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When it was first released, the Resident Evil series was billed as a survival horror game. Ammunition was scarce and untold horrors were unleashed upon the player. This lasted until Resident Evil 4, which shifted the series away from survival horror to the action genre. Resident Evil 5, soon to be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, continues the slide away from horror started by the previous game. Resident Evil 5 once again stars Chris Redfield, who fans will remember as the protagonist of the original Resident Evil. Chris is now a member of the BSAA, an international group who deals with handling biological crimes. His current assignment finds him in Africa, where a new bio-weapon not only leads to present day threats, but unearths past threats Chris has thought to be long buried.

Chris is not alone in this outing, as he is joined at all times by his partner Sheva Alomar. Sheva is not your typical artificial intelligence partner; while she can fend for herself, she can also use any gun you give her and will heal you should your health become low. However, if Sheva dies, the game is over, so you must watch her back at all times. If you wish to play with a friend instead, Resident Evil 5 supports both split-screen and online gaming, with the second player controlling Sheva.

Death is imminent in Resident Evil 5, as the series trades the horror element of a zombie around every corner for the action element of 15 infected humans in every city. Ammunition is plentiful and you’ll need all of it, especially when you encounter enemies such as the Executioner and Chainsaw Majinis.

Releasing on March 5th, 2009 on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, Resident Evil 5 furthers updates the series for a new generation. While you might mourn the loss of the series’ direction as survival horror, you’ll quickly embrace and love the series shift towards action gameplay as it pulls it off magnificently.

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