Resident Evil 0 HD - Review
I have been a fan of the Resident Evil franchise since I first played the Outbreak Files games on the PlayStation 1. Since then, I have gone through and played every single, sadly witnessed every movie, and read the novels that accompanied the fantastic video games. But let's be honest, the recent releases we have seen have been sub-par at best. The gaming community is dying for something along the lines of the original games - survival horror.
Capcom, in all of their infinite wisdom, listened to their fans. They are re-releasing the original games in HD glory. And the obvious changes are certainly noticeable.
How Does the Story Hold Up?
In terms of story, Resident Evil 0 HD keeps up with the original. It is basically just an graphically updated version of the game we once played long ago. That is certainly not a bad thing.
But, when compared to games that have released today, do we expect more or less?
Actually, the story is still interesting. The original titles were of an era gone-by, where story was not necessarily the main focus of the video game. Sure, there are plenty of well-written, beautifully designed cutscenes that break up the gameplay, and these add in the necessary story elements. But I,, found myself more enthralled with the gameplay than anything the story could tell me. As someone who has already played the original, the story was secondhand. That's fine, though, as new players are going to be enraptured by the tale of Umbrella Corp and the t-Virus.
For new players, however, the sheer amount of lore being told within the game in the form of hand-written notes discovered around the area, the quick cutscenes, and the interactions between characters will be more than enough to get them hooked. That is one aspect I did positively love.
But Wait, How Does it Feel?
Of course, being a zombie survival game, you would expect the entire scenario to be appropriately creepy, and that reigns true in this remastered version. The setting is rather linear, and slightly compressed in terms of scope, but that just adds to the excitement and the fear of something popping up. The zombies are slow, as they were many years ago, but that doesn't make them any less nerve-wracking. Popping off a couple of shots in the hopes of taking the enemy down is enough to get your blood pumping.
Unfortunately, the aiming is one of my main gripes of Resident Evil 0 HD. While I fully understand Capcom was trying to recapture the glory and fear of the original, the aiming system does not hold up over time. Gamers have grown used to being able to point and shoot at a specific target. In this game, you only have three aiming points: up, center, and down. If you want to get a head shot, you had better wait for that zombie to be too close for comfort. Dogs, thankfully, are a tad easier, as you can simply aim down when they come too close and never miss.
I'm In Love With Those Graphics
Capcom has come a long, long way in terms of graphics for their games. You can look at a side-by-side image of the original release and the HD remastered version below as proof.
The animations are quite nice, too, as Capcom has updated the attack motions quite a bit. Slicing the air with a knife is still hilarious, but that can be forgiven, as most people won't be using melee anyways. Running looks smooth, and interacting with various objects is relatively easy, unless there is a lot of clutter. Thankfully, you can tell what each item is before you pick it up, which was a problem in older iterations of the franchise.
The Disappointing Downsides:
Of course, not every game is perfect, and Resident Evil 0 HD certainly has some problems.
Of course, not every game is perfect, and Resident Evil 0 HD certainly has some problems. Namely, the camera, the aiming, and the transition between each small area.
To start, the camera was a big gripe, as coming around a corner swings the camera around, making the player unsure of exactly which direction they were previously headed. All too many times I found myself flipping around and heading the wrong way.
Second, the aiming is beyond difficult. Don't expect to receive a ton of headshots. As previously mentioned, there are three aiming zones for the player to make use of, and only the center is a sure-bet. This is reminiscent of a time long ago when running was still an option in games.
Lastly, the transitions. You will witness the same doors opening, and the same staircases leading to a black hole too many times. It grows tiresome during the train sequence, and that is only the first level.
Thankfully, not a single one of these issues detracts from the overall gameplay experience to make me stop playing.
So, Resident Evil 0 HD is finally upon us. Sure, the game has some downsides, as we noted above, but that doesn't mean this is a game to skip. In fact, I would personally recommend it to anyone who enjoys survival horror or zombie games in general. It is a fantastic ride into nostalgia.