“You have once again entered a world of survival horror.” While this classic line has been altered in the new HD Resident Evil, I feel it perfectly describes the experience. Hell, playing this game means I’ve been playing Resident Evil for nearly 19 years. I’m not even talking about other games in the franchise – I’m talking just version of the original. This is a rare phenomenon. The only other game that comes to my mind that fallows this similar trend is the original Final Fantasy. Regardless, this is remarkable.
This game takes the very concept of nostalgia, rams it down my throat, and suffocates me past the point of it being ‘okay’ to stop. If that analogy wasn’t clear, that is a good thing. We gamers love our nostalgic treats. This 18 year old absolutely doesn’t need a HD remake but boy am I glad it exists. The second the game loads up after the intro and you’re standing in the entrance hall of the mansion – instant time machine. Wesker, I’m too enthralled to even listen to your tomfoolery right now.
If you’re coming from the original PlayStation version of Resident Evil, like myself, you’re going to find yourself a bit confused. If the puzzles, voice acting, item locations, and general order things are done differently it’s because you never played the GameCube version. THIS remake is a remake of the GameCube remake. Get it? Basically take the GameCube’s 2002 version of Resident Evil, turn all the textures to up 11 with high definition, and you got yourself a near masterpiece.
Let’s talk about these textures and graphics in general. They’re absolutely stunning. After playing for 5 minutes, go back and look at the original 1996 version of Resident Evil. I don’t feel like ‘night and day’ does this justice. Forget the textures for a second. The sounds and effects add so much to the atmosphere. Due to the fact that Resident Evil is a survival horror game, of COURSE there is a lighting storm during the night of the mansion. Every time the thunder cracks and the shadows appear from lighting flashes on the walls, I couldn’t help from smiling. While this should have been adding to the tension it really just made me happy. Maybe I’m sadistic?
Since I trounced on sound, I have to touch upon the voice acting. When I say that the original 1996’s Resident Evil had the worst voice acting ever – I say that it with the upmost respect. While it was terrible, it was legendary tier terrible. When voice acting is so bad that it is memorable, you don’t want anyone touching that. I get that this newest HD Resident Evil wasn’t the one to change the voice acting but that doesn’t mean I miss that old garbage. If this edition had an option to turn on the old VO I’d be in heaven. DLC? When Barry doesn’t say, “You, the master of unlocking” but instead some other BS why Jill should have the lock pick – I died inside. Died.
Now to the stuff everyone cares about, controls. I’m going to have to say that Capcom nailed this. Before you raise your pitch forks and burn me at the stake for saying the ‘new’ controls are good, allow me to explain. The ability to move in a circular motion similar to modern Resident Evil games with non-directional pad motion is on par living for 20 years and seeing the ocean for the first time. You’ll wonder how something so great and massive could have always existed but you’ve always been satisfied with just lakes. I said it, it’s good.
The reason why I say Capcom nailed controls is because they ALSO kept the tyrannical (see what I did there) tank controls as an option. So you “real gamers” or “hardcore” Resident Evil fans who prefer playing the new Resident Evil with the masochistic controls you know and “love,” you are absolutely welcome to. Hell, I encourage it. By Capcom allowing players to choose between the options, they satisfy all parties – genius. The ocean isn’t all that great after all.
At its most naked, the Resident Evil HD Remastered edition is just a better looking 2002 GameCube version with better controls. That’s it. That said though, that being it is a monstrous “it.” Nostalgic fan boys should absolutely flock to this game. If you’ve played the more recent Resident Evil games but have never touched the original, absolutely get this. Did I mention the best part? This game is ONLY $20 on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC-Steam. That’s a steal. Capcom honestly did all of this extremely right. I only wish more companies would make HD remastered versions of classics without completely ruining them, while releasing them at a ridiculously low price. So yeah, buy this.