Resident Evil (2015 Remake) Review
In honor of its nineteenth anniversary (?!?), or maybe for some other equally weird reason, the good people at Capcom have released an HD remake of their classic 1996 survival horror game Resident Evil for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. But by neither making it a faithful recreation of the original game, which would appeal to nostalgia buffs and old school fans, nor a truly useful upgraded edition, which would be great for those who want to play a modern version of a classic game, those same good people at Capcom have oddly made a game with very limited appeal.
When the Bravo team’s helicopter crashes in the woods outside Raccoon City, and the team loses contact, you and the rest of the S.T.A.R.S. team are sent in to find out what happened. But when you realize that the dead have risen — and they’re not the only creepy crawlies around — you have to use your brain and your trigger finger to (you guessed it) survive this horror.
For fans of the original version, this new edition of Resident Evil is something of a mixed bag. Not only is the gameplay the same, but they even kept the floating door visual intact for when you move from one room to the next, as well as the whole typewriter-as-save device. You can even play it with the original controls and screen size (4:3).
All of which is good if you’re looking to play the game as you remembered it….in 2002. You see, visually, this version of Resident Evil doesn’t have the original graphics. Instead, it has the graphics when the game was ported to the GameCube in 2002, though they’re now in high def. Which is fine for fans of that version, especially since the HD makes this edition look clearer and more detailed than the GameCube one. But if you were hoping for a faithful recreation of the original game, you’re out of luck.
Even worse, if you were hoping for something a bit more modern, well, then you’re boned. While the game does give you the option of playing with a new widescreen view (which you can also do with the original controls), the new “Alternate” controls are oddly almost as clunky as the original ones because they only change how you move, not how you move the camera. Instead, this retains the original’s fixed camera perspective.
As a result, the controls in Resident Evil feel counter-intuitive and awkward regardless of which version you pick. Aiming accurately, for instance, in rather difficult, far too difficult for a highly trained member of law enforcement. And that goes double for when you’re trying to shoot an enemy who isn’t slowly shambling in your general direction.
Ironically, it’s the lack of intuitive or updated controls that actually adds something new to this version of Resident Evil: a sense of malaise. When played with the original controls, I maybe lasted five minutes before I was itching to toss the controller out the window. But while playing with the new control scheme wasn’t as frustrating, they’re still so awkward and counterintuitive that it made playing this game rather tiresome after half an hour or so.
What’s sad about this Resident Evil remake is that, aside from the lack of camera controls, the game still holds up rather well. Having forgotten most of it in the dozen years since I last played it, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was still scary, and still had situation puzzles that were actually puzzling but still fit the situation. Well, if you really buy that someone would build a house where you the key to the bathroom is kept in a book that’s left in an underground passage out in the garden.
But that just made the lack of camera control that much more frustrating because it ruins what could’ve been a cool remake of a still great game. Doubly so because, had they just waited a year until the game’s twentieth anniversary, they could’ve used the extra time to give this a controllable camera.
Of course, if you were hoping for the GameCube edition of Resident Evil, just with those twelve year old graphics presented in HD, then this remake is exactly what you want. But why would you want that? Why would you something that’s frustrating to play when you could have a totally upgraded version of the original game with HD graphics and a more modern (read: intuitive) control scheme? Heck, I’d even take a version that has updated camera controls but the GameCube graphics if that was the only option.
Ultimately, by being neither a faithful recreation of the original, nor an updated edition with modern-style controls, Resident Evil ends up being something that only a handful of people might want. And when you consider that, at some point, the good people at Capcom probably will release a version of the game with modern controls and graphics — though probably not for many years — buying this edition just makes me wonder if the good people at Capcom really are good.
13 thoughts on “Resident Evil (2015 Remake) Review”
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So he doesn’t like the game and wanted something different than was advertised. So what? Those like myself who loved playing these games for years now have a ported version that has been modified to look dramatically cleaner on a HD display than if you popped the Wii re-release of this game into your WiiU. Plus you get the option to widescreen and a few other small additions that they could have easily just not done!
So yes, lots of people will buy it and be more than satisfied that now they can pick up the game at any time and relive the experience without having to mess around with hunting down a game cube, or buying a WiiU with a Wii-Mote and nunchuck, or just straight emulating it on a pc.
As for new comers or people that just didn’t get into the series the first time around, you may want to save your money for something else…. or start petitioning Capcom to start remaking the classic Resident Evils with much more modern graphics.
I’ll get it in a deal on PC. The new consoles are still running it in 30fps, which is quite poor for the PS Poor.
The guy that reviewed this is an idiot. It is a remaster. It will not look as good as PS4 and XBOXone games. How much better did Last of us, sleeping dogs, tomb raider, etc look? Better but not next gen better. It is basically taking a Dvd and up-converting it to Bluray. It also seems funny that this is the only website giving this version of Resident Evil less then a 5 out of 10. It’s a real shame as this game is definitely worth a 7-8 out of 10.
Actually, The Last Of Us looked notably better on PS4 than it did on PS3. But you clearly didn’t read the review. My complaint was not about how good or bad it looked, but how good or bad it played. Sure, I would’ve liked it had they upgraded the graphics, but I would’ve liked it more if they had upgraded the camera. Or, as it put it in my review, “Heck, I’d even take a version that has updated camera controls but the GameCube graphics if that was the only option.”
I understand your frustration of wanting a ‘modern’ version of this game, but if you’re reviewing a game surely you base that review on the fundamentals of the game rather than just your expectations? I don’t want to play a action game version of this, same as i didn’t want a popcorn-fodder version of Robocop. It also hasn’t been marketed as such, it’s been marketed as a HD gamecube update. Sorry, just feel your score is very out of place.
I get your point, and struggled with this review, but I also thought that if someone wants the original game, they’re not getting that either since this has the GameCube graphics. It’s really just a reissue of a reissue, and I don’t know who would want that.
Also, I was basing my review not on my expectations, but on how fun it was. And playing it, even with the new controls, wasn’t fun because those controls were awkward.
“…t I also thought that if someone wants the original game, they’re not getting that either since this has the GameCube graphics.”
Wait what? The purpose of an hd graphic is to update the graphics. This is what capcom stated. It’s the original resident evil story and gameplay but with better looking graphics.
Why would you release a game you claim to be a remaster with original graphics? This is why your review can’t be taken seriously.
Honestly, what were your expectations?
Why would you release a remastered game with original graphics? You mean like the Halo remasters? Or whenever they’ve reissued old arcade games from the ’70s and ’80s?
If you want the original game, you’d want the original graphics.
Plus, this doesn’t have updated graphics, it has the GameCube’s graphics from 2002.
You said it, not me. I took the quote from your reply to Andy.
Okay, I see the problem. This game features the graphics from the 2002 GameCube reissue of the game, but in high-def. What I think they should’ve included were the graphics from the original 1996 version of the game, though also in high def. That way, if someone wants to play the original game — with the original controls, camera, and graphics — they can. As it is now, they’re playing the GameCube version.
Yea fair enough, I just didn’t understand the score. It’s basically the GCN version with slightly better controls (having now played it). I still think it deserves a better score as its still a great game and not broken in any way! but appreciate the time to respond.
Well, I don’t think that a score that low indicates that a game is broken. I use the whole scale, so while some sites posting the same review might’ve given it a 6/10 or even a 7/10, I gave it a 3/10. To each his own.