Zombie nation

Chris Redfield’s back in “Resident Evil 5”and this time he’s gallivanting through Africa

Shooting zombies never looked so good. PHOTO COURTESY CAPCOM

Ashley Goetz

Shooting zombies never looked so good. PHOTO COURTESY CAPCOM

âÄúResident Evil 5âÄù Rated: Mature Distributed for: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 Slaughtering hordes of stampeding zombies just got a heck of a lot more satisfying with the release of Capcom âÄôs much-anticipated âÄúResident Evil 5.âÄù The latest unnerving addition to the survival-horror franchise is loaded with new and terrifying enemies primed to kill, and the enthralling revamps will make players hungry to not only subsist, but to dish out some punishment as well. While this entry strays from the chilling scares of installments past, it finds solid footing as a fast-paced, moderately creepy shoot-âÄôem-up. This time around, the Cro-Magnon-like Chris Redfield finds himself traversing the African countryside like a modern day, machete-wielding Marlow and fighting a fresh set of deadly abominations in an effort to subvert the increasingly nefarious activities of the post-Umbrella world. ItâÄôs hard out there for a pimp; luckily, our moosey protagonist is joined by local zombie-slayer, Sheva Alomar , constituting the biggest improvement in the history of the âÄúResident EvilâÄù series. For the first time, players have aid in the form of a CPU or controllable player. This takes away the scares of an isolated solo mission, but allows for a communal game-playing experience that includes the ability to play with people across the globe. Unfortunately, every novel feature has its drawbacks; when playing alone, Sheva proves to be notoriously trigger-happy and, after depleting scarcely supplied ammunition, becomes increasingly easy to kill. Sadly, if she dies, you fail, which sporadically leads to a bothersome mission restart. Still, the benefits of a functional colleague far outweigh the chagrin of an occasional defeat. The other major draws of âÄúResident Evil 5âÄù are the eye-catching visuals, expansive levels and wide-ranging game play. Cut-scenes are particularly striking, and the graphics of regular play are superior to most other games. Levels are expertly crafted with a multitude of unique goals that break up the monotony of emptying shell after shell into the ravenous packs of monsters. Players have the opportunity to battle everything from a giant bat to crocodiles and assault these hellish creatures via foot, truck and even by airboat. This constant variety makes for an incredibly fast-paced and enjoyable experience. The gameâÄôs only real problems come from CapcomâÄôs dogmatic adherence to the game play mechanics of yore. The always irksome character immobility rears its ugly head yet again, and while âÄúResident EvilâÄù apostles might find this strict loyalty endearing, everyone else will find the technique to be exceedingly dated. ItâÄôs a bit ridiculous to accept that an experienced field agent like Chris Redfield lacks the ability to concurrently move his legs and shoot a gun. Additionally, the third-person, over the shoulder vantage point can be grating for those accustomed to the first-person perspective of âÄúHaloâÄù and the like. While itâÄôs noble to attempt a deviation from the tried and true norm, this particular movement is a pain and needs to get squashed. Still, for all its faults, âÄúResident Evil 5âÄù is one of the most action-packed shooters out there. Timid noobs should not be daunted by the frustrating controls and third-person vantage because these elements, while never becoming fully unobtrusive, can be overcome after a short yet vexing adjustment period. Furthermore, the overall quality of the game is more than enough of an incentive to deal with the tribulations of unfamiliarity. âÄúResident EvilâÄù zealots, on the other hand, will undoubtedly have a collective nerdgasm when they see all the improvements to their favorite franchise.