Resident Evil (2002 video game)
North American GameCube box art featuring Jill Valentine
Resident Evil, known in Japan as Biohazard (バイオハザード Baiohazādo?), is a survival horror video game developed by Capcom Production Studio 4, published by Capcom, and released for the GameCube in 2002. It is a remake of the 1996 game Resident Evil, featuring vastly improved presentation as well as a variety of new gameplay elements, environments and story details, and is also known under the informal titles of Resident Evil: Remake or Resident Evil: Rebirth (abbreviated REmake and REbirth, respectively). The game was later re-released for the Wii in 2008. Capcom has since announced that an HD remaster of the remake would makes its way to the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows platforms by early 2015.
The game was released to critical acclaim, in which it was often described as the best title in the Resident Evil series so far as well as one of the most visually impressive video games overall. Since its release it has sold over one million copies. Several publications have also included it on their lists of most scary and best-looking games ever made.
The remake features all-new graphics and sound, and also incorporates gameplay elements from the later installments such as the use of body language to indicate the main character's health and the 180-degree turn. In addition, it introduced a new running style that was also used in Resident Evil Zero, and several new areas were added to the game (some of them were originally cut from the 1996 game during its development, such as the graveyard and a path through the woods).
Gameplay mechanics are largely the same although most of the puzzles have been changed and the player can equip a defensive weapon that can be used when seized by an enemy. These defensive weapons include a dagger which can be used by both playable characters, whilst they also each have their own defensive weapon exclusive to them. Jill Valentine uses a taser, while Chris Redfield is able to shove stun grenades into the zombies' mouths to detonate them with a pistol shot. These weapons can be set to either automatic or manual use by the player, saving them from taking damage, although they are not unlimited, and they can only be used when grabbed by a monster. The zombies that are defeated but not destroyed (decapitated or burned) mutate later in the game into the fast and deadly Crimson Heads.
It also features an unlockable difficulty setting called Real Survival, which eliminates automatic aiming and the "fourth dimensional" item box system, effectively forcing the player to plan their actions even more carefully ahead in order to avoid extensive backtracking.
The overall plot remains largely unchanged, featuring a U.S. special police team trapped in a mysterious mansion which is filled with monsters and traps. The remake includes additional secrets and endings not found in the original. It also restores the George Trevor subplot featuring Lisa Trevor, and retroactively splices other major characters of the Resident Evil games, such as William Birkin and Alexia Ashford, into the game's backstory.
Development and release
According to the director Shinji Mikami, the remake is "70% different from the original." The game's backgrounds featured the layers of full motion video (FMV) and the new engine made use real-time shadows depending of light-sources and dynamic particle affects. The original game's live-action FMV segments were redone in CG, with the voice acting done by a new cast. The game's script was also rewritten to have a more serious tone and improved translation, as opposed to the unprofessional dialogue and roughly-translated script of the original.
The game was made in an exclusivity agreement between Capcom and Nintendo that spanned three new Resident Evil games. In 2004, it was re-released in the Pure Evil 2-Pack (Biohazard Double Feature in Japan) along with Resident Evil Zero and a demo of Resident Evil 4.
The 2009 Wii version, titled Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil, features a slightly different control system. A Wii version of the Resident Evil remake originally released for the GameCube was released in Japan on December 25, 2008. On March 12, 2009, Capcom announced that they will be releasing the Wii port in Europe and North America as "Resident Evil Archives" and hit stores on 26 June 2009. As with the previous Wii version of Resident Evil Zero, the game saw minimal changes in its transition to the Wii.
On August 5, 2014, it was announced that an HD Remaster of the game would be released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in early 2015. The game enhances the GameCube version with 1080p visuals and remastered 5.1 surround sound, with additional options for analog controls and widescreen ratio. Whilst the game is a digital-only release in North America and Europe, a limited edition retail release of the PlayStation 3 version will be available exclusively in Japan.
The GameCube version of Resident Evil was released to universal critical acclaim, averaging 91% on the review aggregator website Metacritic. According to Shane Satterfield of GameSpot, "Capcom has nearly perfected its craft and created the best Resident Evil ever." Matt Casamassina of IGN at the time called it "the prettiest, most atmospheric and all-around scariest game we've ever played." Mike Weigand of GamePro stated: "For an intense night of absolute terror, this game will give you a gaming experience that you won't soon forget." GameSpy's Hector Guzman wrote: "Buy this, Eternal Darkness, the GameCube itself, and you'll be in survival horror heaven!"
Allen Rausch of GameSpy placed it on second place on his 2004 list of the scariest games ever. In 2006, GameTrailers ranked it as the third scariest video game of all time. In 2009, PlayStation Universe praised it as "one of the most visually stunning games ever conceived." In 2011, Complex named it as the best zombie game ever, also ranking the game's Crimson Heads as second on the 2012 list of the most "freakishly scary" video game enemies. In a 2012 retrospective review, IGN's Casamassina wrote that "this game was, and still is, absolutely stunning" and "the quality is such that I'd say it's still a match for the modern sequels being produced today," and called it "the game that set the bar for every other game to come." Lisa Foiles of The Escapist included it on her 2014 list of top five video game remakes. Retrospectively, Game Informer called it and Resident Evil Zero two of the most beautiful games on the GameCube and of the whole generation.
Capcom sold over 1.35 million copies of the game. Nevertheless, Shinji Mikami said that the Resident Evil franchise later shifted away from the survival horror gameplay following the "commercial failure" of this game. The perceived poor reception of a horror-focused game prompted Mikami and his producers to incorporate more action-based elements into future Resident Evil games, starting with Resident Evil 4.
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