|Rolling forward the visual revamp started by the graphically impressive GameCube remake of "Resident Evil", "Resident Evil Zero" complete with zombies, annoying sub-bosses, and of course, fixed camera angles is introduced. Below is a review of the latest episode in this renowned series that has not only spawned many installments but also a movie. |
The first prequel to the "Resident Evil" series, "RE0"provides a new insight to the enigmatic Umbrella Corporation and what happened and led to the mysterious mansion incident. Playing both S.T.A.R.S. Bravo-team member Rebecca Chambers, and Billy Coen, an ex-convict you stumble on a Raccoon City-bound train that is swarming with zombies. Billy's persistence convinces Rebecca to cooperate with him in order to survive.
Like all "Resident Evil" systems before it, "RE0" presents the player with the now dated prerendered backgrounds. While it might be a welcome sight for any "Resident Evil" fan, anyone new to the series who is used to free-camera-movement adventure titles will most likely find "RE0" annoying. Usually an offshoot of the prerendered backgrounds are the unmanageable camera angles, and "Resident Evil 0" has plenty. You'll have to get used to shooting zombies that are not in immediate view.
You can play with two characters at once. Menu options and dedicated controller buttons provide the means to allow you switch between characters, move them concurrently, and command the other character to join a fight or to just wait. Switching is essential to get through groups of zombies, overcoming obstacles, and solving puzzles. If you have a patient demeanor and can work these options to your advantage, you'll enjoy this new feature. Unfortunately, many gamers aren't patient, and the partner-zapping will be another thing to deal with when trying to keep the characters alive.
Now you are now allowed to drop and retrieve items anywhere in the game, eliminating the unrealistic item chest. There are some limits, as most rooms can only hold so many items. The map even allows you to see where each dropped item is. It becomes a tricky double-edged sword in that convenience is sacrificed for the sake of realism.
Many are fully aware this convenience/realism trade-off has become tantamount with the series in terms of graphics, and "Resident Evil Zero" is no different. Much like the GameCube remake of the first "Resident Evil," Capcom has taken game details, lighting, and other visual effects to a new level. From the start, "RE0" plunges the player in fantastic surroundings. Areas may seem too detailed, as there are intricate rugs and finely crafted wood everywhere.
"Resident Evil Zero" boasts some fine music and effects. A tense and fitting score usually accompanies walking into new areas filled with enemies, with boss fights having the most dramatic music. Some zombie-infested areas lack music, with other sounds such as firearms shots and zombie moans making for standard "Resident Evil" proceedings. The subtle effects such as crackling fires and footsteps on rugs add ambiance to the game. Attention has clearly been made to the voices of the characters with Billy, Rebecca, and the rest of the cast having above-average voice work
When it comes to instilling fear into the mind of gamer, Capcom may have made the same mistake, by continuing to include effects that tip off players a baddie is in the area.
If you are a Resident Evil fan, then this game is for you as it still contains and runs on the familiar theme and track of all the previous Resident Evil installments, but if this is your first evil encounter, you may initially be overwhelmed by the detail in the game, but fairly quickly become tired and realize that there are other games that have taken this fashion of game into new realms.