...Still, that doesn’t mean remake is perfect. Here’s how it misses the mark.
WHERE’S MY JILL SANDWICH?
One of the most memorable elements of the classic PlayStation version of Resi was its cheese-tastic dialogue, something which has sadly been replaced by the remake in an attempt to modernise and remove some of the more cringe-worthy performances. Sure, some of it works, but in replacing the corny voice overs of the original, it loses some of its undeniable charm, and rather than coming off in a ‘so good its bad’ way like the original, some of the offending material in the remake is just plain...well, rubbish. Give us a ‘Jill Sandwich’ or ‘Master of Unlocking’ over some of Barry’s recorded dialogue any day of the week.
IT’S MORE LINEAR
Yes, as hard as it is to believe, the original Resi actually gave players more choice in terms of story paths to follow. In the remake, they’ve trimmed down many encounters, or outright replaced them. Many of the ‘Yes or No’ choices gamers faced in 1996 are no longer here, or they crop up somewhere else and aren’t nearly as effective. Remember when Barry asked you to go with him in the tunnels to kick some hunter arse? That’s gone. Similarly Chris can only encounter Rebecca in one location now, whereas before he could meet her in the storeroom and even had the option of taking her with him or not. Sure, character deaths still happen, but they’re easy to spot coming, whereas before, you were forced to make choices that weren’t necessarily clear as to how they would affect things later down the line. Overall, remake’s narrative lacks the narrative branches its predecessor offered, and things are now trimmed down so you encounter them as standard, rather than discovering them based on how you play. Some of the new sequences are full of errors, too. Wesker can fall into the pit when he and Chris battle Lisa, but when Chris encounters him in the lab about 25 minutes later for him to reveal his dastardly plans, he says nothing about his captain’s supposed demise. Similarly, it’s incomprehensible that Jill wouldn’t tell Barry about Enrico being shot to death after meeting him only minutes after the Bravo Team leader kicked the bucket. As Barry would say, ‘What IS this?’
REMAKE’S BOSSES ARE TOO EASY
This is probably the most egregious issue with the remake. The bosses in the original version, particularly the Giant Snake and Plant 42, were a force to be reckoned with. Here, they’re shadows of their former selves, requiring considerably less ammunition to dispatch, and don’t pose nearly as much of a threat as they used to. Sure, Resi 1996’s version of the snake now looks like a socket puppet with teeth, but it was a deadly enemy, proving much quicker than its high-definition cousin, and far more deadly to boot, able to mangle you with ease by coiling around your character. Not only that, but it could soak up an alarming amount of punishment, even from the Grenade Launcher; the fact Resi HD lets you beat it with a pistol/shotgun combination if you’re careful is a testament to how weak it is now. Similarly, Plant 42 has been weakened considerably, and providing you have the right weaponry, takes a laughable 3 shots to cripple it. Even Tyrant isn’t as fearsome as he used to be, and we’re talking on the hard difficulty here, people. When you compare remake’s bosses to the original version, or indeed something like William Birkin or Nemesis, they pale in comparison.
Resident Evil HD is out now on PS4, PS3, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.