Ten years after the Mansion Incident at Raccoon City, Chris Redfield is still hard at work trying to clean up the Umbrella Corporation’s mess. Co-founder of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, he has just been dispatched to a remote desert village called Kijuju, where he meets a local BSAA agent named Sheva Alomar. She is to help him catch a known terrorist who is trying to sell a bio-organic weapon on the black market. It is soon discovered that something seriously wrong is happening to the people of Kijuju… Chris and Sheva must work together and search out the cause of the strange happenings, the very source of the BOW threat. Welcome to Africa.
This seventh game in the series seems to be even more action-oriented than RE4, the first to take a radical turn from the classic survival horror style of gameplay. In RE5, puzzles take a backseat to large-scale battles against many infected, and one stage is set entirely on rails behind a mounted machinegun. Additionally, a cover system has been implemented to facilitate combat with enemies that shoot back at you. More guns, more thrills, but will it still give you the chills?
While we had to wait 6 months for the PC version, it brings with it better graphics, free online multiplayer, enhanced keyboard/mouse controls, an improved Mercenaries minigame, and more! Of course, all of that is for naught if the core game itself isn’t any good, right? Even though you probably have read reviews for the console versions or maybe even played them a bit yourself, just pretend you didn’t and proceed!
NVIDIA 3D Vision
Resident Evil 5 is the first game to be officially certified as “3D Vision Ready” by NVIDIA. This means that, when paired with a modern GeForce video card and select LCDs or HDTVs, their 3D Vision glasses will deliver the ultimate visual experience! Or something like that… The entire game, from the menus, cutscenes, and of course actual gameplay, is displayed in eye-popping stereoscopic 3D.
This isn’t your grandma’s venture into the Z-axis, either, with the flimsy cardboard eyewear and blurry, tinted image. They look just like regular sunglasses, no wires or anything, and a few hours’ charge with a standard mini-USB cord will provide up to 30 hours of 3D gaming goodness. They have the slightest bit of weight that make extended sessions cause slight discomfort for the bridge of your nose, but otherwise you can almost forget you’re wearing them. Except when you try using them simultaneously with circumaural headphones – that combination just doesn’t fit at all.
The way it works is simple. The video card, working with the 3D software, renders alternating frames in rapid succession, one for the left eye and one for the right. The glasses filter these frames by flickering to black in time with which frame is being displayed at that moment. When an image meant for the left eye is displayed, the right lens goes black, and vice versa. The flicker is so fast, all you notice is that the glasses become visibly darker when the game is started, which is compensated for by the monitor automatically setting itself to the absolute brightest setting.
In order to maintain a fluid framerate throughout 3D rendering, the process requires a true 120Hz refresh rate – basically, 60Hz for each eye. At the moment, few displays support this; only two LCD computer monitors are listed as compatible on the NVIDIA website. To try out the setup, I was provided the 22” Samsung 2233RZ, which has actually made a noticeable difference outside of 3D compatibility. A higher refresh rate means a higher effective framerate in 2D games and I could swear I even saw a difference in Windows Aero, with something as simple as moving a window around the desktop looking so much smoother.