Resident Evil 5 joins the growing list of games in the series making its way to Nintendo Switch. Originally released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in March 2009, Resident Evil 5 was surrounded by many controversies for a variety of reasons. And, up until 2018, it was Capcom’s best selling game.
Perhaps the biggest controversy amongst gamers was the action oriented gameplay and the introduction of co-op play. Some even claimed that Resident Evil 5 was the death of survival horror for the series. Fast forward 10 years later, and for most, the controversy has long been forgotten.
Let’s take a look at Resident Evil 5 and see how well it has made its transition to the Switch.
Resident Evil 5 Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Third-person shooter
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
A venture into the heart of Africa you will not soon forget
It’s been 10 years since the biological threat by the Umbrella Corporation was unleashed on Raccoon City and 5 years since the events of Resident Evil 4. The game takes place in Africa in the fictional town of Kijuju. Chris Redfield is now a member of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) and has been assigned a new partner, Sheva Alomar.
The two have been tasked with capturing an evil mercenary, Ricardo Irving, before he can obtain and sell a bio-organic weapon on the black market. Even though the game is over 10 years old, this is the first time Resident Evil 5 has been released for a Nintendo system, so I don’t want to give too much away about the story.
As a long time Resident Evil fan, Resident Evil 5‘s storyline was such a vast departure from the series norm. And, because of that, it was and still is my least favourite game in the series. Now, I am not saying that the story itself is bad. In fact, as silly as this seems, if this was an entirely new IP with this storyline, it would be perfectly fine. However, by this time, the Resident Evil series had an established formula that worked and worked well.
As I mentioned earlier, in addition to its story, Resident Evil 5‘s gameplay is another aspect of the game that is different from other games in the series. Just as I remembered when I played Resident Evil 5 back in 2009, the game is more action-oriented and thus plays like an action-adventure game.
And, the action is non-stop. In fact, sometimes it feels like you don’t get a chance to catch your breath before your on to the next thing. I wouldn’t say that this is bad but again it’s a vast departure from what games in the series played like up until this point.
The biggest addition to gameplay is co-op play. Resident Evil 5 can be played 100% co-op via split-screen, and online play. It goes without saying that Resident Evil 5 is best played with a friend. Conversely, playing by yourself means that Sheva is controlled by computer AI and is not the brightest tool in the shed. She’ll use heal herbs at will and fire her weapon recklessly. In addition, computer controlled Sheva almost always puts herself in danger that will require you to save her.
Delightfully evil visuals
When I heard that Resident Evil 5 was coming to Switch, I was curious to see how well it would look. A remastered version of the game was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One a few years ago. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised how well Resident Evil 5 looks on Switch. There are visual downgrades noticeable such lower resolution textures and the absence of motion blur. However, given the Switch’s hardware it looks pretty good.
Performance wise, the game usually runs at 30 frames per second. However, there are times that the frame rate noticeably drops in heavily action-oriented sequences. Ultimately, it doesn’t ruin the experience by any means but does put a bit of a damper on gameplay.
Additional content included
In addition to Resident Evil 5‘s main campaign, the Switch port comes bundled with additional content, costumes and modes. Most noteworthy is Lost in Nightmares, and Desperate Escape DLCs.
After finishing a few chapters of the main story, Lost in Nightmares DLC opens up. It adds about an hour of additional content and allows you to play key flashbacks. Additional content called Desperate Escape opens up after you complete Resident Evil 5. And, again gives you about another hour or so of content that plays fairly similar to the main story.
There is also a mode called Mercenaries, which first was introduced in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. In this mode, your goal is to get as many points as you can within a specific amount of time. To do this, you must kill wave after wave of enemies using a wide selection of characters including Jill Valentine.
Resident Evil 5 is a solid port on Switch that is enjoyable with friends
10 years later my opinion on Resident Evil 5 hasn’t changed, it’s still my least favourite game in the series. With that being said, that doesn’t mean it is not a good game. I love the fact that you can play with friends locally or online. And, in my opinion is the biggest draw to the game. I had hours upon hours of fun playing co-op.
Overall, the game looks pretty good on Switch and aside from some frame rate issues, it runs well. Aside from co-op play, the ability to play on the go is another positive aspect to the game and the second reason why I would buy the game.
Are you a fan of Resident Evil? Have you played or picked up Resident Evil 5 on Switch? Let me know in the comments section below.
+ Extra content and modes included
+ Solid gameplay
+ Gyro controls
– Occasional performance issues
– Single-player AI controlled partner is horrible
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF RESIDENT EVIL 5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5