Much like the majority of modern Resident Evil titles, Resident Evil 5 has now made its way over to the Nintendo Switch, bringing with it a shift to a more action-orientated experience where there’s a stronger focus on set-pieces and smashing up boulders with your bare fists (no really, it happens). The game actually had a bit of flack when it initially released for some of these reasons, but I’ve always found it to be an underrated yet enjoyable zomb- I mean, uroboros-killing romp.
Resident Evil 5 takes place in Africa, with series veteran Chris Redfield returning to take down an old enemy and a new virus threat alongside his BSAA partner Sheva. Having an ally alongside you changes the experience up a lot this time around, with the player either able to tackle the game in co-op (both online or local) or with the AI taking control of Sheva. Admittedly, the AI isn’t the best and can cause an assortment of frustrations for the player, but at least it isn’t as bad as having to look after Ashley in Resident Evil 4.
There’s a much bigger action focus in Resident Evil 5, with set-pieces aplenty as you work through the uroboros-threatened environment. Fortunately, you’re well equipped throughout and ammo is certainly more plentiful than in the older releases in the series. It’s a lot more linear than before though and there are less puzzles to be found, so it definitely brings a change of pace to the previously established formula.
Back to multiplayer, I’m happy to report than the online co-op works quite well. I didn’t come into any issues during my time with it, whilst the performance was on point too. Local multiplayer on the other hand wasn’t so smooth – it’s certainly a viable way to play the game, but I did notice a bit of slowdown here and there.
One welcome addition are the gyro controls which add a clever way to approach the action in the game. It manages to feel intuitive when playing on the Switch’s portable and docked modes too – sure, it takes some getting used to, but eventually you’ll start lining up shots with a satisfying ease. Just be warned: you can expect your shoulders and neck to ache a little if you do it a LOT on the Switch’s portable mode…
All of the game’s additional content is included in the package, which is a big plus for me. I loved the ‘Lost in Nightmares’ DLC which offers a refreshing throwback to the original game with a new action-packed twist, whilst the arcade-like ‘Mercenaries’ is still as fun as before. The weakest piece of additional content is ‘Desperate Escape’ which falls more in-line with the game’s main single-player story, but even that gives players a decent endeavour to get stuck into. Between the gyro controls and abundance of content on offer, players certainly won’t be disappointed by Resident Evil 5 on the Switch.
Of course, all of this content wouldn’t matter if the game didn’t run well on the platform. Fortunately, the majority of the time it runs smoothly – you will see some framerate drops during busier sections of the game, but it never feels unplayable by any means. The visuals hold up well too, though I must admit that some of the sketchier textures are more noticeable when playing on the TV. Anyone who has played Resident Evil 5 on the likes of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will probably notice the disparity of quality between performances across the platforms, but it still manages to hold up well here.
Resident Evil 5 is a fun, underrated entry in the series that holds up well on the Nintendo Switch – it has a few technical issues here and there, but it plays well throughout.
Still, it was a divisive game when it first released so if you didn’t enjoy it then, this version probably won’t change your mind. If you haven’t played it before though, this Switch release is a more than viable way to enjoy the more action-orientated experience whilst on the go.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC