Resident Evil Remake Review

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The original Resident Evil was a truly groundbreaking game, it popularised the survival horror genre and created a massive money making franchise for Capcom. After a few poor releases in the series in recent years (I’m looking at you Resident Evil 6), the original is back on consoles and PC. This isn’t a full remake of the 1996 original but more of a HD remaster of the 2002 Nintendo Gamecube release. When I heard this game was being brought up to modern standards I was hugely excited, after all this is one of my all time favourite games, so did I enjoy going back to Spencer mansion or is going back ten years into gaming history a nightmare?

RE_nextgen_Nov18_01_bmp_jpgcopyI am sure you know the premise by now but just in case you didn’t, Resident Evil has you stranded in a secluded mansion with decaying Zombies, rotting dogs, mutant spiders and even a massive snake -all out to kill you. You have to manage your inventory, with limited slots available for you to carry items and ammo, it is even more limited if you play as Chris. On top of all this you have to solve some fairly expansive puzzles that require you to explore for keys or items, as you try and escape the mansion and uncover the secrets of the Umbrella Corporation and their monsters.

The biggest selling point of this remaster is the graphics that have been updated in high definition. I am glad to say that they look amazing. Credit has to go to Capcom, who have done a really impressive job in up-scaling the visuals of the infamous mansion. It isn’t perfect however as some areas look seemingly untouched, the outdoor areas in particular look ragged and slightly washed out, it is a stark contrast to the more visited areas of the game, this does highlight how impressive the updated character models look, though as they stand out like a sore thumb in these areas. The old cut scenes and dialogue are untouched from the Gamecube release, this sadly does mean a lack of ‘Jill Sandwich’ and other cheesy lines from the original, and it also means that many of the in game cut-scenes are also left in their original SD format, this looks terrible and is disappointing and surprising as 5.1 surround sound has been added so why not HD FMV cut scenes.

RE_nextgen_Nov18_17_bmp_jpgcopyNothing in terms of gameplay has been added to this release, it is the same as it was in 2002 and playing through it I quickly realised that games just aren’t made like this anymore. I mean this in the best possible way, this game had me thinking, fearing and surviving from one room to the next. The newer Resident Evil games completely lack the suspense that fills this game; you are always on edge of running out of ammo or health. Enemies can chase you through doors and in the case of Crimson Heads come back to life if you don’t dispose of them in time with kerosene and a lighter. You also have a few last chance weapons to enable counter attacks, these are unique to this particular game in the Resident Evil series, it’s a shame they aren’t in some of the other titles..

Whilst the gameplay is the same, how you move about is not. You now have a choice of how to control your character, the traditional ‘tank’ controls are still there but you now have the option of using a new scheme that allows you to turn on the fly by just pushing in the direction you want to go. With static camera angles this does at times mean when you transition between angles you end up moving round in circles and have to stop to figure out which way you should move, but it is easy to get used to. The new controls do seem to make the game feel easier, avoiding enemies is far easier now you have full control, no more pivoting on the spot to get away. The new widescreen screen ratio is well implemented, it will move with you slightly as you run through certain areas, this does add to the cinematic effect of the game and is a nice new touch.

RE_nextgen_Nov18_-02_bmp_jpgcopyI have really enjoyed playing through this game again, it is a reminder of how good Resident Evil used to be, I also hope it is a reminder to Capcom that action isn’t the way to go in this series, and that a return to its roots would actually be a step forward. I hope that sales of this are good enough so that Capcom go back and remake other acclaimed games in the series, namely Resident Evil Zero, Two and Nemesis, but only if they are completely made from the ground up like this title originally was. If you are a returning fan of the series then this is a great way to play through a classic of the genre again. If you are a newcomer I highly recommend you try it, the new controls make it far more accessible and you may learn just why Resident Evil is such a long running series.

Reviewed on the Playstation 4

 

Resident Evil Remastered Preview

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Resident Evil is one of the most successful series of video games I have had the pleasure of playing. Surviving from the original Playstation with countless titles released over the past twenty years, the majority of which I have absolutely loved, this series is one of my favourites. I don’t think I am alone when I say that as time has progressed, the games themselves have changed drastically from their survival horror roots. With the release of Resident Evil 6 a couple of years ago, the only aspect that remained from the mid nineties seemed to be the title.

ResidentEvil_1204_01The reviews and sales of Resident Evil 6 were poor and this backlash forced Capcom to seriously reconsider the future of this franchise, in doing this they have looked back to the successful past and what originally made these games so great – the survival horror element. To test the waters of how to take the series forward Capcom have decided to re-release the first Resident Evil for the current generation of consoles. Originally I thought this would mean a complete update of the original title that was released on the Playstation and the Saturn in 1996, but it is in fact a HD remake of the Gamecube version that was released in 2002. This has become a little confusing but does make sense, as this version still looks impressive even today.

Luckily I can say that this version of the game is one of my all time favourites, I even went out and bought a Gamecube solely so that I could play this title. When people talk about a game being a console seller, I always think back to this and the impact it had on me. At the time this game looked incredible, being a massive visual improvement over the 1996 version. The game itself was also expanded on with extra areas and story added, so that it felt fresh and different as you played through it; a cheap cash in this was not.

ResidentEvil_1204_05Will this new HD remake have a anything new added? Sadly it appears not and this does make me feel that this won’t have the impact that it needs, to make Capcom realise that Resident Evil fans don’t want an action orientated game. A few new features have been announced though, with a completely new control scheme available to bring the game a little more up to date, the option to use the old tank controls is still there though, so it will be interesting to see what difference 360 movement will make to the gameplay. The camera will also be improved with the option to play in the original 4:3 ratio or a new 16:9 widescreen version, which should fill and look superb on your modern HD TV.

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I am sceptical about this release. I do fear it could just be a cash in for Capcom, as the game is still essentially the same as the one released over ten years ago. I hope the graphical updates are more than just a HD upscale, as it has been proven in the past that this can make games look terrible. If the time has been taken to redraw and model the characters and environments, then this could be a great way for both returning and newcomers to experience one of the greatest examples of survival horror. I really hope it does do well, as I would love to see a full update of Resident Evil 2.

Resident Evil Remastered is released online only on the 20th January in the U.K. It will be available on the PS3 and Xbox 360 running at 720p. With full 1080p output available on the PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions.

 

HD Upgrades. Are We Being Mugs?

TLOUR_FINAL_KEY_ART_1402331674 HD Upgrades of classic and favourite games are a good thing right? But sometimes I can’t help feeling mugged off and thinking those that buy into blindly have an element of turd about them. You’ve heard it all before from windbags like myself, but when I see a game that’s been out for 6 months re-released at full price, with merely a lick of paint, I can’t help but look at those buying it for a second time at full price and thinking “You arse-wipe” Of course, my ranting is inspired by the recently released HD ‘Re-Master’ of The Last of Us. If you haven’t played this game, it is a fantastic game. It’s a huge step up in what we consider ‘grown up’ gaming – not by its violence (which is extreme), but in the way it treats its audience as an adult in terms of storytelling and narrative. When I pay full price for game I’m happy to. I’m happy knowing that I’m paying a large team, a team that have been working on a game for a long time- with a lot of blood, sweat and tears and in some cases for years. This is reflected in the price of games and on the whole, I don’t grumble. But then for a lick of paint 6 months down the line to see the same game to be re-packaged. RE4_PC_PACKSHOT_PEGI_1390216278 I’m a hypocrite. I’ve bought many HD updates in the past few years, but I feel this gives me a platform to slag them off a bit. There have been some good ones, updated with a clear passion and love for their source material that the end product shines. When I vented my annoyance at this I was greeted with some hostility. “But it included all the DLC” they cried. Is this the same sort of DLC nearly all of us bemoaned about at the beginning of the last generation? The DLC that these same people said would lead to us being ripped off and should have been included in the game and price on release. Is that the DLC we’re talking of? Because I’m a touch stupid and easily get confused. I smell turd……….. A triple AAA game that does well can actually keep a studio going for years. Yes! The market has changed and it’s a lot more expensive to develop than it’s ever been to develop, with HD being at the very core of that and why we’re seeing the rise of the indies and will be seeing a lot more from them. But in this day and age there are still huge profits being made by the big-boys Minecraft, more free shit came from that game than the International Scat Convention in Berlin. Terraria gave us a complete overhaul for free, FTL recently had a massive free update. Away from the indies- Burnout Paradise gave us a lot of free shit, recently Plants versus Zombies (both EA, oh my). Unreal Tournament, Sonic Lost World, Killzone Shadow Fall. AND ladies and gentlemen, may I nudge your attention to all Valve’s PC catalogue. Masses and masses of free Left 4 Dead content anyone? I’m sure most of you can think of other games that have been generous with updates without charging and arm and a leg. strangers-wrath-hd-demo-1 There has been good HD upgrades and non HD updates. The Metal Gear Solid HD collection, as I touched upon above. The work that Bluepoint Games did on this was done with care and love. It shows in every pixel the care that was taken. The same with JAW’s work on Oddworld Strangers Wrath and more recently on Oddword New ‘n’ Tasty. The 3DS update of Ocarina of Time. Glorious work, glorious updates. Silent Hill HD………. I smell turd. Shadow of the Colossus…….. Oh fuck Ducktails…. even Resident Evil 4……. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary The turd is strong. Some may berate me for my choice of the bad above, but these are classic games. Classic games have a piece of us, they have our hearts, our memories our feeling and our love entwined in their pixels. They deserve to be treated in kind. Not a lick of paint and a foreman nodding his head “yer, that will do”, despite being left with ugly and sloppy work. The Halo game – a decent job on the graphics, the coding, complete shite. Unplayable online co-op. The game deserves better, we deserve better (and by the looks of it we’re getting something a lot better in Halo Master Chief Collection). I don’t mean to call you names, I don’t mean to call good games turds and I don’t like to call people mugs. But we’re being mugged. halo-the-master-chief-collection-logo-onblack-rgb-jpg TLoU is seemingly lazy upgrade insofar it just does seem to be a lick of paint. It’s not there to show off what great game this is, it’s there to quickly fill a hunger for games and I can’t see it being good for gamers in the long run. It’s there to fill holes, one in a games drought and another in some greedy bastards’ pocket. Look at the videos for the forthcoming Halo MC Collection see what some passion can do with an upgrade.

In a period when 1080p/60fps is bounded about like a badge of honour, it’s easy to blind and daze us to true artistry in favour of some numbers and marketing blurb that most of really don’t care about, we’re being told to care about.

Dazed people are easy to mug.