Abandoned mansions. Window-shattering dogs. That iconic zombie moan. So many gamers have memories of the original Resident Evil. It is, after all, a legend in the gaming space and one of the forefathers of the survival horror genre.
Fortunately for those who want to re-experience Chris and Jill’s original fight for survival, Capcom is bringing Resident Evil to PS4 and PS3 in early 2015. Last week I took a few nervous steps through the mansion for myself and was mauled almost immediately. Still had fun!
To start, the upcoming remaster of Resident Evil is based on the remake from 2002, which was already a tremendous leap forward in visual fidelity. The fearless members of S.T.A.R.S. were remodeled, the environments were enhanced, and even the dialogue was re-recorded (R.I.P. Jill Sandwich). The upcoming remaster has been shined to an even brighter (Or darker?) polish, with 1080p visuals and 5.1 surround sound on PS4. Even the smallest details — like the flickering flame of a candle or the sway of overhead branches — have been touched up by the team.
Resident Evil supports various display and control options, as well. Want to play in the original 4:3? Do it. Prefer a widescreen, camera-panning view? Resident Evil has that, too. The development team has even included the original “tank controls” for survival horror purists, though a simple selection in the options menu allows for modern movement control instead.
Regardless of your preferences, Resident Evil remains a game of great detail. Listen for the fluttering of moths near lamplight, or the creaking steps of a zombie hidden just out of view. Note Jill’s reflection in the tiled floors, or the intricate design of a chandelier. Though the primary goal is survival (and the desperate collection of ink ribbons), it’s hard not to admire the smaller pieces that fit together into the larger puzzle.
And somehow, Resident Evil’s high ceilings and tall windows still feel claustrophobic. Part of the fun is navigating these environments and recalling the same fear many of us felt while huddled under blankets in 1996.
In fact, Resident Evil still lends itself extremely well to group play. The sudden scares, moment-to-moment inventory choices, and over-the-top story all pair well with a crowded couch — and optional beers, if the players are responsible adults of course. Like the foundation laid by the original, Resident Evil is not a wholly single-player game, but an experience to be shared, discussed, and enjoyed with friends. And really, we’ll take any excuse to witness the majesty that is Barry Burton.
Resident Evil launches early next year on PS4 and PS3.