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Resident Evil 5 (PC)


by Asmoday - 16th Sep 2009
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Resident Evil 5 was released on the consoles around 6 months ago and it was positively received by both critics and more importantly the public. It brought together some of the franchise’s classic characters and combined a few of the best elements of previous releases for the finest release to date. The addition of cooperative mode increased the overall enjoyment and ensured healthy sales. Today we look at the PC version which has been much awaited.

If you missed our previous review of the console version let’s recap on the storyline - Chris Redfield, one of the survivors of the Arklay Mansion disaster in the first Resident Evil has joined up with a new faction called the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, an organisation who are trying to stop the spread of biological weapons from being used. Chris is then sent to a region of Africa to deal with a possible outbreak and is joined by his new partner Sheva Alomar who lends her support. As the game progresses they find themselves against other characters from the past and they discover a plot which could destroy the world as we know it. Dramatic as always.

The game is obviously much the same as the console version however there are some changes which certainly enhance how the game works within the PC environment. For instance the shared inventory of Chris and Sheva is easily accessible via the 1 to 9 keys. If you press any of these then you will equip the item which reduces the amount of time wasted during tricky situations - something which annoyed me slightly regarding the console version.

The major difference is the support for both mouse and keyboard however the title does support the Xbox 360 controller as well which is a nice option for those who hate the keyboard methodology. That said playing with the 360 pad is not really my option of choice as the keyboard offers up quite a few shortcuts ... for instance there is a quick turn button available which immediately rotates your characters 180 degrees which is immensely handy when being charged down by enemy. There is a larger aiming reticule for the mouse which allows the gamer to ready a firearm with the right mouse button and then fire with the left. This makes aiming at targets a much easier proposition and works great. Additionally the developers have added a knife attack button which allows you to immediately swing to attack anything in your path. This can be used a little as a last means of attack in a deadly situation.

The game fully supports Games for Windows Live however the menu interface is a little awkward to use when trying to join up with other players - you can also hunt for players online or invite others to join your game. If a player leaves the game then the AI immediately steps in and takes over .. this is identical to the console version.

So what is new in regards to content? Well once you have the game finished you will notice two more extras which weren’t in the console version. You get two costumes which are an urban combat setup for Chris and a business suit complete with short skirt for Sheva. This is a pretty frivolous addition which will not add anything long term to the experience however the other extra is a little better. You unlock Mercenaries game mode and the feeble ‘Versus’ option has been replaced with a ‘No Mercy’ Mode. This is a solo only mission in which you take on three times the number of enemies for every one you would be presented with in the standard Mercenaries mode. Be aware that in some of the more insane situations, the screen looks like something from Dawn of the Dead and unless you have a very capable modern day gaming PC then the frame rate will plummet.

The graphics are significantly improved when compared with the Xbox 360 version thanks obviously to the higher resolutions available with a nice monitor and suitable graphics card. The game is fully optimised for Core i7 processors as well as Windows 7 and it is certainly the best platform to enjoy the game at higher resolution. We tested the game on an AMD Phenom and it was just as enjoyable - however we noticed that a Quad core did give some benefits when the action got really intense. Interestingly as well we found out that Resident Evil 5 is optimised for Nvidia’s 3d Vision which supports a 120hz monitor (which we didn’t have at hand to test with unfortunately).

If you are lucky enough to own such a configuration then please be sure to post your findings on our forums - we have heard that the depth of vision is very good and that the characters will pop out of the screen in a very realistic manner. Nvidia have stated that the perception of the depth can be adjusted to your personal tastes so it should hopefully be a great immersive addition to the title.

Resident Evil 5 on the PC is a solid conversion which benefits from the various tweaks, as well as support for higher graphics quality in combination with some capable modern day gaming hardware. If you didn’t get the console version then this is a highly recommended title, for those who already have it however it might not be such a strong purchase, unless you fancy playing through it all again with a higher level of graphical finesse.


Gameplay
88
PC version is very capable and the game still plays well.
Graphics
95
If you have a high end rig then it is awesome, and you also have the option for nvidia 3D support if you are lucky enough to own a 120hz panel.
Sound
90
Very creative use of audio which is identical to the console version.
Value
90
No Mercy multiplayer mode is a nice addition when you complete single player.
Overall
89

A very strong release which should sell very well - it is excellent.




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