Resident Evil HD Remaster (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

Death is just the beginning.

Resident Evil holds a special place in my gaming memories. It was one of those titles I played at the magical impressionable age, where its fondness is stored in the best of places. I still remember getting the game on launch, spending an entire weekend beating it with both characters, and loving every second of it. The Gamecube remake of the original is still considered by many as the best the series has ever been, and until now anyone without the system has likely never experienced it (it did land on the Wii, but was criminally overlooked).

Resident Evil Remake HD is actually a remake of a remake (say that three times fast). The Gamecube version was not just a prettier version either, entire sections of the game were added, new enemies such as the infamous Crimson Heads, and a host of new puzzles made this one of the prime examples of the survival horror genre. It has been 13 years since its release, and now finally Xbox, PlayStation, and PC owners can finally experience one of the finest games ever crafted.

I would rather face Jaws.

MSRP: $19.99
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PS3, 360, PC
Price I’d Pay: $19.99

Capcom could have easily just slapped the original game onto these download services, tweaked the resolution, and a lot of people would have been satisfied. Instead they have done some work to bring this version into the new generation. The game runs at 1080p on both PS4 and XB1, and the frame rate is relatively smooth. Both versions run at 30 frames per second, while the PC version sports the option to unlock it to 60. It is amazing how well the visuals hold up, this is still one fine-looking game.

They also took the time to redo some of the character models including new costumes for Chris and Jill. The textures have also received some work, but there are still instances of some lower resolution video in cut scenes. These stand out in an otherwise gorgeous-looking game that is over a decade old.

Capcom also tweaked a few other parts of the experience. The most notable one for me was the control scheme options. I could opt to play with traditional tank controls, or the more modern style. With fixed camera angles it works similar to the original Devil May Cry games. Pushing the stick in a direction moves the character, even after a camera change. I could also do a quick turn with a flick of the right analog stick. It felt much more accessible.

Another option the developers threw in was being able to play the game in widescreen. Now unlike other titles instead of redoing the entire game, they simply used a cropping method that zooms in the camera cutting off part of the top and bottom. It works better than I expected, but I still preferred the original 4:3 aspect ratio.

This terrified me as a child.

The last thing to take into consideration is that Resident Evil is not like today’s titles. It even took me a few hours to get back into the groove of constant backtracking and slower-paced progression. This game forces inventory management, patience, and so many other things gamers take for granted today. Players will die; they will die often, but the satisfaction of solving some of the puzzles makes it all worth it. I recommend not using one of the thousands of strategy guides as it cheapens the experience.

Still considered one of the best (if not THE best in the series) REmake still holds up today as a trendsetter in the gaming world. Every other title wanted to be it, but none ever quite nailed the formula the way this Gamecube remake does. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre, as this is the pinnacle of what Shinji Mikami created all those years ago.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Classic survival horror
  • Visuals still hold up
  • New control scheme

Bad

  • Lack of direction not for everyone
9

Excellent

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.
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