Resident Evil 0: HD Remaster Video Game Review
Written by John Colianni
Released by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
2016, Rated M
Game released on January 16th, 2016
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
I've been gaming for as long as I can remember. From the early days of the NES all the way to the current generation of consoles, it's been a significant part of my alone time and social life. Hell, the job that I have right now is all due to meeting a friend while playing Halo 3 many moons ago. While it's amazing to be playing the newest video games with the best graphics available, I will forever be nostalgic of certain series that have been going for decades and are now getting high definition remasters. While it has its flaws, I had a blast going back and playing Capcom's Resident Evil 0 on Xbox One.
For those who don't already know, Resident Evil 0 is a direct prequel to the original Resident Evil game, telling the story of S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team in the Arklay Mountains outside of Raccoon City in 1998. Sent to investigate a series of cannibalistic murders, their helicopter's engine experiences a catastrophic failure and crashes in the nearby forest. The team now splits up to find the murderer and search the Umbrella-owned Ecliptic Express. Controlling protagonist S.T.A.R.S. officer Rebecca Chambers and ex-convict Billy Cohen, the player starts the game exploring a crashed Umbrella train, now infested with zombies and other creatures. Through solving various puzzles, exploring different areas and killing horrifying monsters, the origins of the T-virus and foreshadow the entire Resident Evil series.
While you can play as multiple characters in the same game in other Resident Evil titles, there is a specific dynamic that makes RE0 different than its predecessors. Called partner zapping, a main mechanic allows the player to switch back and forth between Rebecca and Billy at will. This serves multiple purposes, one being to solve specific puzzles that require the control of both characters. Another is that Rebecca and Billy have different strengths and weaknesses. This makes the gameplay a bit more challenging as each is needed to access different areas and items.
Resident Evil 0 is gorgeous on the Xbox One. Originally developed for the Nintendo 64, it ended up being released on the Gamecube in 2002 due to performance issues. Remastered and presented in full HD, textures and artwork are a welcome improvement from graphics of the early 2000s. Like most Resident Evil games, the player is tasked with making sure they are carrying the appropriate equipment to complete areas and defeat enemies and bosses. While switching from character to character is a cool mechanic, one thing that was removed from previous Resident Evil games is the item boxes where you can leave weapons, ammo or other important items to deposit and withdraw as you need them. Now players can drop items in a room of their choice and come back for them as they are needed. Even though items that are dropped are shown on your map, I found it frustrating to have to run back and forth because I'm a lazy ass bag. The controls are also a bit annoying but that just ends of being a product of its time. Get through some of the more boring puzzles and beat the game to unlock Wesker Mode which is really why this game is bad ass. Replay the game as Albert Wesker where you pretty much make everyone and everything your bitch.
Resident Evil 0: HD Remaster is a fun and nostalgic trip back nearly fifteen years to tell the story of what happened before the mansion and Raccoon City went to complete shit. There are puzzles and exploration that you've come to expect from Resident Evil but with an interesting character switching dynamic that is integral to the progression of the game. Fight scary zombies and fugly, gross boss creatures as you discover the origins of the T-virus. Ignore the frustrating controls and bask in the game's beauty before you move onto the mansion where the original horrors began.