Resident Evil was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. It was released on January 20, 2015 for $19.99. An Xbox One copy was provided by Capcom for review purposes.
So for those of you that have been living under a rock, this is the Resident Evil that started it all in remastered HD glory. This is the start of the franchise that eventually grew into a larger series with many sequels, animated movies and even live action movie spin-offs that played in movie theaters. We’re up to Resident Evil 6 and I’m sure Resident Evil 7 is hiding somewhere in the shadows. So right, my rock has been rather comfortable. This is my first time playing through the entirety of Resident Evil. I might have played it briefly when I was young but I don’t remember a thing.
My historical experiences start with playing Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2 online non-stop on PlayStation 2 before playing the first game of that spin-off, Resident Evil Outbreak. Since then I’ve played Resident 4 on the Nintendo Wii, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil Revelations, and Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles. Oh, I’ve also played Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City which many people try to pretend never existed. I’ve watched my friends stream Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, and Resident Evil 3 and enjoyed it. The plot and background stories of Resident Evil the franchise are quite interesting to me. I’d like to think I’m as well informed as it can be without playing the earlier games of the series. I plan to play the rest of the series one day and it starts here. So what are my thoughts of the beginning of the franchise?
Here’s what I liked:
The game – A little broad, I know. The game is well put together. There is quite a bit of intricate detail applied to the game and very little to nothing at all felt like a complete throwaway concept put in as space filler. During the exploration of the game, there were many optional rooms and multiple ways to handle enemies through different means or flat out avoiding them all together. There are many places to visit and many of the puzzles require components that are found in other parts of the mansion. It’s almost overwhelming at first to explore but after some playtime and experience, everything feels great. While I wasn’t particularly scared at any point of the game, there was always a constant tension in whether I’d survive a close encounter with a zombie and what was lurking behind the next corner.
Chris or Jill? – Far too many games run into an issue where those games may have multiple characters but all characters will play the same except but with a different skin design. Some developers acknowledge them as different skins while others will try to pass it off as completely different characters. I’d venture to say Resident Evil 5 runs into this issue of Chris and Sheva playing the same but being passed off as different characters. Your choice to play as Chris or Jill is pivotal as both play similar story roles but in reality have different strengths and weaknesses that change game play and rely on a different side character to move storylines forward. Even something as simple as Chris only having six inventory slots and Jill having eight inventory slots has a big impact on gameplay as it changes the way items are handled due to lack of space. They find different weapons, have different health values and in some cases handle situations differently. There are even more small things that could be mentioned but let me cut it short by saying Chris probably has it a bit rougher.
Replay value – This game is a speed runners dream as forward progression is not forced upon a player leaving it the player’s responsibility to find the right tools to move forward. There are also many different ways to tackle situations which can influence different solutions to the same problem. It’s up to the player to find the best path through the maze known as Resident Evil. If speed running isn’t your thing, each character has a best ending and three other slightly less favorable endings. With a total of eight endings, that’ll leave a few playthroughs to unlock them all. If alternate endings aren’t your thing, this game also includes two more modes: Invisible Enemies, which does exactly what it sounds like, and Real Survivor mode, which is played on hard mode but turns off auto-aim and disallows inventory to be shared in item boxes, making item management even more important in each character’s limited inventory space. This game is just short enough that it makes for a fun game to revisit months or years later for a nostalgia playthrough.
Cutscenes – I don’t know if I got the short end of the stick or it was an Xbox One thing or something but more than half of my cutscenes were shown with many blocky fill-in textures. The game itself looks amazing but I felt like the cutscenes I watched were somewhat broken. I would have been more than okay to have a non-HD version of the cutscenes over the splotches of flickering fill-in blocks that I saw.
Some enemy’s attack speed- I wouldn’t normally suggest messing with a classic game, but I felt that zombie lunges were way too short. They would lunge forward for a super short duration and some zombies would actually recover really quickly and go for the short grab again. Hunters would poke you in rapid succession and if they hit you in the leg, your character will be getting hit again since it takes so long to recover from a leg hit. I’ve had cases where a hunter would poke me twice and then start spamming its insta-kill attack in the course of five seconds. Tack on the narrow corridors that these enemies are found in usually and this feels like it creates an unfair situation at times. I’m more than capable of dodging them regularly, except hunters while going up stairs, but I feel like their attacks should last a few frames longer as a better tell to their attacks.
I might have mentioned things I disliked but in the end, there is nothing I can really complain about this game. Resident Evil brings more tension to staying alive than many modern games do in the same genre. This might be an unpopular opinion but Resident Evil felt like a well thought out point & click adventure with horror elements and priorities on staying alive. Later games in the series feel like an action-adventure games with monsters thrown in with very minimal horror elements and too many tools to stay alive with. This game is definitely at the very least worth trying out. Some people might be turned off by the camera angles and the control layout which is a legitimate complaint that I had no issue with. For everyone else…
Score: Buy It
Achievement notes: This game will keep players playing for some time as it takes a minimum of four playthroughs to obtain all achievements and that is only if you’re experienced in the game or have someone that is experienced guide you through it on the sidelines. Some of the tasks include completing the game in three hours, beating the game using only a knife, beating the game without saving, beating the game on Invisible Enemies and Real Survivor which aren’t even unlocked from the get-go and more. For the veteran Resident Evil players, it can be done quickly but for everyone else, expect a bit of playtime.