The Resident Evil franchise is one of many that I’m always meaning to get into more, but for now the only one I’ve played all the way through is… Zero. This is the odd prequel title that was made for the Gamecube, of all things. But hey, it’s getting an HD remake for a bunch of recent consoles, so this review is actually timely and fitting.
The game features two characters you play as, and the main gimmick of the game is that you have to switch back and forth between the two in order to solve all the puzzles. The story starts with a policewoman named Rebecca, whose team is killed by zombies before they can track down an escaped convict named Billy. As you can guess, the two have to set aside their differences in order to survive the hordes of zombies and monsters and ridiculous puzzles.
The AI will control one character while you control the other. The controls are set up well for this, letting you decide to have your partner follow you or stay put with the push of a button, and letting you move the partner around with the right yellow joystick thingy the Gamecube’s got going on. Unfortunately, your AI partner can still be quite the imbecile, and I personally got tired quick of having to worry about his/her health bar on top of my own all the time. This kind of makes the entire game an escort mission… (weeps)
More off-putting are the puzzles themselves. They are a pain in the ass, and include some of the most asinine puzzles I’ve seen in any game. You search for an item, you get the item to your partner (e.g. via a dumbwaiter… I just wanted to say dumbwaiter), and you take that item to a specific place–and now it’s time to find a specific door for EACH character! And they each need to find a specific item along the way for a later puzzle. Lots of backtracking to be had here.
On top of all this, the story just isn’t any interesting, and the scares just aren’t there. I didn’t feel impressed by any of the monster designs either. Giant Scorpion! Giant Bat! They just might be giants.
It’s that time again: Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
The two characters are cutie patooties! And going hand-in-hand with that I suppose: the graphics are fantastic, particularly for a Gamecube title. Production value in general is high for this, but that shouldn’t be a surprise when this is probably Capcom’s biggest long-running franchise we’re talking about here. I mean, you’d hope it looks and sounds good, and is presented well.
At any rate, this wasn’t a terribly hard game to get through (save for a couple poorly-designed puzzles that drove me up a wall), and I didn’t hate the experience. It just didn’t impress me at all? I intend to give a couple other Resident Evil titles a try before I throw in the towel, so don’t get too upset with me fanboys and girls. I currently own RE4 and Code Veronica for PS2, and I think I’ve got RE3 on my Vita (as a PS1 download). That backlog…