When playing the original Resident Evil back in 1996, it didn’t feel like a game – it felt like an experience. Back then, obtaining a walkthrough wasn’t as accessible as it is today. You had to exchange details and secrets with friends, revealing hidden items, solving puzzles together and most of those details were accurate.
The scares, the puzzles, the atmosphere of the Spencer Mansion still has that eerie feel to it as it did in 1996 and the 2002 Gamecube remake. This HD Remaster is basically a frame-by-frame remake of the Gamecube version keeping all of what made it great but also dragging along some of its problems.
For those whose memory is still fresh from the 2002 remake, might feel slightly disappointed. Even though the remake expanded on the gameplay and updated the visuals, it requires you to solve the same puzzles, surrounds you with the same locations and has the exact same “jump scare” moments.
But that is not necessarily a bad thing. That nostalgic feel when the dogs crash through the windows still gave me a jolt in my seat, reminding me why those moments are one of the most iconic in the history of gaming.
Some might feel annoyed by the fixed camera angles but it’s what made Resident Evil feel so cinematic. New players will feel disorientated when running forward and suddenly having the camera angle change on them while trying to avoid a giant snake but I was on the edge of my seat when cornered, trying to fight off two zombies at the end of a hallway. Those moments remind me what made Resident Evil such an classic horror game.
From the start, you can play as either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield who are members of the special ops force called S.T.A.R.S. Each character has a different story and locations to explore, yet they are set in the same mansion. Each playthrough will take you around 12-15 hours, depending on your difficulty level and it’s worth playing through each character for those extra unlockables.
The limited inventory can be annoying as you waste time on countless occasions, juggling items from your stash to your inventory and vice versa. The loading screens between each room are still the same door-opening animation from the original which might turn away many players as each loading screen can take up to 5 seconds no matter which platform you play it on.
Even though some of the annoyances from the original and the 2002 remake remains, there is no doubt that Capcom did a great job in recreating that tense feeling while updating its visuals and the overall feel for newer audiences. Resident Evil relies on its atmosphere and this HD Remaster definitely recaptures that which made the original game such a classic.
Whether you are a Resident Evil veteran or a newcomer, there is no doubt that every survival horror fan will enjoy this classical remake.