Aged well with time or is it past its use by date?
A lot of games have tried to hold the title of best horror game and if you are into the genre you are bound to have a few favourites. My list of favourite survival horror games includes, Dead Space and Dead Space 2 (I didn’t like the third game), Silent Hill, Resident Evil, P.T., The Last of Us, and Alan Wake to name a few. There are a bunch of other horror games like Until Dawn that I have enjoyed too but my all time favourite has to be Dead Space 2. Resident Evil can be considered as one of the best third person action horror games in my books, if not the very best. And it wasn’t just scary, it was a commercial success that popularized the horror games genre into the world of gaming. The reason the game succeeded was thanks to scary scenarios, fixed camera angles and of course the story. In
In 2016 we have the Resident Evil Origins Collection which comprises of Resident Evil HD remastered and Resident Evil Zero. The million dollar question here is how well do the age old games hold up to stiff competition from modern horror games, if at all.The first Resident Evil game released in 1996 and has seen HD launches for subsequent consoles over the years. Resident Evil Zero is a prequel to Resident Evil and was released in 2002. Now both the games are on offer for the PS4 and Xbox One as the Origins collection.
Kicking things off with story of Resident Evil Zero, the game starts off with Bravo Team of the Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) police force being sent to investigate a series of cannibalistic murders in the Arklay Mountains outside of Raccoon City. They suspect that the culprit is a convict named Billy Coen but that’s not the real deal. As the player, you get to control Billy and STARS’ Rebecca Chambers to get to the bottom of the mystery. The story remains unchanged from the original but we won’t talk about it more just to avoid some obvious spoilers.
Moving to the story of Resident Evil, it takes place in 1998 near the fictional Midwestern town of Raccoon City where a series of bizarre murders have taken place. The player has the ability to control either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, S.T.A.R.S. agents sent in to investigate the murders. It’s easy to notice that both the game’s story takes place in the same timeline with the difference of one day so when you play the game, you will unravel the story of both the game through four pairs of eyes and different perspectives which is the best part about the games. It’s distinctly unique, something that’s worth experiencing firsthand (rather than read about it, for sure).
Nothing’s changed here and gameplay’s exactly the same (as the old games) and that is a tad disappointing. You can switch between the characters you control at will and that’s great as each brings his or her own set of skills to the table. But during the course of the game, you end up switching characters to save them or babysit by protecting them. It does get annoying and you end up wishing the AI character controller was a lot like Ellie from the Last of Us.
Moving to combat, the fixed camera angle was great for its time when Resident Evil had first debuted back in the ‘90s but in the current age of 3D, it’s not only old but can get annoying especially if the enemy or your character is located at that one spot where moving one step will cause the camera angle to change disrupting everything. It’s also worth noting that thanks to the fixed camera angle there are times when an enemy is right in front of you but you can’t see it.
When it comes to traversing, too, every time you open a door you have to walk through black space to get to the next level. In a horror game, this can work well if it helps build up the anticipation of what’s on the other side. If you have played P.T., then you know that this trick doesn’t work anymore and if anything takes away from the focus you have in the game.
I’m not a big fan of RPG elements in action games but I don’t mind if the mechanics are good. Unfortunately, the inventory management system in RE Zero is a pain. Each character has certain abilities with certain items so you have to make sure that that character has the item – otherwise it’s practically useless. It doesn’t help that you can carry limited inventory which means that you have to be strategic before dropping certain items in case you need to come back for them.
All the above mentioned gameplay mechanics defined Resident Evil as an awesome horror game when it launched but with the advancements in game mechanics, this doesn’t hold up all that well by present day standards.
GRAPHICS and SOUND
You can choose to play the game in 4:3 or 16:9 and that’s a nice touch seeing that the original game was 4:3. The visuals of the game have been upped and look very good. The hoards of zombies attacking you can give the likes of the Clickers from Last of Us or even the Necromorphs from Dead Space a run for their money. Graphics portray visual horror well and the accompanying sound plays its part to some degree.
The voice acting is cheeky as ever and that isn’t a bad thing especially if you’ve played the game before. You will be in awe as to how you fell in love with a game with cheeky dialogue and if like me you play the game in front of a non-gamer, you will spend time defending the cheeky voice acting because it was so awesome when the game launched and still is a lot of fun. The rest of the sound stage and atmospherics from the zombies to the doors creaking are well put together and do well to immerse you in the game. The sound effects of the firearms too make are good.
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Price: PC: Rs.1,499. PS4 and Xbox One: Rs.2,499
The million-dollar question remains, should you drop 2.5K approx. on two Resident Evil games on one disc? Well, the answer is yes and no. If you have played the games when they first launched and would like to go back to the good old days with improved graphics, then by all means go ahead. You will have a blast. But if like me, you too have moved on with time to the new genre-defining horror games like the ones mentioned above, then the old school mechanics of Resident Evil will be quite annoying.
|Good visuals||Old school gameplay
mechanics don’t hold
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Sameer "Psycho Mantis" Mitha
I live for gaming and technology is my muse. When I am not busy playing with gadgets or video games I delve into the world of fantasy novels.