Monday, February 24

Resident Evil Review

I played on: PS1
I paid: ???
Available on: PS1, Saturn, PC
Notes: This is a review for the original version of this game, not the Director's cut, DS remake or Gamecube remake. You can find my reviews for those games here.

Resident Evil was groundbreaking back in 1996 but in 2020 and beyond this original version has been surpassed a number of times.

This was the original and classic Resident Evil game, and one of Survival Horror's early hits. You play as Raccoon City's elite police squad known as the S.T.A.R.S. After the Bravo team fails to report in while investigating several nasty murders your team is sent in to find them. This leaves you cut off and alone in a mansion full of traps and monsters. Honestly, this story is a classic by now so the odds are you know what it's about. Spooky house, a secret lab, double agent and so on. The infamous voice acting is just as enjoyable today as it ever has been. While it's no doubt awful it does carry a certain B-Movie charm to it. I love it and play this version just for the cutscenes alone.

Outside of the story, the gameplay has you exploring the mansion and its grounds solving puzzles, finding keys and when you have the ammo to spare taking on Umbrella's pets. This is the OG version of the founding game though and it shows. The Director's Cut that came out just a year later would introduce difficulty modes and a lock-on system for aiming. This version is also available on the go with both the PSP and PSVita. Then Deadly Silence on the DS would introduce quick turning, as well as the ability to have your map and health displayed at all times on the second screen. This is not even mentioning the Gamecube remake that brought in all-new graphics, enemies, defense weapons, new voice work and so much more. The HD version of the Gamecube remake then introduced modern controls and a 16:9 aspect ratio. With this version now available on the Switch, you can even play the HD Remake on the go. That leaves this PS1 version feeling awfully far behind and dated next to the number of remakes and ports.

Ultimately Resident Evil is a great game, it's an absolute classic that I love to bits but this original version is by far the worst way to experience it now. Any and all fans of horror gaming need to play this game but maybe not this version of this game. I would recommend either the Director's Cut on the PSP, PS3 or PSVita or Deadly Silence on the DS. This way you get all the joys and comforts that the series introduced in later sequels as well as the comically awful cutscenes. Unless you're a massive fan of the series or retro gaming this original 1996 version isn't really worth playing anymore. I'm giving it a 6 out of 10 because although it's the most dated incarnation of this classic the brilliance is still there. But at the same time, there are better ways to play this now.

Recommendation Rating: 6 out of 10.

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