Resident Evil 0
Resident Evil 0: You never know where you will find something sensible, and where you will waste your best years and all your money. Because Capcom grabs on to any trends and genres, adjusting their Resident Evil universe to them, just to find new sources of profit. Shooting ranges, arcades, adventure games, shooters, dozens of pseudo-remakes and one big cooperative spin-off, and in the future we will also have a plotless online shooter. There would be a shout: “Stop!” and crack on the fingers of the people standing at the control panel of the franchise, but it’s too late. Only financial failures can fix a hunchback.
Meanwhile, Capcom still succeeds in something. At the beginning of last year, the company released an updated Resident Evil Remake on PS4, Xbox One and PC, and the project – completely unexpectedly for the publisher – became a real hit. A gold mine was found where they were not expected – at minimal cost, it was possible to make good money on old games. So soon the publisher announced that there would be more re-releases, the village for the re-release of Resident Evil Zero, and for Resident Evil 2 they even promised to release a full-fledged remake.
But this, of course, will take the authors much more time; updating Resident Evil Zero is noticeably easier. Resident Evil Zero was released in 2002 on the GameCube and is much better preserved than the original PS1 trilogy, so all that was required from the authors of the new remaster was to make the game even more beautiful than it was, and not change the gameplay and level structure, as in the remake of the first Resident evil. Multiple savings, again.
The authors completed the task with brilliance, and if some textures of the recent Resident Evil Remaster continued to confuse even after the update, then with Zero everything turned out much better. The locations are beautiful and gloomy, the enemies shimmer in the light, whether they have rotten skin or scales, the characters sparkle in their eyes, and the picture can be safely stretched as much as you like without much loss of quality.
Of course, the recorded videos remained almost unchanged: they were apparently too difficult to redraw from scratch, so the difference between cut scenes in the engine and video inserts is still very striking. And this is not to mention the fact that in the cutscenes the heroes still have basic costumes, which are the main change in the new re-release. Unexpected, right? That is, they didn’t draw any new rooms, they didn’t introduce new story campaigns, but they changed the costume system. Unlike the original, you no longer need a key to the wardrobe in the starting location, where you could put new outfits on the main characters. Since now packs with clothes are sold for real money, the authors did not limit the player in their use. Items can now be put on at any time in the game by simply opening the suitcase with clothes inside the inventory.
But that will interest those who have already passed Resident Evil Zero in ancient times on the GameCube. Imagine that you have never seen the classics, because you only played those games that came out on PC, PS or Xbox. Well, then you are in for a lot of surprises – both pleasant and not very pleasant.
As the name implies, this part is a prequel, and it tells about the fighting girl Rebecca, who survived her biggest nightmare before getting into the ill-fated mansion in the first Resident Evil. While investigating mysterious incidents around Raccoon City, she stumbles upon a stopped train filled with zombies. Convicted war criminal Billy joins her there, offering all possible assistance. Here you have the main innovation regarding the first Resident Evil trilogy: now you need to play for two characters at once. Switching between Rebecca and Billy, the player will have to solve a number of sometimes very strange problems and puzzles.
They’re weird, even by Resident Evil standards. For example, you can only open a leather briefcase with two keys, even if you have an army knife in your inventory. Or here’s another example: you need to throw a wooden bridge over a body of clean stagnant water, instead of swimming or just jumping over it. Well, where is the logic hiding here? And logic is not needed, otherwise it would be boring to play.
Calling Resident Evil Zero boring is definitely impossible. Eight hours of battles with terrible creatures, puzzles against the clock, bosses; well at least the zombies here do not respawn in the form of red running mutants, as in Resident Evil Remake, otherwise it would be completely scary to turn on the game. “I’ll shoot everyone!” – the one who has not seen the concept of Resident Evil Zero will answer such a statement. There are no more boxes that teleport inventory between locations. All the characters have are two duffel bags with six slots each, and large weapons can take up two such slots at once. Two slots for weapons, one for ammunition for it, a couple more slots for medicines – and now there is only one place left for quest items, which you definitely won’t have enough. This means that you will have to get rid of objects, and most likely, that is why you will be killed around the nearest corner.
The authors got around the lack of teleport boxes in a very original way: they allowed the players to throw things they don’t need at the moment on the floor, and then, using a convenient map, remember where they were left and pick them back up. However, when moving between large locations, it is no longer possible to return to the old ones, and therefore everything that does not fit in a backpack disappears forever. Those who like to save ammo and prepare grenade launcher charges have to be oh so hard. Almost everything that is on the level is immediately applied without the possibility of making a reserve for really difficult situations.
In combination with the game for two characters, such a complexity of Resident Evil Zero at one time ruffled the nerves of the players quite well (in a good way). It wasn’t as rich in storytelling as Resident Evil Code: Veronica, wasn’t as story driven, and wasn’t as impressive as Resident Evil Remake. However, due to a fresh look at the gameplay, it has become a worthy representative of the now classic line. Even despite the fact that it had only one story campaign (in Resident Evil there were two of them, and in addition with a lot of endings), there were enough little things to increase the replay value: costumes, endless weapons unlocked by passing speed, an additional game mode with collecting colorful leeches (in which you could get even more bonuses for the story campaign).
In the current Resident Evil Zero HD, a fresh passing mode, Wesker Mode, has been added to the bonuses. In fact, these are also costumes: Rebecca takes the form of a vamp girl infected with a virus, and Billy turns into the famous Wesker and gets a couple of his abilities. Despite this change of disguises, this is just an external change that does not affect the cutscenes and dialogues, which makes the passage too strange. It is unusual to hear the appeal “Hey Billy!” in relation to the main villain of the entire Resident Evil universe.
But that is not even a minus – so, a crack on the plus. Zero has its fair share of real flaws too, all of which stem from the limitations placed on it by the first versions and games in the series. The widescreen image did not save the game from the peculiarities of the local camera: sometimes it is difficult to see a zombie two meters away from you, simply because it does not fall into your field of view due to some completely strange and impractical angle. Attaching a camera to the backs of the characters would be the end of it, but then you would have to do a full-fledged remake with completely redrawn locations, and not a reissue with redrawn backdrops.
But the ubiquitous door animations really should have been abandoned now. Levels of locations have become solid, loading between rooms has become completely unnecessary. But no, every descent down the stairs and every opening of the doors is accompanied by a video insert. Sometimes the room is a corridor two meters long, but when you enter and exit it, there will definitely be such a “Loading” for a few meaningless seconds. Classics are classics, but the authors could at least insert a checkmark in the menu for a voluntary rejection of such a legacy of antiquity.
Nevertheless, if we discard all the listed atavisms, the restart turned out to be excellent. It will still be a problem for a new generation of gamers to play this, but even they have every chance to like Resident Evil Zero. Fans of the classics will be in seventh heaven at all, because at one time Resident Evil Zero was not very common, having visited only two consoles in six years (also unpopular in Russia). Now, everyone has a chance to join the updated and beautiful-looking classics, and for all fans of the genre it would be a big mistake not to take advantage of this opportunity.