Review: Resident Evil HD Remaster (PS4)

Nostalgia is a very complicated feeling. Considering how it makes the things you loved so many years ago still so close to us. In other words, a masterpiece we remember may have become average as time passes, and we will not see it anyway. That’s why it’s sometimes better to live in the happiness of our memories and avoid going back to the classics, so as not to simply destroy them. Is that the case with Resident Evil HD Remaster? Let’s find out!

The art of a modern re-edition has to be performance for the game to be what we remember it, not what it actually is today. Resident Evil HD does it brilliantly. The downside to this successful transformation is that it’s easy to say it’s a remake of the 2002 version of GameCube. In fact, of course, we get new quality background textures and attractive lights, not to mention a great panoramic proportion, but is it enough to satisfy our appetites?

Resident Evil HD shows the same secret, gives us the same locations and requires solving all sorts of puzzles. If you are completely new to the first installment of Resident Evil, it is worth knowing at the beginning that we will jump into the skin of Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield. They are members of a special OPS group called STARS (the abbreviation stands for Special Tactics And Rescue Service). You’ll spend most of the game exploring the mansion, which becomes our trap during the investigation into the disappearance of other STARS members. Although it is obvious that soon the cards of fate will arrange ourselves so that we will start to worry about ourselves. Escape is our main goal, but it does mean collecting various gems and other elements of the environment in order to then figure out where to put them and how to connect them together. There is also the question of these undead geeks, some of whom are inclined to return, stronger than ever. You should therefore be careful enough to burn their bodies. Otherwise it may end badly.

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The in-game camera view is fixed and stationary. Any angle of view increases the feeling of claustrophobia while allowing Capcom to carefully position props and shed lights for maximum effect. Some of the most dangerous places are also susceptible to the most limited screen space: you hear the roaring of the living dead behind you, but all you can see is the dingy carpet, ragged wallpaper, and a door that leads to a security room. Of course, you can move around the room, but it means getting closer to the source of the sound – and yet aiming the weapon can take a while. It doesn’t matter if it’s the pistol you start with or the more advanced weapons that can be found during the game. This specific camera angle is the one that most influences the choice: fight or flight.

Of course, Resident Evil still has mechanisms to keep you nervous, and caution can lead to a feeling of wasted time. Quite a limited space for supplies is practically constant juggling with items from the inventory to the chest and vice versa. And to do that, we must go to the nearest safe room. Unfortunately, if it happens that we do not have enough space for an item that we need immediately (e.g. a plant), we simply need to desperately find the nearest room with a chest. And so we go through the next rooms. It is worth mentioning that during the game, we will go through the door more than once, which has its own opening animations each time. For example, we walk for three seconds, then we have to wait another three for the door animations, we walk another three seconds and then another three seconds of the animation. The rhythm is jerky, so it ceases to be cute and becomes bothersome over time.

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The beautiful simplicity of Resident Evil HD serves as a reminder that the best secrets don’t have to be intricate or fascinating. In this series, less is more. There is a storyline to discover, but our focus is here and now. Your themes are clear and your enemies are monstrous and scanty functional cutscenes. While considering the high compression ratio of these old audio files, not to mention the overall clunky of sounds and dialogue, it’s a good thing that the number of cutscenes is small. It is worth mentioning here that the remaster greatly enhances the atmosphere by upgrading to 5.1 surround sound.

When it comes to changes to the original, we get, among other things, instant reversal or animations signaling the uninteresting state of our health. Jill and Chris injured will no longer run around like nothing happened. There are also so-called “defensive weapons”, which include daggers and stun guns. Caught by a zombie, we can get out of its claws without any loss of health using the above-mentioned items. Of course, they have limited availability and we won’t find many of them during the game.

To sum up: there are only you, the court and your imagination. All this makes us get an exciting adventure, without the need for millions of monsters, explosions or futuristic weapons. Resident Evil HD Remaster is a must-have for fans of the series, but not only. It can also be recommended to those who would like to get to know the production. The Improved One is just as it should be and as it is remembered by the older generation of players. Today, such works are not created anymore. So it’s really worth reaching for the game that started the Survival Horror genre in the world of video games.

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