Sunday, 8 March 2015

Resident Evil HD Remaster

For many people, the original Resident Evil will go down as one of the greatest survival horror games of all time. It manages to create a tense atmosphere with the prospect of danger lurking around every corner, something very few, if any, games at the time could do. While playing this HD remake, I can genuinely say I felt as absorbed in this world as I did when I first fell in love with it almost 20 years ago. Although the feelings of nostalgia add to the gameplay experience, this isn’t to say this remake is only for veterans of the franchise to enjoy when overall there is so much to offer for those who missed out on the experience first time round.  This certainly stands as a testament to the quality of the game. 

Developed by Capcom and out now on Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC comes Resident Evil HD Remaster. While the scares and jumps don’t quite hold up as they once did all those years ago, this second remake, the first being the 2002 GameCube version, certainly improves on a successful formula, not only in the graphics department but in other areas as well. While the original “tank” controls are still available, the updated control system makes it easier to navigate through the twisted, zombie infested hallways of the mysterious and still unsettling mansion. It also makes shooting and aiming much easier without sacrificing the nature of combat. While the static cameras can, as with the original, sometimes make it a little difficult for character movement and direction, the newer control system certainly helps this once very noticeable flaw in the original game. 

The graphical updates, resolution, textures and makeover of the rooms and monsters help the game come to life in a way that the technical constraints of the  original release were unable to achieve. Along with Improved character models and fully re-mastered sound, this HD remake has become the definitive version to play.  Perhaps the greatest achievement is the ability to scale the experience to the way you want to play; the choice between 4:3 or 16:9 aspects ratio, along with the aforementioned enhanced control system allows you to play the game best suited to your style. Killing zombies has never looked so good in this old but classic game.  While there are still some dips in quality in certain areas of the game particularly with outside areas, a lot of work has been done to bring the game up to modern standards.

For all its zombies and infected dogs waiting to maul you, Resident Evil is largely a puzzle adventure game that relies heavily on players managing the limited number of items they can carry at one time on their characters person. At times trekking through the same area numerous times to complete a certain puzzle can feel a little cumbersome, however, it still leaves just enough suspense to feel fresh each time you make your way down the intentionally narrow corridors and walkways. The presence of danger is felt at every corner and as you progress through the game, the increasingly harder enemies make for a punishing experience, particularly if you haven’t managed your weapons and provisions well enough. Save points can seem very few and far between and death comes quite frequently. This, however, only adds to the tension and suspense of the game. Updated puzzles, while many are simply run of the mill, require careful thought and consideration in order to progress the intriguing story and delve deeper into the mysteries of the Spencer mansion.

This Resident Evil HD Remaster is a great for any gamers wishing to re-visit what made the original so great. For any newcomers to the series, the game offers some genuinely chilling experiences and challenging puzzles that is often lost in many modern games. With limited ammo and supplies, taking down a variety of zombies and infected creatures, players will have to be brave as they adventure through the horrors that await them. The game does a great job of updating many aspects of its core for the modern audience while maintaining its atmosphere and allure. Although this game is not without its faults, for example, camera problems are still persistent as with the original, and some graphical flaws showing its age, the gameplay is essentially as strong as it has ever been. With just enough improvement to keep players coming back for more, these minor flaws will not deter from an overall chilling experience.

Resident Evil HD Remaster will feast on your free time and gets a 4/5.


Gareth Thompson

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