Resident Evil: HD Remaster - Xbox One

Release Date:

20 January 2015

Also on:

Xbox One PS4

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
7.8

Summary:

Resident Evil: HD Remaster contains a high definition revamp of a title that was released in 1998; a Special Forces team is sent to investigate some bizarre murders on the outskirts of Raccoon City. Upon arriving they are attacked by a pack of blood-thirsty dogs and are forced to take cover in a nearby mansion. But the scent of death hangs heavy in the air. Supplies are scarce as they struggle to stay alive.

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by Capcom
Release Date: 20/03/2015

avatar name

Posted:
2015-07-19

Darren_Summerell

Writer

Xbox One

8.3

Resident Evil HD Remaster was developed by Capcom for release on all of the major next gen and last gen consoles. We picked up a copy for our Xbox One after having played through Revelations 2 because we wanted to see how it all started. So we dropped in the game, turned out the lights, and got back to work on a nostalgia trip that brought us to our formative years of video game playing.

As we’ve no doubt talked about before, Resident Evil has been one of the most instrumental video game franchises of all time. It’s hard to reconcile when we believe classics must have come years before anything of RE’s graphical caliber, but it’s true. Resident Evil was the first game in the series and it was the one that put the franchise and the genre, really, right on the map. So it only makes sense that we got a remaster for the next generation of consoles eventually.

Despite what hardened fanboys might tell you, the Resident Evil franchise is definitely closer to the twilight of its career at the top of the charts than it is its prime. Capcom has gotten major heat for the way they’ve handled their darling franchise, with the majority of the titles following RE:4 considered to be average at best and blasphemous at worst. In order to get an eye on how to fix their problems going forward, the team at Capcom decided to look back to the past to see how it all started. In doing so we feel like the team of developers really took a close look at what the Resident Evil franchise means to people. The Remastered HD version was made with obvious care and palpable respect and it was a blast to play through from beginning to end.

If an HD remaster of Resident Evil sounds familiar it is because you probably played it, or were made aware of it, when the game was remade for the Gamecube back in 2002. The 2002 remaster looked great for the times and it was definitely a huge upgrade over the initial entry. Now add almost 15 years of technological advances to the graphical jump and you can set your eyes on what to expect out of this 2015 release. I’ll expound later but, in short, the game looks damn good. We had some preliminary concerns with the static backgrounds and how they would end up faring in HD 1080p but those concerns were allayed within the first few minutes of playing the game. Items are easier to see, details are easier to pick out, and the already haunting atmosphere has been ramped up to an 11. In doing so this might be the most atmospheric entry in the franchise yet.

The first time this title was released, so many years ago, it likely served as an entry point for many young gamers to the world that is survival based horror video games. Starting from here an entire genre has sprung up, like a well dug into from underground. The idea of minimal ammunition, overpowered enemies, and inventory management can all trace back to here. That means games like Minecraft, in essence, have taken from the pot of progression that RE has brewed up. We say all of this so that we can emphasize one thing: the game still plays amazingly. It’s hard to find innovators that age well alongside the other products that took their ideas and ran with them. We were a little afraid of the game being clunky or feeling like a remnant from the past, but it just doesn’t.

If you remember the Gamecube version then you will find a lot of stuff familiar in this games entry. Little of the fundamentals have actually been changed in a big way. The voice acting is still the same and it is still over the top and laughable at times. The ribbon based save system is also still in place, much to the detriment of a whole generation of gamers who grew to hate it. This is a pure Resident Evil experience, even if it has seen a graphical upgrade tantamount to full body surgery.

What makes this game so special is that its scope is meticulously refined and narrow. Most new Resident Evil games have you globetrotting all over the place as you take in the sights, find new horrors, and change your scenery every couple of minutes. Resident Evil 1, the grandfather of it all, takes place in a single mansion. Sure the Spencer Mansion is labyrinthine and gigantic, and sure this could also be seen as a negative but we don’t. Sometimes knowing how to tell your story with the barest amount of tools necessary can be enormous in terms of getting quality out of every moment. And Capcom does get quality out of almost every moment. From the courtyard to the cemetery all the way to the giant sweeping staircases, the game pushes you and scares you and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

One big change, that we one hundred percent approve of, has been made to the controls. If you remember playing the original version of RE then you remember how tank like your character moved. Your characters were slow, sluggish, and almost unresponsive at times - not a good set of traits in a survival game. Now Chris and Jill handle like champions, responding to the touch of your thumbsticks. There are some hiccups with how the camera reacts and sometimes you’ll have issues, but on the whole the experience is much improved if only for this change. Another small change made to the game is the new Super Easy mode. If you want to experience RE without the frustrations of constant death, flick this mode on and stroll through the title.

For a game that is multiple decades old almost, the Resident Evil HD Remaster on the Xbox One plays as good as ever. A must add to any fan of the long enduring zombie based franchise.

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Capcom

Release Date:

20/01/2015

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