Resident Evil 5: A REtrospective Resident Evil 5: A REtrospective
Stalks REvisits Resident Evil 5 and gives and honest critique of why its very underrated. Resident Evil 5: A REtrospective

Following the astonishing success of Resident Evil 4, Capcom was given the green light to produce yet another sequel. This time the location wasn’t Europe or the United States and Leon Kennedy isn’t the protagonist of this hotly anticipated sequel that dares to ask, was punching a boulder the equivalent to jumping the shark? Let’s find out as we take a look back at a questionable but entertaining Game nonetheless.

Well over six years years ago, Resident Evil 5 debuted for both PS3 and a first foray for the venerable Xbox 360 console. Along with succeeding hardware, you can expect much better graphics and hopefully gameplay.  Suffice to say, Capcom got the former and not necessarily the latter right.

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The overall premise of RE5: You play as the (returning) original protagonist Chris Redfield formerly of STARS, who now is in the employ of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) who is sent to investigate a Bioterrorist threat within Kijuju, a fictional region in Africa. Accompanying Redfield, is Sheva Alomar, (the African liaison of the Counter Bio Terrorist organization). Throughout the game’s setting the Duo encounter the Manji who are villagers that have been contaminated by a new “Las Plagas”- like strain called “Uroboros” .

And to make matters worse, Chris’ old antagonist returns- Albert Wesker ! Not only was Wesker responsible for Kijuju- outbreak, but this time, he has partnered himself with TriCell and a brainwashed Jill Valentine who was presumed dead at the hands of Redfield’s arch nemesis.

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I personally liked the concept of the sequel and the setting reminded me of an action film from the early 2000s, Blackhawk Down. It was no coincidence since the producers were influenced by said film.

“I’m no superhero. But together, we can end this.”

The game was very similar to the highly rated Resident Evil 4 with its over the shoulder gameplay Capcom subscribed to that old adage; “If it ain’t broke, don’t fuck with it”! Well, they kinda fucked the gameplay up with the difficulty of switching weapons and health items on the fly. This was somewhat cumbersome in a heavy firefight and boss battle. Then there’s the sometimes unresponsive A.I., there were times that Sheva would get in the way when gunning down BOWs and to make matters worse, you would either have to wait for her to give you health items, ammo or help to solve a puzzle.

A better chase scene than Mad Max: Fury Road. That's right, I said it!

A better chase scene than Mad Max: Fury Road. That’s right, I said it!

It’s obvious that Sheva was designed for co-op which is an absolute first for the series and despite the programming flaws, she is one of my favorite characters of the resident evil universe; strong, beautiful and with a conviction of dispensing justice to Wesker and his conspirators. Unlike the annoying Ashley Green and the cute but naive Rebecca Chambers, Alamor so deserves to be ranked among the likes of both Jill Valentine and Claire Redfiled as “Badass Babes of Resident Evil“.

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Re5 delivers impressive action set pieces and environments that are vastly different from each other; underground caverns that are reminiscent of the Indiana Jones films, oil refineries, African villages, volcanoes and a huge carrier just to name a few. And if it wasn’t the graphics, it sure as hell was the impressive soundtrack that rivaled quite a few from Hollywood films. The two that often stood out was Wesker’s incredible theme; Winds of Madness which sounds like something inspired from Don Davis’ from The Matrix soundtrack. And speaking of which, why does Wesk now looks like Neo? Talk about inspired!

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The other track is actually a the ending theme called Pray, a beautiful but haunting song whose vocals were performed by an African singer, Oulimata Niang. In my opinion, this song was the best ending theme in any RE Game period.

“War and pestilence wherever you go! Nothing but loathsome humans!”

The voiceover work was also well handled but what’s up Wesker sounding a bit like David Bowie? I can somewhat forgive Capcom’s other flaws like the politically incorrect portrayal of some Africans, although there was an explanation  provided in one of the in game files, some would question Capcom’s lack of sensitivity toward a certain ethnicity.

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Also, Wesker’s demise wasn’t  as epic as I would expect for one who was partly responsible for  many viral outbreaks and massacres. What I did like, is that with his newfound powers and the excellent martial arts chorography, he was more of a force to be reckoned with- a total badass! Like its predecessor RE4, this game has its fair share of Quick Time- events from dodging oncoming attacks, sprinting from a slimy BOW to… punching a boulder???

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Of course after completing the game, you’re rewarded with the run and gun bonus that is The Mercenaries but it doesn’t end there, there’s also DLC like Versus, another first for the RE Games. In Versus you go up against other payers via online and take out A.I. Manjis to accumulate points that can unlock costumes and more characters from the game’s series like Barry Burton and Rebecca Chambers. Then there’s 2 separate campaign modes; Lost in Nightmares which serves as a prequel to the events of Resident Evil 5 and Desperate Escape that fully details Jill’s escape from the Manji.

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Many gamers were quick to critique the game, but all in all, I had a blast playing through what I would deem perhaps the last great game from the RE Series. Unfortunately, the following sequel Resident Evil 6 had fallen far below my expectations. That’s when the studio (Capcom) went completely “Hollywood” via making a poor decision choice in order to appear to more western gamers. The sequel’s gameplay focused on too much action and not enough Horror suspense. I loathed this game and it’s no wonder why they dropped it down to less than twenty dollars soon afterwards.

“More and more I find myself wondering if it’s all worth fighting for. For a future without fear… Yeah, it’s worth it.”

With that being said, Resident Evil 5, you may have been under performing in some ways but you are still underrated.

Stalks, out!

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Speaking of Anniversaries, March 22 of next Year marks the 20th Birthday of the Franchise that was responsible for not only term that is Survival Horror but reintroduced the Zombie phenomenon. I present to you the one and only original RESIDENT EVIIIILLL!

 

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Stalkeye

Stalkeye= anagram of Stalker and Snake Eyes. Satirist, Gamer, Artist and Pop Culture commentator- Stalks offers his outspoken views on on most things Geek related as well as WTF is wrong with the world today!

  • CoolHandJuke

    this game’s biggest flaw is that it’s not Resident Evil 4…

  • Col. Tigh-Fighter

    They moved too far away from the zombies by this point. It was losing the soul of what made RE great in the first place. Thats why the HD version of RE1 sold so well. Listen to the fans!

  • Pretty much agree. Not as good as RE4 and a bit “off the path”, but nevertheless a great game to play. I played it in co-op modus with a friend and that was a ton of fun.

  • Scopedog

    It’s a solid game–I had a major gripes with the controls, but I dug the story and for me, Sheva was a great character.

    I also liked the fact that they opened things up–even more than RE4. Yes, I missed the zombies, but these foes…better and scarier than zombies, I’d say. I also did not have a problem with the setting (Africa); I was surprised to hear from some how this game was, er, racist. Not from my POV….

    (BTW Stalkeye–a buddy of mine from art school worked on this game–and RE4–during his time at Capcom!)

  • Bespin

    RE4 is overrated. Has nothing on game 2. Nothing. It’s not scary in the slightest and the stakes are so low. It’s basically a quarter muncher shooter in disguise. The replay value was zip. And the story was pretty lame. Way too fantastical. RE2 promised us an invasion of Umbrella HQ in Europe and we never seemed to get there for some reason. It was more dumbness. RE2 was the creative peak on all sides of the ball for my money.

  • KilliK

    nope, it’s decent but not good enough. no replay value and the coop was a huge disappointment. also, according to the developer it was going to have advanced lighting effects which would be incorporated in the gameplay. nothing of that happened. it’s just another RE4 in a different setting, with a different companion and an iconic villain back. at least, it’s not RE6..

  • KilliK

    RE4 is a great 3rd person action shooter, a welcomed refreshing change for the stalled property, but its negative impact was that it also deviated the series a lot from its survival horror roots. RE7 needs to return back to what made the original trilogy so great.

  • KilliK

    exactly. people want to be scared. and there is still a market for the survival horror genre.the success of RE1 HD proves that. it’s a pity the new Silent Hill game from Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro was canned, thanks to that whole Konami debacle.

  • KilliK

    I hope you have unlocked Sheeva’s hot tribal outfit.. ahem…

    http://images1.houstonpress.com/imager/u/745xauto/7484018/shevare5.jpg

  • Stalkeye

    “it’s just another RE4 in a different setting, with a different companion and an iconic villain back. at least, it’s not RE6.”
    And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Capcom tried to go with what made RE4 so damn successful yet there were quite a few errors in judgement. Overall, I personally rate it as the last of the good RE games with the noted exception of RE Revolutions.

    That being said, I hate RE6 and that I cant see myself going back to playing it.

  • Stalkeye

    Scopedawg!!That’s cool to hear that a friend of yours were involved with both of my favorite RE games! Many have their own perceptions of what is scary when playing a game and the lack of Zombies shouldn’t make RE5 less frightening. RE4’s creatures scurred the Shit out of me and even when playing in Mercenaries Reunion, I got that sense of fear in the midst of combat.

  • Stalkeye

    Well Col, RE6 had its share of Zombies and it was extremely disappointing to say in the least. Despite REvelations 2 going back to the Zombie formula, it didnt necessarily bring a resurgence to the franchise. It was a good effort, but somewhat forgettable. Ergo, Capcom bringing out remasters of RE and soon, RE0 which I’m looking forward to.

  • Stalkeye

    “Overrated”?!? Why I oughta…!!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/pEP4CwhG1f1uw/giphy.gif

    “RE2 promised us an invasion of Umbrella HQ in Europe and we never seemed to get there for some reason. It was more dumbness. RE2 was the creative peak on all sides of the ball for my money.”

    You meant “RE4” of course.:P Anyway, those ideas involving Umbrella’s European setting was slightly altered and this is what became of it..!

    Anyway, Capcom is working on “something old, something new”.

  • Stalkeye

    Of course! There were a few SJWs who complained about Sheeva being too “light”. I had a friend who was a beautiful and having the same complexion as Sheeva..oh, and did I fail to mention that she was from Ethiopia???

    BTW, last I heard she’s married to a Greek guy who was also a friend of mine back then. Lucky bastid!

  • Stalkeye

    Konami is now dead and Kojima has risen from the ashes!

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/

  • KilliK

    my first girlfriend wa from Ethiopia.

  • KilliK

    Konami is more than a videogame company. it will never die.cant say the same about Kojima’s career though..

  • Stalkeye
  • I can see where you come from. I always disliked the RE3, thought it felt like an afterthought. RE4 is different, but it’s great game in itself.

  • Col. Tigh-Fighter

    This x 1000

  • KilliK

    dont forget the complaint from some black rights organization, that the trailers of the game were making the african natives to look sinister. ofc, the fact they were infested and turning into zombies, somehow eluded them..

  • KilliK

    best dimples of Venus, I had ever seen on a woman.

  • Stalkeye

    I mentioned it in the article.

  • Stalkeye

    Close enuff, yet a persona of its own. RE5’s positives outweighs its nega, my ni99a. (0;’

  • CoolHandJuke

    it’s one of those games that reminds me of a better game, so i figure i might as well play 4 instead. i’d rather shoot possessed Spaniards than Africans anyway…

  • Scopedog

    One of the first things I worked damned hard at to unlock…:)

  • Scopedog

    Stalkeye, I also heard that BS as well–and had to remind people that there are a multitude of complexions in Africa ranging from very light to dark.

  • Scopedog

    I remember a friend playing RE4 for the first time (after I recommended it) called back and told me, “You didn’t tell me they could duck!?”

    And it was a great surprise to see that my AS buddy had worked on this. Cool dude to hang out with in school; after graduating he went back to Japan to train more in 3D software and ended up at Capcom. Seeing his name in the credits for the RE4 and 5 was a great thing.

  • Scopedog

    Believe it or not, there were those who while writing about how racist RE5 was turned their attention to RE4 and were pissed off that you could shoot possessed Spaniards…

    …but what was even more shocking was to see in a few cases that…well, some of the writers had never played the game.

  • Stalkeye

    I actually liked RE3: Nemesis because it worked exceptionally well as a side story and provided a bit of catharsis in regard to Raccoon City. There’s also the references from Escape from New York, The Fly, Terminator and Return of the Living Dead.

    Plus, Nemmy was a badass!
    I hope Capcom will remake this one as well.

  • Stalkeye

    History shall tell.

  • Stalkeye

    And that’s why plenty of people go after SJWs. *Sigh*

  • Scopedog

    ‘Fraid so, Stalkeye….

    Oh, and apologies for not being colored yet but…a Christmas present of sorts! Have a great one!

    (Yeah, I know I posted it on Tumblr already…but stilll…)

  • Stalkeye

    She may not be colored, but I am! XD
    Seriously though, great sketch! I can only imagine what the finished product will look like.

  • Stalkeye
  • G.S

    Ha! Great review!

  • G.S

    Even though i’m not a great 5th fan.