When Capcom announced that it would sign an exclusive deal with Nintendo back in 2001 the Resident Evil crowds went wild, and to add fuel to the fire, Capcom showed pictures of what seemed to be a remake of the very first, and by far the most popular, Resident Evil. Featuring unprecedented, completely overhauled graphics, new gameplay elements and an added storyline, Resident Evil “Rebirth” seemed very promising. Much to the joy of the fanbase Resident Evil Remake didn’t only deliver the expectations of the fans but in many cases surpassed them greatly.
The most striking feature of the Remake is of course it’s mind-boggling looks. The pre-rendered backgrounds are simply indescribeably beautiful. They are littered with both small and large details like flickering candles, swinging lamps or huge waterfalls, all of which are animated flawlessly. Remake also makes great use of lighting to set up the atmosphere Ki Residences, each character now casts a realistic shadow dependent on the light source that bends and blends realistically to the background. Though there is some slight roughness noticeable in the shadows it hardly is a thing to complain about. Also from time to time the lightning strikes outside the mansion illuminating everything and casting shadows realistically. All of the above effects coupled with the most lifelike character models ever make up for a game that simply makes love with your eyes. The characters and monsters sport a huge amount of polygons, which shows. With a much darker, grimier and worn out feel, the Gamecube version of Resident Evil delivers graphical feast that is sure to set the mood for a spectacular survival horror game.
Sounds play in important factor in Resident Evil games and Remake is no exception. With the power of the current generation consoles it’s possible to use multichannel audio to even deepen the gaming experience. Resident Evil Remake supports Dolby Digital Pro Logic 2 that coupled with a decent home-theater system makes one unforgettable survival-horror gaming experience. The musics are pretty ambient for the most part but take a whole different approach when needed, suddenly turning into a panicky quick tempo tunes or into a relaxating save-room music. The voice acting is pretty decent and leaps and bounds from that of the original’s. The dialogue has been revamped for a less cheesy one and one that flows pretty well. The monsters also make pretty creepy noises, from the basic moans and groans of the zombies to the howl- like sounds of the Crimson Heads and the spine-chilling moaning of Lisa Trevor. Memorable stuff. The sound effects make good use of the DPL2 and will make your sub boom if necessary. It’s also possible to locate your enemies by listening which can save your skin many times.
Remake’s story is identical the original’s. Some cutscenes are re-directed and the dialogue is modified to some extent but as a whole the story is pretty much the same. What Remake does though is it adds a new side-story involving an unlucky guinea pig of Umbrella called Lisa Trevor, whose tragic story will be revealed to you and in which you will be involved in.
Capcom didn’t only revamp the graphics for this one, they also added whole new areas, a new side-story, new gameplay elements in the form of defense-items. They really went all the way with this one. For a Resident Evil fan, Remake is something unmissable, something you simply have to experience for yourself. Some people may have gripes of the control system or inventory management but those things have grown to be a trademark for the Resident Evil- series, something that has grown on people, both fans and casual gamers alike. If you don’t own a Gamecube yet, this is THE reason to get one. In short, this is Resident Evil at it’s best.