The survival horror days are all but gone, with Resident Evil taking a turn for the path of pure action with its fifth instalment. Thankfully there's still plenty of zombies/mutants/whatever to shoot and some of the best visuals seen so far on the current consoles.
The game is currently available from Play.com for the sweet price of just £17.99; a bargain at £4 down from the next best offer.
The PS3 version is also available from Play for the same price here.
Leaving my beloved Leon Kennedy behind, Resi 5 drops you into Chris Redfield's decidedly chunkier boots to investigate some strange goings on and possible bio-terrorism in a remote part of Africa. He hooks up with local Sheva Alomar who is to be his constant companion throughout his mission, for better or worse.
The co-op parts of Resident Evil 4 were definitely my least favourite, with simpering Ashley proving a constant source of irritation but thankfully Sheva requires a lot less babysitting and by and large is more help than hindrance. Nonetheless, there were times that she caused me some serious grief and, antisocial being that I am, I would have preferred to have the option to go it alone for the single player mode.
The new real time menu system is another feature that has garnered much praise but that I, conversely, find myself grumbling about. While it did add a sense of urgency to the game and maintain the sense of immersion, I found that often it just made the experience less fun for me and gave me less opportunity to be creative in my attacks. There were weapons that I just did not use because I could never find a free moment to request or equip them (so no mine throwing for me, boo).
It's hard not to mention Resident Evil 5 without mentioning those allegations. These allegations of racism seem to have been tackled by filling the more densely populated, but still remote, townships with distinctly multicultural inhabitants which actually seems a tad ridiculous and missing the point somewhat. And while the game is by no means overtly racist I couldn't help feeling that, at times, it is certainly a bit … iffy. At the point when you enter a traditional village of huts only to be set upon by residents in grass skirts who actually start throwing spears at you, I began to feel acutely uncomfortable.
I seem to have done little but complain which is unfair as Resident Evil 5 is actually a very high quality game. There is a lot to recommend it and I certainly had a good time playing it yet somehow it left me feeling a bit unsatisfied. I missed the creepy atmosphere and tense moments of previous instalments and the goofy, endearing charm of Leon from Resi 4 - Chris feels pretty wooden and lacking in depth as a leading man. In short: a great action shooter but not a patch on its predecessor.
Thanks to badtz maru from Hotukdeals!