I have a love/hate relationship with Resident Evil 5, one that I often try to forget about, but comes right to the forefront the moment I even think about playing the game, much less actually doing it. When I played it today, all the things I love about the game and everything that drives me crazy all came to the forefront, leaving me feeling how I have every other time I've played it.
The game itself is beautiful. Aside from the fact that it was developed in this current generation of systems and capable of toting some amazing graphics, the development team really took a lot of pride in creating a gorgeous environment for the game to take place in. No details were spared, as everything, from the distant background to the wooden crates next to your character, and everything in between were crafted with precision and care.
Resident Evil games have always enjoyed success mainly due to the atmosphere, mood and settings in which they take place. With Resident Evil 5 taking place in the heart of Africa (see what I did there?), creating an enticing and memorable out of the bleakness was crucial in maintaining the a standard in the franchise.
The pace in this game is revved up tenfold, piggybacking off the direction that Resident Evil 4 went and then taking off like a rocket. The pace hardly ever slows down or feels methodical, as running and gunning is a common theme throughout. From the opening moments of the game when you have to do your best to clear a seemingly endless wave of monsters, you know you are in for a ride.
With the popularity of online gaming when this game was under development, it was only inevitable that the series would jump into the realm of online co-op, which of course happened with this installment. Now, I have to admit that I've never played this game with anyone co-op online, but I did a little bit of offline co-op back in the day when it first came out. Either way you play co-op, with anyone you choose to play with, I have to assume is a far better experience than anything the crappy AI partner will give to you. In a time when we as gamers have had amazing AI partners recently, with Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite and Ellie from The Last of Us, it's easy to forget the really bad ones. And my friends, Resident Evil 5 is infamous for it's horrible and useless AI system. It's times like these that I wish I had more gaming friends back in the day.
Overall, this is a fun game, regardless of the frustrating issues with the AI. After beating it for the first time a few years ago, I immediately turned around and played through it again. Once you get hooked on the action, it's hard to walk away from it. Like it, love it or hate it, this was a defining game in the series, as it possibly brought it more new players to the franchise than it did lose long-time fans for having a bold, brash new game style.
I can't wait to finally see what Resident Evil 6 has in store for me.
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