The Resident Evil 5 FAQ

Fans have been starving for more Resident Evil 5 info. The upcoming PS3/Xbox 360 continuation of the popular survival horror series is but a month away, and we're here to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the game.

When is it coming out?
Resident Evil 5 will be available in North America and Europe on March 13, 2009. Japan will get the game a week earlier, on March 5.

What are the controls like?
If you've played Resident Evil 4, the controls will be very familiar. You won't be able to move and aim at the same time. In order to shoot, players must stop and aim the gun. With the default controls, a knife can be used by holding down a left shoulder button. This weapon is used mostly for opening crates, but can also be used to damage enemies lightly. When enemies are stunned, players can run forward and do a melee attack.
There are 4 control schemes to choose from. Type A is the basic control type from Resident Evil 4. Type B has L1 to ready weapon and R1 to fire. Type C moves camera control to the right analog stick. Type D, the default control scheme, combines Type B and C for a more intuitive interface. We recommend playing with Type D, although those familiar with RE4 may want to stick with Type A.

  • L1 - Aim
  • L2 - Knife
  • R1 - Fire Weapon/Locate Partner
  • R2 - Map
  • D-Pad - Quick Inventory
  • Triangle - Inventory
  • Square - Action
  • Circle - Partner Action
  • Cross (X) - Run/Reload
Aiming speed can be adjusted up to 5 degrees, going from "Slowest" to "Fastest." Both X and Y axis can be inverted.

Controls on Xbox 360 are similar, but the shoulder buttons are reversed:
  • LB - Knife
  • LT - Aim
  • RB - Map
  • RT - Fire Weapon/Locate Partner
Is there a special edition package available?
Yes. For $90, you'll also snag a Tricell messenger bag, Chris Redfield figurine, BSAA patch and Kijuju-inspired pendant. A second bonus disc is also included, with behind-the-scenes content.

Do I need to install this game on PS3?
Yes. The install takes about 5-10 minutes and will eat up 4819MB of space on your hard drive. (This may change in the final build.)

Does the game look good?
Resident Evil 5 is easily one of the best looking multi-platform games out there. Character models look very good, although there are some obvious low-resolution textures. Some of the special effects, like water, look quite bad. The framerate holds up very well, even on the PS3 preview build. Split-screen also runs very smoothly, without sacrificing too much visual quality.

How much of the game is played in co-op?
The entire game is meant to be played with two people. There are two options for multiplayer: online or split-screen multiplayer. Online net-code over Xbox Live is very smooth. Split-screen co-op is also very easy to access. The second player can press Start at any time to jump into the game. Note that when playing with two players, the amount of screen real estate drops considerably.

Both players are tied to each other when playing cooperatively. If one player has to stop playing, the session must end for both players.

We recommend playing the game with another human player, as the AI partner can be unreliable. If you can't do split-screen, jump on Live or the PlayStation Network.

Is there friendly fire?
Yes, but it is optional. You can change the setting before launching a new game.

How long is the game?
There are 6 chapters in the game. Based on the first half of the game, we'd guess that the final game should take about 15-20 hours to complete.

How difficult is the game?
There are three different difficulties to choose from. The Normal difficulty is slightly more difficult than the default difficulty of Resident Evil 4. If you're familiar with the franchise, it shouldn't be too difficult. Newcomers, however, may find it very difficult, especially with the game's lengthy checkpoints. The Easy option is great for casual play, with many of the enemies dying from two or three bullets.

What kind of Trophies/Achievements are in the game?
There are a few general achievements tied to campaign completion, like beating the game on Veteran difficulty or obtaining all possible weapons. You can check out the full list of Trophies here. (Achievements for the game should be identical.)

Do you control any vehicles?
Yes. There is an on-rails segment which has both players manning turrets on the back of a Jeep. There is also another section where one player must drive a boat while the other player tries to shoot down enemies.

What are the weapons like?
From what we've seen so far, every weapon in the game is from Resident Evil 4. Even the ammo boxes you obtain for these weapons are identical to those found in the previous game. You'll find the usual staples such as the pistol, shotgun, and sniper rifle.

What kind of enemies do you fight against?
Many of the enemies in RE5 can be found in RE4. Once again, the enemies are infected with plagas. Those that are familiar with RE4 will know to avoid headshots and to equip a few flash grenades in order to avoid confrontation with the parasites. There are other enemies, such as plagas-infected dogs and "heavy" type enemies that take more damage. Chainsaw-wielding enemies also return, as does a familiar boss from RE4.

Each chapter ends with a large boss confrontation.

Is the game racist?
It's easy to see why some will construe this game as racist. It may be easy to forget that these people are, in fact, infected with a parasite that alters their behavior. For the most part, the enemies in RE5 move and react in the same way as the enemies of RE4 -- the only difference? The color of their skin. The bodies of the infected disintegrate, and many will have plagas burst out of them.

Regardless, the imagery can be disturbing. It's unlikely that Capcom has any malicious intent by choosing Africa as the location for RE5. Although most of the enemies in the game are black, there are a number of strong black heroes in the game as well.

What are you buying?
Unfortunately, the merchant from RE4 does not return. You will be able to buy and equip items before each chapter section.

How does inventory work?
Players will have to manage their inventory in real-time. (The game won't pause when going through your items). You can only carry up to 9 different items at once, and four of those slots are assigned to your D-Pad. For example, if the pistol is in the top middle box, you'll be able to switch to it automatically by pressing Up on the D-Pad. Unlike previous RE games, the size of individual items does not matter. You will hold 9 different items: an egg takes up the same amount of space as a sniper rifle. By standing next to your partner, you'll be able to swap items with each other.

Do QTEs return in Resident Evil 5?
Yes. However, they are very infrequently used. You will go for a few hours in the game without encountering the first and only QTE sequence in the first half of the game. (ProTip: Don't relax during the scene with the motorcycles.)

Do I need to play previous Resident Evil games to enjoy RE5?
Yes, and no. The story takes place after a very long and convoluted series of events throughout the franchise. Characters like Jill and Wesker may be unfamiliar to those that haven't played previous games. However, it appears that the story of RE5 is nowhere as heavy-handed as the ones in previous games. There are far less cutscenes to watch, and far less text entries to read.

What else aren't you telling us?
Capcom has a huge list of things we're not allowed to talk about in this preview. Did you know that **** ********* is actually *****? Yeah, pretty surprising.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.