Since Resident Evil 5 launched in March last year, it has sold over 5.5 million copies and received rave reviews around the globe (including our own one here)
Now, in time with PlayStation Move arriving and a fourth Resident Evil movie in cinemas, Capcom have released the Gold Edition of Resident Evil 5. Obviously the main core of the game remains unchanged, but for those who haven’t had the opportunity to play RE5, the Gold Edition packs in a lot of extras with a great price tag.
On top of some tasty on-disc DLC, the main addition for the PS3 version is compatibility with PlayStation Move. In order to play it with the motion controllers, you’ll need both the Move wand, the Navigation controller and a quick download of the patch online. Once in the game, players can select a different control scheme from the Options menu to switch between the traditional PS3 controller to the Move setup. Even the motion controls have two different configurations called Motion A and Motion B. After some playing around, the Motion B setup seemed a lot more intuitive and personally I would recommend it for most players. This is almost entirely due to the fact that the ‘quick-turn’ control default on the Motion A setup requires you to push the X button on the wand controller and hold left on the analogue stick on the separate Navigation controller. The Motion B setup has the ‘quick-turn’ action mapped to the L2 button on the Navigation controller so that it’s activated by the one hand that controls movement, which is a lot easier.
But the one area that the single analogue stick system suffers is in the camera control. Of course with the traditional PS3 controllers, users had two analogue sticks, one for movement and the second for controlling the camera. With the Move setup, players have to hold the trigger of the Wand controller and then aim the camera in the direction they want to look. Furthermore, the camera won’t pan more than a screen’s worth, meaning that players will have to turn with the Navigation stick to see more. After an hour of playing, you do get used to the clunky camera panning but you’ll miss the dual stick controls when zombies start chewing on your face from every direction.
This awkward inconvenience is nothing compared to weird decision over what button should fire your weapon. As anyone who has tried the Move Wand controllers will attest, the trigger located underneath is perfectly positioned for a shooting game. It feels natural and allows the player to mimic firing a proper gun. Yet for some crazy reason, shooting your weapon requires the Move button located on top of the controller. The trigger button is used, but it simply draws your weapon and allows you to aim before you can use the Move button to fire. You will get used to it, but I can’t help but think that they got the signals crossed when developing the game.
Of course, once you’ve rewired your brain to adjust to these controls, the upside of the Move compatibility is that you can be deadly accurate when lining up shots. No more desperately tweaking an analogue stick to target infected villagers; the Wand controller is perfect for instant head-shots or leg-incapacitating shotgun blasts. Anyone who’s played RE5 will know that ammunition is a sacred resource in the game, so being able to make every shot count is a Godsend. Reloading your weapon is achieved by shaking the Wand controller, which of course upsets your aiming. But the process of having to physically activate your controller to reload before re-aiming felt a lot more realistic (and heart-palpitating in the heat of battle). The quick-time events are also brought to new life thanks to the Move controllers, with shaking the wand to escape certain death a more intimate and engaging experience.
On a similar note, the motion controls make close-quarter combat quicker and easier as well. Although you have a knife, the Move controls aren’t designed to give you perfect control over how you swing your weapon. But being able to quickly slash with your Move wand to instantly attack with the knife is a lot faster than the two button process of the old control system. Players will call upon their trusty blade constantly, as cracking open barrels and crates to find goodies isn't worth wasting bullets.
Overall the Move controls in Resident Evil 5 are a welcome addition. But the reason for the flaws isn't solely the perfectly capable Move controls, or the original brilliance of Resident Evil 5. It’s purely the fact that they weren’t built for one another and have been thrust together awkwardly. It’s like gluing a bottle opener to your iPhone. Sure it opens a cold one; it also rips a hole in your pants. But, considering the motion control compatibility is a free addition, those with PlayStation Move will definitely want to download the patch to try it out. However, only those who own the Gold Edition will be able to experience it, as the Move patch does not work with the original Resident Evil 5.
On top of the Move compatibility, the extra content included on the disc is far and beyond the usual pickings for re-released games. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition includes two new scenarios “Lost in Nightmares” and “Desperate Escape” that both add new chapters to the original story.
Lost in Nightmares explores the back-story of Resident Evil 5 and although it only adds around an extra hour of gameplay, it does bring Jill Valentine into the game. It also marks the return of Umbrella founder Ozwell E. Spencer from the very original game and features enough in-jokes for fans of the series to have déjà-vu.
Desperate Escape is a lot lighter on the storyline and is basically a survival mission set in a fortress-like map with heavy-duty weapons. It introduces a new playable character, BSAA agent Josh Stone, alongside Jill Valentine and lets you plough through an epic number of the zombie-like hordes. Considering the limited amount of gunplay in the Lost in Nightmares add-on, players will appreciate the frantic massacre that Desperate Escape has on offer.
The Gold Edition goes on to include the Mercenaries Reunion mode where players race against the clock to cause as much blood-shed and carnage as possible. A Versus mode for multiplayer deathmatch madness and even two more playable characters; Barry Burton and Excella Gionne. Finally, an additional four new costumes including a saucy fairy-tale outfit for Sheva should make this re-release well worth the moola for those who haven’t played Resident Evil 5 yet. Even if you don’t have Move, the Gold Edition is fantastic value for money. However for those desperate to try Move and are considering buying this on top of last year’s release, you might be a tad disappointed with some of the controls.