Editor’s Note: This is a review coupled with a video review. You can watch the video review above, or read a transcript of the video below.
This is the Resident Evil 5 remaster for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Resident Evil 5 is the latest in the Resident Evil franchise to get an HD face lift for the modern consoles and to be honest…it’s probably the game that needed one the least. Yeah I know that Resident Evil 6 is panned by most people and it got an HD re-release as well, but that game had more going for it whether you enjoyed the game or not.
Resident Evil 5 is a game that kind of fell into obscurity after it’s release, only being remember as the one that was “Exactly like Resident Evil 4” or “the one where Chris Redfield punched a boulder while fighting the main villain inside of a Volcano” … saying that out loud kind of shows just how stupid Resident Evil 5 is, doesn’t it?
I’ll state up front that Resident Evil 5 isn’t a bad game, and in fact I think most of the hate this game gets is almost completely unwarranted. Though the game does have one significant flaw, it’s not scary…like at all. Resident Evil 5 was released at a time when the horror genre was practically on its deathbed. Silent Hill was being mutilated by western developers, and there weren’t any other developers who were really making an attempt at the genre yet either.
That’s not to say that horror was completely dead, I mean Siren Blood Curse for the PlayStation 3 was pretty cool, but by and large Horror was dead. So Capcom had made the conscious description to just say “To hell with horror games, let’s make an action movie” and that’s exactly what we got. Yeah Resident Evil 5 fails at being a horror game, with not even a single scare and stupid story, but it sure as heck is a fun action game.
The second and more founded reason for people disliking Resident Evil 5, was that the game is pretty much just a carbon copy of Resident Evil 4. This is definitely true, even down to the story beats. Think about it… in the beginning of each game, you’re fighting mostly normal villagers, then you fight some weirdos who look like they live in another time period, then you end it by fighting soldiers. It’s practically the same game. Now this is not to say that I think both games are even, but you’ll have to wait until next month for the Resident Evil 4 review.
Resident Evil 5 is an action game that takes place in Africa. It follows the story of former S.T.A.R.S. member and current steroid user Chris Redfield, who’s on assignment with the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) to capture an international weapons dealer before he can sell a bio-organic weapon on the black market.
When he arrives in Kjuju, Africa he meets up with his new partner, Sheva. As they make their way through the village, they discover that many of the villagers have been infected by the Las Plagues parasites from Resident Evil 4. As the story progresses, Chris discovers that his old partner and friend Jill Valentine, who he thought had been killed in a confrontation with Albert Wesker several years earlier, may still be alive.
From there Chris and Sheva fight their way through villages, marshes, factories and tanker ships looking for Jill and attempting to stop Wesker from deploying a new bio-organic weapon called Uroboros, a parasitic tentacle-like monster that kills all in its path.
The gameplay is pretty standard. The camera is over the shoulder and you have to stand still to shoot enemies. While this may seem like a problem at first, you’ll most likely get the hang of it about an hour in and will no longer need to worry. There are plenty of weapons that the player can buy or find around the map, as well as an ability to upgrade them to be powerful monster killers.
One of the big draws to Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 is the fact that the player cannot directly purchase ammo and instead must rely on finding it as they go along. This will eventually stop being a problem as time goes on and completely stops being an issue after your first playthrough. It is fun to have your ammo limited and be forced to make sure every bullet counts.
Graphically, the game runs at 60FPS and is also 1080p, however I’ll be honest and say that I couldn’t really notice. Despite Resident Evil 4 having somewhat of a grain filter and a bleak style to its colors, Resident Evil 5 made the “make every very bright brown and grey” direction. This choice makes the game look pretty bland, and even while running at 1080p, it’s hard to say that I’m here for the visuals.
However, where the colors in the environments may be lacking, Resident Evil 5 does make up for it with the HD character models. Chris, Sheva, Jill, Wesker, and just about every single enemy in the game look great, not so good that they don’t look like they are in an HD port of a game from the previous generation, but still look pretty good.
I think the only real flaw I ran into with this playthrough of Resident Evil 5 is that I felt Sheva’s AI got dumber. Now I know that the game has co-op for a reason, but since I’m sporadic when I play video games, I felt like the easiest way for me to finish the game was to lone wolf it. Holy crap did Sheva just annoy me.
Whether it was standing behind me, shooting me in the back and wasting bullets, or her running in front of me to waste my ammo, Sheva’s AI was the real villain of Resident Evil 5 all along. Luckily, I was able to sort this problem out by giving her a sniper rifle so she’d stay behind me but still, the AI became such a problem there were entire chapters where I just refused to give her ammo at all, knowing that she’s waste it.
Along with the single player campaign is mercenaries making a return as well, with the master roster of Resident Evil characters to choose from, you must fight enemies to rake up high scores before your time limit runs out. Each character has a different load out and abilities that can be used to lay waste to your foes, this is probably one of the best arcade-y game modes I’ve played in an action game like this. Lining up shots, building combos, desperately looking for hour glasses to extend your timeline, are a blast.
The remaster of Resident Evil 5 comes with all the DLC previously released for the game, including the two DLC stories Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape. This even includes the Versus mode DLC that Capcom had the audacity to actually charge people for back when Resident Evil 5 first released.
All of this comes with a price tag of $20 dollars both digitally and at retail. I honestly think this is awesome, and that doesn’t seem to be the end of it either as more HD remasters are being released for the PS4. It seems that they are releasing them with a low $20 price tag, which I think is a great thing.
As I’ve already said several times in this review, Resident Evil 5 is definitely worth picking up if you want a dumb action game. However if you’re looking for a horror game, I’d say you’re much better off picking up either Resident Evil or Resident Evil 0 HD for $20 a piece. Let’s just hope that Capcom doesn’t screw up Resident “Totally not Silent Hills” Evil 7. From what I saw at E3 though, they seem to know what they are doing.
Resident Evil 5 remastered was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 using a retail copy purchased by Niche Gamer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 8
- The gameplay is a ton of fun, taking the time to line up a shot just right to blow an enemy’s brains out with your handgun is always satisfying.
- You can play as Rebecca Chambers (my first video game waifu) in Mercenaries mode, this is a definite plus.
- The story is stupid and campy, and I can’t help by laugh every time Wesker is on screen.
- The character models look great, it’s nice to see Jill Valentine in that leather body suit in HD. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
- The game has a ton of replay value, whether it’s running through the game to grab all the emblems or just playing mercenaries, Resident Evil 5 gives you enough bang for your buck.
- Sweet $20 price tag for a physical copy of the game.
- The competitive multiplayer is somewhat fun, but is still pretty bad.
- Sheva’s AI when playing singleplayer seems to be dumber than ever before, she just loves to stand in front of you when you’re shooting or run behind you and shoot you in the back. This doesn’t do damage but it does waste a heck of a lot of bullets.
- It’s not scary, Resident Evil 5 shows that for a while Capcom forgot how to do horror games right.
- The graphics are updated, but are barely noticable.
- This HD port was clearly a cash grab, but at least it’s a reasonable price.