I’m going to make these posts a bimonthly feature. They’ll go up every other Sunday, to fit with CIB Sunday on Twitter. CIB stands for complete-in-box, and it’s commonly used to describe video games. If a game includes the cartridge, case, instruction booklet, and everything else it originally came with, it is considered to be CIB.
B.S.A.A. (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) operatives, Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar, are sent to investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional area of Africa. Soon after arriving, the two find out that there is much more going on behind this mysterious threat, with a group of villains bent on conquering the world through bioterrorism. To make matters worse, Chris soon finds out that an old enemy from his past is once again at large. He’ll have to confront his past, along with Sheva’s help, to stop this dangerous threat from forever changing the world.
Many people consider Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 to be the worst entries of the series, claiming that the heavily action-oriented gameplay hinders the survival horror experience. However, I think that the fifth game is actually a very fun, memorable experience, especially when playing with a friend or loved one. In fact, I have really fond memories of playing through Resident Evil 5. Moreover, it became one of my favorite co-op video games the very first time I played it, and it still holds up as one of my favorites today.
On my first playthrough of this game, I played alongside my older brother, Toby. We had so much fun conquering each threat that came our way, battling through wave after wave of enemies together. In a way, I think it was even a bonding experience for us, as most good co-op games are. And Resident Evil 5 is one of the most involved co-op games I’ve ever played. You and your companion truly have to practice good teamwork to make it all the way through, as the game expects you to strategize and look out for one another.
Sure, you can just try blasting your way through each fight, but eventually, you have to work together and be smarter about how you handle certain threats; this is where the teamwork aspect really comes into play. For example, there are sequences throughout the game where you and your teammate are split up, seemingly left to fend for yourself. However, the game still enables the two of you to look out for each other, just from afar. There’s a section where you’re attacked by grotesque dog-like creatures called Lickers. They start spawning from overhead vents just as you’re once again split up, leaving one player straight in their murderous path.
I most recently played Resident Evil 5 with a close friend, and when we made it to this part, we had our work cut out for us. It took a few tries to figure out the best approach to handle the swarm of Lickers. On our most successful run, I took the top route with the Lickers, while my friend helped snipe at them from below. This way, I was able to make it through the area and to our next objective. Coincidentally, this was also one of the most intense, suspenseful encounters we experienced in the entire game. There are many other sequences that require smooth teamwork, including a boss battle where one player has to lead a monster into a furnace, so the other can pull a lever to activate said furnace.
The game’s healing system operates on both partners being around for each other as well. If one player enters a “danger state,” the other has to step in and help revive them with whatever healing items they have on hand. While playing with my brother and my friend, I can’t even begin to remember how many close calls we had, of reaching a downed partner in the very nick of time. Likewise, there were numerous instances where one of us rushed over to help the other, only for them to perish before our very eyes. Those moments can incite adrenaline, joy, and despair all in equal measure. They also guarantee moments you’ll either whoop along victoriously with your friend, or lament dying and having to start from the last checkpoint.
Beyond the clever inclusion of co-op gameplay, Resident Evil 5 has much more to offer. I mentioned earlier that many long-time Resident Evil fans don’t like how action packed and fast-paced the fifth installment is. But I think this type of gameplay is executed really well in Resident Evil 5, and it makes for a fun challenge that never lets up on the danger and tension. The combat mechanics are smooth and easily accessible for players of all skill levels, with the main controls being kept to just a few key buttons. For instance, there’s a single button to aim, and another to fire your weapon. Hitting certain areas also enables you to execute cool melee moves straight out of an action movie. This may dampen the horror a bit, but I think the combat/gameplay system helps make Resident Evil 5 into an experience all its own, and an unforgettable one, at that.
Another great aspect of this game is its characters. It has a well-rounded, fairly diverse cast of characters, many of whom I grew attached to throughout my time playing. Some of the villains are even likeable, with Albert Wesker being one of my absolute favorites. He’s so flashy and over-the-top in everything that he does, it’s actually comical. It had me always looking forward to his next appearance. And let’s remember, Wesker is responsible for the infamous line, “Complete. Global. Saturation.” I think we can all agree this is an epic line.
Sheva is another character I really liked, fostering a strong, but thoughtful and considerate personality. She’s incredibly powerful and skilled, with a whole bevy of moves and weapons at her disposal. But she also cares deeply for Africa, her homeland, and longs to protect it from the bioterrorists targeting it. Furthermore, Sheva fearlessly looks out for Chis in every situation, even the toughest ones. I appreciated her dedication to both the mission and her partner; it was great to see her taking action to protect what was important to her. In every playthrough, I’ve been Sheva, and I can confirm that she’s very fun to play as, too.
Yet another wonderful part of Resident Evil 5 is its impressive soundtrack. Since the game is so action-oriented, much of the soundtrack is made up of fast-paced, suspenseful music, with booming drum beats and tense rhythms. This music perfectly suits the atmosphere and style of the game, making each battle all the more thrilling. You know a fight is about to ramp up when the track’s pace suddenly increases.
Without a doubt, Resident Evil 5 is truly a memorable, enjoyable experience, one that sets itself apart from the series’ other titles. It’s a worthwhile game to try, especially in co-op mode, for many reasons. Due to its fantastic integration of co-op, smooth combat and gameplay, likeable characters, and highly suitable soundtrack, Resident Evil 5 is a must play of the long-running series. If you haven’t played it yet, I’d recommend picking it up with a friend and combating the terror together. You won’t regret it!
I’m a sucker for instruction booklets and guides, and although it’s definitely better on the environment for them to not be printed anymore, I kind of miss those old booklets. I think the Resident Evil 5 instruction booklet is one of the best I’ve ever seen. The booklet includes plenty of character pictures and information; it even has a section over the history of the entire Resident Evil series leading up to the fifth game! This particular copy even came with a mini guide for the first chapter of the game. I think it’s so so cool that these extras were included! So, here’s an extra gallery of the guide book!
If you’d like to get your own copy of Resident Evil 5, you can do so here on Amazon!
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