I love Resident Evil Rebirth, the GameCube remake of the original gangsta that is Resident Evil, but even I am getting bored of remakes of remakes of remakes. Including the Directors Cut this is the 4th version of one game, and I am actively choosing to ignore Resident Evil HD on the PS3 because it is this game, just without the bonus of having Zero as a second game on the same disc.
But what do I think of RE:HD?
It is exactly the same game as Rebirth. From a technical stand point there is some fudging of the 4:3 ratio to make it work on 16:9 without ruining the tightness and design of the mansion.
Other than that? Well Barry and his stupid quotes are toned down. He doesn’t do the infamous Jill Sandwich quote, which may offend some of the hardcorefans, but I always hated the hammyness. The removal of the line also makes HD100% better than Revelations 2 which wallowed in self referential douchebaggery.
So yeah it is the same game. I might as well copy and paste that review in it’s entirety.
But I wont…
Storywise, it is exactly the same as the 2002 remake so…
REBirth HD 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 splits up and you must then figure a way out of the mansion. REBirth HD is therefore very much the same story as Resident Evil 1, except there is an added a storyline that was apparently cut from the original (George/Lisa Trevor storyline), as well as a modicum of further background on William Birkin (one note book that on subsequent playthroughs felt really forced).
REBirth on GameCube is still a beautiful game to look at, my screenshots do it no justice as at that moment in time I was using my phone, but taking screenshots directly on a PS4 I can bash together some comparisons. Water effects are still great, and comparing the flooded basement to the Aqua Ring shows a clear winner between the three versions. But I don’t feel enough has been done. The devs admit they didn’t rerender off the the camera angles so they just slightly upscaled them and this is my problem with modern remakes and my problem with the fans asking for them. It is nothing but lazy. I honestly don’t understand why more games aren’t released as a straight up port, for cheap.
HD should be a £4 download at best. Minimal effort was put into it, same with Last of Us HD, or all those or “HDs” this generation of console drowns us in. Rebirth got it right, the Resident Evil 2 remake looks like it is getting it right, the Final Fantasy VII remake looks like it is getting it right if it ever comes out. But HD feels lazy. It is the same game, minimal effort porting required in upscaling textures.
Do you know Christopher? Christopher was my friend until he made me pee my pants playing REBirth. You see Christopher is the first Zombie you meet, me and Scrambles even named him when he pops up and politely asked for a hug. He received a polite, “nice to meet you you Christopher” from the two of us before I stabbed him in the face.
Problem is, Christopher came back. Angry.In Rebirth the series introduced Crimson Heads, an ultra pissed off hyper-aggressive zombie that will rip you a new one. It is odd they don’t appear in other games in the series as they are easily the most interesting enemy in the series. I love me some Hunters, but Crimmos add pant shitting to the mix and the only way to deal with Crimson Heads is to burn the bodies, or blow their heads off. Otherwise expect those zombies to come back adding a certain level of randomness to each playthrough.
Dogs seem harder this time round, I don’t remember ever getting bitten by one in any previous version, where as here the bastard pooches were a down right hassle all game, and I finally understand why Chris or Jill didn’t immediately leave the mansion and walk slowly to safety.
Same as Rebirth. Save your shotgun for them and they all a breeze. Save Magnum for Tyrant, and he is a breeze. Job done.
Whats different between HD and OG?
Honestly not a lot, I’ve covered it all to be honest. You’ll obviously notice a difference between HD and the original though. So I’ll sorta relist those again:
- Crimson heads follow you through doors and they may occasionally breakdown some doors to get to you. You can often tell if there is an angry Crimson Head in the other room, as they bang on the door. Though every time this happened I thought, “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”.
- 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, since they didn’t one shot the zombie, if just distracts them long enough for you to get away.
- 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.
There are two ways you can look at this, and i’ll let you make your own decision:
This is Resident Evil Rebirth, one of my favourite games of all time. It refreshes a tired, clunky and outdated game and proves that a tight, claustrophobic survival horror game can exist on modern consoles without being Outlast.
Or, this is a pretty lazy release that makes no attempt to add anything new, and barely scrapes HD with Plasticine looking character models in cutscenes. It is however, still a fantastic game and well worth a bash.
Pros: Everything listed above. VAST improvement on original
Cons: lazy rerelease
Back in the Day:
The 2015 single release broke all sorts of sales records and was Capcom’s fastest selling digital title. It scored in the low 80s.
Also Available on: XBox One, XBox 360, PS4.