(PlayStation 3)

Game Review

Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Jamie O'Neill

Motion slickness

Let loose in March 2009, Capcom's original release of Resident Evil 5 was received with critical acclaim, but was recognised as having more in common with third-person action games than the survival horror premise of earlier titles in the series. With extra features available in the Gold Edition, gamers have the chance to revisit the action in a stack of extra content, now armed with PS Move for increased shooting accuracy. However, eighteen months is a long time in gaming, and since then the PS3's third-person action catalogue has been boosted considerably, with third-person shooting on the system mastered by Uncharted 2. In 2010, Resident Evil 5 faces stiffer competition.

There are three versions of Resident Evil 5 available and this review is based on the latest disc version of Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition, which states that it is 'PlayStation Move Compatible' on the box. There is also an older version of Gold Edition, for which there is a free patch to download that enables the Move controls in-game. However, the original 2009 release of Resident Evil 5 is not Move compatible, even if you download the PSN patch, due to technical reasons.

Therefore, two questions must be answered when considering buying Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. Firstly, do the Move controls and extra content add to the original experience? Second of all, are the new features enough to warrant an extra purchase for gamers who already own the 2009 release of the game?

The first question is easiest to answer: the Move controls work splendidly and take inspiration from Capcom's well developed Wii Remote system for Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. In Gold Edition you walk with the Navigation controller's analogue stick and run by holding the X button. The exciting part happens with the motion controller. You hold the T trigger on the Move to ready your weapon and then aim the gun's reticle around the screen, firing off rounds with the Move button. It is important to note that where you point the wand does not determine your turning mechanic and you still cannot run and shoot. If a Majini-infected enemy is lurking higher up, or behind you, then you hold T and search for them using the analogue stick. It is once you find them that you aim with the wand, as picking out head shots or particular body parts is now faster and more efficient than with DualShock 3, particularly if you change the aiming speed to 'fastest' in the controller settings.

The story is engrossing and revolves around a theme of partnership. It has been three years since Chris Redfield witnessed the death of his partner, Jill Valentine, in a battle against Albert Wesker (more on that later). Since then, he has become obsessed with his mission to eradicate all Bio-Organic Weapons (BOW). Spurred by guilt and revenge, he is working overtime for the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), which takes him to Africa on a hunt for bio-weapons smuggler Ricardo Irving. He is assigned a new local partner, Sheva Alomar, and they both uncover how sinister pharmaceutical company, Tricell, has picked up from Umbrella's demise. Led by Excella Gionne as well as a mysterious figure, Tricell plans to unleash Uroboros, the most lethal BOW yet.

The idea of playing with a partner is consistent throughout the series, and notable from Resident Evil Zero's gameplay, but the partner theme here is especially instrumental as this is built from the ground up as a co-op experience. You play the entire game with Sheva by your side, controlled either by AI or a gaming buddy. Throughout the game you will defend each other, solve puzzles and manage items together: you may be winding up the mechanism of a bridge for her to cross with your Move one moment, then zooming in and out of your sniper rifle's sights as she is attacked by rabid Adjule dogs the next.

Online co-op with a friend is superb, particularly if you have a Navigation and Move motion controller each. Split-screen is still fun, although graphical demands determine that the windows are small with borders on each side, which actually increases your anxiety levels on the numerous occasions the game throws waves of infected Majini at you. On the most part Sheva's AI is functional in single player and on occasion she can be a fine shot with a sniper rifle. However, it seems that she is overly keen to impress Chris, because her trigger happy finger haemorrhages precious ammo. Also, she will stick to a O button instruction with no thought towards self-preservation or common sense: even if she is being smothered with an Uroboros boss's leech tentacles, she just will not let go of a furnace lever.

There are three difficulty levels from the outset and plenty of challenge to face during the twelve hours of story mode's sixteen chapters. The gameplay is varied, with hovercraft and Humvee vehicle sections breaking up the third-person action, although as with the sniper rifle all aiming with the Humvee's mounted gun is handled by the Navigation's analogue stick and not the motion controller. Three quarters of the way into the game, during Chapter 5-2's Experimental Facility, Majini soldiers are introduced and the mechanics change to a cover-and-shoot dynamic. It is here that the accuracy of aiming with the wand truly excels and it differentiates the Gold Edition from other similar games.

The varied gameplay continues with interactive cutscenes and context sensitive actions, as you hold the wand vertically and shake it to 'break free' from an enemy's grasp, or swoop the wand in a loop to dodge a boss's fierce attack. The visuals and audio have been created with high production values, exemplified by an epic boss battle with Uroboros on the main deck of a ship, as well as the vast scale of Chapter 4-1's Caves, which draws comparisons with Uncharted's environments. The audio is superb throughout, with meaty gun shots and weight to its sound effects, as well as a score performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony. An example of this is the music to Chapter 6-1's Ship Deck, with pulsating heartbeat rhythms inducing panic as you anticipate an attack.

Dead Space created an edgy sci-fi survival horror, and whilst Resident Evil 5's action sections are not especially scary there are moments, particularly a classic enemy hiding in the claustrophobic laboratory corridors below the Underground Garden, making for a tense atmosphere. Some enemies are more frightening than others, like the huge insect-like Reaper, whose attack will kill you instantly with a vicious impalement. It is during confined corridor moments that mastering the stun rod is vital, as holding T to ready the weapon and then swinging the wand to strike is a satisfying and effective form of defence. However, whilst gamers who have already accustomed themselves to the DualShock 3 controls will take the longest to shed old habits and transition to Move, it is worth taking the time to master all of the motion sensing improvements.

In regard to the survival horror roots of the franchise, special mention must go to the Gold Edition's wonderfully tense 'Lost in Nightmares'. This flashback level is unlocked after completing Chapter 3-1 of the main story and it harks back to the foreboding atmosphere of the first Resident Evil. Here you journey with the original game's S.T.A.R.S, Chris and Jill, tiptoeing through the Spencer Estate as creepy lightning and marble-floored footsteps lead to numerous jumpy moments on your journey to discover exactly how Jill met her demise.

When you complete the main story, the Gold Edition showers you with extra content, including an action-packed 'Desperate Escape' level that relates to story events from the latter parts of the game, and 'The Mercenaries Reunion' mini-game, an arcade-style game that arms Chris with unlimited ammo for a gatling gun to go to town with the new Move controls. An online versus game is also included in the package, although 'Lost in Nightmares' which is the real treat from Capcom for fans of the series.

Conclusion

Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition takes the original 2009 release and greatly expands on its overall package. Whilst the majority of the game's chapters are a continuation rather than a reinvention of the action gameplay template set in Resident Evil 4, there are elements in the extra content, 'Lost in Nightmares' in particular, which act as fan service by harking back to the first Resident Evil. The Move controls help differentiate this title from other PS3 third-person action games, especially for the cover-and-shoot elements during latter parts of the game, as the speed and accuracy enabled by aiming with the motion controller is an improvement. Similarly, swinging the wand to attack with the stun rod, and shaking to reload your gun, is a fun way to experience its gameplay. The Gold Edition is overflowing with content and at its bargain price it should be snapped up by gamers who do not own the original game. It loses value as a purchase for those who already own and have completed the original, because they have experienced its core gameplay. It is for them to decide if well-implemented Move controls and an abundance of extra content is enough to warrant a second purchase.

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User Comments (25)

JamieOStaff

#1

JamieO said:

The controller settings for Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition, in its options menu, explain the basic motion controls. However, as there is no mention of the Move controls in the instruction manual and because there is much more to the controls than is suggested in the options, I have provided a more detailed explanation of its new Move features, below.

Navigation Controller

  • Analogue Stick
    Use analogue stick to walk or hold wand’s X button with it to run.
    Hold T to arm sniper rifle and use navigation contoller's analogue stick, not wand, to aim it.
    Analogue stick is used to aim mounted guns on Humvee, not the motion controller, versus the giant Ndesu and in turret guns during ‘Desperate Escape’ level.
  • L1
    Hold L1 and make slashing motion to attack with you knife (the knife is much weaker than the stun rod).
    Hold L1 to zoom out the sights of your sniper rifle.
  • L2
    Hold L2 to locate the position of your partner.
    Hold L2 to zoom in with your sniper rifle.
  • X
    The X button on the navi controller selects Chris’s inventory.
    Hold T button on wand and press X on navi to reload.
  • O button
    The O button on navi controller also instructs your partner, for a partner action.

Move Motion Controller/Wand

  • Move Button
    Hold T to arm gun and press Move button to shoot.
    Hold T and press Move button to throw grenade.
    Move button is context sensitive (pick up items, jump over walls etc).
  • T Button
    Press T to draw your weapon and then aim with motion controller.
    Hold T and make swipe motion with wand to strike with stun rod.
    Press T to place proximity mines.
    Hold T and shake to reload your gun.
    Hold T and press X to reload your gun.
    Hold T to accelerate your hovercraft (with X to make it go faster).
  • Square
    Bring up map/radar.
  • Triangle
    Bring up inventory.
    Press triangle to skip cutscenes.
    Press triangle and then press T button for a quick item select.
  • X button
    Hold with navi’s analogue stick to run.
    The wand’s X button opens Sheva’s inventory (Note: This is the worst placed button in the default control set up, it would have been better positioned if the wand's X button opened Chris' inventory and mapped Sheva’s on the Navi’s X button).
  • O button
    The O button instructs your partner, for partner actions ('get on' boat, 'partner pick up' item etc).

Motion Controller/Wand: Interactive Cutscenes and Context Sensitive Actions

  • Hold the motion controller vertically and waggle/shake it to 'break free' from enemy's grasp, 'hold on' and 'grab on' during corners for Humvee level, (Chapter 2-3 Savanna).
  • Hold motion controller vertically and swoop in an arc/loop to the left, to dodge boss attacks.
  • Draw circular motions with the motion controller to wind huge levers and cogs.
Paranoimia

#2

Paranoimia said:

Seems a bit daft to me that they've set it up as T to look around and Move button to shoot. I'd have had them the other way around.

JamieOStaff

#3

JamieO said:

@Paranoimia Don't worry, I hear what you're saying what with T being the Trigger it probably sounds back to front, but it works really well mate. Pressing T basically draws your gun, you then keep T held down to keep your gun drawn. From here you can search for enemies with the navigation controller's analogue stick, whilst at the very same time aim for specific body parts with the move controller, ready to fire with the move button.

This set-up feels natural, because the T is perfectly placed to be kept held down, because it is placed in the trigger's comfortable, easy access position. Trust me, it is makes for a very accurate system during encounters, simultaneously finding enemies and aiming for precise weak spots, especially during cover-and-shoot gun fights. :)

Note: The only thing I have missed is that you can map shortcuts to select weapons, onto the navigation controller's D-pad.

Wesker

#4

Wesker said:

Good review JameieO, I think you've nailed this one. Personally I'm really enjoying it, but apart from graphics I wouldn't say it does anything better than RE4 Wii Edition. But seeing as that's one of my all-time favourite games, I'm certainly not complaining! :-)

Metroid133

#5

Metroid133 said:

Great review! :D

I picked up the game with some birthday money back in May. I was going to play it at the beginning of summer, but decided to wait for Move support (which I got on Friday :D)....now to find time in between school, work, and some other Move games I'm playing....:(

I have Resident Evil 4 on the Wii, but haven't played it really so this will technically be my first Resident Evil game I've played! :D I hear spoilers aren't anything big though....right?

Paranoimia

#6

Paranoimia said:

Okay, so... I have the old, original, non-upgradeable RE5. I know there's co-op, but I like to play RE games alone - and I found Sheva's AI to be utterly stupid during the final battle - so much so that I gave up.

Would the accuracy of Move be of any use in that final battle? Is it worth me re-buying a game that infuriated the hell out of me, in order to use Move and - hopefully - get through that final battle?

JamieOStaff

#7

JamieO said:

@Metroid133 The story details I have shared are what Capcom released in a promotional trailer for the Gold Edition and I also discuss early parts of the game. You see, Resi 5 is awesome for its fan service, so understanding the importance of partnership to Chris as his motivation, is set up early on in this game. Be sure to check out Resi 5's 'Library' menu selections, because you get an entire background on the series there. For example it has files named History of Resident Evil, BSAA, Majini, Chris Redfield, Sheva Alomar, Ricardo Irving and much more, for anyone who wants to get a grip of the vast back story.

@Paranoimia I know exactly what you are saying about the final battle and unfortunately Move will not make a difference, or help in this specific instance, because AI Sheva will always waste shots and ammo. Chris Redfield, ie you are basically alone for that one. It is a case of, "Must I do everything myself!" Sorry.
Edit: Apologies mate, I don't want to give away too many specifics about the final boss battle for spoiler reasons. The only way that Move could help, is that your aiming response time will be quicker, although to be honest I can't recommend that you get it for the final boss alone. If you are on Twitter, I could 'Direct Message' tips to beat the final boss with DualShock 3. My Twitter name is @JamieOretro

Hokori

#8

Hokori said:

Cool for RE5 and Motion (although I prefer the Wii version of 4 better)

Slapshot

#9

Slapshot said:

Might have to grab this one. I HATED RE4 on Gamecube but gave it a shot on Wii and the pointer controls made a world of difference and loved it. Im thinking Ill give this another go as I got it at launch and the Online Co-op didnt exist then and babysitting an AI had me turning the game off for good about an hour in.

mjc0961

#10

mjc0961 said:

"the Gold Edition showers you"
Unfortunate word choice. :p

Anyway I thought the same thing #2 did about the whole "T isn't for shooting, Move button is" but I guess it sounds a bit better after #3.

Also since I just noticed it here, thanks for bumping up the size of the comment text to match what it is on NL. Much easier to read now! :)

JamieOStaff

#11

JamieO said:

As part of my research for this review, I read lots of old magazine interviews with the Resident Evil 5 team, as well as with the original Resident Evil creator, Shinji Mikami. It was interesting that from the outset Mikami had always wanted a Resi 4 style camera, but the original PlayStation could not handle it. Who knows, if PSone had been more powerful, the series may always have been more action based and less puzzly.
Note that Mikami was not involved in Resi 5.

The Resi 5 team were obviously conscious that there were huge expectations on this, after Resi 4 had taken such a fresh approach for the series. Resi 5's co-producer, Masachika Kawata, noted that they did not want to reinvent Resi 4, but co-op does add to the series and even 4 player co-op was considered. The director, Yasuhiro Anpo, explained that they wanted Sheva's AI to have the same abilities and skills as the player, to distinguish her from Resi 4's Ashley.

The game's Art Director, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, said that the Resi 5 team wanted to improve the cinematics and the 'Library' menu also allows you to watch all of the game's cut scenes in order. I'm not ashamed to admit that I sat down to watch all of the cut scenes, as they all play in one long flow, so I treated it like watching a 90 minute long Resi movie. Oh yeah! ;)

donth8

#12

donth8 said:

Glad to hear that RE5 w/ PS Move held up pretty well despite the original version being released back in March of '09.
Great review :)

WolfRamHeart

#14

WolfRamHeart said:

Great review Jaime! You always go into great detail when it comes to writing your reviews and that is really helpful. I think that I may now have to purchase the Gold Edition and a Navigation Control just to experience RE5 with my Move. I own the original RE5 game but this sounds like this version is definitely worth it. Bravo!:)

SwerdMurd

#16

SwerdMurd said:

@brilly - i coudlnt' feel more differently. Almost everything I didn't like about 4 (Ashley, re-running previously cleared areas, Ashley, artificially limited upgrade system, Ashley) were all fixed in spades in this release, and I think the motion controls/button layout are vastly superior to 4. RE5 ftw.

Not to mention--RE5 may provide the absolute best 2-player online experience of any game to date.

@Para - I mean...I really don't know what to say. If I was able to get Sheva's somewhat-busted AI to get me through the final battle on Pro, it's gotta be possible. I still don't understand how people can complain about Sheva if they were even able to tolerate the Ashley sections on RE4. Ashley is the reason I probably won't ever touch RE4 again...in case I didn't already make that obvious :)

CanisWolfred

#17

CanisWolfred said:

As the only one who disliked the motion controls in RE4, I can safely say I wouldn't be interested in playing RE5 with Move. Still, it does sound like it adds some nice stuff for those who like the Motion gimmicks.

JamieOStaff

#18

JamieO said:

Cheers for all the comments guys and thanks to @WolfRamHeart (comment 15), because since the Eds gave me the chance to write for Nlife, The MMA and now Movemodo, I have found that I get really absorbed into each game that I cover, so a compliment like that is really appreciated.

If you are still undecided about the new additions to the Gold Edition, one example of how the Move controls improve your actual shooting skills was when I first replayed the extra content level 'Desperate Escape', with the Navigation and the Motion controller.

Take into account that one of my favourite weapons is the stun rod, because I am constantly trying to preserve ammo, and 'Desperate Escape' does not allow me to use it, because you can't you dip into your inventory and its stash of weapons, like you can during story chapters. (On a side note, being able to reorganise your inventory when you die is excellent, although a few people have found the in-game real time inventory selections to be too tense, whilst you are being attacked!).

Therefore, I was only allowed to use guns for 'Desperate Escape', I could not have the stun rod as an excuse for my poor accuracy rating and I completed it with 'S' ranks using the Move controls. This unlocked a 'S' rank trophy, which I did not get by playing the same level using DualShock 3.

Other extra content additions for the Gold Edition, include new costumes and extra figures. Also, when you complete the game, or when you finish both 'Extra Content' levels, you get to play as new characters, for example you can choose Sheva as your main single player character.

WaynesWorld1984

#19

WaynesWorld1984 said:

Brilliant Review I played it when it first came out, now got the Gold edition and after reading this looking forward to playing it in a whole new way! THANKS :-)

SilentJ

#20

SilentJ said:

Great review! RE5 was one of the main reasons I even got a PS3 after loving RE4 on the Wii. I missed playing with the precision aiming the Wii controls allow so I was excited to hear RE5 would be Move compatible. I dished out over $100 on release day for my RE5 collector's editon game/strategy guide and already bought some of the dlc. Looks like I'll have to pay even more to play with the Move. I would have purchased the Move day one if my copy of RE5 was compatible.

hamispink

#23

hamispink said:

I really love the idea of aiming with the nav controller when using sniper(sniping in mag is worthless with move for me)

Wastedyuthe

#24

Wastedyuthe said:

I find it odd that they at least don't give the option to have the T button to fire the weapon. I'd at least like to try it that way.

Rawk_Hawk

#25

Rawk_Hawk said:

I like Resident Evil 5. Its not scary like other RE games buts it a fun game. Lost in Nightmares brings back some of the creepy feel but not the main game. Still RE: Gold is easily worth the $39.99 price tag

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