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Resident Evil

Resident Evil / Nintendo Switch
$30.00
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Release Date

05/21/2019

Genre

Action-Adventure

Horror

Themes

Horror

Action & Adventure

Developer

Capcom Production Studio 4

Publisher

Capcom

Overview

A screenshot taken from the original 1996 PS1 Resident Evil
A screenshot taken from the original 1996 PS1 Resident Evil

Resident Evil is a remake of the original Resident Evil, which was released primarily for the Sony PlayStation in 1996. The game was rebuilt from the ground up to take advantage of the new technologies available on the GameCube at the time, featuring new and improved graphics, new gameplay elements, voice acting, script, in-game locations, and music. Shinji Mikami was quoted as stating that the remake is ''70% different'' than the original.

To account for the game's size and image quality, Resident Evil comes in 2 discs, with two thirds of the main game situated on the first disc, and the final third on the second.

A screenshot taken from the 2002 remake of the same corridor
A screenshot taken from the 2002 remake of the same corridor

While originally exclusive to the GameCube, Resident Evil was eventually ported to the Wii on June 23rd, 2009 as Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil, which included the option to play with the Wii Remote and fitted the game onto one disc instead of across two.

In August 2014, Capcom announced an HD port of the Resident Evil GCN remake with a new control option for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.

In October 2018, Capcom announced a Nintendo Switch version of the game for release sometime in 2019.

Gameplay

Overview & Controls

Jill Valentine doing battle against a Hunter.
Jill Valentine doing battle against a Hunter.

Resident Evil plays much like every other Resident Evil game pre-Resident Evil 4, mixing in third-person combat, exploration, and puzzles. Though like most survival horror titles, Resident Evil limits the player character's capabilities beyond the norm and ammunition for their firearms is generally scarce, intended to force players to use their supplies wisely and to choose flight rather than fight when possible. There are three different difficulty modes available: Easy, Normal, and Hard, with each one featuring tougher enemies and less ammunition to be found than the last.

Utilising the notorious ''tank controls'', players move via a third person perspective throughout a number of pre-determined camera angles. Characters also cannot move and fire their weapons at the same time, and instead the character will 'perch' themselves to the ground when aiming. And while the camera angle perspective sometimes tends to purposely obfuscate the players view of monsters, characters will at least (by default) aim their weapon at the closest enemy when players draw their gun. What is new over the original Resident Evil is the ability to now do an 180 degree turn, which was first introduced in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and has continued as a mainstay across the series since then.

While the game follows a linear pattern of major events, the player is allowed to explore most of the beginning mansion at will. Many of the puzzles and necessary key items required to move on can be solved/collected in any order.

The story is largely portrayed via in-game cutscenes, however there are also a number of Files (diaries, memos ect.) players can collect. These will often provide additional insight into the goings on across the overall narrative, but some are more vital as they will provide information pertaining to solving puzzles or maybe hinting as to where to go next.

Playable Characters

Chris Redfield
Chris Redfield

Like the original, Resident Evil features two different characters--Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine--to select from. Each offers up a differing take on the same narrative, though what separates them the most is the gameplay implications, as Jill Valentine's version of the game is significantly easier and more accessible than Chris's.

Jill has more inventory space to carry items; she can potentially find an additional weapon exclusive only to her story, being the grenade launcher; she has with her a lockpick that can open locked drawers; and many more such examples. However Chris is somewhat sturdier than Jill and can withstand more damage before succumbing to death, and he also has better accuracy with handguns giving players the increased chance to pop a zombie's head completely just with one shot.

Jill Valentine
Jill Valentine

Each character also has their own unique supporting character that they will often encounter and interact with during the game. Jill Valentine has with her fellow STARS Alpha team member Barry Burton, whereas Chris has the rookie medic of STARS Bravo team, Rebecca Chambers. Both Barry and Rebecca will sometimes have to help the player character from a perilous situation, though Barry will always be an NPC. During Chris' story, however, players may take control of Rebecca Chambers on two separate occasions to help save Chris from dying of poison, and to kill the mutated plant monster Plant 42.

Inventory

Chris Redfield's 6-slot inventory screen
Chris Redfield's 6-slot inventory screen

Depending on which character the player chooses, they will either have six (Chris) or eight (Jill) inventory slots in total. Each type of item requires only one slot, however. Each character also one additional slot strictly to house a unique item; Chris possesses a lighter, and Jill has a lockpick. Besides the character's inventory, there also exist a number of item boxes where players can store unwanted items. Item boxes are often located within save rooms (though not always) and items will persist throughout all item boxes across the game.

All items and weapons can be examined by the player, allowing them to get a closer look and turn the object around. This can sometimes change the properties of certain key items, such as unlocking/opening a key item to reveal another inside, or may at least change the title to reflect the item's true identity.

Self-Defense Items

One notable feature exclusive to the remake is the addition of self-defense items. Given a separate inventory slot, there are three different self-defense items that players may find and then equip. Once one is equipped, from that point when a player is grabbed by an enemy, the player can then press the firing button which will then show the character using the self-defense item to escape the grab, canceling out any possible damage inflicted upon the character. All self-defense items are one use only, however.

There are three different self-defense items, one of which can be found by both characters, and one unique item for each:

  • Daggers - Can be found during both Chris and Jill's and will inflict moderate damage unto an enemy. There's a small chance that when the enemy has been shot, the dagger will fall onto the ground and can be collected once again by the player.
  • Flashbang - Chris' exclusive self-defense item, Chris will shove the flashbang into the attacking enemy's mouth and, once shot by the player, will explode killing the creature completely.
  • Taser - Jill's exclusive self-defense item, Jill will pull out the taser and then zap the enemy doing a high amount of damage. It will kill a zombie outright, though sturdier enemies such as hunters can sometimes manage to survive the current.

Health & Herbs/First Aid Sprays

A character's health can be seen via the inventory menu, with an Electrocardiograph Machine showing a character's status. The different statuses are:

  • Fine - The character is in good health.
  • Caution - The character is roughly at half health.
  • Danger - The character is approaching death.
  • Poison - The character is poisoned and their health will slowly deplete.

Besides the EKG, players may also note the character's stance. Whence the characters starts holding onto their hip, that is a sign that their health is at least in the Caution state, or may even be poisoned.

Carrying the tradition set by the original Resident Evil, characters use a small variety of herbs to heal themselves and cure poisons. First Aid Sprays are also available, though they only have the singular purpose of healing the character fully. There exist three herb types, all of which can be combined in some way for different degrees of healing:

  • Green Herb - On its own will restore 25% of health.
  • Blue Herb - On its own will cure poison, though will not restore any health.
  • Red Herb - On its own does nothing.
  • Green + Green Herb - Mixed will heal the character by roughly 50% of health.
  • Green + Green + Green Herb - Mixed will heal the character completely, though not of any poisons.
  • Green + Blue Herb - Mixed will heal the character 25% of health and cure any poison.
  • Green + Green + Blue Herb - Mixed will heal the character 50% of health and cure any poison.
  • Green + Red Herb - Mixed will heal the character completely, though not of any poisons.
  • Green + Red + Blue Herb - Mixed will heal the character completely including poisons.
  • Red + Blue Herb - Mixed will do nothing.

Saving

Like every other main Resident Evil game pre-Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil requires that players find one of the many typewriters located throughout the environments to save, and must also have at least one ink ribbon item in their character's inventory.

Story

Main Characters

Chris Redfield

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One of the two main playable characters, Chris is the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team point-man, and is an exceptionally skilled marksman having won trophies for his skills with handguns. Having also served in the US Air Force before his time with S.T.A.R.S., Chris has some experience with combat. However, none of any such prior encounters could have prepared him for the nightmare he is about to endure.

  • Voiced by Joe Whyte.

Jill Valentine

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The second of two main playable characters, Jill is the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team's machinery expert. Couple her expertise handling such tools with her experience as apart of the US Army's Delta Force training program (specialising in bomb disposal) despite only being 23 years old, Jill has managed to gather an already impressive array of skills.

  • Voiced by Heidi Anderson.
  • Modeled after Julia Voth.

Barry Burton

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One of the oldest and most experienced S.T.A.R.S. members, Barry is apart of Alpha team and is also the unit's weapons specialist. A close friend to Chris Redfield serving in the same Air Force unit, Barry is the man who managed to persuade him to join S.T.A.R.S. once he left the air force. As a family man with a wife and two daughters, despite Barry's expertise, he is actually a very friendly and trusting individual.

  • Voiced by Ed Smaron.

Rebecca Chambers

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The youngest member of S.T.A.R.S. at only 18, Rebecca is the team's medic assigned to Bravo team. Down-trodden after the majority of her comrades have died, she is now more than ever determined to aid the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members and use her medical abilities to help as much as she can. Outside of such horrific situations, Rebecca is a chirpy and highly motivated individual who is both more mature and capable than her age and rather petite size may suggest.

  • Voiced by Hope Levy.

Albert Wesker

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Alpha team Captain and the founder of the entire S.T.A.R.S. unit, Wesker is a well respected officer of the law and is looked upon with admiration by his fellow S.T.A.R.S. members, such as Chris Redfield in particular.

  • Voiced by Peter Jessop.

Character Differences

Between the two playable main characters of Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, the story largely follows the same path. The primary difference between the two is which characters are featured and what their role is. For Chris Redfield's story, he works alongside Rebecca Chambers amidst their attempts to survive the Mansion, whereas Jill Valentine has Barry Burton as her supporting character. However, both Rebecca and Barry do not appear in the other character's campaigns; Barry will at least still show up in the opening cutscene during Chris's story, but then disappears completely and isn't encountered again. And Rebecca Chambers is omitted from Jill Valentine's story completely.

Whichever of the two main characters the player selects, the other is then also absent from the majority of the game until the very end. The canon telling of the game's story is made up of varying factors of both interpretations, however, including the involvement of both Rebecca Chambers and Barry Burton.

Plot

Barry, Wesker, and Jill
Barry, Wesker, and Jill

When the police received report of grisly murder cases happening in Arklay Mountains, a group called Bravo Team of S.T.A.R.S. is sent to investigate the report in 23th July, 1998; the group is formed by Enrico Marini, Rebecca Chambers, Kenneth J. Sullivan, Forest Speyer, Richard Aiken, Edward Dewey, and Kevin Dooley. Strangely, the police lose contact with the team, and they are forced to send another group to investigate what happened to Bravo Team. This time the Alpha Team is sent in on 24th July, made up of Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Barry Burton, Brad Vickers, and Joseph Frost.

However, once they reach the forest, the S.T.A.R.S. members are ambushed by what look to be undead dogs, who tear Joseph Frost apart. The remaining members manage to take shelter in a nearby mansion, though the mansion proves to be just as dangerous as the outside forest.

As they explore throughout the mansion, the team uncover more and more grisly remains of what's left of the Bravo team. Team medic Rebecca Chambers is the only one who is found to be in good health. As S.T.A.R.S. travel throughout more of the mansion, and the nearby residence building, they soon learn that this mansion is owned by one Ozwell E. Spencer, the head of the pharmaceutical company Umbrella. Deep below the mansion courtyard is an Umbrella laboratory which was used to create the T-Virus. The T-Virus in turn is what lead to the mansion being infested with an all manner of creatures including zombies, which were once Umbrella researchers, after an outbreak.

Rebecca & Chris doing battle against Tyrant
Rebecca & Chris doing battle against Tyrant

As the team investigate further, it is also revealed that S.T.A.R.S. captain Albert Wesker was in fact initially working for Umbrella as a scientist. Though he has now decided to move on from Umbrella to continue his own nefarious ambitions, and only brought in his own S.T.A.R.S. team so as to collect combat data; he was also blackmailing Barry Burton by way of his family so as to lead the other S.T.A.R.S. members astray, though Barry will eventually break free of Wesker's hold and save his compatriots. Wesker himself is seemingly killed by his own creation the T-002 Tyrant--a hulking monster with a large, imposing claw--after he releases it to kill the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members. The team are then able to successfully kill the creature, place a bomb in the laboratory, and escape the resulting explosion via helicopter piloted by Brad Vickers, who had abandoned the team during the beginning in the forest once the undead dogs shown up.

Alternate Endings

Not only depending on which main character the player chooses, the endings of the game can also be determined by specific choices made throughout the game based on which characters manage to survive.

During Chris's story once the player returns to the Mansion after exploring the Residential building, Rebecca is forced into an encounter with a Hunter and screams for help; if the player can't reach her quick enough, she will die. If she survives, then Rebecca will able to set the bomb to destroy the mansion, triggering the resurgence of Tyrant on the Helipad. It'll slowly advance towards Rebecca and if the player isn't able to pull his attention away from her, it'll kill her instantly. Jill Valentine can also be left behind (and potentially killed for certain if Rebecca is still alive by that point) if the player isn't able to find the three MO discs required to unlock the door to her cell, and vice versa when playing as Jill herself.

During Jill's story amidst the Lisa Trevor boss battle, Barry Burton pulls his gun on Jill with what is insinuated to be the intent to kill her. During his hesitation, Jill swiftly pulls the gun from him and directs it back at him. However as Lisa Trevor closes in, Barry pleads that Jill hands him his gun. From here the player has the choice of giving it to him or not; if not, Barry will be killed. If so, then he will fight alongside Jill against Lisa. Though Barry may still be killed during this fight if Lisa gets close enough to knock him off into the chasm below.

If Barry survives the encounter, which sets in the motion the outcome of Wesker escaping and setting the Mansion to self-destruct, this triggers the ambush by Tyrant on the Helipad. It'll then slowly advance towards Barry and if the player isn't able to pull his attention from him, it'll kill Barry instantly.

Overall there are technically eight endings in total dependant on which combination of characters managed to survive the Mansion Incident, which also affects other such outcomes including whether or not the Mansion is destroyed.

Chris' Story:

  1. Chris, Rebecca, and Jill survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
  2. Chris and Jill survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.
  3. Chris and Rebecca survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
  4. Chris survives; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.

Jill's story:

  1. Jill, Barry, and Chris survive; Albert Wesker escapes; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
  2. Jill and Chris survive; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.
  3. Jill and Barry survive; Albert Wesker escapes; the Spencer Mansion is destroyed.
  4. Jill survives; Albert Wesker is killed; the Spencer Mansion is left as it is along with Tyrant.

The canon ending of Resident Evil is again made up of varying factors across both stories, including the survival of Chris, Jill, Barry, and Rebecca, the destruction of the Mansion, Wesker's supposed 'death, and the hatred Wesker grows for Chris.

Weapons

Survival Knife

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Considered to be a last resort tactic, the knife does very little damage and has dangerously small reach. Because of its low effectiveness, it is usually best for the player to just run or attempt to avoid the enemy rather than combat it. Both Chris and Jill have their own different style of knife, though the differences are purely cosmetic.

Beretta 92F

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Jill Valentine's starting handgun, which Chris Redfield also eventually procures as his pistol as he lost it in the forest. The beretta is the weapon of choice to handle lesser enemies such as zombies and Cerberus dogs. When playing as Chris Redfield, the player has the chance to kill an enemy just with one shot, courtesy of Chris's skills in marksmanship.

Colt Python

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Returning from the original is the Python Magnum Revolver. Simply massive in size, the Python is the third most powerful weapon in the game behind the Rocket Launcher and the Defense Gun. It can kill all lesser enemies just with one shot and is a reliable contender against boss battles. Though as one may expect, ammunition is terribly scarce.

Colt Anaconda

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Barry Burton's own custom magnum revolver, the Anaconda is pretty much the exact same weapon in both power and appearance as the Python. It can also only be attained during Jill Valentine's story, and even then only if the player decides against giving Barry his gun back during the Lisa Trevor boss battle. However, the magnum ammo players find throughout the mansion isn't compatible with the Anaconda and as such becomes useless once all of its six rounds are used up.

Self-Defense Gun

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A small two-shot pistol, though with only one round left after the other was used by an Umbrella researcher to commit suicide, the Defense Gun is an unsuspectingly powerful weapon that packs about as much power as three shots from a Colt Python. However, because no further ammunition can be found, it is generally suited to being reserved for a boss battle more so than a regular enemy.

Pump-Action Shotgun

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About as reliable as ever, the remake's shotgun has a strong kick and plenty of power, making it a fine choice for just about any enemy across the game. It can kill a zombie outright with just a single shot when aimed at the head, and it can even keep Hunters at bay as well. When facing against certain boss battles, like Plant 42, the character will be shown to aim down the barrel whereas they usually aim from the hip.

Acquiring the shotgun can differ slightly between Chris and Jill. Because collecting the shotgun will instigate the ceiling trap, Chris therefore requires the Broken Shotgun item to trade in its place. However Jill may potentially be able to collect it without the need for the Broken Shotgun.

Should Jill collect the shotgun, Barry will then arrive to save her from the trap. Though only if the player didn't meet Barry prior when finding the corpse of Forest Speyer, otherwise Jill will then require the Broken Shotgun item as well.

Assault Shotgun

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Richard Aiken's weapon of choice, the Assault Shotgun can only be attained if players manage to give him the serum to help remedy his poison infection in time. Richard doesn't give players his gun himself, however, and will instead be left as a 'parting gift' after he is killed either by Neptune (Chris's story) or Yawn (Jill's story). Once acquired, it then makes the original shotgun practically obsolete, as it can hold more ammunition and is slightly more powerful.

Grenade Launcher

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Once again only available in Jill Valentine's story, the Grenade Launcher is a powerful and diverse weapon that has access to a small variety of grenade types. There are the regular explosive grenade rounds, which do a sizeable amount of damage against just about anything; flame rounds, which while powerful, are especially effective against such creatures as Plant 42; and acid, which has a decent degree of splash and continuous damage.

Flamethrower

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Only find in Chris's campaign, the flamethrowers acts as both a weapon and a puzzle item, as the player requires it so as to trigger the unlocking of certain doors in the underground caverns. When used as a weapon, it's decent at staving off Hunters as the continuous spray will cause the Hunter to rapidly flinch. Fuel quickly depletes, however, and no more can be found. A second flamethrower is also conveniently left outside the area where the player faces against the giant spider queen, Black Tiger. Once the player moves on from the underground sections, they cannot take the flamethrower with them as it is required to unlock the way out.

Rocket Launcher

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An old four-shot rocket launcher that is only available during the final encounter against the T-002 Tyrant. The Tyrant will always deflect the first shot, though the second will kill it instantaneously.

Enemies

Zombies

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The staple of the older Resident Evil games, zombies are of course as prominent as ever in the Resident Evil remake. Slow and sluggish in movement, but dangerous up close, zombies are durable enough against gunfire that they can prove to be extremely dangerous even just in small numbers. When encountered on their own, however, zombies can be dispatched relatively easy so long as the player has enough ammunition to spare. As per usual, zombies are best dealt with the pistol or sometimes the shotgun, which can kill a zombie with a single shot if the player aims directly at its head once close enough, or can at least reduce the zombie to a literal crawl by destroying its legs.

Zombies attack by grabbing and biting the player when close, but will also puke out acid instead if they can't quite reach the player. Some zombies will be encountered lying on the ground, seemingly pretending to be dead, and will grab at a character's leg should the player get close enough. However, the leg bite does little damage and will always result in the character killing the zombie with a single stomp or kick.

When encountered on stairs zombies are much less of a threat, as they won't attempt to bite the player and will simply rely on their acid vomit making them significantly easier to rush past.

Crimson Heads

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One such infamous feature of Resident Evil are Crimson Heads. A significantly stronger, faster, and more aggressive variation of the regular zombies, the Crimson Head transformation will occur after a short while once a regular zombie has been ''killed''. The only way to halt the transformation is for players to burn the corpse afterwards (or kill a zombie by destroying the head) using a lighter and some gas fluid, both of which must be in the player's inventory for use. Otherwise after an allotted time, once returning to an area the now Crimson Head zombie will quickly spring into action and will forever persist in that area until it has been killed.

While Crimson Heads will place priority in hunting the player character down, they are known to also slash their way past any other regular zombies that gets in their way amidst their search.

Cerberus Dogs

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Alongside regular zombies, some sort of iteration surrounding infected dogs have persisted across nearly every Resident Evil game to date. Starting at the beginning, so to speak, the Cerberus Dogs of Resident Evil are infected Doberman breeds, purposely engineered to be a form of B.O.W. Cerberus dogs retain the same agility and tenacity as a regular dog, though with a massive increase in aggressiveness, brutality, and stamina.

Like zombies, Cerberus dogs are best left for lesser weaponry like the pistols and shotguns. Running past is always an option as well, as both Chris and Jill are just ever so slightly faster than the canines. However their attacks can sometimes cover just enough distance to close the gap and catch the player character.

Web Spinners

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Giant, hairy spiders, the Web Spinners are a tenacious foe across Resident Evil, though they primarily appear only briefly within the Residential building. They can crawl along walls like any other spider, and will often try to charge forward and bite players when given the opportunity. However, their greatest weapon is their poison spit, which they will routinely spray; it has a fairly long reach of attack and has a high chance of poisoning the player, though the base damage it inflicts isn't quite as alarming. Before they fire their spit, they can first be heard to be readying it within their body.

Web Spinners have surprisingly tough hides and are most susceptible to the Grenade Launcher - specifically when equipped with flame rounds. They will also often strafe once they've been shot and attempt to counter the player as such. If a Web Spinner is killed with its sack intact, a large multitude of baby spiders wil