Resident Evil 0 is a remaster of the 2008 Gamecube remaster of the 2002 original, the story (set as a prequel to the original Resident Evil) see’s young S.T.A.R.S member Rebecca Chambers, come across death-row convict and former Navy Lieutenant Billy Coen.
Using what was once quite a unique hot-swapping system allowing you to quickly jump between characters, it added a new element of puzzles to the series, Resident Evil was already well known for sending you from A to B then back to A to open a door for C before having to retrace your steps numerous more times to open a single room, while many classed this as a puzzle, others just found it a lazy and infuriating way to delay progression, and soon into RE0 you’re given a taste of what’s to come, with Rebecca trapped, Billy must do some leg work to find something sharp, and when you’re lucky enough to come across it the ‘puzzle’ of juggling items back and forth between characters, while still trying to manage your weapons and healing herbs in a very limited inventory space, There’s the added benefit of being able to leave items anywhere and return to collect them later, however this brings the fresh challenge of remembering where you left your belongings.
By this point you’ll have noticed the greatly polished visual overhaul and the transition from 4:3 to Widescreen (16:9) has gone down incredibly well and for the asking price of £14.99 it’s certainly the best looking version of RE0, however like the Resident Evil remake released only a few months ago, there’s an air of disappointment around the way Capcom have gone about bringing back the original games.
For me, after having played both the Resident Evil and Zero remasters, and both Revelations one and two, the disappointment is that I honestly feel we should have been looking at remakes, not remasters.
Adding in a over-the shoulder view, or even updating to the quite similar but much more modern system used in Revelations would have been a massive improvement, all those years ago, Resident Evil was unique, and people would look past the gaping holes to see a pretty intense game, however in this day and age, the camera system is incredibly annoying in close corridors, meaning your regularly trying to get round a corner and end up running up the stairs, or back on yourself.
The major problem is the loading, I’m not sure if Capcom feel it carries over the intensity of the original, but for most of us, the long loading times are more likely to make us feel nausea rather than nostalgia. Taking a step up a few stairs, and the screen fades to black, before showing a staircase as you slowly take a step up, then another, and another and two more, finally the upstairs loads in and you realize you’ve been up here, so back you go, five very slow steps one at a time, if you’re lucky you’ll then remember you left a green herb back upstairs and ten steps, two minutes and a round-trip later and you’re finally good to move on to the next door, which takes just as long to open, revealing an empty room you enter, leave then head back into in case you missed something, By now you’ve wasted five minutes of your life, without making any progress and making the longevity of the game feel deceptively long.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree with these little loading sequences being in place, but if fans are going to buy the game again, the least you could do is admit they where uncomfortably long and reduce them to a second or two.
Boring and tedious loading aside, the good news is everything else from the original is in place, and overhauled to a pretty impressive level, there’s a few blank moments with audio when a little ambiance wouldn’t go amiss, and some textures aren’t as sharp as others, but the glint of an item seems to have been knocked down just a little so while items are still easily visible, they don’t quite stand out like a sore thumb.
Coupled with some shaky artificial intelligence and more than a few question marks on the limited inventory means your not just heading back and forth to pick up key cards and complete puzzles, but also to collect herbs and ammo you’ve stored along the way and noted with a photographic memory, and then there’s the forced switching when one of the characters comes under attack by a zombie only to realize they have a gun and know how to shoot it when you take control.