Being released back in 2002 this 17-year-old game is coming back to everyone’s hands on the Nintendo Switch as one of the more loved as well as more hated games in the series due respectively to its art and stingy nature when it came to item locations. Can this game still hold up in today’s market, or will it be a welcome addition to your collection, will the game incorporate features like motion control and touch screen? let’s find out.
The game starts off, like many other games in the series, with a team of STARS on their way to a train to capture an escaped convict, only to be attacked by zombified humans and monsters along the way leaving only 1 survivor, the player character Rebecca. Besides the convict, there have also been reports of other cannibalistic murders, Zombies huh who would have guessed.
Upon entering the train the player takes control, Rebecca being a medic more than anything certainly lacks in seriousness when it comes to pass that Zombies have infested the train. Along the way she meets up with Billy Coen, the Convict and after a little verbal fight they agree to team up for the foreseeable future. As the train starts to move on they decide it’s best to stop it before it derails or crashes, which we all know won’t possibly happen… oh, look a mansion that we crashed into.
Like many games a lot of the beginning is situated within a mansion, with spooky tales within notebooks and paper telling the backstory, going for a side-line story that you can look into yourself or pass up. From here it goes even deeper into the meaning behind the attacks, the viruses being released and more but I will leave that up to you to find out.
The main game has varying lengths, due to the game being set up in a way that allows and forces several backtracking moments. My first run-through of the train segment took 2 hours, whereas the second time it took only 30 minutes. The total game can last around 6-8 hours, with achievement to get it under 3 hours, a testament to how short the game can be based on skill and awareness of item locations. Along with a bonus mode of “Leech Hunter” you can certainly rack up even more hours with player-set challenges to end the game with no shots, no kills, no hits, etc runs.
If you have played any Resident Evil game before 4 you should know how this one plays out, with slow and rather “wonky” turning to the 6 slot inventories forcing you to strategies and organise. There really isn’t much to talk about for aiming, aim straight ahead for walkers, up for flyers and down for crawlers, no room for headshots in this game as “Critical-Hit-Headshots” are random chance, however, you might want to aim for specific points on bosses due to their weak points.
So you have 6 slot inventory, a personal item, health ranging from Fine to Danger as well as a map and memo for your character. Those 6 slots are taken up by almost everything you pick up, even keys, but with Zero you had the ability to “Leave” items on the ground to be picked up later and one of the more forgiving features you could also check the map to see where items you interacted with are.
Even on normal difficulty, you will find this game to be one of the harder ones, due to the limited ammo you are given, fans of recent games will soon find that enemies drop nothing for you. I found that I never had enough ammo in the game and the sight of ammo or health pickups was so rewarding, especially when you are searching for so many rooms to find some. The sense of danger and horror is amplified in the feeling that the next room will hold your death or your salvation.
Like other games you can also combine herbs for greater effects, keeping an eye on colours for their different effects. F. Aid sprays are there as well as increasingly powerful weapons. This was also the first game to add in Partners, a feature that was better worked on after RE5, however, due to the system, there is no co-op available. Your partner has their own inventory and abilities, Rebecca can mix herbs whereas Billy is the powerhouse due to his muscles and better fighting abilities.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The graphics in the game have been enhanced, with the wider 16:9 ratio, more contrast and sharper edges to both character models and drawn backgrounds. The first releases had a weird fog or misty look to it whereas the new game seems full of life, as well as death due to all the zombies… Lighting is better, allowing models to look even better in 3D. The Cutscenes didn’t need much help in the visuals, they have also been improved to have a detachment from the in-game graphics and look stunning.
Resident Evil Zero gets a 7/10, the game keeps to its original remastered with no faults to talk about. The game does feel old at times, due to the control scheme of the characters and the way that they move on top of their AI being unreliable at times. The difficulty might be the part that pushes away most gamers due to the recent release being a lot more forgiving in enemies and item drops. It is still an amazing game to experience, with interesting puzzles to solve that are further improved with the addition of a Partner. The other issue would be its price £29.99 on the Nintendo eShop with no new features to talk about and make no use of motion controls or touch screen which would have made the game better in some ways.