REVIEW – Although it might look like just another boring remake at the first sight (albeit not at full price, mind you!), Capcom made the impossible happen: they took an older title, which wasn’t just shoddily ported from one platform to another (hello Square Enix in regards to FF VII!), but took their honest effort in order to upgrade a classic to the current generation’s standards.
There is one other thing to mention: this isn’t a new game, or not really something new, because Shinji Mikami’s creation – he’s the mastermind behind Tango Gameworks’ The Evil Within as well – was originally released back in 1996 for the PlayStation, which received an updated Director’s Cut version a year later.
“Uhm… yeah… kind of…”
Then, Capcom managed to remake the thing onto the GameCube in early 2002, which was the base of this RE-remake. It’s given a rethink in a way that not only newcomers can enjoy a bite into it (unless they get bitten to death by zombies), but also by veterans as well!
On the beginning of the virus attack
This is where the Resident Evil franchise was launched from, and not even Capcom expected it to be so successful in Japan under the name Biohazard and rechristened to RE in the States and Europe. We can call the original release outdated, because let’s admit it, the controls are very tank-like, (it was the same with Lara Croft as well back in 1996)
It’s because you can also set up the game to use the modernized control scheme of the newer, more action-oriented RE games, and you can still make the game easier if that is the case!
There’s three difficulty levels in the beginning to choose from (Mountainclimbing, Hiking and Walk in the park), which is basically the triumvirate of Normal-Easy-Very Easy, which also balances the difficulty levels up nicely.
This remake absolutely tries to reinvent everything in a modern style that made the game successful generations before. You won’t always see your character’s health status on screen (this ended up as a standard since RE4), so you will have to go to your inventory to check how exactly close you are to death, (your limping will also give a clue about it though…)
You will really need to monitor your status often, because you can actually die from three-four bites, or by just a single headswipe that those Hunters can perform… and yes, that actually means an immediate death.
And speaking of inventory, this challenge has stayed in the game. Should you pick that ink ribbon up (because yes, no checkpoints, you can only save at those typewrites using the ribbons), or go for those bullets nearby? Go for that key item – it could be a key, a mask, you name it -, or pick that health item up instead?
Yep, this can be quite a challenge for some inexperienced players… If this is not yet enough, well, don’t forget the simple fact of the lack of ammunition in general. You will miss ammo, so you will have to hold yourself back to shoot everything that moves.
Read more: The Evil Within Review
If that enemy isn’t actually in your way, sometimes ignoring it is the best solution, unless it is absolutely necessary to progress. I am pointing out this because some zombies can actually gain a major buff if they return as Crimson Heads, making them very dangerous threats. In order to avoid this happening, use your lighter to burn them or just get rid of their heads!
Lacks puzzles? Nope
In the first games, there were quite a few puzzles that required completion – you won’t be lacking them in this remake either. My personal favourite would be killer ceiling that could crush you. The PS1 version had some weird music to accompany the scene, which made the whole thing quite funny – well, in a perverted way – as we saw the ceiling from the fixed camera angle as it was stomping us.
Speaking of fixed camera angles, this trait is present in the remake as well! However, the graphics did get a major update, so now the game runs in a nice 1080p resolution with most textures looking nice, although some backgrounds does look a bit messy. Also, what is actually the point of using those door animations between the rooms? Those are literally pointless nowadays.
But other than that, the game’s RE-remake is indeed RE-markable. Sometimes the framerate is a bit low, but other than that, the game is still stunning. It’s still a great survival horror that makes you think, look and shoot. Let’s hope the Zero remake will be at least this good. Thanks, Capcom!
+ This is how you DO remake a game
+ Modern control scheme included
+ Recreates of the older gameplay style
– Pointless door animations
– Lacking the original voice acting
– Some textures look a bit off
Genres: Survivor horror, action, adventure
Publication: January 2015