The original Resident Evil will always hold a place in my gaming heart as it was perhaps the first survival horror game that I’ve every played and actually beaten. It has plenty of jump scares (that damned dog) and just enough atmosphere at the time to portray the game as being scary. Of course that was 20 years again now and while it was the master of its craft back then, it’s been replaced by other titles such as Dead Space 1 & 2Eternal Darkness, Silent Hill and the most recently The Evil Within from none other than the creator of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami. So you would think that there would be little reason to re-revisit Resident Evil, yet there is something about getting a remaster of a remake with new additions such as 5.1 surround sound, a 1080p resolution @ 60fps, 16:9 / widescreen support and even a new control scheme. 

On top of that, this is the first time that non-Nintendo gamers can experience the HD remaster since this game will be available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC; which is ironic because Nintendo gamers had the remake first on Wii and Gamecube. Wii U owners will not have access to this game.

So here I am, venturing back into the game that started it all. Back into real survival horror!

Game Name: Resident Evil HD Remaster
Platform(s):
PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One & PC
Publisher(s): Capcom
Developer(s): Capcom
Genre(s): Horror / Survival
Release Date: 1.20.2015
Price:
$19.99
Reviewed on: (PC)

If you’ve never played Resident Evil before, then here’s a quick intro. You’re a member of S.T.A.R.S and your team has received reports of all sorts of bad stuff happening in Raccoon City, including the disappearance of S.T.A.R.S Bravo team who was sent in ahead of your squad. And like any bad horror movie, your team gets tossed into the mix to find them and to see what is going down in Raccoon City. That’s when all hell breaks lose as you’re chased by mutant dogs and your only way to safety is an abandoned mansion. Yep, you can see where this is going, right?

Inside of the game you’ll be sure to find plenty of puzzles that you need to solve, just-plain-scares, and of course, some good old-fashioned gun-play as you try to find out what happened to your team while at the same time you try to survive on your own. Keep in mind that your bullets and other resources are limited unless you’re playing in easy mode, if you waste them then you might find yourself backed into a wall and fast.

Upon launching the game is clear to see that Capcom wasn’t lying when they said they were going to re-haul the entire game. While the Gamecube remake still stands the test of time the remastered version simply nails it. Graphically the game is looking very well, the character models are detailed nicely and move fluidly. The 3D backdrops have also been given some much-needed attention to detail. To be honest I really didn’t expect the level of detail that was put into this so I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got to play the game on my own system. However, there are still some issues that pop up. While most of the game received an upgrade you can tell at times that many objects were up-scaled and you’ll be able to see it rear it’s ugly head. I didn’t really try to look for the up-scaling during my gameplay; however, you’ll definitely know when you see them. Another issue I noticed is that the 16:9 / widescreen mode is was implemented using zoom, so the image is stretched out and cut off. It’s not idea but it works.

resident_evil_hd_remaster_scaling

I played this review on my PC so I was also able to adjust my frames rate thanks to a toggle that lets you choose between a 30/60/variable frame rate. If you’re playing this on either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, however, you’ll that you’re confined to a locked 30fps, which is something I can’t wrap my head around. While playing it on my PC I cranked it up to 60fps and I didn’t run into any performance issues on my gaming rig though your experience may vary. In addition to being able to adjust the FPS, you also have the option of playing with the original 4:3 ratio which only lets you use the original tank controls and the newly added 16:9 ratio, complete with the upgraded control scheme.  

That said I’m loving the revamped controls which allow you to move your character in the direction you’re pointing the analog stick towards. Sure this may be lost on some folks, especially those who have never played the original Resident Evil but trust me, they make a world of difference. Yet there are bound to be others to prefer the original controls but thankfully the decision to use either method is left up to you. I’d be terrible not to mention that the new controls do give you an unfair advantage since the game was made with those yucky tank controls in place, while the updated controls you can almost just knife your way through the game

Almost!

Since this is a review of the PC version, I’m happy to report that Capcom didn’t just provide us with a lazy port. On top of the graphical upgrades the PC version also includes PC-centric options that you’ve come to expect from a PC title; V-SYNC, the ability to change the refresh rate, frame rate adjustment (30/60/variable fps), anti-aliasing adjustment, as well as adjusting the shadow and texture qualities. 

resident_evil_hd_remaster_PCsettings

Should you pick up Resident Evil HD Remaster? YES!

All in all, Resident Evil HD Remaster is a fun romp back into the survival horror genre of years gone and thankfully a clear example of what can be done to an aged title if enough dedication and effort is put forward. This is the best version of Resident Evil to date despite the zooming issues or the camera angles, all of which you’ll forget about as your fighting for dear life. For the asking price of $19.99, Resident Evil HD Remaster provides just enough content in the form unlocking costumes, special weapons, additional upgrades, modes and challenges that I can safely recommend this title to either horror survival vets or for anyone who’s just starting out on them. Especially if you’ve never played the remake on the Gamecube or Wii.

Pros:

  • Despite being a remake of a 12 year old game it still holds up.
  • The 5.1 audio and 1080p was a welcomed addition to a classic title
  • The new control system spanks the outdated tank control system

Cons:

  • Noticeable scaling at times and the 16:9 ratio is faked by using zoom.
  • The fixed camera is still bad and in certain areas it gives enemies an unfair advantage
  • Back into the survival horror!
Overall
4
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0 (0 votes)
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About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. You can find him on Twitter as @Shadowhaxor or you can email her at keith.mitchell@theouterhaven.net.