Update; Despite these negative impressions, the game VASTLY improves as you go on.......
Alright, thought I'd give you some impressions, here. I'm still pretty early on (Boss in Chapter 2-2, I think) and there are some things this game does very well. The visuals are absolutely amazing, the lighting effects (especially as Chris's eyes adjust to either light or darkness) are perfect, and the atmosphere is INTENSE early on. There are some heart-racingly intense moments that feel right out of RE4 that are pretty crazy. The first encounter with Chainsaw Man is really tough.
In my experience, Shiva's AI is pretty decent, though don't let her anywhere near healing items. The partnership's pretty fun, though I just can't help but feel that it's all a bit forced. The action's top-notch, and there's a great scene (involving motorcycles) that's just amazing in its awesomeness.
The story so far also seems pretty good, with intensely directed cutscenes and decent (though iffy in spots) voice acting.
Ugh. Unfortunately, though, this game isn't a Resident Evil game as much as it is an action game. What I mean by that is that....you basically are taken from area to area, killing enemies (occasionally collecting a key or something) and then going to the next one. In between you get to purchase items/upgrade guns, etc. So basically, there's no exploration here, there are no save rooms, no mansions to explore, nothing like that. This is a game with pretty much enemy infested pathways and small villages that you hit one after another before hitting the next one. On the *RARE* occasions when there are no enemies bombarding you, there's no musical score or anything, and I just can't help but notice the complete lack of the foreboding and scary atmosphere the series is known for. They don't even seem to be TRYING for it. That one scene in RE4 where the helicopter assists you? That's the entire RE5 game. You've got helicopters blasting in, you've got your partner, you've got HQ with radio contact, you've got Delta team.....there's no sense whatsoever of any isolation here.
There are very few files to read, (read at main menu, similar to Umbrella Chronicles) and it just doesn't feel like RE. Sure, they introduce all these tidbits on Umbrella and the past games during the load screens, but other than plot I might as well be playing Gears of War or something.
Bosses too are so far a huge step down from RE4, and the controls, though I got used to them, are nowhere near as fun as they were in RE4: Wii Edition.
Still, it's a fun game with some great production value and so far a great story. But I've gotta be honest, the almost relentless action's beginning to already wear me down.