I give Leon a lot of grief for his hair, but you know what? I know Resident Evil can do decent character models. I’m sure this won’t be an issue next game and we’ll have a protagonist who won’t look silly in the-
-oh dear god no. This is Chris Refield, the man who looks like a tank and is physically impossible. I especially like the scenes with him using a gadget, because it looks like he’s going to break them with just a touch. In the Resident Evil series, both Chris and Leon survived the initial outbreak and moved onto other things. While Leon made a career assisting the president, Chris joined the BSAA, a tactical force that deals with potential bioterrorism in other parts of the world. In Resident Evil 5, Chris goes to Africa, so cue the racism subtext!
They try to downplay this as much as possible by having an African partner named Sheva, but let me ask you this, creators of Resident Evil-if you wanted to base your game in Africa, why not have a main character from Africa? Chris is not the type of character to propel the game along with epic dialogue or plot ideas. In fact, his only characteristic is that he’s still grieving for his dead partner, Jill. And see if you can spot this plot twist from a mile away-not long after he’s in Africa, a mysterious cloaked female working for Umbrella is around to stop him DUH DUH DUH.
If it sounds like I hate this game...I do. I really do. The graphics are beautiful but it’s ruined whenever I see Chris’s tank-like body lumbers across the screen, which is most of the time. The dialogue is sometimes atrocious, and the plot is boring. So what does that leave? The gameplay? That’s the worst part of the game!
Resident Evil was never much for tutorials, but I really wish they threw one in here for this game, especially since the controls are radically different from Resident Evil 4. The only good point is that Resident Evil 5 is far more challenging than Resident Evil 4, but that’s partly because you’ll die a lot more. The worst part of the controls is that when you open your very limited inventory, this will not pause the game. Fair enough, but when 90% of the game is zombies running towards you, that makes getting a gun a tad more difficult. And before people start thinking I’m complaining too much, the inventory screen is just plain evil. Say I wanted to use a healing spray. You would think the first option of the screen would be for more to use it. But nope, the first option is for me to equip it. In case I wanted to...heal the zombies? So you have to unequip the healing spray and start all over again, but at this point you’re probably a a nice snack for the zombies.
I certainly wouldn’t want to heal my partner Sheva, whom I’m starting to suspect is secretly working for Umbrella. Why? Because the partner AI is bad. Very bad. Some of the time she will just freeze up and not shoot the zombies until Chris actually gets bitten. And in the sections where Chris and Sheva have to be separated...yeah, either try to clear out her area yourself first or say a quick prayer, because most of the time the game is going to prematurely end because of her.
Interestingly enough, some of the scenes from the game are actually in the movie. Remember that stupid scene where Albert Wesker throws his glasses at Chris? Yep, that was from Resident Evil 5. So um...thanks?
FINAL GRADE: 1 out of 5. One of the few games I didn’t bother to finish. I will say most of these problems are fixed in Resident Evil 6, and Leon is back. Yay!