To the (re)discovery of… Resident Evil 5!

To the (re)discovery of… Resident Evil 5!

There are titles that, since their inception, seem destined to leave an indelible mark in the history ofa> video games: products with an innovative concept driven by a strong desire to innovate or, simply, works capable of exciting and striking in a completely unique way. However, the gaming industry is an incredibly vast ecosystem, and alongside masterpieces of this caliber we find a lot of material that, for one reason or another, does not remain long in the hearts and memories of gamers.

In this section we have talked several times about such cases, and today we want to renew our appointment by recalling a title from a saga that certainly needs no introduction. Resident Evil 5 can in fact boast an importance and a resonance on which few other franchises can count but the feeling, on balance, is that it is a title that ended up too quickly forgotten. Let's retrace its history together, starting as always with a small step back in time...

Resident Evil 5: the weight of an inheritance that is too big

We are at the beginning of 2005 when, in a industry that was preparing for an almost unique year, Capcom publishes a title destined to write a fundamental page in the history of the videogame medium. Resident Evil 4 will succeed in the great enterprise of renewing a highly successful saga, changing the cards on the table and at the same time maintaining the quality standards to which fans had become accustomed. In some cases even going beyond them.

Despite some initial controversy due to the radical change of course, the public and critics finally agreed on labeling the fourth chapter of the series as an undisputed masterpiece: a game that, even today, we find among the best ever published ever.

Resident Evil 4 managed to renew the saga, setting very high standards. However, such a product has a significant side effect: it inevitably creates a very, very high sense of expectation on what which will come later. In short, the work on the fifth chapter was accompanied by a strong expectation on the part of all fans of the saga: would Capcom ever again be able to reach an equal or higher level?

The promotional campaign for Resident Evil 5 was incredible, with a series of videos featuring live action actors directed by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake director Marcus Nispel surrounding everything. The game will be released in March 2009 and, without too many surprises, immediately managed to enter the best-selling video game charts in different parts of the world.

Based on version 1.4 of the MT Framework engine by Capcom, the game takes us back in the shoes of Chris Redfield on a journey through the depths of the African continent. Here he will meet Sheva Alomar, agent of the B.S.A.A and his partner in this new adventure. The two will discover a mysterious parasite, which has made the locals prisoners of a permanent state of murderous rage.

In terms of gameplay, we are dealing with a pure and simple third-person shooter, which takes up the structure of its predecessor, however, renouncing what was left of the component linked to puzzles and small investigations to be completed. Resident Evil 5 is in fact focused almost entirely on the action, giving the user an experience with even more "light-hearted" tones compared to the standards of the series.

A pleasant novelty is the introduction of an offline multiplayer compartment that allows you to experience the adventure as a couple, taking advantage of the division of the screen in the classic split screen format: a component, among other things, today almost completely absent in the video game industry. By doing so, you have the opportunity to tackle the whole experience from a further point of view, with an interesting interpretation and capable of giving a few hours of entertainment even among friends.

We notice a radical change in the settings, clearly different from the dark and mysterious ones of the previous episodes. The sub-Saharan Africa that we see in the game maintains the general atmosphere gloomy, however managing to offer an original and new location for what were the canons of the franchise. In short, Resident Evil 5 presented itself as an experience with little pretensions but still capable of entertaining players: why, then, did it pass without leaving too many traces?

The rise, fall and rise of Resident Evil

The sales figures for Resident Evil 5 were more than satisfactory for Capcom: eight years after its publication, the game boasts almost 9 million copies distributed worldwide. If the public responded presently, the same cannot be said of the critics, at least not in an absolute sense. The trade press showed very little mercy in evaluating the last chapter of the saga, emphasizing many negative aspects that were also reflected in the perception of the fanbase.

Moreover, we are faced with something new but which, unlike Resident Evil 4, seems to forget almost completely what were the roots of a brand that has become legendary over the years. An icon like the Capcom series is here restructured from many, too many points of view: in short, the most passionate fans found themselves faced with a product that was excessively different from what they expected.

From a certain point of view, Resident Evil 5 was perhaps "the beginning of the end" for the franchise, which from that moment entered into a sort of crisis of ideas with a series of anything but memorable titles. The sixth chapter, also highly anticipated by gamers from all over the world, turned out to be a hole in the water across the board: even today the most loyal fans refuse to recognize it as an integral part of the series, often even denying its existence.

Fortunately, Capcom has managed, with great care and equal patience, to resurrect the brand in the best possible way. A rebirth that we are still witnessing and which, on balance, is achieving a double goal. If on the one hand the historical fans of the saga are faced with products capable of doing justice to such an important name, these works are at the same time able to capture a new slice of fans. New generations of players who, little by little, will be able to (re)discover a series that has rightfully entered the fantastic history of video games.

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