Sunday, 25 January 2015

Anytime Reviews: Resident Evil Remastered HD

The same old Jill sandwich, but still as good.
Sure has been a while since I've wondered the maze-like, undead-infested mansion that is the Spencer Estate in Resident Evil. Survival horror's roots, taking it back to the beginning- before Resi 5 veered the series towards a more action focused (and to be honest, worse) route. It's a remaster of a remaster of a remake, the cycle going from the PS1 original, to the GameCube remake, to the last gen, PS3 Remaster of the remake, to the PS4 remaster. It's less complicated than it sounds, but it still holds up in many of its areas to remind you why it was such an acclaimed game when it was first released.

Firstly, its gameplay holds up amazingly - there are two controls: the classic, more tank-like controls, and a more fluid, updated one for newer generations. You choose either one depending on your preference. The core gameplay is the same, tense experience as ever with shifting camera angles depending on your position. You start off with one of the characters, Jill or Chris, whoever you want, and both are mostly alike in terms of playstyle, but have different stories as well as endings. The weapons and supplies you find are severely limited, and force you to make decisions and plays to save ammo for any unavoidable threats, e.g bosses. You have limited saves, and saferooms are few and far between each other. The gameplay hasn't changed much, but it was good in the first place in my opinion, so why fix what isn't broken?
The game is actually quite difficult too. It has 3 difficulties to start off with (yes, there are unlockable difficulties, items and costumes), and the only difference, or the one which I most noticed, is that ammo was easier to find and baddies easier to dispose of, but if you don't have the sense to do the puzzles in the game you'll find it pretty difficult, as they don't change with difficulty. They usually involve looking for keys, objects and clues in order to solve puzzles. I was stuck on an area for 1 hour straight, simply because I went in there too early in the game and didn't have the items necessary to progress, which was my bad really. But it is really easy to get confused about where to go.

Resi HD is actually quite terrifying as well. The zombies and monsters on all difficulties seem to soak up your precious ammunition, and they can come back as terrifying Crimson Heads too if you haven't killed them properly. There are the generic jumpscares, and there are soundless tension-building rooms which leave you on the edge of your seat. There are scenarios where it seems scary just because of the lack of ammo or options you have when faced with different things.  But for all the good things the game does it does have its flaws.

It looks decent for its age. The game looks fine in 1080p, but there's not much difference between the game's previous iteration on the PS3. Lighting and dust effects are quite pretty indeed, however lots of backgrounds and textures look quite blurry and pixelated while others look sharper and updated. Objects in the game clip through walls quite a lot too. The lip syncing on the characters in scenes is really inaccurate sometimes, and they could have fixed that as well.  The voice acting is above average although it would have been a cool easter egg or unlockable if we could turn on the cheesy as heck old voiceovers from the original, simply because it was incredibly funny.

Overall, I think the remaster has been successful at doing what a remaster does - putting an old game on a newer system. It still has everything which made it great in the first place, i.e. the nail-biting tension, the scarcity of items. I just wish they could have done more work on it to make it look really next gen.


Huge thanks to Capcom for our PS4 review code!

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