PS3 Review: Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition

Resident Evil 5, the original game, has been out for over a year now. However, noticing the stellar sales of the title, Capcom has released new downloadable content for the game. For gamers who prefer to grab their DLC via disc, rest easy for they can now enjoy these contents with the repackaged Gold Edition.

So how different is this one when compared to the original game?

The original game saw Chris Redfield (protagonist from the original Resident Evil and the side story Code Veronica X) and Sheva Aloma forming a new partnership to investigate the development of biological weapons in Africa. Chris was looking for answers while Sheva was fighting an evil residing in her home country. Along the way characters came and went (died to be more precisely). The original adventure was crafted in the reinvented Resident Evil 4 action “survival horror” style gameplay and the story (in RE5) had ties, with the Plagas parasite now taking over the previously prominent T or G-virus in the previous Resident Evil games.

The Gold Edition provides more insight into two story lines in the original game – Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape. Lost in Nightmares told the story of how Jill Valentine (from the first and third Resident Evil games) and Chris surprisingly ran into Albert Wesker, their arch-nemesis throughout the Resident Evil series, at the Spencer Estate and the consequence of this fateful encounter. Desperate Escape explained how Jill managed to escape the bio-weapon facilities with the help of Josh (Sheva’s comrade) and eventually disclosed Wesker’s secrets to Chris in the original adventure.

Although both chapters are part of the original adventure, Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape played out in very different ways. Lost in Nightmares provides a more original Resident Evil style experience while Desperate Escape keeps your tension up by having hordes of enemies on your tail all the time.

In Lost in Nightmares, the environment is astonishingly similar to the original mansion in the first Resident Evil game and you are required to solve puzzles and unlock doors with emblems, keys and cranks. In the game, Chris even joked about Spencer’s “thing” for cranks, which I personally found quite funny. Also there is an area where you lose all your weapons and really need to survive the ordeal through clever puzzle solving and running away from enemies that will relentlessly pursue you. There are also new enemies that you have to figure out how to defeat and they are no less than lethal. Further, you won’t be able to bring your maxed out weapons from the main game, so you do need to rely on the limited supply from the environment or occasionally downed enemies to survive the ordeal. This makes Lost in the Nightmare a much closer experience to the original survival horror genre. More interestingly, in the mansion part of the game, you do have a choice to choose the classic ‘tank’ control that made the original Resident Evil games unique (or frustrating for some). If you want to relive that kind of experience, just check out the main door of the mansion three times.

Desperate Escape throws us back into modern Resident Evil gameplay completely. For players who missed Jill in action, you will be quite happy that this chapter is all about her. Similar to Lost in Nightmares, you won’t be able to carry over your main game weapons so you will rely on the supply in the game itself. But compared to Lost in Nightmares, weapons you can pick up in this chapter are a lot better, but then you have more enemies to take down that come after you. Also, nearly all the sub-bosses you hate (or love) in the original adventure are now back for second serves. So you will be on the move all the time as enemies will just keep coming and you will risk running out of ammo for survival. Desperate Escape focuses less on puzzle solving and more on action and adventure. Also it is a comparatively long chapter and thus a test of stamina for the characters in question. Also in a very Resident Evil style, there are corny flirtations from Josh and his comrades all over Jill throughout the chapter that send shivers down your spine.

In both additional chapters, you will need to collect star points a la emblem or treasure manner in the main game. Also, Capcom has increased the trophy counts of the game to fit in new trophies for the new chapters as incentives for veteran gamers.

The Mercenaries Mode from the original game is now back and packed with new features, or to be more precisely new characters. Now you can choose to play as Barry Burton (from the first Resident Evil) and Rebecca Chambers (from Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero). They both have different moves, inventory and weapons – with Barry Burton came with the famed Samurai Edge. Other playable characters in the Mercenaries Mode include Josh, Excella, Jill etc. However, it seems that the Mercenaries Mode in the extra content has toned down its difficulty as compared to the original game.

 

The last new goodie that is packed into this edition are two new costumes – Warrior beefcake for Chris and Business attire for Sheva. So if you are bored with the original extra costumes now you have more choices. These new costumes can also be used in the main game.

On the whole Capcom did pack in quite a bit of new stuff to refresh the year old game. At a near platinum price point, Resident Evil veterans who want all the new contents will be tempted to get hold of this one as part of their collection. One last thing is that, if you leave your media crossbar of your PS3 on the Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition icon under your game menu, it actually changes the wall paper of your screen temporarily, which is quite cool. Overall, this is a well-revisited package for an old game.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

About the Author

Level up freak. Level 99 is a norm not a goal. Love my JRPGs and RPGs in general. Also love my platformers and puzzle games. Was addicted to Zoo Keeper, Magnetica, Animal Crossing, Disgaea DS, Dragon Quest IX and White Knight Chronicles. Prefer to spend my time away from gaming as an actor although do have a full time job that keeps my mortgage going. But generally love anything creative. And if anyone tells you gaming is a waste of time, tell them you have great eye, hand and brain coordinations that they will never have!