Platform: PC (Steam)
Released: January 19, 2015
Resident Evil/Biohazard HD Remaster (Resident Evil REmake) is an excellent addition to the library of any survival horror fan.
An HD remaster of a remake of the original Resident Evil, Resident Evil REmake brings the classic survival horror game into the 21st century with updated graphics, a new control scheme, and a refinement of various puzzles and encounters from the original.
The game looks brilliant, all things considered. Bringing about the look of modern horror games only serves to further improve the atmosphere of Resident Evil REmake.
If you’re familiar with the original Resident Evil, you may recall the “tank” controls that it sported. While the original control scheme is still available, Resident Evil REmake introduces a new control scheme that allows Jill (or Chris) to move and turn freely. While this is a vast improvement over the original tank controls, it is sometimes hindered by the fixed camera angles, which are still present and, from time to time, present issues with aiming and navigation.
Unlike more recent installments in the franchise, you cannot run and gun your way through REmake. The Spencer Mansion, in which the game is set, is a maze that requires careful navigation and will have players fighting to survive as they move from room to room, attempting to progress. Ammunition is scarce, as are healing items, and, as such, players will have to manage their resources, know when they should kill an enemy, and know when they should run.
The atmosphere stays spot-on nearly all the way through. Time and time, again, you will yourself unnerved and forcing yourself to progress. Encounters with enemies are tense as you try to survive, managing your ammunition, and attempting to overcome various monstrosities that, almost always, have the upper hand. But it is in the quiet moments that the game really comes to life. As you pass from room to, seemingly, lifeless room, it’s hard not to hold your breath for the next trap or encounter, breeding a fear of the unknown and anticipated.
As for the story, it’s a Resident Evil game. Umbrella is cartoonishly evil and it’s up to you to clean up, or, in this case, survive, their mess. Still, journal entries and atmospheric story-telling throughout the game provides some interesting and, at times, meaningful back story, as you try to piece together the history of the Mansion’s captives.
In terms of performance, I did notice some drops in frame rate, despite playing with the graphics settings and having a PC that should have no trouble running the game on its highest settings.
A brilliant game that delivers on all fronts, with only some minor hiccups, Resident Evil REmake is an exercise in true survival horror, and an example of what a remake/remaster should be.
I highly recommend it. 8.5/10