Review: Resident Evil Remastered
Resident Evil has been throughout the years the reference of Survival Horror. The release of the “Rebirth” version on Gamecube in 2002 was successful in remaking this masterpiece (a Metacritic average score of 91/100), will this HD port to new generation consoles have the same impact?
Upon its release in 2002 on GameCube, Resident Evil Rebirth captivated gamers. A cult title, re-released 13 years later proving that it has not aged. At the time, this true remake brought a considerable share of innovations: extra weapons (daggers, bombs, taser), new types of zombies (the dreaded Crimson Heads), whole sections of unpublished screenplay (Lisa Trevor), new locations, complete visual overhaul, renewed enemy locations and redesigned puzzles. This is the ultimate example of what should be a REAL video game remake!
So what is the point of game remake nowadays, when there is almost no novelty except a slight visual improvement? Well, mainly for those unfamiliar with the series, it’s a good opportunity to discover one of the greatest titles in the history of video games on next generation consoles. But for true lovers of Resident Evil, is it worth it?
It is a joy for me to see Jill, Wesker, Barry, Chris and the joyful Raccoon City zombies on this new generation of consoles! Yes, I’m a fan of Capcom’s horror saga, and it’s really nice to have our STARS agents back in the dark corridors of the Spencer mansion in 1080p, although you should not that on console the action is set at 30FPS (in comparison to 60FPS on PC). Now for those who don’t know, the main plot of the game is of Alpha Team members (Wesker, Chris, Jill and Barry) being trapped in mansion as they are looking for their lost teamates, and must survive through the night as they haunted by T-Virus infected specimens.
As you would expect from an HD remake, the overall game is clean, smooth, with some effects and lighting reworked; in short, it looks pretty. But it is especially the textures of the 3D characters that have earned some finesse: the zombies are scarier than ever, where you can clearly distinguish the details of their monstrous appearance, their faces, as well as our heroes. For fans of the original Resident Evil, you will be delighted to know that the door opening cinematics were kept, adding a touch of fun nostalgia.
If it was already very clean at the time of the Gamecube, but Resident Evil for next gen is really a graphical beauty in high definition. One slight note though on the graphics side is that not all the sets that have received the same face-lift, still smooth but not entirely reworked, which makes the characters stand out even more in the setting. Sound wise, the soundtrack this time has a slight improvement that enhances the immersion and will please music lovers of the game.
In terms of new additions, do not expect to find wonders in this remastered version. Aside from the opportunity to have our main characters wear the BSAA outfits, to switch between original and modern button layouts, there’s nothing much to expect. On that note, be aware that modern control scheme can be tricky in some parts of the game, as camera movements become completely disrupted by the trajectory of the character. You may lose your bearings and find yourself confused, which I advise to ditch for the original button layout.
Finally, in terms of small innovations, yet relevant, completing the game will give you a stylish array of stats with your scores (number of enemies eliminated, ammunition used, retries, playing time, etc.). A small detail of course, but for a completion OCD freak like myself, it gives me a sense of completion, and show my mastery of the game to the world.
Resident Evil was reviewed using an Xbox One downloadable code provided by Capcom. The game is also available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC (downloadable versions only) We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• HD rendering of the characters.
• Playing in a 16/9 ratio makes a difference.
• Rediscovering a classic game on current consoles.
• Modern handling is poorly adapted to camera movement.
• The lack of real innovations.
• Irregular re-rendering of some areas in the game.