Review: Resident Evil (PS4)

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Title: Resident Evil
Format: PlayStation Network Download (15.3 GB)
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Original MSRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: M
Resident Evil is also available on PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Golden Minecart Award Winner 2015
– Best Compilation/Remake (PS3)

Let’s get right into the nitty gritty about this remake of a remake. Resident Evil first released in 1996 and was the game that everyone pointed to as the go-to game for survival horror. The game was then remade in 2001 for the Nintendo Gamecube with some enhancements done to the graphics. However the tank-like controls still existed. It had a fixed camera and it was very hard to move around.

Now as you read this review in 2015 your first question is might be what is different this time around?

Gameplay:
The game looks amazing right from the opening cutscene. I had hard time believing that this game was almost twenty years old. Now being that I haven’t played the original version or the Gamecube remake I don’t have much to compare it to. It doesn’t appear stretched out or blurry while playing. You can play the game in original 4:3 view or have it fit to your screen.

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So let’s talk about some of my initial issues with this game. While I have not played any prior version of this game, I have played other Resident Evil games such as RE4, RE5 and RE6. I enjoyed those games very much but I understand that the series has slowly morphed into more of an action horror game than a survival horror game.

The original Resident Evil does very little to let you know what is going on or for that matter what you have to do. Right from the start you’re given the choice of picking between two characters. There is no short explanation about why you need to pick which character. The game starts you in the mansion and you just look around until you figure something out. There are no indicator points giving you a clue.

… play with the original control scheme if you like …
I may be spoiled from gaming over the last couple years having a tutorial or a tips screen whenever you pick something up. I do understand the “just figure it out” gameplay style. This however did not mesh with me well. There isn’t even a indication when you get to an area that you can Save.

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Saving is very important in this game due to the fact that once you complete something there is no going back to redo it a different way without reloading the save point. I just feel the game could’ve have done a slightly better job of guiding you even in the slightest way.

While doing some research on this game I started to dig deep into people’s thoughts on the previous versions of the game. The biggest concern/complaint was the way the game controlled. Resident Evil on the PS4 now uses the analog stick to help you move your player and weapons around. You can also choose to play with the original control scheme if you like.

You still can’t move and shoot at same time but based on what I have read this new version of the game controls way better than its predecessors. The camera is still fixed which is in part because of how the game wants you to play, what it wants you to see, and how it wants you to see it.

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The inventory management system is the exact same as in previous versions. You have limited pockets for items you can carry. Each character has a different load out of what weapons they can bring or not bring. There are rooms in the game that are called Safe Rooms where sometimes there are Save Points. In every Safe Room there is an inventory crate where you can store items you are carrying. This does cause some going back and forth to different areas to try different ways of getting past the next section.

… always gave me a slight startle …
While moving from area to area throughout the game you need to look at everything. If you looking closely at items they have a bit of a shine to them. These are items you can pick up if you have room in your inventory. Bringing up your inventory screen you have the option to inspect items and rotate them around.

There are plenty of items that have something hidden or written on the back or the side that will turn into another item for you to help you along in your quest. However again there is nothing letting you know you need to do this. So as you progress from room to room looking through every area you could come across a locked door that needs a key or symbol to open the area. These keys sometimes come from items after you have rotated them to inspect them.

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Visuals:
Capcom did an awesome job in my opinion of making this game look like it truly belongs on current gen consoles. While the backgrounds are mostly stagnant they still look great. There is so much detail and the zombies look great as well. I found myself forgetting that this game was twenty years old.

Audio:
Sounds are a very important aspect to playing a survival horror game. The slow moan of a zombie that is off screen still sends chills up my back just thinking about it as I write this. Even the creaking as you walk up and down steps or the slowness of hearing the doors open and close on the loading screens as you move from area to area can be scary. The outside noise of the rain and storms is also amazing and it seems like there is a lighting strike or crack of thunder whenever you least expect it which always gave me a slight startle.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

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Conclusion:
I enjoyed my time with Resident Evil. It took me a very long time to get comfortable with the game and how it needs to be played. I just wish there was a little bit more direction. I understand games that came out years ago are considered a very old school way to play, just pick up the controller and go.

This isn’t a deal breaker for me but it did make me start the game over three or four times due to being confused. I also struggled to progress in the game as I had to walk away multiple times, hence part of the reason this review has taken me so long. Again the lack of direction, especially about saving the game, really turned me off for a while.

I do hope that Resident Evil is successful due to the fact that I don’t have a PS1 or PS2 laying around the house and would love to play some of the older games with some current gen clean up to them.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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