The original Resident Evil came out in 1996 for the PlayStation. This version is a remake for the GameCube that came out in 2002. The story remains mostly intact, though remixed a bit. As either STARS member Jill or Chris, you will explore a mansion crawling with zombies, mutants, and an air filled with mystery. The lore is great and sets a haunting atmosphere. Too bad the plot and dialogue is laughably cheesy, though that’s par for the course for most RE games.
The goal here is to survive. How? Explore the mansion by solving puzzles and gaining entry into new areas. Repeat. There’ll be a lot of backtracking in the game, which is annoying, though again, par for the course. There isn’t a lot of combat early on, but when you do cross a creature, be prepared to either run or shoot it full of lead. Be warned though, ammo is scarce as is ink to save and medical equipment. What that and the unfixed clunky “tank” controls, it feels like the whole game is against you. While a bit frustrating, it’s still fun to play, and makes the game that much more intense and engrossing by teaching you to conserve your resources.
While some designers definition of a remake is simply retooling graphics and adding a few new tweaks here and there, this RE remake is almost a complete rebuild from the ground up. Sure you’re still exploring the mansion, but all the rooms, enemies, puzzles et cetera are either new, or remixed. The graphics still look amazing even by today’s standards ten years later! The detail poured into each setting shows this was a work of love. While the design may be great, the plot and game mechanics could have used a bit more refinement. Still, as far as remakes go, this may be the best I’ve ever seen.
This Resident Evil remake won’t attract everyone. It’s more the same so if the longtime complaints of the series, such as the clumsy controls and bad dialogue, haven’t attracted you before, it won’t attract you here. For fans, it’s a nice reminiscence of the original game while still feeling like a new experience. If you love Resident Evil, this is one of the better games in the series, even if it a bit old.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on March 10, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.