The Resident Evil "REmake" is frequently offered as an example of just how fantastic the series was back in the day. With its stunning visuals, impressive additions, and less embarrassing opening cutscene, it's easy to forget that this enhanced version of the survival horror classic sold well under two million copies on the GameCube. However, now that Capcom's giving it a second shot – and on more than one platform – it may spell a resurgence for the popular update. But does it live up to its reputation – even over a decade later?
Like its original release, this PlayStation 4 REmake is a stunning recreation of the PSone original. With better textures and in 1080p, every detail of the game is on beautiful, clear display. Whether it's carpets that are just a little out of place – perhaps hinting at a struggle or a chase – or frayed wallpaper, it adds massively to the atmosphere of the already memorable mansion.
People and enemies have been cleaned up as well. They're not quite as human as the latest blockbuster or even last-gen comebacks like The Last of Us Remastered, but that's probably not a sensible expectation in the first place. Still, the textures on clothing and skin have definitely improved, but the slightly wide designs of the characters are exactly as you remember them.
This brings with it the good and the bad: Chris Redfield hasn't yet started his rock punching regime, and his body looks like that of, if you can imagine, a human being. On the other hand, animation can be more than a little dodgy at times, and perhaps it would have been nice to have this area polished up a little.
For relative newcomers to the series, both Chris and Jill Valentine have alternative costumes that bring them more up to date with later iterations of the franchise. Both boast BSAA uniforms, unlocked from the start, which actually look quite good, despite the agony that they may cause Resident Evil purists.
Unsurprisingly, these new costumes are entirely optional, as are all of the other extras that Capcom has crammed into this version. That means that the classic GameCube experience is present and correct – tank controls and all. With that said, the revised method of manoeuvring your main character vastly improves the experience.
Small updates, like being able to point your character in the direction of the analogue stick, add a little extra control in a world gone completely mad. Zombies can be quick and deadly, and being able to turn on the spot that much more quickly puts survival back into your hands; no longer can you blame terrible controls for a death. Shooting is still pretty imprecise, but anything more accurate would turn this into an action game, which it isn't supposed to be.
With the widescreen mode comes a scrolling camera. In the early parts of development, this was touted as a bonus feature, but it barely even registered to us. Perhaps that's just because fixed camera games are such a rarity today that this brings it more in line with our expectations, but the most important thing to say about this is that it doesn't distract from play or impede on the quality of the original game.
The exploration is still based upon fixed camera angles, however, and the usual issues with these apply. Point your analogue stick forward and move onto another screen and your character will turn in relation to where you're now pointing – sometimes in the completely opposite direction. This can be extremely annoying when you're being chased by something, and when it's not clear that the camera angle is going to change. If there's one thing that feels uncomfortable or dated, this is it – and it's difficult to fathom why it wasn't fixed.
There are also some other minor issues and glitches that were present in the original GameCube release. In the right shaped rooms, zombies can clip through walls and hit you regardless of what's in the way. This sort of thing is unlikely to bother someone who has been playing this game for nearly twenty years, but newcomers may be put off by how daft it looks.
The story and acting is still hilariously funny, too, although whether you think that this is a good thing or not will depend on how serious an experience you're expecting. Resident Evil is a title that only becomes goofier with time, but in our opinion, it's all the better for it; it has character and it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is more than can be said for more recent outings.
However, there are still things that are very scary. This is especially true in the PS4 REmake because of the 5.1 sound. This is fantastic – simply perfect. Capcom do more with utter silence than most games manage with a full orchestra and a dozen Hollywood a-listers. A few footsteps, a clap of thunder, and a low groan will be enough to send a shiver down your spine – even if a throwaway line or overly dramatic description is right around the corner to remind you that it's mostly just a parody.
Resident Evil has small issues here and there, and the silly writing and survival gameplay have never been for everybody, but these negatives don't change the fact that this is a fantastic release. The REmake is as enjoyable as ever, enhanced by small improvements that make it that much more playable, and the whole experience hints at just how great a new "classic" Resident Evil could be with today's technology behind it.
Dat hype. I absolutely can't wait to replay this. Thanks for the review, @MatGrowcott!
I still own this on the GameCube but I'll be buying this to support a return to form for Resident Evil and the long lost dream of a remastered RE 2.
I'm so upset and jealous
I want this on Vita :"""(
REmake is not goofy. The writing isn't phenomenal, but it is miles beyond the original and its profoundly corny dialogue.
The real star of this game is the atmosphere. It's so thick and tense you could cut it with a knife. The game is still, to my mind, the definitive Resident Evil game, and I urge anyone who has never played this on Gamecube to experience it here. It's up there with Silent Hill 2 as one of the greatest survival horror games of all time.
I have still never completed a playthrough of the original on PS1, but will definitely be picking this up.
While we're on the subject of classic horror game remasters (and seeing as @Ralizah sorta mentioned it), has anybody here played the PS3 port of Silent Hill 2? I absolutely love the first game, and it's one of my biggest gaming regrets that I've never played 2 or 3. But I've heard some dodgy stuff about the PS3 versions, and I no longer own a functioning PS2
@SteveButler2210 Apparently they're not great. I'd try to get the PS2 version if I was you.
I hear, while it still has some issues, that the PS3 patch fixed the most glaring problems with it. Based on what I've heard of the new voice acting, I highly recommend playing SH2 with the original voices from the PS2 version. The HD version may not be ideal, but it sounds like it will still largely be a positive experience now.
Silent Hill 1 is one of my favorite entries in the series as well, as it just has a raw, horrifying edge to it. Silent Hill 2 is a bit different, as it is a more thoughtful game that goes for a slow burn kind of creepy rather than in-your-face horror like the original. Without spoiling too much, the focus of SH2 is psychological and doesn't focus on any of the occult stuff from SH1. That's where SH3 comes in. It's a direct, in-universe sequel to the original Silent Hill, and has a similarly oppressive focus on the occult.
@SteveButler2210 Silent Hill 2 is a great game and by far the stand out of them all...Id have tried the HD PS3 versions but I've heard bad things as well....I didn't want to sully my memories of the best horror game I've ever played.
Yes please, I'd rather play this ten times over than sit through 10 minutes of the revelations crud they're putting out. I'll be snapping it up.
@Ralizah yeah I'd heard it was very much a psychological thing in 2, which was largely why I want to play it so bad, it just sounds really interesting to me. I think one of the reasons I will always love 1 is just the sense of accomplishment I had when I finally got through it - I first started when I was about 11 and it was just so intense that I couldn't go on after a couple hours. Came back and finished it with pride a few years down the line, good times!
@get2sammyb @Munkyknuts I think I might just take the plunge and see how the port plays, and then I can seek out the original at a later date if I need to. At least that way, it can only get better!
I was actually all excited to try and platinum this before I seen it involves beating the game 9 times, including once "without saving," one on "real survival" and worst of all once on "invisible enemy mode"
I beat REmake at least 5 times on GC but I couldn't get past the Crimson head boss in invisible enemy mode and I'm not dumb enough to try again.
I had this on Gamecube and Wii. Soon I will have it on PS4!
Does anyone knows if the PS3 version of REmake REmastared works o.k? don´t have a ps4 yet
Played RE: DC to death on PS1 and REmake on GC a long time ago (ugh I'm old now...)
So I might buy this purely out of nostalgia!
What is the price tag?
@Jonny with you on that. RE2 is my favorite in series.. and a return to form is much needed.
I'll wait for when the price goes down...as I've seen, it's $40 plus everywhere for the game. Other than that, here's to hoping that they re-release all of them again!!! I'm sure they will!
Had this on Gamecube, about tempted to get this again I prefer RE like this rather than the last 2 . With all the action the newer ones have I don't see how the franchise can ever "backtrack" to how the first few REs were though
Will pick this up, once it's on the Playstation Store Sales.
Yea that is a great question since this is a PLAYSTATION website. But, yet again, a review of a PS4/PS3 game doesn't even bother to mention that this is available on the PS3. It's getting really old and is just ridiculous.
Last I checked, my dualshock 3 had a SQUARE button on it. And it is called the PLAYSTATION 3. But heaven forbid this site miss out on wasting time reporting PS4 sales numbers over & over or review some obscure Vita/PS4 indie platformer that 14 people are going to buy.
So instead they pass on taking the time it takes to check out a Resident Evil game on the #1 console of "last-gen"? Weak. The fact that the reviewer didn't even mention that the game is available on PS3 in the article is unprofessional. Even IGN does that much.
@Godsire- @DualWielding We're working on a system-wide solution that will allow us to display in the review which version we played, and where else the game is available. I appreciate this is frustrating, but the way the site is built, it's not as straightforward as it may seem.
As for not reviewing the PS3 version, well, we're always going to prioritise the PS4 version, I'm afraid. This is for two reasons: a) We get more clicks on PS4 reviews, and; b) The publishers rarely send PS3 review code out these days. Yes, we could buy the games on PS3 as well, but even then, it's really not worth our time/money writing the same review twice.
Clearly we need to make it clearer when a game is multiplatform, but hopefully you can understand why we're focusing on the PS4 versions.
I think I might wait to pick this one up when its on sale. As it is I am running out of room on my hard drive
Thanks for the review Mat, good read. Will definitely pick this up as i never actually played it, astonishingly. Looking forward to seeing those zombie attacks through the walls
I've played this game too many times to buy it again, first on the Saturn, PS1, Gamecube, DS, PS1 again on PSN...
My thoughts on REmake were that it was good, but I missed the cheesy quality of the original. Was interesting to see what had changed when I first played it on the Gamecube, but I find the original more 'fun', for all its 90s nostalgia.
Expected it would turn out well. My only gripe back in the day were the tank controls, I loved the series right up through Code Veronica so I dealt with the frustration but I'm happy they've updated the control scheme. I just hope it actually is as good as the reviews I've read have made it out to be.
@LDXD thank you. It was one of my first ps1 purchases. I was ecstatic when I went to my mom's house to go through some of my old stuff and found my original copy. But the hi res graphics are very tempting for a re-buy
This game is $20 U.S. if that's what you're asking.
While I understand the focus should be on the PS4 version & agree with that point, I think there is a point that you & your staff here at Push Square overlook quite frequently.....
NOT EVERYONE HERE HAS A PS4. A lot of people still use, play games on, & purchase games for their PS3. And my point is just not about this RE Remaster, but about all the multi-platform releases this site covers. There was no article or review about how the PS3 version of Destiny, for example, turned out.
I bet most here don't even know that the PS3 versions of Shadow Of Mordor & Dragon Age turned out very poorly & should not be purchased. Or that LBP 3 is, essentially, the same game on both platforms. These are just a few examples of information that a website devoted to PlayStation game news, reviews, & information should probably be aware of & share with it's readers.
It's not like you guys have to cover the Xbox One, 360, & the Wii U like most other sites. You only have the PS4, PS3, & Vita (& by extension the PSTV) to worry about. Don't get me wrong, I do like your site, visit it quite frequently, & plan on remaining loyal to that fact, but this has been an oversight for far too long......in my opinion.
Yea as a long time RE fan myself, I just replayed RE:CV recently on PS3 and those tank controls have not aged well. At all. I kinda got used to it, but it felt like work. I love that this remaster fixed that issue. I absolutely loved this REmake on the GC, so I hope this remaster lives up to my sky high expectations.
And bring on Resident Evil 0 too!
I'd love to see Zero show up on PlayStation but I thought Nintendo had some kind of real exclusive on that one? Maybe I'm wrong and if I am, then yeah, bring Zero as well, not many people played it the first time around, it'd almost be like it's a new release.
I think that same exclusive deal involved this RE remake too. And there have been rumors, since this remaster, that RE0 will get the same treatment.
So hopefully whatever deal was in place has expired and we get RE0 too. Capcom will probably wait to see how this remaster is received & how well it sells.
How much £ and when is it released?
That's probably a fair assumption, I'd hope across five platforms this game sells well enough.
I'm pretty sure it's only digital. Revelations 2 is the one that will be $25 for the full season digitally or $40 if you wait to get the retail version.
@Godsire- Yeah, that's fair. We'll try to do better in this department.
Ok, cool. Thanks Sammy.
Btw, hopefully the PS4 will do so well this next year (in terms of truely great games) that companies can stop with the multi-platform releases & Sony can finally lay the PS3 to rest so this isn't even a thing anymore.
Agreed. I almost wasted $25 on Mordor, but thankfully I read the Amazon reviews and noticed something was off, so I cancelled the order. For the Evil Within I could not find PS3 reviews anywhere, but I did not have any problems.
Good to hear @get2sammyb and the PS team is looking to improve in this department.
I am legit looking forward to what Id consider one if the best games of the 20th century remade to be one of the best of the 21st…again!
Yea the best way to do figure out if the PS3 versions of these cross-gen games (if you can't find actual PS3 reviews) is to either check out the PS3 version customer reviews on Amazon (like you said) or.......
Look at what company actually developed the game. Not published, but developed. As an example, if you look at the PS3 version of Advanced Warfare, it was not developed by Sledgehammer Games. It was "farmed out" to another company. That is usually a dead giveaway thay the PS3 version will be some watered down, throw away port.
In the case of The Evil Within.......that was basically a PS3 game up through most of development, but then upgraded to PS4. So like you said, that game would be safe. The developers of Alien: Isolation have said that they took the PS3 version seriously, so that would be safe. In other words, it just takes some time to do some research & go on a game-by-game basis.
But I would avoid Shadow Of Mordor, Dragon Age, & Advanced Warfare big time.
"when it's not clear that the camera angle is going to change. If there's one thing that feels uncomfortable or dated, this is it – and it's difficult to fathom why it wasn't fixed." Coming from a long time resident evil fan this was purposefully implemented. adds suspension, so no fix in sight sorry if someone addresses this before.
also "rock punching regime" gave me a good laugh!
Not enjoying this as much as I thought. I hate the camera angles and it feels clunky. Confused as to what to do. Definitely prefer the current style.
"With its stunning visuals, impressive additions, and less embarrassing opening cutscene"
The FMV sequences in the original Resident Evil were perfect. They were like a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 "Best Of" compilation.
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