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Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster PS4 Review

It begins as a mission for the Bravo team from S.T.A.R.S. to track and apprehend a fugitive. Sounds like it will be an easy mission, but they never counted with the possibility of being overwhelmed by the undead and the different horrors that this journey has prepared for them. Rebecca Chambers is the character we control in this adventure, the medic of the Bravo team is ready for duty and is joining forces with Billy Coen, who is the fugitive the team is after. The Resident Evil saga is known for getting multiple characters into action, but usually played on their own, but in Resident Evil 0, you can play with both Rebecca and Billy, changing anytime you want, making this a smart move for different puzzles and riddles you need to solve, but we’ll get into that later

Resident Evil 0 was originally released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 making it the last of the Resident Evil games before Resident Evil 4 (RE4) came with a design that put more action into the franchise and less zombies. Don’t get me wrong, RE 4 was an excellent game, and scary as well, but the original formula died with its release. If you are a long time fan of the saga, then replaying this will bring back memories, or better said, nightmares that will haunt you one more time, because the atmosphere is created in a way that will give you chills and make you feel the need to stop moving forward.

Resident Evil 0 Screenshot

Rebecca investigating what happened in the train.

Let’s start with the story. While investigating, Rebecca arrives at a stationary train full of death and disaster. At first, initial thoughts are it was something done by Billy, but after she encounters the zombies and receives an helping hand by our fugitive that saved her life, she begins an emotional journey of teamwork that makes her doubt if Billy is really the bad guy. Every choice and step they take will move them forward to the mansion where it all began, giving the player a backstory and understanding to how and what exactly happened at the Spencer Mansion.

This is something that Resident Evil 0 got right the first time back in 2002. The atmosphere was pretty good, but now the sound of sluggish footsteps combined with the zombie moans of the remastered audio remains as scary as the first time. The sound of weapons reloading, the train moving, even the wind and the environment sounds beautiful – it feels like you are there. The sound is spot on in every scenario, which helps wonders creating a tense setting, because without a good atmosphere a horror game won’t scare anyone.

Rebecca and billy trying to survive the horrors in the train.

Rebecca and billy trying to survive the horrors in the train.

In past experiences with video games, it’s fair to say that having an AI partner never sounds like fun. Initially, I was worried that my partner would get stuck somewhere or that they would start shooting like a wild cannon, running out of their supply of bullets, but the mechanics of the AI works well, making you trust that the team mate will shoot at the right time to save you without wasting unnecessary bullets. One big change to the game design, and something that veteran Resident Evil fans will have felt back when they played the original PSX game is the nightmare of the limited inventory space. It wouldn’t be a classic Resident Evil if it didn’t have a small inventory and with no way to upgrade it to stack all the pistols, shotguns, grenade launchers, and of course the trusty knife. Maybe you’ll never use the knives in the game, but when you have no more bullets, those small, sharp blades can save your life. A really good idea with the partner mechanics is that when you switch between characters, they also come with their own inventory space, so you can use one to save the things that you don’t need at the moment and the other person to stash weapons and ammo. Another useful mechanic is how the map works with the new feature of being able to drop items, making them visible on the map, so you can keep track where you put those extra healing plants or a piece of a puzzle. It helps having a bit of patience, as you will need to drop items often, as in typical classic Resident Evil, there is a fair amount of traversing back and forth, while looking for clues or solving a puzzle. I enjoyed it at the beginning, but as the game progresses, I began to grow tired of going through the same room multiple times.

There’s also a surprise at the end of the road in this remastered version – an extra mode that makes this re-release better by giving you the chance to use a very familiar character. The Wesker Mode gives you the option to play as the Albert Wesker, who replaces Billy, while changing the mechanics in the game. In this mode, the player has access to the abilities that Wesker has used in future games, such as Resident Evil 5.  Taking control of the main antagonist of the series is extremely satisfying. Wesker is able to run through zombies while a brainwashed Rebecca – you can tell by the red glowing eyes – follows him unharmed. This may remove any sense of horror from the game, but there is no doubt that this mode is made for fun, making the player feel powerful as they destroy zombies with ease with these enhanced human abilities.

Rebecca facing a zombie in the lab.

Rebecca facing a zombie in the lab.

Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster is a game that fans will no doubt pick up, while being worthwhile for newcomers as well. Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster is the second game to have the remaster treatment, inviting the new generation of gamers to try the oldschool formula of a survival horror game. Since it’s a remastering of the GameCube title, Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster still has the same flaws and weak points, but at the end of it, it still remains as great of an experience as the first time I set foot inside that slimey, leeched-filled train of horrors.

8 out of 10