Resident Evil 5 (PC) Review

Here’s the deal: this is Resident Evil 5. There’s not much new here. But if you have a decent PC and have a desire to check this one out, you can rest easy in the knowledge that it’s a pretty decent conversion.

Not familiar with Resident Evil 5 at all? That’s okay – we have our good friend Angus here to fill you in, as.

So, what’s new in the PC version?

The first thing you’ll come across in the PC version of Res Evil 5 is Games for Windows Live. This piece of software may be your best friend, or you may detest it – it depends on your point of view. Like Steam, it requires a login and password so you can activate your copy of the game and save progress. If you’ve already got a Games for Windows title installed, this process will be pretty smooth – same deal if you already have an Xbox Live account. However, if you resent having to work to even get a game running, you may get a bit annoyed.

However! The benefit of being connected to the Live framework is that you can allow people to drop in and join your game as you play. It’s nicely seamless – through my travels I had a series of random folk drop in to control Sheva. While some were a bit muppet-like, others helped me out with some of the harder bosses. If you’re hooked up to the net while playing, I’d recommend keeping your game session open – you can always boot those who don’t live up to your standards.

You can also play with a friend online or over a network – but unfortunately there’s no split-screen multiplayer as there was on the consoles. This is pretty annoying – sure, PC players might be less likely to have, say, a gamepad lying around, but surely it wouldn’t have been much work to stick it in.

Speaking of gamepads, Res Evil 5 has proper integration with Xbox controllers, meaning the proper buttons appear on screen if you’re using one. It’s actually all pretty slick – push a button on the controller and the help indicators will switch to A, B, X, Y, etc. Move the mouse or touch the keyboard, on the other hand, and it’ll change to key presses. Pretty neat, really – I wish all PC ports did this.

Thankfully, the mouse/keyboard controls are pretty decent as well. The mouse certainly lets you aim a lot easier, and in general it goes some way to alleviating the pain that is the Resident Evil clunkiness.

Graphically, if you have a machine that can handle, then Res Evil 5 will look pretty darn…pretty. It was quite a looker on the consoles, and a good PC makes it look even better – the higher resolutions available are pretty awesome. If you’ve got a mid-range PC, it’ll still look pretty decent, but be warned that it’ll start to struggle if you try to push it too much.

And really, that’s about it, besides a 3D mode discussed on the back of the box. It’s a polished port of an engaging game. I’m not going to get into the discussion of whether or not it’s too similar to Res Evil 4, or doesn’t take the series in a good direction, or even the allegations of racism. All I’ll say is, if you’re a fan of the series and somehow don’t own a home console, then you’ll be happy with this PC title. I’m marking it down a bit from Angus’ review because it doesn’t have split-screen co-op, but otherwise it’s just as good.

Oh, and Sheva? Seriously, all those catch phrases of yours were getting pretty tiring by the end of the game. “Okay!” “Roger!” I owe you one!” “Thanks partner!” Mix it up a bit next time, okay? Thanks!

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