Where: PS3, Xbox 360; £45.
What’s it about? Resident Evil’s ever-mutating virus hits Africa and previous outbreak survivor Chris Redfield is along for the ride. Now working for an international agency that shuts down bioterror attacks, Redfield hooks up with local babe Sheva Alomar, but quickly gets trapped in a shanty town suffering an outbreak.
Except the locals aren’t your stereotypical zombies – they’re less shambling undead and more just very, very angry. They’ll run, climb fences, pick up weapons, lob stuff and, charmingly, try and eat your head. Sure they’ve red eyes like they’ve been on a three-day bender, but watch out – they’re smart, violent and on home turf.
As with RE4, the game piles on the combat and only lets up when it wants to creep you out for what’s coming next. Subsequently, you’re often left limping, with too few bullets and too few health herbs. But with Alomar, at least you’ve got help. And, brilliantly, mates can also jump in, step into Alomar’s high-heeled shoes and play your buddy at any time. If they drop out, the game takes over – and does a fairly smart job, too.
Two-player gaming is always available, so there’s lots of giving each other bunk-ups and co-ordinating to pull switches at the same time – a bit buddy-buddy, admittedly, but when you need a hand-up onto a shack roof before an army of machete-wielding maniacs hack you to bits, the co-op elements do add to the excitement.
The game shifts from moonlight to daylight, and scenery ranges through shanty towns, underground bunkers and open savannah. It delivers tension, awesome action and variety, but, as ever, there are a couple of minus points. With such realistic visuals, the heads-up display and highlighted power-ups (trademark crate smashing makes another appearance) seem tired and out of place. And, for close-in combat, the controls get annoying at times. But these are small points against a game that mixes mayhem, blood and terror in almost perfect quantities.
What’s good about it? Super-smart enemies; amazing visuals and atmosphere; non-stop action.
What’s bad about it? The clunky controls are still an issue; some weary visuals.
Verdict: Superbly scary African action.