one game a week 2015 : week four – Resident Evil HD Remaster

Some words from my brain to yours about whatever game has been occupying my time over the last 7 days. Once a week, EVERY week for the duration of 2015. God help us.

I still own a disc copy of the original Resident Evil from 1996 for the Playstation, it’s in a box somewhere in my attic. I also own a copy of the GameCube remake from 2002, despite not owning a GameCube anymore. A few years ago I bought a GameCube off eBay purely because I got the itch to play the remake, which is a masterclass in the reimagining of a classic. I also own the original as a PSN download, where it’s installed onto both my PS3 and Vita, where every few months I’ll load it up, breathe in that stale mansion air, wander about, do a puzzle, shoot a zombie then turn it off again. So it was with an almost automaton-like compliance that I downloaded this latest HD remaster of the 2002 remake of a game from 1996 that I already own 3 times over. I just can’t stop giving Capcom money for Resident Evil.

To me, and countless others of my generation, the original Resident Evil is of huge historical importance. I view permanently owning a copy and having it to hand equally as important as the copies of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy or Batman: Year One on my bookshelf. Or my Blu Ray copies of Alien, Aliens and Alien 3. But not Resurrection, that can get into a bin. Because it is total shit. But, Resi;  good old Resi, that’s a legacy title. It’s permanent. It’s valuable. So the option of having the slickest version of it installed onto my PS4, ready to launch, disc-free at a seconds notice? Well, it was a no brainer. It was pre-determined.

Jumping straight in as soon as it was downloaded at 4AM this morning (thanks to my daughter who decied she’d wake me up cause her nose was blocked before she wandered back to bed and promptly fell back to sleep, cheers), it felt every bit as invigorating, walking those corridors, as it did in 1996. There’s some black magic involved as to why this game is so timeless. Not in the controls (which despite an option to modernise still remain clunky by today’s standards) or in its story and acting (which is still as enjoyably B-movie as ever) but in its atmosphere. In its ability to create tension despite knowing the game like the back of your hand. The shuffle-and-moan audio cues of an unseen zombie, obscured by the games fixed camera angles, possibly waiting around the next corner (or the next) is still as terrifying as ever. I’ve only played for about 40 minutes so far, and haven’t made it to the dog/window jump scare yet, but I’m still shitting it in full anticipation.

I might not even get to it this year. There’s a good chance, considering my pile of shame, that I won’t start Resident Evil HD Remaster up again in 2015. It’s likely that I will do, but who knows? What matters most though is that it’s there. It’s ready. It’s shambling about the virtual corridors of my PS4, waiting to bite.

Now, Capcom. Please. How about it? Resi 2, HD re-imagining? Come on.

played on PS4


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