh and Capcom are also releasing Resident Evil 4 on PS4 and Xbox One on August 30th.

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