Resident Evil HD: The Classic That Never Dies
A strange mansion in the middle of nowhere filled with zombies and a small group of police officers trying to figure out the truth? Sounds like the recipe for a b-movie, but it is also the basic premise of Resident Evil. With the current iterations of the game focusing heavily on action and the sci-fi themes of the story, there is a pretty evident contrast to what the series was before: a heavy focus on the horror aspect of things. Of course, it makes sense that after many years, Chris Redfield would truly be a veteran zombie killer -so depicting him as a slow paced and hesitant protagonist would be illogical. But that’s how he started out, and for those of you who never got to see the original STARS team or what Wesker was like before he became one of the main villains, Resident Evil HD will talk on a trip back to the past. Continue Reading
Release Date: 19th January 2015
Available on: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, Windows, PC Download
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Back to the Spencer Mansion
Before we all knew that it was a virus cultured to be a weapon created by the mega-evil-company of Umbrella, our first steps into the dark and dangerous mansion in the woods were filled with only one goal: to survive.
This was how Resident Evil played out, you choose to control either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, two members of Raccoon City’s special police force: STARS. Together with a few of their teammates, they have sought refuge in the Spencer Mansion after being attacked by insanely rabid dogs –not realizing that the dangers inside are far, far worse. It feels a little campy, and the original PS1 game even had live action footage that was beyond cheesey, but those of us who got to play it loved it.
RE was a game that focused on delivering good scares –and it did. By combining paranoia inducing camera angles, tight narrow spaces, and dangerously creepy zombies, surviving on a per-room basis was the overall pace of the game. And it was fun. Sure, RE5/6-era Chris and Jill would probably punch and kick their way through this house in about half an hour, but this was not an action game and you were not dealing with veteran fighters. You were in control of police officers who suddenly found themselves in the center of a zombie movie. The characters were hesitant and scared, and this carried on to the players.
So What’s New
But enough talk about how awesome Resident Evil (still) is, after all, plenty of folks have probably played the original or the very least, the remastered Gamecube version. This new HD game is certainly offering more than just updated visuals.
The tank controls are now optional. Granted that the pivot and move system added heavily to the tension of the game when it launched, it goes without saying that direct directional-input movement is far more intuitive. But instead of forcing players to using either one, Capcom decided to give players a choice –you can select your control scheme. This will certainly make anyone wanting to play the game happy as they can choose to go for full classic mode, or just play it in a more modern and conventional manner.
Load times are also significantly faster, but the whole creepy slow-opening doors still exist. They may have initially been put in to cover the load times, but since they helped increase the fear factor, the animated transitions still remain.
Other than that, the changes have been completely ‘superficial’ –except that in this case, the entire game has been complete a visual overhaul. Character models, animations, background textures, lighting effects, heck, even the audio –they have all been redone to make the game sparkly clean for 1080p resolutions. PC players will even have the option to tinker around with the framerate (60FPS makes for incredibly smooth visuals).
As for everything else? It has remained the same –room layouts, enemy and item locations, even the dialogue has been retained (yes, the Jill sandwich meme lives on). That is actually the best news of all. Resident Evil is undoubtedly a great game, so aside from fixing up the sights, the game itself deserves to kept intact. And this means that it will be just as scary as the first time it appeared.
One thing the remake also does, however, is show players the vast difference of the first game with the sequels. It is actually a pretty big difference that there is a divide even among fans. Resident Evil has slowly evolved from a survival horror game to an action horror series. There are still titles like RE: Revelations 2 that focus more on the original survival horror aspects.
On the other hand, the main Resident Evil series focuses on the growth of the characters, and in the later games, they are not longer just surviving, they are trying to unravel the truth and solve the problems. They no longer just want to survive, they are also taking action; so the shift in genre actually makes sense. In many ways, Capcom made a very wise storytelling decision –sadly, we could only guess what Shinji Mikami (the original creator of the series who left Capcom before RE5 was launched) originally wanted to do.
Verdict: Must Play Classics
There is no doubt that Resident Evil is a great game and if you want to be scared, play it –whether you are playing it ‘again’ or playing it for the first time, this HD version deserves your time. Every zombie encounter is palpably dangerous, just like a true horror game should.
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Resident Evil HD is developed by Capcom.