Capcom’s venerable Resident Evil series may be suffering from something of a brand identity crisis of late–the disjoined mess that was 2012’s RE6 is testament to how this once-mighty series has fallen in recent years–but there’s no reason for fans to turn their decomposing noses up at the franchise. Not yet, anyway.
While the series’ future remains ambiguous, Capcom has thrown survival horror fans a bone in the shape of a remastered version of 2002’s Resident Evil. Originally a GameCube-exclusive as part of Capcom’s cosying up to Nintendo back in the early PS2 era, this revered fright fest–colloquially known among fans as ‘REbirth or ‘REmake’–is largely considered the quintessential version of the zombie-slaying series and the pinnacle of old-school survival horror.
PSU Towers is particularly excited for the planned re-release, and as the site’s long-time Resident Evil aficionado, I’ve decided to cobble together five reasons Resident Evil HD Remaster is the most significant franchise entry in years.
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IT LOOKS AMAZING
Resident Evil is unequivocally one of the prettiest video games ever made, let alone on the GameCube. When it was first released, the game floored jaws with its intricately-realized pre-rendered backdrops and detailed character models, and even 12 years on, it still stands up to the test of time–just dust off your GameCube and give it a go. However, Capcom is giving the game a PS4 makeover for its digital re-release, including 1080p visuals, improved character models, enhanced lighting, and much more. As such, REmake is looking even better than its GameCube cousin, and users are in for a treat as a result; just look at the screen below of the thunderstorm illuminating the creepy mansion’s 2nd floor balcony. Gorgeous.
THIS IS SURVIVAL HORROR
Those of you who were brought up on a diet of Resident Evil 4 and 5 better read up on their history: Resident Evil HD Remaster is a trip back to old-school survival horror. Yep, this is the realm of brain-aching puzzles, limited ammunition/supplies, and spooky exploration, with atmospheric zombie-blasting merely complementing the overall package, rather than being pushed to the forefront of the experience. Resident Evil Remake is a succinct, bone-chilling reminder of how Capcom pioneered the survival horror genre back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s before things turned sour, and as such needs to be experienced by any self-respecting horror aficionado and curious gamer alike. If you are wondering why the original games elicited such applause back in the ‘90s, then get your mitts on the remaster–and a fresh pair of underwear while you’re at it.
CAPCOM IS TESTING THE WATERS FOR FUTURE RELEASES
Resident Evil Remake’s move to PlayStation and Xbox isn’t just about giving those who never played the GameCube title a shot at the action. The Japanese publisher is obviously testing the waters of the appeal of classic survival horror, so it can make decisions for the future of the series. After all, it was clear that Capcom had no idea where to take the series with RE6, and as such concocted a Frankenstein’s Monster of a game that took ideas from numerous genres, lacking any form of cohesion at all. Leon’s campaign felt like old-school Resi, Chris’s mission adhered to the more action-oriented antics of RE 4 and 5, while Jake’s….well, we’ve no idea what that was meant to be, other than giving us a chance to rough infected up with our bare knuckles. Point and case, it was a mess, and Capcom needs to sort its flagship franchise out if it wants to capture our hearts like it did all those years ago. If it indeed does wish to go back to the series’ horror roots, then Resident Evil HD Remaster is the perfect opportunity to test the waters.
IT’S THE DEFINITIVE VERSION OF RE1
Capcom were able to implement a number of extra ideas into the Resident Evil remake, which were not included in the PlayStation original due to hardware limitations. Chief among these horrific goodies include Lisa Trevor’s sub-plot, Crimson Head zombies, new areas such as a foggy cemetery and trek through Raccoon forest, plus all-new dialogue and cinematics fleshing out characters such as Richard Aiken and Albert Wesker. In short, the game is much more than Resi 1 with a stunning new paint job, and those who have only played the PlayStation version will be in for a treat experiencing the dusty, blood-soaked halls of the Spencer Mansion in stunning high-definition. Forget the pixelated mess of the original game; this is the definitive version of RE1.
RESI REMAKE HAS NEVER APPEARED ON PLAYSTATION BEFORE
September 2001 was a time that shocked many PlayStation fans around the globe, as this just happened to be the period that Capcom and Nintendo announced that all future Resident Evil games would be exclusive to GameCube. At the time, it was believed this would include Resident Evil 4 too, and although that eventually made its way to PS2 (and virtually every other system, for that matter), Remake along with Resident Evil Zero remained exclusive to Nintendo’s purple box for over a decade. While Zero’s fate is still unknown right now, this is the first time that PlayStation and Xbox gamers will be able to enjoy the delights of 2002’s sumptuous horror fest. With Resident Evil becoming synonymous with Sony’s consoles in the late ‘90s, it feels somewhat fitting that a remake of the original PlayStation classic is finally gracing PS3 and PS4–don’t miss it.
Let us know your thoughts on Resident Evil HD Remaster in the comments section below, and check out the latest screenshots here.