It is perhaps a sad testimony to my own lack of common sense that I assumed that Resident Evil wouldn't be very good. A huge fan of the series since the beginning I was however very disappointed with Resident Evil Zero. Although the story - the events leading up to Rebecca Chamber's appearance in the mansion in the original game was a good one, the reality was formulaic, dull and had a slightly careless feel to it. The evidence presented in Zero along with bilge like the Onimusha titles had lead me to believe that pre-rendered backdrops had had their day. Well not so. Resident Evil stands as a testimony to how potent a package an old story can make if it is lovingly realised and expertly executed. This may be hard to believe but despite being familiar territory the thrills and spills in this title are as visceral as when we first experienced them on the PS1 all those years ago.
Firstly, the mansion is enormous. It really is a mansion! And unlike the blandness of Zero every room is a work of art. From the architecture to the puzzles to the sinister and dramatic camera angles it all has the sheen of almost uncanny quality. The way free moving items and characters have been overlayed onto the backdrops gives such a sense of immersion that for the majority of the time you almost forget its not 3D. A zombie banging on a pane of glass trying to get to you, the standard issue movable crates and the items hidden seamlessly amongst the scenery all dissuaded me from criticism. The game designers have also taken real steps to break up some of the linearity of previous titles. Where a strong narrative exists free roaming game elements are not really possible, but here we have the next best thing: a genuine sense of unpredictability. In previous titles there is the overriding feeling that once you have cleared an area of monsters you are safe and can relax. In Resident Evil this sensation does not exist. Zombies burst through doors, windows and out of cupboards and there are even more shocks. As a Resident Evil veteran I am well used to passing rotting corpses lying on the floor. As you pass them, sometimes they stir and shamble after you and sometimes not. Imagine my shock the first time I passed a zombie who leapt to his feet and then ran after me roaring and swiping at me with his claws.
Ultimately survival horror games aim to immerse the gamer in what basically amounts to an interactive movie. For this to work effectively there must be a pacing and distribution of set-pieces to make the whole thing read like a film. Once again Resident Evil cannot be faulted on this score. Aggressively side-stepping that old computer game 'thing' of having all of the impressive stuff at the beginning and a load of repetition and mediocrity thereafter Resident Evil is so well constructed its frightening. After the initial events that take place in the mansion the game will lead you out into the smaller residence in the grounds. Here you will be confronted with a more concise set of puzzles which ultimately lead you into one of the most amazingly exciting set-pieces I've ever seen in a computer game. From their an encounter with series nemesis Wesker will lead you back into the mansion to unlock all those other doors you couldn't wait to open on your last visit. Again there is more to see and do. Things have altered slightly in the mansion and there are more challenges awaiting.
Its always difficult to justify giving a game full marks, however in this case I don't see how I could give it anything less. I try to play through every survival horror game that comes out on the main console formats but not since Resident Evil: Code Veronica X have I been so totally immersed and captivated by a game. In short it's a work of genius. Rehashing a title that was so mind-blowing the first time around is always going to be a risky proposal but here it works perfectly. Essentially the story is (thankfully) exactly the same as the first time around but everything is done bigger, bolder, better and in classic Resident Evil style. And so to those responsible for Resident Evil Zero: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
on 26 September 2006
Originally released in 1996 on the Playstation, this classic survival horror game has since infected its way onto the Nintendo Gamecube in 2002 to deliver the most frightening, gut wrenching experience of all time.
Most people know of the story, set in 1998 the S.T.A.R.S Alpha team is dispatched to investigate a series of gruesome murders in the Arklay forest, bordering the sub-urban town of Racoon City. The characters end up inside the old Spencer Mansion, they believed to be long since abandoned by the Umbrella Corporation... they were wrong.
This huge mansion provides the perfect back drop for the story. The game features some of the best graphics ever seen on a console and no detail has been spared, from the lonely flicker of a candle to the rustling of bushes. The sound effects and music are equally superb, perfectly complimenting the action and suspense of the immersive gameplay. Indeed often the scariest moments are when there is no music and only the sound of your character's boots walking over creaking floorboards or polished stone, so quiet you can hear your own heart as you wait for something to jump out at you, which there is no shortage of in this game.
This coupled with the hitchcockian style camera angles keep you on the edge of your seat as you are unsure of what lies ahead. the Zombies, being one of the main features of the game, are some of the best ever designed and frequently cause accidents in your trousers as they lunge through windows or doors and more alarmingly when they REANIMATE jumping up and running at you with improved strength and speed.
The game is huge, with two playable characters, Chris Redfied and Jill Valentine with multiple endings depending on your course of action throughout. Harder difficulty settings give you more enemies to kill and less ammo to do so with, forcing you to make descisions whether to run or fight.
This game is the perfect homage to George A. Romero's Living Dead film series. If you are a fan Zombies and horror games/films, this classic should take up residence in your home NOW!
on 28 February 2006
Your in a dark creepy mansion filled with ravenous zombies, undead dogs and strange crows who peck your eyes out, you have a cheap handgun with very little ammo and you and your crew do the least sensible thing you can do...split up!
Then again it wouldn't be survival horror if you didn't because it would be easy, especially when your freind is packing a nice magnum. But you do, making one the scariest games of all time.
Lots of murders are occuring in racoon city, people being eaten and its kinda suspicious, you'd think a tribe of canibbals would be easy to find so the s.t.a.r.s (special tactics and rescue squad i beleive) bravo team is sent to
investigate. when they don't return the alpha team is sent to find them and this is where it all kicks off. The team finds the crashed helecopter with the pilots corpse inside it, lousy canibbals! Then the get attacked by zombie dogs and they run the the nearby spencer mansion by now realising that the murderers definitely aren't canibbals... they're zombies OMG!
You can choose either Chris Redfield or Jill valentine for slightly different storylines. Chris is tougher but has less inventory space and has to come up agaist more zombies so he's for those who want even more challenge. As you go off your seperate ways to explore you'll notice that the graphics in game are as good as in the cutscenes, making them amongst the best in games ever. i've seen some xbox 360 games and these graphics are better, this is made possible by the prerendered backrounds. the only problem with this is that occasionly it can seem as though your character isn't touching the floor or object.
The sound though is amazing, no hitches, the voices, groans of zombies and the music is brilliant and able to calm you down or terrify you in different situations. e.g. the groan and footsteps of a zombie somewhere around you but you don't know where is incredibly creepy, while the chilled music in the drug room is perfect to cam you before diving back into the action for more.
The only problem in the game, other than the cheesy lines in the cutscenes and the strange lack of cutscenes..ahem..is the controls, you get used to them eventually but they're very clunky and tanklike and for some reason aiming up involves aiming at the ceiling until the zombie/crimson head(really scary super zombies) comes right up to you then firing.
I mentioned the lack of cutscenes, much of the story is told through journals and papers. one partuculary sinister one is by a man who is infected by the t-virus(or as i call it zombie syndrone) and towards the end his writings become childish and generally rubbish. He calls dogs doggies and speaks of how he killed his freind, ate bits of his flesh and his quite humourous last entry is merely 'itchy tasty'! If this isn't bad enough you then realise that the dead man next to the bed must be his dead freind. After this you start to wonder what could of become of the man who wrote the diary, suddenly he (i'm assuming its him) bursts out of a wardrobe and the corpse by the bed gets up, you know what happens next. Thats just one of the terrifying moments in store for you in Resident evil. My doggie need food but i eat food, itchy tasty!
on 19 April 2003
This was the first Resident Evil game I decided to bother with - I'm not particularly fond of being scared out of my wits, but having seen screenshots of the game, I just had to see what it looked like in action. Yes, I bought it based on the graphics - as I'm sure many others will have done. Which is wrong, of course - except Resident Evil actually turned out to be quite a sweet little game.
Yes, it looks amazing. The environments are nearly photo-realistic, and the characters and enemies never looked better. Coupled with some haunting sound effects, it's presentation is constantly unsettling. If you like being scared, you'll probably get some kicks out of RE's many shock moments - I know I yelled out on more than one occasion. It's also clever how it tricks you into thinking something's going to happen - for instance, you see a window crack, and expect something horrible to come exploding through... but it doesn't. But it unnerves you no-end. The quality camera-placement throughout makes for some more creepiness, as the action is viewed from behind some leaves, or through a window, by some unknown watcher. It's damn creepy.
Don't listen to people who whine about the controls. Really, they work just fine. Probably the most useful feature is the 180-turn you can pull off by tapping the C-Stick any way - handy for escaping advancing monsters. And full free 3D movement wouldn't work in this game - you'd be running all over the place like some drunk as the camera-angles constantly change... anyone who's played Devil May Cry might know the feeling. As it is, it's sometimes a little clunky, but it works.
The puzzles that make up the biggest part of the game aren't mind-bending, although one or two might have you stumped for a while. What does begin to grate is having to ferry an endless supply of keys from one end of a gigantic mansion to another. Shock moments keep things interesting, but it can get a little tedious from time to time. It's compulsive to keep playing, just to see what lies around the next turn. And although the story isn't too great (I don't suppose it's going to be until the series comes to a close and everything's explained), the cinematics are enjoyable enough and usually give you something else to do other than collect keys.
With two characters to play through and multiple endings, the game has substance for those who look for it. Resident Evil offers a deeply unsettling, but highly enjoyable experience that fans of horror should love. It's so amazingly real, you can't help but feel at least a tinge of fear, even if you're a veteran. As a newbie, I was terrified, but gripped by it's unputdownable nature.
on 10 August 2006
the first resident evil game i played was the second one.. for the ps1.and then after that i got the first.. which seemed a bit dissapointing because it felt sorta bare. I got this the other day, and they have improved the game SO much!It is amazingly detailed now. there's mirrors and all sorts of things that wern't there before.There's new idea's on weapons. and quite a few completely new puzzles.. PLUS! the zombies seem so much more scaryer. they seem more threatening. This is a remake... so any complaints are petty, because we're lucky it was remade at all.And ive seen complaints about the controls. the controls of resident evil are as much a part of the game as anything else.
Overall, if you'v never played the original, this is a brilliant game to buy, and to get you into the series. And if you did play it first time round, the game has changed in certain places enough to keep you entertained, as well as being stunned by the graphics.
on 13 September 2003
Having been a huge fan of the Resident Evil series since the release of the original Resident Evil on the PS one, I was very excited to hear that they was remaking the original classic game for the Gamecube.
Upon playing the game for the first time I was instantly stunned by the incredable graphics that the game has, it looks a hell of a lot better than the PS One version as you would expect but I really didn't expect it to look as good as it does. The backgrounds are hugely detailed and really make use of the power of the Gamecube, and of course these awesome looking visuals make for an even more of a horror experience.
Believe me when I say that this game is not for the weak-hearted, this game is by far the scariest game you will ever have played before, much more scary than any other Resident Evil game or the Silent Hill games. Even if you have played the original PS One release of this game you will still be caught of guard with incidents that happen in this game, for example you enter a room and expect something to jump out at you but it doesn't, but that doesn't mean it won't happen later on in the game or in a different room. And the addition of the new 'crimson zombies' will scare you no end. The game has many new rooms and locations for you to explore which is great for fans of the original. Basically this game is a whole new experience for fans of the original and new players to the series.
The gameplay in the game is almost identical to the original which is a bit of a problem as there are still no anologue controls meaning avoiding enemies tougher than it should be, Resident Evil fans will be used to this system by now, but new players may be put of by this. Luckily though the developers Capcom have introduced new defence items in the game such as a dagger which you can use when enemies attack you, this will help you a great deal in this game.
The story remains true to the original as it is still pretty much the same but there are a few new story elements in the game, I won't get into this though as it will spoil things for you.
Overall these points make for a highly recommended purchase for Gamecube owners as it is the most atmospheric gaming experience to be had on the console, so buy this game now I promise you won't be disappointed. Also look out for RE Code Veronica X for the Cube in the upcoming months, which is even better than this game!
on 14 September 2002
There can't be many people who didn't play the original version of this game on the Playstation, and what you're probably wanting to know is: "isn't this just the same game with updated graphics?". Well, the best way to answer this is to list the improvements to the original as well as those features that should have been improved but weren't.
+ The graphics (obviously)
+ Loading animations only occur between rooms
+ The defence moves
+ Dead bodies no longer magically disappear when you leave rooms
+ You no longer have to press the action button simply to walk up stairs
+ Character movement is more realistic (although see below)
+ The voice acting has been improved
+ Some of the dodgy script lines have been improved
+ The game sends you through a different path
+ object and monster locations have been changed around a bit
+ Most of the camera angles are slightly different to previous versions
+ The sound effects are much better (particularly the footsteps sounds)
+ There are more rooms and locations to discover. From the main hall alone there are three extra doors to go through leading to new locations.
+ The map has been improved to be more like the mapsn in Silent Hill (with stuff written on them e.g. the typwriter save-point locations)
Why spoil it with this?:
- Running in a straight line is more difficult than it should be
- Characters still continue walking on the spot when you hit an immovable object, scenery etc.
- The zombies take more bullets before they die, focing you to shoot a few times, run away, turn shoot, etc. This becomes tedious.
- Because of the above, you frequently find yourself with no ammo (there's not much scattered around the mansion), making the game harder in a less enjoyable way.
- The loading screens could have been a bit quicker. just a bit though.
There you go, decide for yourself. As you can see from my score, I think it's ace. Just one thing though; whatever you do, don't open the front door!
on 15 July 2002
I have played the NTSC version of Resident Evil (GC). Two words can fully sum up Capcoms latest effort in milking the Resident Evil/Biohazard series, Damn Aamazing! The graphics are still pre-rendered 2d backdrops, but the level of detail in these newly re-rendered backdrops is fantastic. At one point I spotted a small spider scuttling across it's web in the corner of the screen. Even oil burning lanterns give off a realistic heat wave. The characters, enemies and items have also had a face-lift, with thousands more polygons to play with, the 3d modellers have made enhancements since the days of the Playstation versions of the games. Now the characters look real, crows have eyes that glare at you, and the Cerberuses (The dogs) have rib cages protruding from their sides. Motion Captured (MOCAP) animations were used for even more realism. Of course, that's just the graphical side of the game. Next we have the new areas and puzzles. Without spoiling anything, I will say that there are structural differences to the Spencer Estate that are noticeable even from the Main Hall. There are also areas that were in the original concept designs, but never made it to the game, such as the wooden cabin outside (Reminded me and my friend of the Evil Dead cabin). Having said that, it is still the same old Resident Evil mansion we all came to love. Anyone thinking this is just a re-hash of the original, with some little extras bolted on, then you are gravely mistaken. Even people who played the original will be slaving away at this for 12 hours, with people who havent playing for around 20. Believe me, the playing time is well worth it, considering there are 10 endings. All in all, a very good game, worth 5 stars!
Resident Evil: REmake was commission for the short lived Capcom/Nintendo exclusivity deal, giving all future made RE games to Nintendo consoles, a very short lived deal. It was brought a new crowd for the then upcoming "Exclusive" RE4
Playing through the game it is more closely to the original than what the synopsis says, more 30% new than 70-80%, that's not a bad thing though as the original was a landmark and excellent game. You can play through the game as either Chris or Jill, each character has their own pros and cons with variations in their respective paths through the game. The game includes the original mansion map with some new areas and some different puzzles. The same old gem, wind crest and octagonal emblem weirdo logic puzzles which don't really suit the environment are still there.
The graphics are amongst the best I've seen and have been compared as life like, this is more apparent in the outdoor sections where the grass, trees and shadows sway and reflect light like you were really there. Although everything apart from the characters are pre rendered they hold up to current gen consoles easily.
The ambient music is excellent adds to the tense atmosphere and changes the mood of every room, the voice acting has been greatly improved and is of a very high class, monster sounds are bone chilling, especially Lisa Trevor's moans.
The game will take about 15-20 hours to play through and is well worth it, it is the foundation of the epic Resident Evil series and personally my favourite of the pre rendered series.
on 15 March 2004
Having never played the previous Resident Evil games on the PlayStation, I had no idea what the game was all about (except for the obvious zombies!) But I am so glad to say that this remake was the first time I played a Resident Evil game, because the series is now a firm favourite with me.
From the moment the first amazing cut-scene starts, you know its going to be soemthing awesome. Even from looking at the screenshots in magazines, I myself was doubtful that the game would go beyond the graphics, but the first time I entered the Spencer Mansion, all doubts were thrown out the window.
This game is more than just graphics. It has atmosphere, suspense, a brilliant storyline, and above all else, genuine HORROR.
Even though the game is now two years old, I can still remember screaming out loud the first time I heard a zombie. Even though I thought it was dead, I wasn't expecting it to get back up and emit a horrible moan, letting me know it was still alive! After that, the frights just got worse - especially when the zombies started rattling the doors in an attempt to break through - and when they did, well, I'll not say what happened to me!
You think I'm a wuss? Try exploring that mansion when you've only five bullets left and there's no green herbs around to heal your near-death state.
But that was many years ago, and this game is now my number-one favourite title for Gamecube. I've played it to death, and I still love the unparalled stroyline. I love all the characters and how it's up to you to seal some of their fates. You can either act the hero and save everyone possible or look after number one, not caring what happens to the others.
This game is amazing. Don't listen to anyone who puts it down for its dodgy contros - you need SKILL in order to outmanouver some situations. And as for the 'door' sequences, well I think this break is needed in order for you to prepare yourself for the next unpredictable room!
If you buy this game you won't regret it. It lives up to all its expectations and its truly a prime example of how a horror game should be done. (I should know - I was sick with fear and didn't sleep easy for three nights!)