Resident Evil 5 Impressions

Am I glad I got RE:Revelations on the 3DS. Since then I’ve moved on to RE: Mercenaries (3DS) and Resident Evil 5 on the PC. I finally got around to finishing the latter over the weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a bit of a difficulty spike towards the ending but I blame myself for trying to shoot my way through the enemies instead of observing their weaknesses and attack patterns (damn those Reapers). Mercenaries was what got me into the series’ rhythm of shooting a limb off and closing in for a melee attack.

Where Revelations told the story from multiple characters’ perspectives, RE5 allows you to play only as Chris for the entirety of the game (completing the campaign does allow you to play as his partner Sheva). I decided to stick with the handgun and shotgun for most of the game. The inventory box gets a bit frustrating due to its small size, so I did not have the luxury of carrying (and experimenting with) a lot of weapons.

The campaign is suitably long, and manages to be so without any unnecessary padding. The pacing is great: quiet moments allow you to soak in the atmosphere. A couple of zombie attacks follow, progressively ratcheting up into bigger fights (more enemies, or a mini-boss), all of which finally culminate into a massive boss fight.The levels are well designed and fit the setting pretty well. The game throws in a few driving missions to keep things fresh. These work pretty well and do not outstay their welcome.

Special mention should be made of Chris’s partner Sheva, who does not get in your way all the time, knows how to find her way to you without running in circles, does not continuously demand support in the middle of a firefight, and actually feels like a useful partner. Of course a blindly helpful teammate would have been too boring, and there is enough give and take to make it feel like a true partnership.

Finishing the main campaign unlocks some nice goodies, such as Mercenaries mode and an infinite ammo option that I’m looking forward to try.

The RE movies have long been a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ve now become a fan of the games as well.