As the gaming world gets ready for the scare fest that Resident Evil 7 is shaping up to be, I got my copy today, by the way, review coming soon, I went back to the first story in this horror franchise. Not the original PS One version, which shaped me as a gamer in my teens, but the HD release on my XBox One. Based on the GameCube version of Resident Evil 1. I realized again, just how much I love this game. Although, I do miss the cringe worthy dialogue from the original, it still brought me back. Few games even try to convey life or death choices like this game did. No checkpoints, auto-saves, or regenerating health. You have to manage your health, ammo, and resources. The tension of managing your inventory while solving puzzles and fighting monsters harkened to a time when studios trusted the player to actually try to see the end. A lot of games today are too easy, if you don’t want to be challenged, this game might not be for you.
While the opening cut scene does it’s job at setting a horror background, nothing compares to rounding the corner in that hallway and running into your first Zombie. Crouched over a teammate, noisily chewing on his face. ￼ Aaahhh, the memories. Small tip, if you’re playing as Jill go back to the dining hall. Barry will kill it for you, save the ammo. If you’re playing as Chris, you probably don’t have a gun yet anyway. Anyway you play, this is always an awesome sight. As a Romero fan this game blew my mind with the zombies.
You play as either S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield. ￼ Chris’s game is considered “hard mode” including less spaces for inventory, but, he can take more damage. He doesn’t start the game with a firearm and has a lighter equipped at all times. Jill’s game is the “easy mode”. Don’t let that fool you, you’ll still die if you don’t pay attention. She does start with the handgun and a lock pick. She can’t take as much damage as Chris. It’s balanced based on your play style and what level of challenge you enjoy. Both are fun and take strategy and skill. Rounding out the cast of survivors are Barry Burton, a dad joke spewing ally to Jill in her play through. His story develops as the game progresses and things might not be kosher on Barry’s end. ￼ Rebecca Chambers, a plucky young officer who seems out of place on the team. Until, you need her medical skills that is. She helps Chris on his play through. ￼
Then there’s Albert Wesker. Anyone familiar with the franchise knows about Wesker. In this first foray however he seems like just another S.T.A.R.S. agent trying to survive. No spoilers here. Just enjoy the reveal if it’s your first time through. ￼ The mansion is a character in itself. Filled with death traps and puzzles. Each room holds a different puzzle or monster. It’s not always clear what the danger is at first, which keeps the singular location from getting stale.
Zombies are challenge enough, but that not all you’ll face in this house of failed experiments. Giant spiders, snakes, and skinless dogs lurk in corners where you think you’re safe from the undead. They even found a way to pit you against mutated sharks!! Take heart though, you’re not fully thrown to the corpses. There are herbs scattered about the property mixing the colors bring various results. There are also first aid sprays that can be life savers in a pinch. On top of that nothing brings more relief that the relaxing tones of a safe room. The soothing music lets you know this rooms offers a respite. In these rooms are typewriters to save your game on and crates to manage your limited inventory. ￼ The game turns itself on it’s ear after clearing the dormitory area and getting that last mansion key. Returning to mansion once more the zombies are switched out for hunters. They’re basically agile and ferocious alligator monkeys. They suck! ￼
After surviving all this you find yourself in the lab under the mansion. Here’s where the questions are answered. The consequences of virology and genetic testing gone wrong. You’ll face off against the Tyrant. A truly epic character. ￼ No spoilers past this point. Just know this is a thrill ride for first time players and a nostalgic masterpiece for us old schoolers. While the series has evolved, for better or worse, over the years. This game remains a fundamental part of any gamer’s library.
Which installment is your favorite of the Resident Evil series? Are you excited to play 7? Let us know in the comments below! We will see you next time!
For the love of all things NERD