FRIENDSHIP IS THE GREATEST EVIL OF ALL
Over the course of two days, myself and GUNPLA beat writer Haunter played the everloving shit out of Resident Evil 5 GOLD EDITION for the PC. Recently updated to remove Games For Windows Live. Turns out that removal made the gameplay very buggy and crash ridden. We ended up having to use a cheat engine table to bypass the seemingly endless crashes on death, on loading, on stage transition. While using cheat engine we also tweaked some of the gameplay options, such as adding slightly higher cash on hand to mirror the fact that we’ve both played before, and on a repeat playthrough we would have had access to better hardware.
The core mechanics of RE5 mirror that of Resident Evil 4 in that this game is much more B MOVIE action and less B MOVIE horror. The controls are nearly the same in between the two games on PC, aside from some sticky CO-OP features that can cause headaches in combat. All the guns feel woefully weak, and most of the enemies you face don’t seem to have much in the way of hitreg or animation of selling being shot. Leg shots will either have them do a face flop or fall to both knees, arms shots will wiggle their bodies slightly, and headshots, even with upgraded pistols and shotguns don’t do much, aside from the occasional CRIT that will pop their head clean off. Even the fully upgraded .500 Magnum feels kind of pathetic, with far too many shots required to drop targets.
Inventory management is equal parts frustrating and hilarious, as you can force unwanted items into your partner’s inventory, but with only nine slots (seven if you have the body armor and melee pads) you and your pals really won’t have much room to wiggle and giggle. Several times during our mid mission resupplies did I load Haunters open slots with various useless mines, grenades, or ammo for a gun he was already fully loaded on or no longer using. The trick seemed to be specialization. You can’t take a shotgun, pistol, smg, ar, and grenade launcher, because you just won’t have room to carry ammo for all of your guns…. And boy are there a ton of guns. Five handguns, Three Shotguns, Two SMGs, Two ARs, Two Snipers, Three Magnums, a Grenade Launcher (with four types of ammo to carry), Mines, Hand Grenades (three types), and a melee Stun Stick (that seemed more like a joke weapon than anything else). It is a catastrophe trying to manage which guns you’ll take which your partner will roll with, and really which even matter. There is almost no difference between the guns in each type, and upgrading them seems like the only reward for owning them. I’m not saying they should have taken a page from the Duke Nukem / Doom Guy book of being able to carry all hardware with no inventory management, but with only seven slots for items you can realistically roll with two guns + ammo + first aid. It’s just a chore.
The story is basically the same as every other Resident Evil story in that some company has some kind of virus, and it’s up to our heroes to stop the virus from being released. There are two playable characters. Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar. Chris is a giant fella, and Sheva is a dainty lady, but functionally they have the same health and skills, unlike in the original Resident Evil, where each player character had a different skill set. Occasionally in the game there are sections where Chris will toss Sheva to a higher vantage point to flip a switch, grab a macguffin, or just shoot some cover fire while Chris attempts to advance through the stage. Each stage is fairly linear aside from a pontoon boat adventure in an African water fort. In said fort level, we were forced to raid several shacks to retrieve four macguffins before being sent back down a straight path. There were a few challenges with enemies, but most of our deaths came from the Quick Time Events that happened during most cinematics. The button prompts come fast and furious, and are often a perpelxing key, such as F, V, A, D – oftentimes switching between reloads after death, so you’ll be ready to mash V, and F is prompted. QTEs suck and can fuck off forever.
Overall, I had a pretty good time playing with my friend, and I hope he did to. If you’re into CO-OP games that are more about dicking around, and having a good time this will be a good five to eight hour romp. The two DLC packs can be completed in less than three hours total, and although we only completed LOST IN NIGHTMARES, I’d played the other previously and it was more of the same. I wouldn’t expect a ton of revisits unless you’re both completionists, and would like to unlock all the sexy skins for Sheva and Chris, along with the weapon upgrades.
Josh AKA @eSportDjango