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Review: Resident Evil comes back again (and again)

BY CONOR MCBRIEN | JANUARY 22, 2015 5:00 AM

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While still profitable,‭ ‬the Resident Evil franchise has been laid out on the hallway carpet of the gaming industry,‭ ‬a once-intimidating name now associated with games and films of contentious quality.

‭‬The critics can't put the series down like Old Yeller, though.‭ ‬That task is left to the series‭' ‬creators at Capcom,‭ ‬who must have plugged the deranged creature themselves before burning its body Nordic-style.

‭‬But the series just won't stay dead.‭ ‬With two games in the first quarter of the year alone,‭ ‬Resident Evil makes a triumphant return in the early months of‭ ‬2015.‭ ‬Nearly‭ ‬19‭ ‬years have passed since the‭ ‬1996‭ ‬release of the original game.‭ 

Resident Evil follows two members of S.T.A.R.S‭ (‬Special Tactics and Rescue Service‭) ‬a SWAT-like unit that have stumbled upon true horror in a gigantic mansion and the surrounding forest full of zombies and monsters.

‭‬It is difficult to write about Resident Evil without going into exhaustive detail.‭ ‬The game has become familiar with even layman audiences through sheer overexposure.

‭‬Like many Capcom products,‭ ‬Resident Evil has been repeatedly released‭ (‬with smidgens of new content in each new package‭) ‬over nearly two decades.‭ ‬Furthermore,‭ ‬this particular game is‭ ‬another re-release of the game's‭ ‬2002‭ ‬remake on the Nintendo Gamecube,‭ ‬only now in high definition.‭ ‬All told,‭ ‬this version of Resident Evil is the ninth time one game has come to market.‭ ‬Remake‭ (‬with a capital RE as it is called by fans‭) ‬is considered one of the best horror games of its era,‭ ‬but I don't think having it shoved in our faces again is going to get players to love the game any more than we already do‭ (‬or don't, in some cases‭)‬.

‭‬The style of play is now a relic of an older generation.‭ ‬Player characters still control like tanks‭ (‬which can be toggled off in this version‭), ‬and environments are ambient and claustrophobic rooms rife with flavor text about every crack in the wallpaper or the contents of someone's nightstand.‭ ‬The story is told through documents and cut scenes that are famous among English-speaking gamers for being creepy and cheesy, respectively.‭ 

The game is still fun, though,‭ ‬in a sadistic way.‭ ‬Zombies that roam the halls of the mansion can be fought off,‭ ‬but if their bodies are not immolated, they will rise again as fearsome Crimson Heads,‭ ‬creatures that have been the stuff of my nightmares for more than a decade.‭ 

Ammo is limited.‭ ‬Health items are limited.‭ ‬Even saves are limited.‭ ‬The player must keep track of resources and even what they've accomplished so far to progress.‭ ‬Resident Evil is one of those games in which you can screw up your entire save file and render the game unwinnable if you don't think things through.

‭‬The good thing about this version of Resident Evil is that,‭ ‬so far,‭ ‬it is only available for download,‭ ‬thus making it easier to find than the other two versions of Remake on Gamecube and Wii.‭ ‬For players bummed about the first episode of Resident Evil:‭ ‬Revelations‭ ‬2‭ ‬getting delayed,‭ ‬this game should sate your hunger one more time.

Resident Evil is available now for download through PlayStation Network‭ (‬PS3‭ ‬and PS4‭) ‬and Xbox Live‭ (‬360‭ ‬and One‭) ‬priced at‭ ‬$19.99.


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