Resident Evil 5
Rating: Mature (17+) for, from what I’ve observed so far, blood and gore and violence.
Genre: survival horror
Players: one or two over Xbox Live
The Resident Evil series, since 1997 has been one of the leading and scariest survival horror series ever. First released on the original PlayStation, with rather good graphics for the standards of the time (though the backgrounds were all pre-rendered), very poor voice acting all around, a very limited control scheme, but with a compelling story nonetheless, it captured the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere.
To understand this newest release in this series, I think it necessary to give you a brief history of the Resident Evil series.
It started with the Mansion Incident, as recorded in the first game. An unscrupulous pharmaceutical enterprise known as Umbrella Corporation was developing B.O.W.’s, or Bio Organic Weapons, hoping to change the face of warfare throughout the world.
However, an old mansion on the outskirts of a small Midwestern town, Raccoon City, which served as the research facility for Umbrella, was breeding far more than superpowered soldiers. Because of research into a manufactured virus known as the T-virus designed to create BOWs, zombies were being created, and had begun to spread to the outskirts of the city, devouring a few of its inhabitants.
A special arm of the Raccoon City police, known as S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) was sent in to investigate the mansion and destroy any threat caused by the so-called cannibalistic killings. To make a long story short, the mansion and the research facility were destroyed, along with the only real biological weapon that we had seen come out of Umbrella so far, the Tyrant.
This new game in the series sends Chris Redfield, one of the playable protagonists of the first game, to Africa as part of a special UN-sanctioned force called the BSAA, or the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, to investigate a new outbreak of Las Plagas and to deal with it as he’s ordered and as he sees fit. He’s joined on this mission by Sheva Alomar, another member of the BSAA, who backs Chris up quite effectively and provides a companion through this long, lonely mission.
The graphics in this game are simply stunning. Everything looks very bleak, as it should, with highly detailed facial animations on the main characters and on that of our enemies, and from what I’ve seen so far, quite the variety of creatures that can be faced.
The voice acting in this game seems to be on the level of the fourth game in the series which is to say, quite good. I’ve not yet identified a voice that I can recognize, but even if the cast is all unknown, they still do a great job.
The controls, as in the previous games are limited: you cannot strafe, or move side to side, while aiming (or at all for that matter; you may only turn in place), but this is surely to enhance the survival horror nature of the title; they do have to restrict movement in some way, or else encounters would be far too easy to escape.
The gameplay is quite the same as the fourth game in the series, with the addition of the aforementioned partner. Sheva helps you out in combat, gives you ammunition when you need it, and points out special items in the environment that you can take to enhance your arsenal. All in all, she is a good addition to the gameplay, adding some personality to the proceedings.
I have heard that some controversy has existed because of this game; certain groups have denounced this game as being racist for portraying black people as zombies, but I say it is not.
These are basically zombies, though they do not act like the generic, typical zombies in that they are much faster and smarter, and their race does not matter.
All in all, this is one of the best games I’ve played this year. If you’re into survival horror games as I am, and you don’t mind being scared a good deal, then I believe you should pick this one up.
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