Game: Resident Evil Zero HD
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC
Rated: M for Mature
Last January, one of the greatest survival horror video games of all time—Resident Evil—was re-released to scare a whole new generation of gamers. This republished title, complete with upgraded visuals and online leaderboard support, proved a big hit for developer Capcom, reportedly selling 1 million copies by April of 2015 alone. It is no wonder then that Capcom has decided to reissue its prequel, Resident Evil Zero, one year later, this time with a slightly ramped up price tag, but is it worth it?
A Deadly Setting
Resident Evil Zero could be seen as Capcom plucking a name from their back catalog and then importing it over to newer consoles for a cheap cash in: a way to make some easy money after their success a year prior. While this is entirely possible, there is no denying that the game looks pretty thanks to updated lighting and modernized textures on character models. Although the individuals you control and the monsters they battle look great, the environments are most impressive aspect of the game. Whether you find yourself in a rumbling and rattling train or a haunting manor, the horrifying atmosphere is always tangible; this is true no matter your platform preference. PC gamers may have an even more freighting time thanks to higher resolutions options.
A Horror Story or a Horrible Story?
Resident Evil Zero is set before the events of Resident Evil, making this iteration a prequel. The plot follows the ill-fated Bravo team, the squad you are sent to look for in Resident Evil. Zero changes things up by placing you in control of not one, but two main protagonists: Rebecca Chambers, a young member of Bravo team and Billy Coen, an escaped convict. This should have proven for some interesting story designs, yet, sadly, if you have played a Resident Evil game before you will find yourself in familiar territory. The story does not really open you up to any major revelations and the dialogue and voice acting can be laughable at times, but horrendous acting is somewhat of a Resident Evil staple and is all a part of the series’ charm. This game is all about zombies and monsters, the story comes second.
Acting Your Age
This game originally debuted in 2002, so although the restructured graphics works, the new controls don’t fair quite as well. You have the choice to pick from the old or the new style, yet no matter your choice you will still end up feeling the game’s age. Another annoyance is the inventory system. In previous titles you can store items in chests found throughout the game, thus allowing you to retrieve said item from select locations. Zero deviates from this by doing away with the chest system completely. Instead you simply drop an item on the ground and if you want it, you have to return to the exact spot where you threw it away, making for some serious backtracking. On flip side, you now have two characters to play as, meaning twice the inventory slots. Aside from this new addition the gameplay has remained relatively the same.
Resident Evil Zero can be a fun, yet clunky horror outing. Despite the updates to the visuals and controls, a twenty-dollar price tag for a 14-year-old game will be a little too steep for some gamers, but if you are a fan of the titular franchise you will be in a horror filled heaven, even if you have played the game years prior.