E3 2015: Riding Trains with Zombies in Resident Evil 0

Capcom is in a strange place at the moment. While we’re still awaiting their inevitable Resident Evil 7 announcement, their focus has shifted more towards giving a new generation of gamers a taste of what made the company so popular ten to twenty years ago. Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition, Resident Evil Remake, Mega Man Legacy Collection and Resident Evil 0; there’s no shortage of re-releases in Capcom’s schedule. At E3 this year, we got hands-on with Resident Evil 0 HD, bringing one of the very few horror titles to ever grace the GameCube onto a new set of consoles, and best yet, PC.

Resident Evil 0 takes place before the events of the first Resident Evil and was actually originally developed (but cancelled) for the N64 game way back in the day. It eventually was remade for the GameCube after arguably the best Resident Evil (Remake) was released and featured old school mechanics. It stars the somewhat timid Rebecca Chambers as she and her STARS team goes on a hunt to find a loose felon named Billy Coen. Events transpire and the two then need to team up to escape the horrors of being trapped on a moving train with deadly zombies and abnormally large creatures. The mechanic that was touted in Resident Evil 0, and seems to have somewhat influenced the current Resident Evil games, is two playable characters that are swappable with a single button press. The difference in Resident Evil 0, though is that the game is centered more on solving interconnected puzzles when the two have been separated from one another.

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Like the re-remake of Resident Evil released earlier this year, Resident Evil 0 HD features both the original and alternative control schemes. This means fans of the classical tank controls will be able to relive their favorite moments while a new generation of gamers will be able to understand what was so great about the older Resident Evil titles. Additionally there’s widescreen support, but it looks as if, just like Resident Evil Remake, it’s just scaling it inwards, cutting off parts of the environment. Other than that, there’s not a whole lot mechanically that has changed. This is very much the same game we fell in love with nearly thirteen years ago.

As mentioned before, the new alternative control scheme has been implemented, but the transition from GameCube to current generation consoles is interesting to say the least. I hope there’s the ability to reassign buttons because holding the right bumper to aim and A to shoot isn’t exactly the most idea placement. Other than that, there isn’t necessarily any significant actions to do as this is more of a slower paced shooter with puzzle solving mechanics. One face button switches between players, another brings up the menu; it’s all pretty standard and seems to work well in general.

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Reisdent Evil 0 HD is shaping up to be as big of a hit as Resident Evil HD Remaster was earlier this year. While Capcom was unable to go into detail about what they’re doing to increase the visual fidelity, it’s apparent that it’s going to be a significant overhaul. The textures and environments are significantly sharper with Rebecca and Billy containing a higher level of detail than ever seen before. Even the models in general look as if they’ve been touched up, but not to the degree that this looks like a whole new game. If this twenty minute demo was any indication of what to expect when Resident Evil 0 hits PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC early next year, then fans should be happy with the result.