Resident Evil 0 HD Review: New Beginnings


Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Platforms: Xbox One (Version Reviewed), PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Release Date: January 19, 2016

If you didn’t own a GameCube in the early 2000’s, there’s a good chance that Resident Evil 0 passed you by. Released as an exclusive for the console in 2002 (and later ported to the Wii), the game took the form of a prequel, exploring the history of the events that led to the original Resident Evil’s iconic mansion incident. Now, it’s time for this game to undergo the HD treatment, exposing it to a much wider audience of players for the first time.

Resident Evil 0 tells the story of then-rookie S.T.A.R.S member Rebecca Chambers and convict Billy Coen as they witness the beginnings of the T-Virus and embark on an ongoing attempt to survive. The core parts of the story are told through a series of FMV’s which serve to tell a fairly interesting and engaging tale, for the most part.

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While most of the game’s features adhere to the classic style that began with the original Resident Evil, it also experiments with different ideas, including a partner system that requires players to switch between Rebecca and Billy to solve puzzles and team up against enemies. Capcom hasn’t tampered with this unique feature in the new version, and it still serves as one of the better examples of how to utilize this type of mechanic to great effect, encouraging smart and tactical thinking.

the new controls reduce irritability and awkwardness to no end, and you can always go back to the old way of doing things if you prefer.

Despite the new features, Resident Evil 0 was a game that felt outdated back in 2002, when it was clear that the series was in need of imminent modernization. While going back to the old system is somewhat of a nostalgic blessing, you’ve no choice but to deal with the good, the bad, and the occasionally ugly elements of the classic formula.

Because of this, Capcom has put new measures in place to modernize the game, including a new analog control system that’s almost identical to the one that was introduced in last year’s Resident Evil HD, offering an alternative to the classic “tank controls” of the original. However, the overtly simple nature of dodging enemies with the analog system is something that the developers presumably never accounted for, reducing the game’s difficulty and sometimes making you feel as though you’re cheating the system. Despite this, the new controls reduce irritability and awkwardness to no end, and you can always go back to the old way of doing things if you prefer.

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If you’re taking your first foray into the world of old-school Resident Evil, you’ll probably be taken aback by some of the game’s features. Puzzles are at the forefront of the experience, and you’ll need to utilize a logical way of thinking in order to succeed, as they are quite difficult (albeit clever and thought-provoking) by today’s standards. Then, there’s the intentionally limited and often infuriating inventory that’ll leave you constantly swapping items from one person to another.

Resident Evil 0 understands what made the original Resident Evil so good, resulting in a refreshingly familiar experience

The infamous ink ribbon save system is back, offering limited saves while adding a great deal of tension to every enemy encounter, and irritating camera issues are still ever present, often causing you to switch between different parts of the room involuntarily. Because of these quirks, it’s a relief that combat is relatively straightforward, lacking depth yet still providing a fun and tense challenge. Ultimately, Resident Evil 0 understands what made the original Resident Evil so good, resulting in a refreshingly familiar experience that harks back to the good old days, despite its faults.

Of course, the game has also been given the full HD treatment. Now boasting 1080p support, it looks much more detailed and refined than it did fourteen years ago, but it’s a credit to the original iteration’s excellent visuals that it feels like more of a subtle improvement than a full-blown overhaul. In particular, it’s the game’s environments that have benefited the most, resulting in gorgeous locations that serve to amplify the tone of the game. Capcom has also included the ability to switch between the classic 4:3 or new 16:9 widescreen ratio, and there’s 5.1 surround sound support, enhancing the eerie soundtrack to great effect.

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Once you’ve completed the main game, a brand-new mode opens up in the form of Wesker Mode, allowing you to replay the game as evil mastermind Albert Wesker alongside a more sinister version of Rebecca’s character. Wesker can take advantage of unique powers that he gained from the Uroboros virus in Resident Evil 5, including a particularly savage-looking Death Stare ability. It is an excellent addition that adds another element of replayability, but don’t expect too much from it. The story doesn’t change, and players still refer to Wesker as “Billy”, but it gives you another reason to pick up the controller after the credits have rolled.


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For those who didn’t get a chance to experience Resident Evil 0’s first outing, there’s no better time to jump in. It’s outdated and falls short in some areas, but there’s still a lot to enjoy here, including clever puzzles, fun combat, and the classic tension-horror that made Resident Evil so famous in the first place. While Capcom hasn’t deterred too far from the original release, they’ve enhanced the game in crucial areas for the modern generation, thereby providing the definitive Resident Evil 0 experience for new players and series veterans alike.

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A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.