By Sam Coles:
20 years! That is how long the Resident Evil series has been scaring us in one way in or another whether it be genuine scares or due to the game’s quality *cough* *cough* Resident Evil 6. I’m not her to lynch the series as I want to cover one of my favourite games in the series just below the Resident Evil 4 and that game was Resident Evil the remake on the GameCube. This game shows how you remake/remaster of a game should be done by not only upping the graphical fidelity but adding unique content that wasn’t present in the original game.
Resident Evil takes place in a forest just outside of Racoon City as the special unit STARS from RCPD have been called to investigate murders that have happened. They investigate the forest and there is nothing but silence and you start to feel the tension build as they search the derelict helicopter of their comrades Bravo Team. Joseph Frost is on his own searching and it’s not long until he is attacked by creatures which turn out to be zombie dogs where they then proceed to tear him apart limb by limb. You hear every bone crunch, flesh tearing and the weariness as you hear Joe slowly loose his life. Jill, Chris, Barry and Wesker then run and stumble upon an abandon mansion and this is where the terrifying nightmare begins.
The gameplay is classic survival horror from the 90’s so no third person camera, but instead you’re stuck with tank controls and fixed camera angles, but this is done on purposes as the fixed camera angles add an extra layer of tension as you don’t know what is coming. It’s all about survival so the key thing to remember is to save your ammunition and healing items as they are a rare site and you’re useless with a knife alone.
You’ll encounter zombies on your travels but most of the time it is best to avoid them rather than engaging them in conflict because unless you blow their head off their corpse will linger there for hours until they get back up. The zombies in this remake after a few hours turn into an entity known as the Crimson Heads these are zombies that are faster and they can deal double the damage, so if you fight a zombie you need to blow their heads or set their bodies on fire with kerosene. These new enemies added an extra layer of depth because it really emphasised the fact that it was better to run rather shoot because it will come back and bite you in the backside later.
The presentation still holds up considering that this is a GameCube title from 2002 with the beautiful environments that are really creepy from the haunting dining rooms and cramped corridors to foggy gardens peppered with zombie dogs. The sound design is worth a mention too as it is truly fantastic and can play a part in the gameplay in terms of knowing where the enemies are from the distant moans of zombies to the footsteps of reptilian hunters.
Only problem I have with this game is that the tank controls can be a bit clunky and annoying, like in Heavy as I discussed in my review I had a habit changing direction when the camera angle would change.
Resident Evil Remake on the GameCube is a truly terrifying experience and nails the atmosphere and I would highly recommend getting it, but if you want to experience I would get HD version on PS4 and Xbox One to truly enjoy it which you can get as a double pack with Resident Evil 0.