The newest instalment from the spearhead of the survival horror genre. What's to expect?
This game is a fantastic display of what happens when game developers change their story progression and pace. Everything is more aggressive and will stop at nothing to kill you(what's new right?) Zombies are faster, Nemesis is faster and angrier than ever before and increasingly terrifying zombies and mutations have squirmed their way into the series to plague our nightmares. Nemesis has arguably been a fan favourite since the original release in 1999 due to the sense of dread avid fans will remember as they aimlessly wandered around the streets of chaos engulfed Raccoon City wondering when the S.T.A.R.S super fan will burst through the wall and make you scream with fear.
The design for Nemesis has taken a more terrifying route, sporting freshly torn skin and a naturally less blocky apparel. Much like his design, the AI is more revised too, as he is now faster and equipped with an arsenal of new attacks and methods to dispose of his nemeses(I am not sorry.) Such attacks consist of a tentacle swipe, a grab where he wraps a tentacle around Jill's legs and drags her towards him and a terrifying leap in the air forcing the player to backpedal and hightail it back the way they came. Players' do still have the option of fight and flight when confronted with the staggeringly gigantic Nemesis in a few encounters, though this option is less pronounced and warrants a more organic response from the player than the original.
Other creatures that lurk in different areas of the city have received a re-imagination, akin to their towering tentacle loving unit that is Nemesis. The frog like Hunters that come to life largely in the Carlos side of the story are now much larger and grotesque. A stint with these creatures could leave your throat slashed, resulting in instant death.
Playing as Jill Valentine, esteemed survivor of the Spencer Mansion incident and the infamous Jill sandwich joke, you try and escape Raccoon City whilst trying to help Umbrella Agent Carlos Oliveiria all whilst dodging relentless advances from the creepiest stalker in the world. Jill remains the heroine we all came to love, however, there is definitely a more human element to her which is made clear from the nightmares she faces in this game and in the past. Despite this, she remains capable all the same.
Much like its predecessor, the game sticks very desperately to its source material in terms of story progression however more zombies have been crammed into every viable nook and cranny, the previously clunky dialogue has been rehashed and gorgeous visuals of auburn flames and glistening pools of blood are back to be in awe over.
The levels are awash with exploitable red barrels and shootable electric generators to dispose of the shuffling hordes of the dead around you. The ability to actively dodge out of the way of an oncoming attack has been added into the game, allowing the player to, if timed perfectly, roll and shoot the enemy’s weakness with a critical shot. This, as useful and as cool as this can make you feel, ultimately takes the survival horror element away from the game due to ease of avoiding conflict. Confronting the terrors that you will face in the game is still not easy, make no mistake. If you fancy a more genuine horror experience, try playing it on Nightmare mode where ammo is scarcer and more zombies are added, hungrier than ever.
There seems to be an overall focus on the action side of the series, the horror taking a back burner as the claustrophobic, winding maze of a police station is replaced with open streets littered with cars and shuffling zombies alike. This is a shift of pace from the previous remake though this remains faithful to the original 1999 release, so no complaints there.
The overwhelming presence and ultimate control that Nemesis possesses when confronted out in the open streets is still a feature to be admired. Whether he is turning nearby zombies into grotesque mutations with the flick of a tentacle or casually waiting for you to exit a building so he can focus all of his hatred(believe me there is a lot) onto Jill’s skull, he is fear-inducing nonetheless
This version still allows you to play as deuteragonist Carlos Oliviera, UBCS(Umbrella Biological Containment Service) for a portion of the game and the confidence you feel whilst controlling him is as strong as ever. Now sporting a different, more rugged look, Carlos remains a sidekick in this game, although his heroism is more fleshed-out in this version and his corny dialogue left out(for the better)
Ultimately, if you are expecting the same experience and aesthetic that the previous remake offered then you are going to be somewhat disappointed. That being said, the game is still an incredible experience nonetheless, despite how short and different it is. It remains a faithful remake and an example of what modern graphic capabilities and the new RE engine can achieve.
All in all, the remake, whilst being lacklustre in many aspects is still a fantastic entry in the remake saga of the series, though I believe it could probably benefit from a lower price tag, namely £59.99 as its short storyline and the absence of replayability that the previous remake had is its ultimate downfall.
Resistance: a new multiplayer experience
Twinned alongside this remake is the introduction of Resident Evil Resistance, an innovative survival horror experience enjoyable with random players from across the world or your friends. With the ‘storyline’ following four survivors as they shoot and wrestle every abomination as they desperately try to escape an Umbrella Test Lab, all the while being watched by a controlling dominant force, the Mastermind.
This sounds like a lot of fun, right? Well, it is and it isn’t. Admittedly it can be fun to play with your friends as you can be an ultimate pain in the neck and make their experience as painfully hard as possible though when playing with random players where communication is scarce, this is no longer fun. Though I must add, the lack of communication is at no fault of the developers, that completely lies with the community so far.
The dialogue from the characters is a bit lame. Whilst it is an online experience and immersive dialogue should not be expected, it would help to connect with the characters and add to the horror element. The characters themselves serve as classic horror tropes and cliches, namely the brawns, the brains, the outcast etc, though this may have been on purpose.
Control over the mastermind is fun and pushes a learning curve/differing method of play as you watch over the survivors through use of cameras set up in corners of each room. From this POV you can lock doors, strategically place zombies, dogs, Ivy’s(Plant zombies with shootable polyps on different limbs), tyrants which are mastermind specific and a different array of traps.
There are definitely some things that need looking at, such as the clunky controls and the exploits both on the survivor and the mastermind side. For an online experience that has just been released, it is incredibly fun to play and the problems that I personally have with it so far are largely minor and will more than likely be nerfed, buffed or changed as the game grows and the community alike.