A Resident Evil Retrospective Part 6: Resident Evil 5
The Resident Evil series is arguably one of the greatest video games series ever, and its influence can be seen in movies and games ever since the release of the first one. The October 2nd 2012 release of Resident Evil 6 is only two weeks away, and the anticipation couldn't be higher.
Over the past month and a half I took a look back each week at one of the main entries in the Resident Evil Series. Last week focused on Resident Evil 4. This week, the final chapter in A Resident Evil Retrospective, we will be looking back at the previous game in the series, Resident Evil 5. To some this game was unable to reach the same heights as Resident Evil 4, but was still enjoyed by many for its superb graphics, great gameplay, and engaging story.
Production on Resident Evil 5 was offically announced by Capcom on July 20th 2005, just 6 months after the release of Resident Evil 4. Many people who had worked on previous entries into the series came on to work on the project including some members who had previously worked on the first Resident Evil. During the four years of production on the game there were many plot points that were thrown out before reaching the final product. The game was originally developed with Chris being the only playable characters, but this idea was eventually scrapped in favor of making Sheva a playable character.
Jill Valentine was originally supposed to found in her test capsule within the Tricell facility by Chris and Sheva, but the developers liked the idea of Jill being under the control of Wesker for a majority of the time so they went with the second route instead. Barry Burton was originally planned to make an appearance in the campaign but again, this idea was scrapped. A different beginning and ending were also considered during early development.
After four years of development Resident Evil 5 was finally released on March 13th 2009 receiving very positive reviews. A year later Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition was released and included both DLC levels, new costumes, and support for the Playstation Move.
The game follows Chris Redfield, now a member of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), as he is sent to Africa in order to investigate a potential bio-terrorist threat. He meets up with Sheva Alomar, a BSAA agent from Africa, in the town of Kijuju, and attempt to meet up the BSAA Alpha Squad who were targeting a bio-terrorist by the name of Ricardo Irving. When their contact is murdered, and they are attacked by people infected with the Plagas parasite. After escaping from the attack Chris and Sheva meet up with the wounded captain of the Alpha Squad who dies warning them of Irving. After being attacked by a new kind of creature, Chris relays his information to HQ and they head off.
The eventually meet up with Delta Squad, and their captain Josh Stone who reveals to Chris and Sheva a drive containing pictures of research material, and among these pictures is one of Jill Valentine, Chris' old partner. Chris and Sheva take off, continuing their search for Irving, as well as any signs of Jill. They catch up to Irving who uses a strain of the Plagas to try to defeat them. Chris and Sheva eventually beat him, and before his death Irving utters the name Excella Gionne.
Chris and Sheva, now following a new lead, enter the cave where the flower that created the Progenitor Virus is grown. The Progenitor virus is the virus that was used to create both the T-virus and G-virus, and is now used to create the extremely powerful and dangerous Uroboros virus. Within the cave Chris and Sheva discover that Tricell, the company that backs the BSAA, had taken over an old underground Umbrella facility and continued their research on bio-organic weapons.
After fighting through the infamous Lickers in the facility, Chris and Sheva come upon the test capsules from the research data they received earlier and frantically search for Jill. After fighting a large B.O.W. they find that Jill's capsule is empty. As they continue searching they run into Excella, and when they ask her about Jill she pretends that she doesn't know anything. The run into her again shortly thereafter, but are attacked by a cloaked woman.
After a short fight the hooded woman's mask is knocked away, at which time Albert Wesker makes his appearance. After a little back and forth between Chris and Wesker, Wesker reveals that it is Jill who is the hooded figure. Chris tries talking with her, but the device on her chest is some sort of mind control device made by Wesker that pumps a performance enhancing liquid into her. She attacks Chris and Sheva, and after a lengthy fight they are finally able to free Jill of the device. Jill, now back to normal, tells Chris and Sheva to go after Wesker and that she will be alright.
Leaving Jill behind, Chris and Sheva hop on board Wesker's ship and begin their search. They eventually run into Excella who in her attempt to flee drops a case unknown chemicals, which now ends up in the hands of Chris and Sheva. After chasing after her, they eventually catch up, finding her in a state of near-death. After fighting off a creature of the Uroboros virus they figure out that Wesker plans on spreading the Uroboros virus across the world, using missiles to disperse the virus. Jill then contacts them, informing them of a way to weaken Wesker so that they could have a chance to defeat him, through an overdose of his serum.
Chris and Sheva continue to pursue Wesker, fighting many creatures and infected along the way. They eventually get to the hanger where Wesker's jet and missiles are and realized Wesker is capable of infecting the entire world. Inside of the hanger they fight Wesker, using the serum syringes in the case dropped by Excella to weaken Wesker. Wesker, too weak to fight both of them, escapes on his jet, but not without Chris and Sheva right behind him.
They sabotage the plane, and eject Wesker out of the airlock into the volcano below. The plane crashes shorty after, and Chris and Sheva are shocked to see Wesker emerge. Wesker sinks his hand into an Uroboros missile, exposing himself to the virus. Now much stronger than he was, he takes on both Chris and Sheva, chasing them near the lava of the volcano. After a long, hard battle Wesker is thrown into the Lava. Josh and Jill arrive in a helicopter, and they all are about to escape when Wesker uses his giant Uroboros hand to grab the helicopter, but Chris and Sheva fire off rockets at the same time, finally killing Wesker once and for all.
Much of the controls and gameplay from Resident Evil 4 is present within Resident Evil 5, and the one major addition is the increase dependency on your partner Sheva, whether she is A.I. controlled or you are playing a co-op game with someone. The game is designed for a co-op experience with you being faced with many infected, and larger harder creatures such as the Executioner. During the game you will rely on your partner to help you kick in doors, pulling switches, healing you when you're down, and freeing you from the grasp of an enemy. When either of you enter the dying stage the other partner can heal you, bring you back to your feet. If you both enter the dying stage or one of you die it's game over. You are also able to give commands to your partner as well as compliment them.
With the absence of the merchant from Resident Evil 4, this game provides you with a time to shop in between chapters, or directly after you die. You cannot buy ammo or herbs in the shop, but you can purchase various weapons and both a melee vest and a bulletproof vest. The inventory of Resident Evil 5 was changed as well, providing you with only a 3x3 grid, but all items only take up one slot each. Access to your inventory now happens in real time, so you can get attacked while browsing through your items.
Newer enemies have been introduced in Resident Evil 5, but are very similar to the enemies fought in Resident Evil 4, although the new Majini are smarter than the Ganado. There is also a good selection of weapons available including handguns, shotguns, machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and the fan favorite magnums. Since the game is more action based than any of the others the amount of ammo you will find throughout the game is increased significantly.
The object of The Mercenaries is to amass the most points you can in the given time allotted. The player will start with 2 minutes on the clock that will begin to countdown as soon the game starts. In order to replenish lost time you can find time crystals throughout the map that will give you extra time on your clock. Melee kills also add a small amount of time, but puts you at a higher risk.
Points are gained by killing enemies. The harder the enemy, the more points you gain for that kill. Each map will spawn a maximum of 150 enemies, while only 12 will be on the map at once. While this may not seem like a lot at one time, it certainly becomes a challenge.
I absolutely loved Resident Evil 5. While many of my friends thought it was good, they also though that was one of the weakest Resident Evil games. I on the other hand thought it was a fantastic addition to the series, having played through it multiple times. I was thoroughly surprised when Jill Valentine showed up, when I realized that I was going to heading back into an Umbrella facility, and when I was able to face off against a seemingly endless amount of Lickers. Graphics were great, action was great, gameplay was great, and the story was great. I was pleased with what Capcom gave us.
While Resident Evil 5 was not the game changer that Resident Evil 4 was. It didn't redefine the series, or set the bar for things to come, but it was a fantastic addition to the Resident Evil series. Now, with Resident Evil 6 just around the corner lets see what Capcom has in store for us next.
Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition are both available for sale for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It will also be bundled with the Resident Evil Anthology and Resident Evil Archives which are due out on October 2nd 2012.
Thank you for reading! This was the last part of A Resident Evil Retrospective, and I hope you enjoyed reading all of them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Check back sometime this week for a discussion on the Resident Evil 6 demo while we all await the release of Resident Evil 6 on October 2nd 2012.