Atmosphere is everything.
Presentation: 9/10 How do you do to honor the game that defined a genre? Easy, remake it from the ground up to look, feel, and control like the original but with the polish and attention to detail of a current gen AAA title. Camera angles, environments, and creepy nuances in sound and music make this the most atmospheric and cinematic survival horror to date.
Gameplay: 9/10 The first thing you will notice is the lack of control over the camera, then the unique way the characters control. Neither one of these elements are by any means faulty but rather refined and unique to the early Resident Evil games as opposed to today’s over the shoulder shooter style. This adds tension and a sense of fear as you never know what’s around the next corner. The tank-like controls mean you you will have to master them if you’re to be fast enough to defeat more agile bosses in the game. There is also a subtle lock on feature that helps you hit your target without the need for on-screen cross hairs which adds the the cinematic experience. The limited inventory system adds a sense of realism and an element of strategy that will have you backtracking but the environment throws new and unique obstacles at you to keep the old hallways from becoming tired and redundant.
Graphics: 10/10 I can’t say enough about these graphics. The pre-rendered backgrounds make for some of the best graphics on the Gamecube and even the Wii, for that matter. The moody lighting and shadow effects add to the atmosphere which can only be described in one word “haunting”. The mansion this game takes place in has been a set piece to nightmares for everyone who has ever got to experience modern horror. Everything feels lived in but not quite real, as if you are experiencing a low budget 80’s horror film. Lightning flickers though the windows as if the dwelling is right out of reach of a thunder storm, and the open and shut windows are a constant reminder that a way out is a way in and nowhere is truly safe for long. Real survival horror at it’s best.
Sound: 10/10 The sound has an unparalleled creepiness. When walking through a hallway on the 2nd floor if your lucky, all you hear are your own foot steps. If you aren’t so lucky you will hear the cold groan of something nasty about, maybe a banging on the doors or windows. It could be the walking dead, or something worse. You don’t quite recognize these sounds and that’s the most chilling aspect. Some rooms have a creepy soundtrack that fades in when you enter, others have a dead silence to them and only your footsteps can be heard. The realism of the sound complementing the graphics is something I have yet to witness in any other game. If playing this without any other distractions, you really feel like there is a storm coming outside, the ground you walk on is real, and something terrifying has happened here. If the graphics are the heart than the sound is the soul to this feeling.
Value: 8/10 It’s so hard, after all that praise to say that this game may not be quite worth the full $50, at least not for everyone. While the die hard Resident Evil fans as well as fans of all things spooky will want to pick this game up immediately at the the end of the day, for the casual gamer, it is just another game. It’s over in around 6-10 hours depending on your level of experience. If you want the best unlockable weapons you can speed-run the game in under 3 hours. That proved very difficult for me but it can be done. There are two different characters to experience the story through and both of the have unique experiences and decisions to make so replaying it in different ways can be rewarding for the inclined, but after a couple of weeks, you may find yourself growing board of the experience. A word of wisdom: If you buy this game, keep it. It’s an amazing experience and worth picking up ever now and again (around Halloween) and well worth your time.
Resident Evil is a remake of the title that gave the survival horror genre the popularity it deserves in the video game industry. Everything a person would want in a remake is present. Updated graphics that match the quality of the current generation of consoles, better sound effects that give the games environment the perfect atmosphere and more area to explore that helps pacing and story progression. Really, a masterpiece and a title any fan of the genre shouldn’t go with out playing.
I give it a 9/10.
- Haunting Atmosphere
- Creepy Soundtrack
- Random Scares
- Tank Controlls
- Cheesy Voice Acting