Gamesplanet Review Round Up: Resident Evil 0 / biohazard 0 HD REMASTER
Everything has a beginning
Resident Evil is a franchise that's been around since 1996 spanning several games in the main series as well as spin off titles, back in 2002 we were treated to Resident Evil 0 which was a prequel to the original game featuring S.T.A.R.S. officer Rebecca Chambers and convicted criminal Billy Coen.
Due to the popularity of their recent remasters Capcom have decided to give the treatment to RE0, how does the game fair 14 years later? Let's take a look at the reviews for the game and see for ourselves.
Time to go back to the beginning!
Kicking us off we have the review from the guys at PC Gamer who awarded the game 63 out of 100. The PC port has been given plenty of loving care with various upgrades such as better visuals, widescreen support, more modern controls, crisper sound and even a brand new game mode. This is a lavish, loving remaster, and the combination of detailed, atmospheric pre-rendered backgrounds and real-time lighting and shadows is masterfully done. I love the subtle animations too, like the wine bottle rolling around on a table in the train’s dining car. Sadly though for all the visual treatment the game still has some issues which stop it from being a great game, mainly in the story and item management which hasn't aged all that well. Resident Evil 0 looks amazing, especially considering it’s almost fifteen years old, but it feels like a pastiche of a much better game. Some people might find the need for constant, careful item management satisfyingly challenging, but to me it feels like unnecessary busywork.
Meanwhile at GamesBeat the review was a little more generous, puzzles and exploration are clever as well as sastisfying with a focus on using both the main characters to solve them. I enjoyed constantly exploring and re-exploring the sprawling and interesting environments. The beginning train sequence, for example, is a well-designed level that feels different from the rest of the adventure. It’s claustrophobic, containing confined rooms and hallways. The game's A.I. is still not great with certain moments resulting in an unfair game over before you've even had a chance to save your progress, Instead, at times, I had to replay large chunks of the game because Billy got mauled by a zombie dog while I was playing as Rebecca, and I had no chance to save my progress. They gave the game 77 out of 100.
Why is that Zombie staring at my butt?
IGN were also disappointed in the game, especially with the cutscenes which didn't get an upgrade and were pretty much an exact copy of the original. These CG-rendered story sequences look dated (because they are) and don’t even come close to fidelity of the refreshed in-game character models. It’s a shame Capcom made no effort to redo them. PC players have the option to get higher resolutions as well as an option for smoother 60 frames-per-second animations, controls are a great update to the original which make it much easier to switch between characters. Additionally, while purists can keep the original tank-style controls, the default mode is an updated scheme that makes moving and bouncing between the two characters in the campaign easy and approachable. Overall the game was given 6.5 out of 10, weak monsters, poor story and terrible inventory management were the cause.
Closing us out we have GameCrate who scored it 7 out of 10. Each character has a strength making each one ideal for certain tasks, Rebecca can combine herbs and make other healing items, while Billy is able to push heavy objects and take more damage. You can use both at any moment but one may be required to do something however you might wish to keep them closing together incase they get ambushed by enemies. And yet another disappointing focus on the item management, I found Resident Evil 0's item system to be the main factor that increases the game's difficulty, and as a result I would say it's the weakest out of the old-school Resident Evil games.
What a lovely painting.
It's clear that this remaster hasn't really improved the original all that much and some people are going to love the fact they can experience this game in full HD but others may have a tough time getting used to it, if you're a fan of the series then you might not have played this and despite some issues plaguing the game it's easily something enjoyable that anyone can get fun out of. I wish they took a little bit more time with the cutscenes to improve them, switching from the game to the cutscenes can feel a little disjointed at times and could have been avoided if they remade them. Going forward I hope they take great care remaking RE2 because that one is possibly my favourite Resident Evil title and I'd like to see that done with care and time.
- Craig Bishop