The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
The smoldering, destroyed helicopter of the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo
Team is one of the first sights to behold in the original Resident Evil. Jill Valentine,
Chris Redfield, and the rest of the Alpha Team crew have little time to
investigate what happened to their lost compatriots before they're forced to
flee into a nearby mansion to avoid becoming puppy chow. Resident Evil 0, set a
day before the infamous Mansion Incident, explores the journey of S.T.A.R.S.
Bravo Team medic Rebecca Chambers and an unlikely ally through Umbrella's nasty
facilities. Capcom has given this GameCube prequel from 2002 the same treatment as last year's HD
update of the excellent Resident Evil GameCube remake, complete with more
accessible control options.
Resident Evil 0 is the last hardcore survival horror entry
in the series, before the juggernaut Resident Evil 4 sparked a dramatic
paradigm shift away from the demanding resource management, complex puzzles,
and fixed camera angles. Rebecca teams up with fugitive Billy Coen as they
explore a runaway luxury train, abandoned Umbrella Training Facility, and other
appropriately ominous locales that tie into the early RE games in fun ways. Controlling
both Rebecca and Billy, sometimes simultaneously, is a unique departure from
the standard formula. The new control scheme - which eschews awkward "tank
controls" in favor of characters moving in the direction of the analog stick -
works wonders here, especially when controlling both characters with both
sticks at once. The more agile characters don't break the balance of the game,
either, as sloppy play will get you chewed up by zombies or swallowed whole by
The original 1996 Resident Evil kicked off an early series
tradition of magically interconnected storage boxes. Before settling on that
design decision, Capcom experimented with not having them
connected, and instead tasking players with lugging all their guns and items
around the game with them. Resident Evil 0 returns to that concept, but instead
removes all the boxes entirely, allowing players to leave items anywhere on the
map. While it's initially liberating to quickly toss out your knife or an
unwanted ink ribbon, the system can become tedious. Trying to angle your
character just right to pick up an item can be tricky, especially if the new,
optional zoomed-in widescreen mode cuts an item you're looking for out of the
shot. Additionally, nearly as much time is spent swapping ammo and items
between characters as exploring the creepy environments, which can hurt the
Surviving Rebecca and Billy's journey through Umbrella's
treacherous past unlocks Wesker Mode. This new feature, not included in the
original GameCube release, allows fans to play through the entire story as the
super-powered Wesker (circa RE 5) and a mind-controlled Rebecca. Besides her
red, glowing eyes and villainous outfit, Rebecca plays the same as in the main
game. Wesker takes Billy's place, including in-engine cutscenes where he syncs
up with Billy's original voice acting and animations. Seeing Wesker implemented
into some cutscenes is a goofy bonus, but the real meat is finally controlling
the series' big bad guy in a core storyline. Wesker can dash around
environments at comically high speeds, juking past enemies with ease. Controlling
such a nimble character within a game designed with cautious, meticulous play
in mind is bizarre at first. Wesker's Death Stare ability breaks the difficulty
in a delightfully absurd way, allowing him to charge up a laser-eye attack that
blasts out enough power to pop off every zombie's head in the entire room.
Imagine Tetsuo's bloody hospital hallway scene from Akira and you're on the right track. The absurd new mode is a fun
power-trip victory lap for longtime fans.
This HD remaster of Resident Evil 0 is an easy
recommendation for anyone who enjoyed the original GameCube release and has
enough patience to navigate the sometimes tedious inventory management. New
fans of the classic survival horror formula that came on board following last
year's Resident Evil HD Remaster shouldn't expect as tight of an experience,
but one that's deserving of its place in the core franchise and fleshes out
Umbrella's troubled history with dramatic flair.