Set a decade after the fall of the nefarious Umbrella Corporation, Resident Evil 5 sees players stepping once more into the jackboots of special agent Chris Redfield, now part of the anti-terrorist organisation BSAA. Umbrella’s viral and bio-weaponry have found their way into the hands of some deadly terrorists in the little-known African state of Kijuju, and rumours abound of a doomsday project known as Uroboros. Teaming up with cyber-babe Sheva Alomar, the foxiest computer-generated heroine since Lara Croft went relic-hunting, the world’s fate once more rests in the trigger finger of the former STARS operative, whose zombie hunting days are far from over.
Like Resident Evil 4, the game foregoes the survival horror legacy on which the series built its reputation in favour of more action-oriented gameplay as Chris and Sheva blast their way through an army of the red-eyed, gruesome undead, who infect their prey via a set of slavering tentacles which pour forth from their mouths. There’s blood and gore galore, with little of the tension and fear that marked the original games in the series, aside from a jump-ridden trek through a dark mineshaft.
The graphics are top notch, with stunning character models, exquisite sets and incredible cut-scenes. The enemies you encounter are incredible, from bat-like creatures that fly forth from the corpses of downed enemies to a giant dark ages-style executioner, complete with giant axe. Indeed, the variety of enemies is impressive, from chainsaw-wielding Jason-a-likes (Friday The 13th) to a massive undead scorpion whose sting is in more than its tail, and there are memorable sequences galore – State‘s personal favourite is the zombies on motorbikes scene.
The gameplay is as relentless as fans of the genre would expect, although there’s one major drawback: there’s no split-screen option for the co-op game; instead, you need a LAN if you’re to double-team the zombie nation. Aside from that, Resident Evil 5 is a quality action title, although a couple more jumps would have been welcome for the old-school survival horror fans amongst us.