And here we are, Resident Evil 1 remake, also known as Resident Evil: Remake (REmake), or Resident Evil: Rebirth (REBirth) (I will refer to this game as REBirth).
On our poll on Facebook/Twitter and the Blog this is the game that is coming top in our viewers eyes, so is it as good as everyone says? Could this be the best Resident Evil game? Or has it been George Lucas’d?
REBirth starts with S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) Alpha team sent into investigate the missing Bravo Team helicopter (which decided to blow up at the start of Zero). Depending on which character you choose (Jill or Chris) you make it to the mansion, where zombie horroreyness ensues, your party is split up, you must then figure a way out of the mansion.
REBirth is very much the same story as Resident Evil 1, except they have added storylines cut from the original (George/Lisa Trevor storyline), as well as further background on characters such as William Birkin.
This game is eye porn.
It looks BEAUTIFUL. The lighting is spectacular, the reflections in water, the real time shadows, are all great, and including the Xbox360 games, may be the best looking of the series.
The above image demonstates both the awesomeness of the graphical overhaul, and the difference in enemies. In Resi1, the flooded basement, had a shark that you could just run past. In REBirth, it is soooooo shiney, just look at the detail in the water. When you get bitten, you see the blood slowly dissipating, you see the splashing from the shark flailing, and there is a real sense of fear as the shark RIPS YOU APART!
Arrr Christopher (the first zombie)[yes, we named them]
I assume you know the scene, and I assume you remember quickly killing him with a knife (as Chris), or shooting him (as Jill), well in REBirth you do this too. But… with one crucial difference, the SODDING THINGS COME BACK TO LIFE! In REBirth they added a new feature “Crimson Heads”, these are ultra-pissed off zombies. The only way to kill a zombie now is to blow its head off (or legs) or burn the body. If you don’t, you get zombies that make Linford Christie look like me waddling down the road. They are fast, faster than you, and harder than you. They take more bullets, and they hurt A LOT more.
This adds to the fear, this game is not an action game. It has fully returned to the Survival Horror Genre, and that is what you do. Survive, It gives you a decision, do I run past a zombie, or do I kill it and risk it returning? Because if you shoot a zombie, to save yourself now, you got a problem later when said zombie is ANGRY.
You can solve this by burning bodies, but this time consuming, and takes up valuable inventory space.
Other enemies have had an improvement too, the dogs are twice as annoying, the crows actually serve a purpose now, the HUNTERS ARE EVIL. They are no longer ploddingly loud, they can surprise and ambush you, and they still decapitate you if you get too close. Also, as shown above, the sharks are now actually hard. You can’t out run them, and they don’t die in 1 shotgun blast.
They remain largely intact, but you can skip them. The first snake fight in the attic? I just left the room (sod that), Lisa Trevor? Well, you can fight her if you like, but you’ll lose. She is indestructible (yes… i wasted a lot of ammo before i figured it out), the first tyrant fight can actually be skipped, but the final Tyrant fight is now harder, as he actually has AI, and doesn’t just swipe, slide, jump in a pattern, he will actually aim at you.
What else is different?
I have mentioned the improved AI, the Crimson Heads, the burning of bodies, and new story depth, can’t be much more new? Well, you’re wrong.
Crimson heads follow you through doors (sometimes), and they also breakdown some doors. You can often tell if there is an angry Crimson Head in the other room, as they bang on the door. There is nothing more terrifying, than knowing you have to go into a room for a puzzle item, and seeing the door bulge angrily. Many times, I though, “sod that, i’ll go round…”
Items no longer have a glow to them, so you can easily miss crucial ammo. To compensate for this, the map stays red if you have not fully “explored it” and I only realised this about 3 minutes before the end of disc 1, so missed a lot of ammo…
You also get defensive items, these are single use items that if grabbed (by a zombie), you can use them to prevent yourself taking damage, these include a dagger, a stungun and a single shot pistol. These were a great addition, as they were not over powered, they didn’t one shot the zombie, if just destracts them long enough for you to get away.
We all know about the few “scares” in Resi 1 and 2, zombie hands coming through windows, or zombies breaking in, in REBirth, this happens a lot, be it zombies or Hunters, which will result in a Benny Hill-esque escape, and always add to the fear, you never know if the jaunty angle of a window is designed to make you think a zombie is coming through it, or if one actually is. You never truly feel safe in REBirth.
The magnum is no longer an item you will get by default, it is an entirely separate/optional puzzle, which can very easily be missed, and if you do, you will FAIL hard on the Tyrant.
Finally, there are 7 alternate endings. The actual ending itself is pretty poop. You get in the helicopter and fly off, but the alternates are based on who you saved, so the animation is slightly different. I assume if you save nobody, you’re just sat there crying like the little wimp you are.
I won’t list them all, but I (as Jill) got the best ending (Saved Chris, and Barry, but it did take me 9 hours 9 minutes (i did leave it running for maybe an hour tops when I went to the shop).
Anything wrong with the game?
Not really, if I was going to be picky (I am) I would say…
You don’t get a grade at the end, just a time. But i guess SEVEN ALTERNATE endings makes up for that.
There are a FEW plot holes, that are introduced due to Zero’s added timeline. Such as… The near by training facility blew up, which your helicopter would have spotted. Rebecca knew Wesker was the bad guy, why not tell Chris as soon as they meet, and just leave. They are pretty hard… She already survived this shit. Just get shotgun, open front door to mansion, and shoot the shit out of the dogs.
This game is freaking ACE! Resident Evil is already a great game, and the improved graphics, as well as additional depth to the story mean this is more than a simple reskin. It is a must for fans of the series, and any newbies interested in the series.
Pros: Everything listed above. VAST improvement on original
Cons: shut up!