Resident Evil Zero
I read an article in a gaming magazine a few years back, that included a poll that readers had taken in regards to franchise games. The poll showed that out of several gaming series, Resident Evil had the least chance of succeeding past its 3rd game. Well, that poll pretty much blew it. Nintendo scored a big one by getting the new chapter in the Resident Evil story to be a Gamecube exclusive.
When I got my hands on the latest Resident Evil Zero I was a little skeptical about what Capcom could do to make this installment as enjoyable as some of the others and to be quite frank, I had almost thought that it was time for the whole thing to end. Well then the game had to go all prequel on me start the storyline prior to the mansion AND prior to the movie (yes the movie is faithful to the games' timeline). So let's just start here with this simple sentence: I thought Resident Evil Zero was going to be a major disappointment and I am happy to report that it genuinely surprised me.
Resident Evil Zero is about as beautiful a videogame that you are ever going to see. Yes, it even looks better then the remake that came out earlier this year. Shadows are textured perfectly, flames flicker, monsters move, vehicles shimmy, chandeliers sway, and the paint on the wall looks fresh. Everything is really quite breathtaking. And if it weren't for the blood spattering everywhere, even your mother might enjoy looking at it. Honestly, the game does look fantastic, and it's complemented by the strongest voice work in the game to date. Additionally, the haunting music that cues up throughout the game really gave me chills as it came through my surround sound system. It's a really strong addition to the game.
Here's where some people may not enjoy this game. Resident Evil Zero has a long-standing tradition of using true form controls. Now what I mean by that is, if you are walking down the hallway and you want to turn right, you press the right part of the D-pad. Now, this also means that no matter which direction the character is facing, right always means right. Even if you are running towards the screen, the controls reflect the person's position from their point of view. Now I don't mind this configuration and I have played five Resident Evil Zero games and three Eternal Darkness, wherein if you press right, the character will run to the right side of the screen. The Resident Evil Zero controller configuration has kept many players from enjoying the most popular horror video game franchise ever. Why isn't there a controller configuration setup that switches these two modes?games with hardly a problem. But some players have really been turned off by this setup, option for a setup more akin to
Additionally, this edition includes a new way of playing. Since every Resident Evil Zero game contains two main characters and you switch back and forth as the story progresses, Capcom decided to up the ante and make the character switch option completely up to the player. You can play the game as either Rebecca or Billy and do the necessary tasks as you see fit. Of course there are some puzzles that require that you use both players at the same time, which also made for improved gameplay. You can even have the one you are not controlling follow along side you and open fire on any monsters that may attack. I really enjoyed the options that were afforded with the new character setup.
Resident Evil Zero is a strong title that will play well with fans of the series and horror aficionados and gamers who like their adventures a bit more edgy. If you couldn't stand the controller setup from the other games, you probably should take a pass. But for the rest of you, Resident Evil Zero is another winner in what appears to be a franchise still going strong.