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Game Info:

Resident Evil HD
Developed By: Capcom
Published By: Capcom
Released: January 19, 2015
Available On: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, PC(Steam), Xbox360, XboxOne
Genre: Survival Horror
ESRB Rating: M for mature (Violence, Blood and Gore, Language)|
Number of Players: 1
Price: $20.00
(Humble Affiliate Link)

Enter, the survival horror. These are the words you are greeted with upon entering the eponymous Spencer Mansion. (cuz it’s a residence….with evil in it...get it?...Yeah I agree Biohazard does sound cooler but what can you do?) This terrifying yet campy sentence perfectly sums up the experience of this game. This game is an HD remastering of a 2002 remake of the original resident evil, the game that coined the term “survival horror.” Many of you may be asking, “What is survival horror?” Well read on. Don’t worry I won’t bite... but the zombies will.

Resident Evil’s story entails members of a SWAT like unit of the police called STARS, (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) as they’re sent in to investigate a string of mysterious murders in the woods. They’re attacked by rabid dogs and forced to seek shelter in the abandoned Spencer mansion. Little do they know that this mansion holds within it the plethora of terrifying biologically engineered monsters, everything from car sized spiders, to half reptile men and of course, countless hungry zombies. As if that weren’t bad enough, the entire mansion has crazy logic puzzle security measures that will test the player’s wit and grit. Getting out alive is the daunting task before you, but if you’re cautious and don’t panic, you’ll get out alive and well.

Resident Evil plays using fixed third person camera angles and tank controls. For the uninitiated, tank controls work in such a way that when you press forward it moves your character forward in the direction they are facing, and pressing left or right makes them slowly turn in that direction relative to where they are facing rather than dashing off immediately like most games. This allows you to continue moving as the ominous third person camera watches you from odd angles that keep you from seeing very far ahead. It may feel clunky at first but these two features absolutely sell the horror atmosphere.

Resident Evil HD
Highlights:

Strong Points: Loads of replay value; balances atmosphere and gameplay well; adjustable difficulty and challenges catering to both pros and newcomers alike; unique style of gameplay.
Weak Points: Controls will be a put off to some; It also occasionally pokes fun at itself and that might take some out of the experience.
Moral Warnings: Violent and frightening to many; Some language (d*mn, h*ll, b*****d, s**t, and the lord's name in vain once ); Optional fanservicey costumes; Some background pinup posters in one room; Gore, lots of gore.

The most important aspect of Resident Evil is resource management. Your character has a limited amount of health, ammo, inventory space, and even saves. This means you have to constantly keep track of what you have and try and guess when you can afford to heal or save or even shoot. What makes this game so much better (in this reviewer’s opinion) than other horror games are two key factors. 

Rather than making you absolutely powerless and forcing you to run from everything, this game gives you just enough ammo to do some damage but not enough to remove all danger. Meaning you have got to painstakingly decide when a situation is too dangerous and you need to take out these monsters versus when you think you have just enough health to make it back to that save room without dying. Which leads to the second great thing about Resident Evil: saves are a limited supply item and they take up inventory space. Yeah, if you want to save you have to give up an item slot that could be used to hold key items or more ammo or a healing item. This creates yet another brilliant layer of risk versus reward that builds even more tension for the player.

The story of Resident Evil isn’t exactly of Tolkien level quality, but it perfectly fits the sort of campy zombie movie aesthetic the game is going for, and the intentionally awkward voice acting actually really helps break some of the tension the gameplay causes. The entire game has a very distinct look with largely pre-rendered backgrounds against 3D models. It may not be of top fidelity, but the art direction lets this game hold up over a decade later. Despite being initially scary, the game gives way to a sort of enjoyable mystery thriller plot as it goes on.

Resident Evil HD
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 72%
Violence - 1.5/10
Language - 5/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10
+3 The traitor gets their due

This shift from a subtle horror to a more proactive fight is empowerment in gaming done right. It also lends itself well to the replayability. Each time you beat the game, many different replay options come. These include: real survivor (super hard mode), knife only, under three hours, invisible enemies, different costumes and an unlimited ammo rocket launcher. All of these provide a quality challenge of the player and made going for 100% completion a real treat and a fun challenge. That’s not even mentioning the tons of other replayable incentives, such as two different characters whose stories vary slightly, different paths, and choices each can take throughout the game, as well as twelve different endings.

As much as I’ve gushed about this game, it would only be fair to point out the few flaws that are there. For one, the game can be tense and frightening, it’s rated M for a reason. That being said, I had some friends who are very sensitive to violence play it with me and they said it wasn’t as bad as other games, so your mileage may vary. Still, I would probably not let younger children play it to be sure. Beyond that, there is the occasional curse word, nothing you won’t see on daytime television, but that’s something to keep in mind.  Finally, there are some small (but odd) sexual inclusions in the game. This includes a scantily clad pinup poster in the break room. There is also a brief instance of artistic nudity (female breasts) involved in a puzzle. Even more curiously is the inclusion of breast physics on Jill (the female lead) that was not present until the HD remake. It’s not super pronounced but when you notice it, it feels very out of place. The extra costumes on the women can be a bit questionable but nothing too racy (and they are 100% optional). While the player never kills another human, a traitor does shoot and kill other humans.

Resident Evil HD is a near perfect experience in the gameplay department. It is the pinnacle of its' genre, and manages to do exactly what it set out to do and then some. That being said, the blood and gore might be cause for concern, as well as some cursing scattered throughout. This is a mature rated game, and it is important to keep that in mind when considering your purchase. If you are not bothered by the moral issues you will find a well crafted experience with lots of replayability. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go eat a “Jill sandwich.”

-Dallen Malna

 

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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