By Bryan Smith on January 26, 2016 at 8:34pm
Last year, Capcom released a remastered version of “Resident Evil Remake,” previously exclusive to the Nintendo Gamecube, for PC, PlayStation 3 & 4, and Xbox 360 & One (strangely not for the Wii U). Practically in the same period next year, Capcom remastered the prequel that has remained a Nintendo exclusive for many years- “Resident Evil 0.” Is this going to be a pattern with Capcom and the “Resident Evil” series? I wouldn't be surprised to see “Resident Evil 4” or “Code Veronica” being remastered next year while they work on the “Resident Evil 2 Remake.” Though I rather them be reminded on what made “Resident Evil” great than going away from it... i.e. “Resident Evil 5 & 6.”
Anyways, that puts us with “RE0.” The prequel to the first “Resident Evil” that tells the story of S.T.A.R.S.'s Bravo Team and what happened to them that fateful night before Alpha team encounters zombies and other monsters. So that gives us this question- Does this remaster remain true to the original version on the Gamecube, and does this offer anything new? The answer... is actually yes.
In fact, I think there's more that was added here than in “Resident Evil Remake HD.”
Same Great Gameplay: Just Add HD
I'm starting to see a trend here with the remasters by Capcom; especially with the “Resident Evil” remasters. However, that's a fantastic thing. If you played the HD version of “Resident Evil Remake,” you'll be right at home with a few differences. For one thing, you play as S.T.A.R.S. Bravo rookie Rebecca Chambers and you're given a partner in the form of escape convict Billy Coen. You switch between the two while together or alone to solve puzzles and/or survive against the undead.
Other than the new controls and up-scaled graphics, the gameplay is virtually the same. There's still the item management, item combining, item finding, and the lot while you search a train, mansion, empty facility, and more. Some things I noticed this time around was that the difficulty is higher than other “Resident Evil” titles, or at least first starting up. You're thrust into battle with zombies with Rebecca from the start and you'll soon find out that Rebecca can't take a lot of damage, which threw me off at first. But it's a good difficulty, though. It's not the hardest “RE;” that's for sure. That title belongs to “Code Veronica.” A great survival-horror challenges you to survive, and “RE0” does that.
New Goodies Are Always Good!
Other than the obvious graphics up-scaling and gameplay options added, there are already more goodies added than “Resident Evil Remake HD.” Jill and Chris only got two new costumes- their “Resident Evil 5” costumes, which really wasn't that special. With this remaster, however, we got a lot more costumes to mess around with. Granted, they are costumes and do not change anything, but costumes are always nice. There are plenty of T-Shirt designs for Rebecca, outfits from original costume designs from 1997, the Easter egg costume from “Resident Evil 2” (where she wasn't playable whatsoever), a nurse outfit from “Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D,” and more. Billy also has a Cody outfit (funny allusions!) from “Final Fight” and a Wolf Force outfit at the least. Yeah, you have to buy/pre-order/participate with a T-Shirt contest to get all of them, but again, their shirts. Nothing to lose a lot of sleep over.
Of course the biggest addition is the Wesker Mode. By beating the game once, you get to play as S.T.A.R.S. Leader Albert Wesker with his Ouroboros powers. How that's possible when Wesker hasn't even died yet in continuity and would face Rebecca fully human later in “Resident Evil 1?” IT'S A VIDEO GAME and totally non-canon. Much like the unlockable Leech Hunter mode, it's a bonus thing to unlock and play. This mode is certainly something more than what was given from “Resident Evil Remake HD.” In this mode, Wesker replaces Billy. He can mix herbs by himself and has two unique moves- Shadow Dash (Shadow the Hedgehog's edgier cousin?) and Death Stare. It's like having “RE5” Wesker but putting him in “RE0.” Now that's a bonus goodie I can get behind.
AI/Partner Mechanics Could Use Some Work
So you remember how Sheva has some of the worst partner AI that people think of for AI partners? Take back a lot of the awful stuff but not make it as good as it should be, and you get your partner for “RE0.” You can control the partner's movements with the right control stick, sure enough, but you can't control their actions unless you switch to them. This works great with puzzles, but not so much when they're getting attacked by monsters.
You see, they are a bit dense in the head if left alone. They won't have the common sense to swiftly kill a zombie about to munch on their frontal lobe. At one point, Billy, with a shotgun at pointblank range mind you, decided that it wasn't worth shooting any of the three zombies surrounding him and get eaten. I died, reloaded (death can be cruel with limited saves), and got back to the same point and decided to switch to Billy, get Rebecca to follow me, and take care of them myself. That attempt went off without a hitch. Though it made me look at my partner's AI and wish that it was smart enough to know that their necks are not made of Twinkies and they shouldn't be so eager to share with monsters. While this may be part of trying to manage yourself and your partner, I think the AI could be a bit smarter as not to stand there and take it like a champ.
Slight Inconsistencies Still Linger
Ahem... SLIGHT SPOILERS! Though this game has been out for more than 10 years, you've had a long enough time to know the story. That, and if you know about "Resident Evil 0 HD," you most likely know about "Resident Evil Remake HD" and have played it. If you are not caught up, you have been warned.
So why didn't Rebecca keep all of her killer weaponry with her from the Umbrella Training Facility to the Spencer Estate in the first “Resident Evil?” Did Billy Coen really escape from the Arklay Mountains and remain hidden from the government? Shouldn't Rebecca mention anything from her previous ordeals? Shouldn't Rebecca also be less shaken and more capable to fight anything, seeing she downed several monsters twice her size before? The unfortunate thing about prequels made after the fact is that these things become quite apparent if they aren't caught beforehand. Otherwise it becomes obvious where to spot the inconsistencies. Then again, it's “Resident Evil” we're talking about. Story isn't exactly why you're playing this series in the first place.
Good Signs for the "Resident Evil 2" Remake?
So here we are. We got two of the most beloved games of the series- the two that have been Nintendo exclusive for years- remastered and have retained their excellency even after many years since their releases. Seeing the quality with “Resident Evil 5” and beyond taking a hit in the horror department, I'm starting to see Capcom getting back on track. Then again we have “Umbrella Corps...”
In any case, Capcom has done a phenomenal job with remastering “Resident Evil 0.” The horror bits are still there, making survival a tricky beast to tame yourself. We got the classic “Resident Evil” vibe going on with characters having snappy dialogue at each other. I feel right at home. Seeing how eager Capcom is now with going back to older titles, I'm really looking forward to what the remake for “Resident Evil 2” will be like. If they hold true to its roots, I think we're in for something special. Something that hasn't been seen yet this generation.
Heck, if Capcom wants to dig into their backlog, how about some reboot/remake love for “Dino Crisis?” That series got the cut too soon, no thanks to “Dino Crisis 3.” Can we get some new “Mega Man” games while we're at it? You got a treasure cove of games that people would love to see come back, and if you're doing things well enough with the “Resident Evil” series, I think you can do great things with your other series.