I've always been a fan of Resident Evil ever since I heard the iconic 'lockpick' line way back in the first game. From then on the series has had a rocky road to follow and CAPCOM have always been the market leader in the survival horror genre. The biggest change to the series came with the arrival of Leon S. Kennedy and Resident Evil 4, transforming the slow paced survival horror game into great 3d and nail biting action sequences. Story
A direct follow on starring Chris Redfield and Sheva (his new partner), Resident Evil 5 continues the Las Plagas storyline from Resident Evil 5 and transposes the action into Africa. There are Bio Terror weapons on the loose and Chris accompanied by Sheva has to investigate. That's all you're getting in terms of story, no spoilers. Gameplay
Resident Evil 5 plays akin to Resident Evil 4. Gone are the typewriter save points, now the game saves and checkpoints fairly regularly. This usually happens before an epic encounter or a boss battle for example. If you quit out of the game you also save your character's status, this includes any money found, equipment and items earned. You can manage your character's inventory and upgrade weapons at any time between the levels, or from the main menu. In this way it's possible to amass a decent arsenal prior to various encounters with a little min/maxing.
The attaché case from Resident Evil 4 has gone; it's replaced with a 9 slot inventory for both you and your partner character. The inventory can be managed in real time and the game doesn't pause when you select your equipment and so on.
Movement is based on several control schemes all clearly labelled, the new control scheme for Resident Evil 5 allows you to strafe as in a 3rd person shooter. This small addition helps you to maintain a tactical advantage in combat. Whilst you have to stop to shoot, even being able to strafe and acquire a new position saves a lot of hassle compared to the old Resident Evil 4 control method of 'spin and pray'.
You can also issue orders to your partner and help them out should they become overwhelmed in combat. The orders system is simple and requires only a button press combined with a D-pad direction to pull off. There are also context sensitive commands that trigger in certain circumstances, for example if Sheva or Chris is grappled by the enemy, pressing B when standing close to them will assist. If an enemy is stunned then pressing X will execute a close combat move. You can combo these in cooperative play with a human partner.
At certain points you can also take cover by pressing X and this injects a little Gears of War style play into the mix.
There is also a quick-select for items, so that if you place the weapons and items you need in the top, left, right and bottom slots of the inventory you can press the D-pad in the required direction to select them.
At certain points in the game QTE (Quick Time Events) rear their heads and require you to press a quick button combination to survive the encounter. These are often epic cinematic sequences that drive the larger than life storyline on, showcasing just how badass Chris and Sheva can be.
There are also numerous assist moves to perform, these are always on the B button and the game uses them to good effect in later sequences when you need to play cooperatively with a friend.
Talking of cooperative play, you can play online, system link or even split-screen with a partner and tackle the game's storyline. These mode is drop in and out with your characters sharing the wealth as well as a seamless inventory system that allows you to swap items, reward play with a quick timed press of B to offer a compliment (on a nice shot) or so forth.
There are several sequences that are really excellent in Resident Evil 5, some great boss battles, some vehicle sections and even a surprise or two. I'm not going to go into detail or tell you where they are, for that you're going to have to play the game.