Resident Evil 5 HD review

Man, have there been a lot of Resident Evil remasters kicking about lately. This time it’s the turn of Resident Evil 5 to come back to life on Xbox One and PS4 with a 1080p up-scale and the add-ons included, all for £16.
Just a quick recap on the story, Chris Redfield and local agent Sheva have been assigned to a township in Africa to find a guy called Irving and investigate some naughty goings-on and they soon realise that the people in the town aren’t quite what they seem to be. In fact, they all seem to be rather aggressive, and what’s even weirder is that when you shoot them, weird tentacles come out of their heads. Even the dogs have faces that open right up. This isn’t what they signed up for! From this point you fight through shanty towns, mines, oilfields and facilities against all manner of monsters as you try to survive and put a stop to all this nonsense!
I really enjoyed playing this first time around on the Xbox 360. In fact, I went through and shot all the hidden emblems and did a speed run to unlock cool outfits and the infinite rocket launcher. Since then I didn’t find favour with 6 but really enjoyed the Revelations games.
Coming back to 5 was a bit of a shock if I’m honest because I’d got used to being able to move whilst shooting. With 5 having more of an action feel, it does feel at odds nowadays having very clunky tank-like controls but, once you get used to it, the controls certainly do add to the panicky feel when a group of infected are jumping in from all sides and surrounding you. It’s also bringing back memories from my original playthroughs – remember that big oily thing you can burn in the incinerator and that guy with a bag over his head wielding an instant-death chainsaw? It certainly gets the heart pumping.
In terms of the graphical update, the game does disappoint like most HD remakes these days. The thing is, I remember this game to look as good as it does in this remake anyway. Put side by side, yes there is a difference, but it’s not like the game has been completely remodelled to make me take notice. It’s higher res, but that’s about it.
What is new, at least for me, is the added modes included from the off – those being Lost in Nightmares which features Chris and Claire Redfield in the Spencer Estate which plays as a prologue to the main game, and Desperate Escape, which sees Jill Valentine and a fellow BSAA Operative in a side-story to Chris and Sheva’s action in the fictional country of Kijuju. Mercenaries United also brings the survival and point scoring mode back, with all the extras unlocked from the beginning.
If you fancy a trip down memory lane, I think this game is still worth a punt. You can play it alone, with an invited friend, or let a random join your game, and it really is great fun blasting through the levels. If you’re quick, you can complete the game in under 5 hours but you may want to come back to get the extra unlocks and play the game on its new, even harder difficulty setting. If you were expecting a complete graphics and control overhaul you’ll be disappointed – it also does feel that on Xbox One at least, a backward compatible option could have been the answer for gamers who already bought the game for 360. Resident Evil 5 HD gets a very good 7 out of 10.

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