If you joined Capcom's survival horror series with its action packed fourth instalment, then you're in for a rude awakening in the recently released Resident Evil HD Remaster. While titles like Outlast and Alien Isolation have plotted a return to the more classical type of video game terror, they're still significantly more accessible than the Japanese publisher's re-released masterpiece. While we're not going to walk you through the game here – there are plenty of other outlets doing just that – we have got some tips that should help you during your time in the spooky Spencer Mansion. Pay attention, survivors – they don't even drop this kind of intel during a S.T.A.R.S. training drill.
Start with Jill Valentine
If this is your first time playing Resident Evil, then we recommend playing as Jill Valentine to begin with. While you may be drawn in by Chris Redfield's boyish good looks and perfectly placed hair, the simple fact is that the future beefcake is not as capable as his female peer. This is largely due to him not being the 'Master of Unlocking', so you'll need to go in search of extra keys a lot of the time. Moreover, while he does get access to a flamethrower, he won't be able to use the all-important grenade launcher. Worst yet, the rock puncher's not very good at carrying things – hence why he presumably opted to employ Sheva as a human pocket in Resident Evil 5 – so you'll need to take way more trips to item boxes than you will as his beret wearing counterpart. All in all, we recommend playing as Ms. Valentine while you find your tank controlled feet – you can always play through the campaign again as Chris later.
Don't Use Your Items (Unless Absolutely Necessary)
This is survival horror 101, but it's worth reiterating: those items that you find around the game world – try not to use them. Bullets are incredibly scarce in this game, and because the title dice rolls whether you land a headshot or not, it can take several shots before you bring a zombie down. Worse still, the REmake introduces Crimson Heads, which are essentially superhuman versions of the undead, should you dump a corpse at any point. You can burn dead bodies using the appropriate items if you wish to avoid this, but you'll be using up even more resources as part of the process. The best thing to do, then, is to simply not kill your enemies – most of them can be outrun early on anyway. This applies to bosses as well by the way, such as the Giant Snake that you'll encounter as Jill; there's no need to finish this off, as you'll be wasting precious ammunition. Oh, and as for those dreaded ink ribbons – use them very wisely. There are only a handful of these in the game, so if you're saving every 10 minutes or so, you're going to find yourself stuck later on.
Employ Your Inventory Wisely
Modern games have taught us to pick up every single item that we see, but we'd recommend against that strategy in Resident Evil. You only get eight slots to use – less as Chris – and so you'll want to have as little on your person as possible. Only carry one weapon if you can, and try to combine herbs immediately to save space. The biggest thing, though, is to not pick up puzzle items like emblems and masks until as late as you possibly can, because they're just going to pad out your inventory and get in the way. Remember, you'll be doing a lot of backtracking in the game, so there's no danger in returning to certain areas in order to grab bits and pieces later. Indeed, once you've built up an understanding of the mansion and the placement of particular enemies, you'll be rushing around without a care in the world. Well, unless a Hunter's chasing you, of course.
Play It Safe
There's no real rush in Resident Evil a lot of the time, so just steadily make your way through the Spencer Mansion's corridors and you'll be fine. Blundering ahead is a surefire way to lose lots of health, so just be smart and considered, and make sure that you inspect each scene before moving forward. The game's pre-rendered backdrops mean that it can be hard to see what's around the corner sometimes, so sprinting ahead is a silly strategy. Remember, you can avoid most enemies if you're careful; wait for a zombie to lunge, and you should be able to barge beyond it without getting grabbed.
Herbs Are a S.T.A.R.S. Operative's Best Friend
While chowing down plants may be considered questionable in real society, you're going to have to use your herbs at times in Resident Evil. This is particularly important later on in the game, as the Hunters will decapitate you if your health status reaches 'caution' or lower. Remember that a single green herb will only restore a small amount of health, while combining them will give you a bigger boost. Similarly, if you mix a red herb with a green herb, you'll be fighting fit all over again, while a blue herb can be added to the organic broth to cure poison. First Aid Sprays obviously recover a full amount of health as well. As before, you're going to want to use all of these wisely, but it's better to claw back a bit of health than face an instant death at the untamed claws of a Hunter.
Don't Be Afraid to Experiment
It may be contrary to what we've come to expect from games these days, but don't be afraid to take your time to learn the game. Every guide that you read for this release will tell you how to do things in a different order, and that's because most people tackle the title in a different way. It's best to figure out which strategies work for you, and the only way to do this is through trial and error. Once you know what you're doing, you'll be able to blitz through much of the game in an extremely condensed span of time, so experiment with different approaches, and don't be afraid to start again if you've accidentally forgotten to burn a body or wasted too many resources on a particular area. The game's so well designed that replaying doesn't necessarily feel like a chore, and as there are dozens of different endings to unlock, you may decide to play through it loads of times anyway. Should that be the case, the knowledge that you build up over time will help you to get through the campaign quicker and quicker.
Wait, There Are Different Endings?
We knew that was coming. Yes, there are six different conclusions for each character, and we assume that you'll be eager to know how to watch them, right? Well, assuming that YouTube absolutely isn't an option for you, here's what you need to do (with as few spoilers as possible, of course).
- First Ending – Best: You'll be given the option to give Barry Burton his gun back at one point in the game. Make sure that you return it, and keep him alive throughout the entire release. You'll also need to rescue Chris Valentine from the holding cells in the labs. Done.
- Second Ending: Give Barry his gun back and keep him alive, but let Chris rot.
- Third Ending: Don't give Barry his gun back, but do save Chris. Allow Barry to die at the hands of the Tyrant.
- Fourth Ending: Don't give Barry his gun back, but do save Chris. This time, allow Barry to fall at the hands of Lisa.
- Fifth Ending – Bad: Give Barry his gun back and save him from Lisa, but let him die at the hands of the Tyrant. Don't save Chris, either.
- Sixth Ending – Worst: Don't give Barry his gun back or save Chris. Duh!
- First Ending – Best: Save Rebecca Chambers from the Hunter and also protect her from the Tyrant. Meanwhile, you'll need to rescue Jill Valentine from the holding cells in the labs.
- Second Ending: Save Rebecca from the Hunter and the Tyrant, but this time let Jill rot.
- Third Ending: Rescue Rebecca from the Hunter and save Jill, but let the former die in the battle with the Tyrant.
- Fourth Ending: Allow the Hunter to kill Rebecca, but still save Jill.
- Fifth Ending – Bad: Save Rebecca from the Hunter, but let her die against the Tyrant. Don't bother saving Jill.
- Sixth Ending – Worst: Sensing a pattern yet? Yeah, you now need to leave Rebecca to fall to the Hunter, and not bother saving Jill. Simple stuff, huh?
You should now be equipped with all of the skills that you need to survive the Spencer Mansion, but from here on out, you're on your own. Of course, there's always the comments section to share tips and other intel, so let us know if you have any other methods of life preservation down below.