Resident Evil 5

aka: Biohazard 5, RE5
Moby ID: 40967
Xbox 360 Specs

Description official descriptions

Chris Redfield returns to the series as the main character in Resident Evil 5, a game which takes place five years after Resident Evil 4. He is sent to Kijuju, Africa, where local agent Sheva Alomar joins him in the mission to apprehend Ricardo Irwing, who is trying to sell bio-weapons in the black market. Soon they are attacked by hordes of locals infected by an improved version of the "las plagas" parasite seen in Resident Evil 4, which they call "majini". As the story progresses, Chris discovers that some old fellows are behind the whole incident.

As well as including the concept of the "las plagas" parasite, this fifth part of the series also brings back the novel gameplay from the previous game. With an over the shoulder view, Chris confronts hordes of infected enemies that can throw objects and even shoot at you. They can be repelled with various guns, grenades, or using the knife and melee attacks if they get too close. This time though, Chris has a partner, Sheva, who accompanies him through all the game and can be controlled by a second player, with both characters having to keep an eye on each other to survive. The second player can enter and leave at any time playing locally through split screen or online through another console.

The mercenaries mode, which consists of closed levels where the player must survive a given time while defeating enemies to set up chains and earn points, also returns from Resident Evil 4.

Spellings

  • バイオハザード5 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

70 People (65 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 109 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 101 ratings with 2 reviews)

Totally overrated crap. This is NOT a Resident Evil game.

The Good

Because I have to name what I liked best about this game, here goes: Resident Evil 5 boasts wonderful graphics. Probably, Resident Evil 5 has the best graphical rendition of any Resident Evil game thus far.

Moving more on to the story aspect of things, you get to see Chris and Wesker in the same game again, although the plot does downplay their history quite a bit. This to me was very disappointing, as it had been hyped up for years that the pair would meet once more. Of course, the series never did revolve around them entirely, but their rivalry was what boosted the popularity of the saga, which would have remained nothing more than a B-movie homage, and nothing more, had it not been for their feud.

The new girl, called Sheva, has made for curious and refreshing co-op gameplay, which to me, was probably highly recommended from the get go anyway, as the AI of the computer controlled sidekick is virtually non-existant. But I don't get why you can make them fight each other in an irrelevant downloadable game. That just does not qualify as Resident Evil to me, and just shows that Capcom just want more money, as if they did not make more than enough of it.



The Bad

For starters, this game was advertised like heck until it was finally served up on a copper platter. For years, people wondered what exciting possibilities this game would bring. Let me be the first to tell you, you get none of that. What you do get is frustrating combat, generic characters, pure garbage AI from your survival buddy, and mutants that are more or less like cousins to the enemies from Resident Evil 4. That game, by all accounts was a) longer than this, and b) was much more interesting.

I've been a fan of the Resident Evil franchise for years, and if you truly appreciated the old games like I do, you'll be very let down by this sequel, which is a Resident Evil sequel in name only. This game really made me lose it, and I was left angry and bored out of my mind.

What made the Resident Evil games exciting was the scary atmosphere, isolated feel and the lack of ammo. Here, you get creatures that are more of a nuisance than anything. You never really run out of ammo, and when you do, it can be annoying.

All in all, Resident Evil was about exploring creepy environments. Here, the path you take is very linear. You still need to find keys n' stuff, but much of it is very linear, so there's no challenge. I only counted one puzzle involving rotating mirrors and beams. The rest was mind numbing shoot outs with villagers, crocs, insects and giant trolls. Absolutely boring. I don't think I'll be remaining a fan any longer.



The Bottom Line
Rent it first. The game is perfect if you love action shooters, but horror fans take note. This is no horror game!

Xbox 360 · by Melvin Raeynes (22) · 2009

The Worst Monster in This Game... Is Your CPU Buddy...

The Good
Resident Evil 5 follows on the heels of it’s superior older brother, Resident Evil 4. As a huge fan of the Resident Evil franchise, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this installment. Due to other happenings in my life, I ended up waiting an extra year to actually be able to play the thing. Right off the bat, I was back in swing of things and felt like I was playing RE4 all over again.
That joy faded pretty quickly, but before I get to that, let me actually note some of the positives.

First off, the graphics are excellent, as is to be expected. They’re crisp and detailed, and do justice to the blazing hot life of the game’s African setting. Day time scenes feature scorching bright sunlight, for instance. There also seems to be very few bugs or glitches present in the game, so it’s pretty polished. One of my favorite titles of this generation is Fallout 3, and that features some of the buggiest gaming I can recall. Granted, RE5 is only about a million times smaller than Fallout, so it should be a relative cinch to clean out all the bugs.

While the control has changed somewhat to be some kind of half-breed between Gears of War and Resident Evil 4, it’s typically sharp and responsive.

The game’s best moments are never the combat, though. Frankly, as far as I’m concerned, the best moments were the exploration and story progression. That’s when the game felt the most like classic Resident Evil again. Gradually picking up clues to the story, unraveling it bit by bit. Getting a little further into this admittedly convoluted storyline is great and has the signature feel that we’re used to from Resident Evil--general amount of nonsense and all. Yeah, this series has some silly plot points at times, but still, this part of the game is enjoyable.

On top of that, RE5 features a detailed history—a library if you will—covering the history of the Resident Evil storyline. It features snippets of the information during loading screens, and the entire thing can be read elsewhere in the game’s menus. After so many years and so many games in the series (remembering that this is actually more like the 6th title in the main story), it’s nice to have the generous recapping.

As a typical hallmark of RE games, the music and sound effects are quite good and do add to the overall feel of the game and environments. However, it’s more focused on being a “realistic” environment than on creating an atmospheric horror setting. Characters, and especially bosses, sound spectacular.


The Bad
Resident Evil 5 features an element previously popularized in Resident Evil 0 on the GameCube—a co-op adventure. Except here, not only is it two characters, but two human players may get in on the action together. Yeah, check it out—this ended up in the “bad” category. Now, I’m aware that the game is mostly intended to be played by two people cooperatively, but they focused way too much on that—and that’s a problem.

For one thing, the game has the ugliest 2-player set-up I’ve ever seen. Rather than splitting the screen vertically or horizontally, there are instead, two much smaller player screens, one floating in the upper left and the other in the bottom right of the TV screen. Beyond that, about a third of the screen is dead black space. So, put it like this, if in a normal game, the one-player mode would take up 100% of the screen. In a normal 2-player game, each player would have 50% of the screen. Here, each player gets more like 30% of the screen, and the remaining 40% is unused black space. I went from having a 42” screen in single player to a shocking 14” screen in two player. What sense does that make?

With so much focus on the game being a co-op affair—you guessed it—Capcom managed to completely drop the ball on making a solid single player game. Sheva is a new low in video games where computer-controlled partners is considered. She’s like a comatose sub-human retard of some sort. The options for controlling her via orders are roughly “attack” or “cover” (as in “defend”). That’s it. Here’s the difference: In “cover” mode, she blows through all her ammunition for her standard pistol in record time without ever seeming to accomplish anything. In “attack” mode, she blows through all the ammunition for whichever higher powered weapon she’s allowed to use.

Sheva will also spend considerable time totally wasting first aid sprays or herbs butchering any amount of strategy I was attempting. I would have half my health, and know I could make it quite a bit further, and that we needed to save that one last first aid spray, and she’d pop up and waste the damn thing on me. While I didn’t personally experience it, I’ve read comments from other gamers about her picking up mines moments after the player sets them down. I rarely witnessed her being smart enough to pick up any items on her own. At any rate, regardless of the setting assigned to her, she’s a complete child that requires endless attention. She can’t be trusted with any item given to her, and since she can’t be trusted to manage items well, the player is basically forced to micromanage every little thing. While Resident Evil games have always been about careful item management for survival, it’s taken to a ridiculous extreme here that’s just asinine game design.

Further complicating issues is that each character can carry only nine items, and, inexplicably, every item takes up the same amount of space in the inventory. A sniper rifle takes one (1) space while an herb… takes one (1) space. That cleverly designed, upgradable briefcase from Resident Evil 4 is absent here, and it’s so damn frustrating.

Here’s how it usually looked in my game: Chris was bogged down with every inventory space full, and Sheva was given only what she was allowed to carry. Often, I gave her extra ammunition for my weapons because I knew she couldn’t squander ammunition for weapons she didn’t have—and I didn’t trust her with anything else. She can carry grenades, because she’s obviously not smart enough to ever use them. Probably a blessing because I’m sure she’d have just killed me with the blasted things.

Now, in order to further this along, I’m going to stop talking about Sheva, and sum up the rest with a note that she’s simply the worst computer-controlled partner to grace any video game—ever. I spent most of my time yelling at the television because of how irritating it was dealing with her. The classic horror atmosphere that permeated all previous games in the franchise is completely missing here. They ditched it to make an action game. It’s not even action-adventure given how sadly linear the vast bulk of the game is. True, RE4 was fairly linear, but it did never-the-less involve some classic RE backtracking and exploration—and RE4 maintained and in many ways, improved, the horror atmosphere of the series.

Maybe it’s due to Sheva, and maybe due to some of the design of the game, but for a title so focused on action, there is far too little ammunition in the game. Couple that with the fact that every enemy takes simply obscene levels of punishment to be taken down and this is one frustrating game. True, ammo was limited in previous games, but the point of the previous games was to weigh your options—fight the monsters, or flee. There was some strategy in the gameplay.

That strategy is also gone here. The game is set up largely in two modes: Totally quiet exploration and shooting galleries. There is no running from monsters in this one. The shooting gallery segments require the player to finish off all bad guys in the immediate area to move on with rare exception. That means players are generally forced to blow through all their ammunition. This becomes extra frustrating on boss encounters.

While the bosses look cool, they’ve been taken to laughable extremes. Well, it would be laughable if it weren’t so damn frustrating. One that I recall in particular was fighting some kind of bat monster that required not only every land mine I had, but almost every other piece of hardware I carried. I don’t care how super-powerful some mutant beast is, after it steps on six land mines, it should at the very least look crippled!! RE5 spares no expense in utilizing the relative power of the machines in this generation as it features the biggest, most over-sized creatures in franchise history. Sure, they look cool, but often feel incredibly ridiculous. Many of them break from standard RE style in surprising ways, often being little more than shooting galleries in their own right.

Remember El Gigante from RE4? The giant behemoth guy? Here, fighting him requires no strategy. Mount a chaingun turret, and fire away. This is not the only boss fought in this way. While some are clever in their set-up, others are asinine requiring specific skills from both characters to be smooth battles. Unfortunately, as said, Sheva is about as stupid as they come, and if the boss battle requires two players to perform two separate actions, it often devolved into me attempting to perform both actions by myself because Sheva could never be trusted.

The Bottom Line
Overall, I was disappointed by Resident Evil 5. It’s almost a complete let-down. The biggest problems, as I stated in gross detail, are the broken “buddy system” and the complete lack of horror elements. I love this franchise for the eerie horror atmosphere and setting, as well as the (I admit it) somewhat silly “mad scientist” underlying plotline. While the story elements remain and often do feel quite like traditional Resident Evil, the atmosphere is completely botched when it isn’t missing outright. No part of this game felt the least bit scary. Monumentally frustrating—yes—but scary? Not even close.

It’s sadly ironic how badly Capcom portrayed this buddy-system gameplay. And I say that because they got it so right with Resident Evil 0. In fact, the only problem with that game is the lack of real originality (aside from the two-character stuff) in it. However, Billy and Rebecca made for an infinitely better buddy duo than Chris and Sheva ever do. In part, the player could control either Billy or Rebecca at any time, but also, when left to computer-control, neither was as remotely retarded through that whole game as Sheva is during any given 5-minute segment. And no game in the franchise features worse item management than this one.

Sure, sometimes the shooting and combat is fun—particularly with the often highly successful melee strikes, but when those shooting segments devolve into little more than forced shooting galleries bookending exploration sequences, the game tends to feel predictable and formulaic. Not being able to run from a fight to conserve ammo is frustrating. Bosses may look cool, but they all seem to take way too much to kill. They either have no clear weakness, or a laughably obvious one. Boss battles are either totally mindless (stand at the chaingun and point) or frustratingly cumbersome. Out of about 30 Xbox360 games that I own, none have made me as angry or frustrated as this one, except Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad, but that was never even remotely meant to be the AAA affair that a new RE game is.

I don't feel like getting all deep into the "apparent racism" of the game. It takes place in Africa, of course the enemies will be African. The only problem with this was the PC thugs attempting to find fault with the title for petty reasons. I guess the safe thing to do would be to make a game with no minorities at all, then nobody risks hurting feelings by "negative portrayals," right? Asinine. I didn't find it to be racist in any real regard. I mean, nobody complained about shooting Spanish people in RE4...

In the end, it’s disappointing. It’s too limiting to be a good action title a la Gears of War what with its painful item management and ammo limitations. And it forsakes too many of the traditional horror elements that made the series great to begin with. While the series was badly in need of a reboot when part 4 came along, I’d say that its in need of yet another direction change after this mess.

Xbox 360 · by ResidentHazard (3554) · 2010

Discussion

Subject By Date
Painful Indra was here (20633) Apr 13th, 2010

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Resident Evil 5 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Jill Valentine

In what may be a subtle nod to Namco, Jill Valentine's appearance at a certain point in the game resembles Nina Williams from Namco's Tekken fighting game series, specifically Tekken 5.

Sales

According to publisher Capcom, Resident Evil 5 has sold 7.4 million copies worldwide since its initial release (as of December 31, 2018), making it the second most successful game in terms of sales in the entire history of the company.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2009 – #4 Best Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2009 – Best Action Game of the Year
    • 2009 – #3 Best Graphics of the Year
    • 2009 – #3 Best Viral Trailer of the Year
  • Gamespot (Editor Choice Awards)
    • 2009 - Character Most Likely to Fail a Performance Enhancing Drug Test (for the character Chris Redfield)
  • IGN
    • 2009 - PC Award for Visual Excellence (Game of the Year Editor's Awards) Information also contributed by Big John WV

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MichaelPalin.

Android added by GTramp. Xbox One added by WONDERなパン. Windows added by Sicarius.

Additional contributors: MAT, CaptainCanuck, Caelestis, CalaisianMindthief, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Rik Hideto, FatherJack.

Game added June 7th, 2009. Last modified November 14th, 2023.