Scott Hardie | July 18, 2003
Are there any Resident Evil fans on here besides Matt? I just finished RE0 and I want to gripe about it. :-) (spoilers ahead)

Matt played the game before me, but he said he turned it off after ten minutes because "it's just another Resident Evil game." I didn't understand how that could be a bad thing until I played it myself. That feeling of tedium is very pronounced at the beginning: It DOES feel like "just another" Resident Evil game. But once you get off the train, the game becomes more fun. I think it has to do with exploring a mansion-like building. That's part of the fun of the series, and Capcom knows it. You still don't get really open exploration, though; this is one of the most linear games in the series.

I don't normally care at all about a game's graphics, but they are so impressive in RE0 that I have to sit up and take notice. Besides the RE1 remake last year, I know of no other video game where the in-game polygonal graphics actually look superior to the CGI cut-scenes. (By superior, I mean they're more detailed and more realistic.) The graphic designers did an amazing job of making a whole lot of near-identical rooms look unique. The only flaw with the graphics is the lack of lip-syncing, which just shows you how good they are otherwise, because it's jarring to see something so realistic reveal a glaring flaw. (I was playing it one afternoon when my mom arrived for a visit. She watched me run to a save point, and she asked, "Are those actors?")

The item-drop system is a mixed blessing. It's so fucking convenient to be able to drop an item wherever you want when you need to clear up some room - but it's a remarkable pain in the ass when you have to run back for it later. The RE games have always overdepended on backtracking to extend the game time, but this one goes too far, requiring you to make several trips across the vast complex if you want to take your items with you. My solution would be to combine the item-drop and storage-chest methods in the same game: Why not?

My real gripe about the game, though, is the storyline. I don't care very much about the origins of Umbrella and the real backstory of the series, but this game promised to deliver that, and damn it if I'm not disappointed. This isn't the backstory of the series, this is one minor incident occuring the day before RE1. James Marcus didn't invent the T-virus or have any bearing on the events in any of the other games, so his first appearance and apparent destruction in this game have no bearing on anything either. In other words, though this game involves other characters in the series, it provides no new information about them. The only two characters who get developed here are James Marcus and Billy Cohen, the two new characters who may never appear again. (Billy was very charismatic though; he reminds me of Hugh Jackman. I'd like to see him again.) I think the RE1 remake provided more new information about the overall series than this game did, and that's a violation of its intention.

If you're going to play it for its storyline, or to learn more about the series history, don't bother! However, if you hunger for another RE game (this is the first brand new one since RECV in 2000), this one is as much fun to play as any other.

Erik Bates | July 19, 2003
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Scott Hardie | July 19, 2003
Well, thank you. :)


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