Terror comes to PlayStation 3 in a new form thanks to Capcom's Resident Evil 5. The latest instalment in the horror tinged series takes an action movie style slant full of high octane explosions, dramatic set pieces, and spine-tingling encounters. This time Africa is the setting for Evil - and things are not what they seem...
The fields are red...
Former Resident Evil protagonist Chris Redfield is your entry point into these sweltering surroundings, as the former Special Tactics And Rescue Service (STARS) now turned Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) agent investigates some curious goings on around the fictional country of Kijuju in Africa.
Aided by one of the region's BSAA agents, Sheva Alomar, you roam around looking to arrest a biological arms dealer who has taken refuge in the region, only to find that Kijuju is suffering from a terrible - and familiar - viral strain which has mutated its inhabitants into horrifying and hostile creatures.
With you (and an on or offline friend) taking up the roles of Redfield and Alomar, it's in your hands to discover the secrets that rest beneath the surface of Kijuju's infection, bringing you closer to some familiar faces and ghosts of the past...
Evil's never looked so good
Resident Evil 5 takes the core concepts of its fourth predecessor and slides them into a High Definition frame, with striking visuals and presentation to immerse you within its setting. Scenic variation comes in the shape of shanty towns, dusky plains, underground temples, hidden laboratories and more, each with their own atmosphere and challenges - whether it's a large mass of vicious attacking Majini, deadly mutated creatures or logic puzzles.
The action has you thrown into a number of different scenarios, where you're exploring on foot and blasting away for survival, gunning down motorcycling hostiles from a jeep or escaping death traps by hammering at buttons of your Wireless Controller in the sudden interactive movie style sequences.
And you're not alone in these adventures, either. With the choice of a friend or computer controlled partner, Resident Evil 5 is about tackling terror side-by-side - and it opens up fresh gameplay for the series.
One becomes two, in five
Co-operative play in Resident Evil 5 brings a whole new range of entertainment to Capcom's stylish thriller. You and a partner share resources, items, ammunition and weapons (gained by searching environments and also purchasing in the mid and end level shops), while acting as a team in each level. Some sections require both of you to venture down separate paths to meet back up at a later point, while other parts allow you freedom to perform independent objectives towards a common goal.
In battle you can also execute tag-team style melee moves where one attack leads into another, giving your chosen target no time to recover - the perfect way to emphasis the new spirit of well devised co-operation in the series.
Never fear if you don't have anyone to take the reins of your partner, however. The Artificial Intelligence is well equipped to help out in attacking, protecting you or even complimenting a particular good headshot shot.
A shining Evil
If you're new to the series, Resident Evil 5 is an ideal introduction thanks to its action packed gameplay, polished two player mode and adrenaline driven set pieces. There are lots of story hints to past games and even a potted history to read while each scene loads to keep you interested in the overarching plotline.
For veterans there are a ton of nice touches and extras which will keep you playing long after the entertaining main game is over, while having someone to watch your back lends a wholly fresh approach to how you play Resident Evil.
Can you survive the horror of Capcom's action title? Grab a friend and find out. Just remember to hold on to them tightly... after all, you wouldn't want to venture into the infected territory of Kijuju alone...