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Blast From The Past
Blast from the Past: Resident Evil

Resident Evil is helmed as a true survival horror game, whose later releases would go on to scare people in exactly the same way. Sadly the series has recently sold itself out to the mass market of action shooters and doesn’t provide much of its genre defying scare tactics in favour of shooting angry foreigners in the face. For that reason we are looking back to the better days of the franchise as a gory, fear-enticing puzzle solver.

The Spencer Mansion doesn't look half a creepy as it actually is

The original Resident Evil featured a few very interesting concepts at the time, for one was the laughable live-action opening cinematic which, while hilariously cheesy did a decent job of setting the mood of the game. Another was the visuals of 3D characters/objects rendered on a 2D backdrop and lastly the cameras perfect ability to make you fear every corner you turned with the movement system backing this up entirely. During the opening of Resident Evil, you choose to play as either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield. Both characters and their college of S.T.A.R.S members were chased into an seemingly empty mansion following an attack from a pack of rabid dogs on their investigation of the Arkley Mountains to rescue a team sent there in their own investigation.

Upon entering the mansion, the game leaves its cinematic state and presents the player in the foyer of the unknown mansion in the games played visual style. After a brief cutscene Chris stays back while Jill and Barry investigate the grand hall to the west. Each room featured a set amount of camera positions that alter depending on the players own position in said room. After gaining control of Jill you leave Barry to examine the blood beside the fireplace while you continue into the mansion’s corridors. The echoed ticking of the grandfather clock from the Dining Hall is replaced by a squelching noise coming from the closest end of the corridor. Without a doubt you hesitantly walk around the corner to find the rotting corpse of a man feasting on another, the monster slowly turns its head to you and scrambles to its feet, arms stretched, it slowly shuffles its way toward you as you make turn around and make your escape back into the dining hall where it then bursts through the door and tails you around the cramped hall as you backpedal around in fear of what exactly is happening in front of you.

You find the first zombie chewing on one of the unfortunate Bravo team members

That first encounter is most likely everyone’s defining point of the game as the seemingly empty silent mansion suddenly starts to look a whole lot more grim. Personally the backpedal around the hall is where I originally pulled the plug on my Sega Saturn version. No matter what I did, the zombie just wouldn’t die. Then, when I ran out of room, the zombie grabbed hold of me, I panicked, turned the console off and ran out of the room. While back then it was like a nightmare, it wasn’t long before I saw it as a great memory. The stand-out trait of Resident Evil was its ability to constantly make you fear the unknown and then throw it at you as a surprise. The camera angles of each room would leave you somewhat oblivious to what could await you not 3 feet away, while it sounds annoying, it really was part of the charm. The distinguishable variety of noises from each enemy, from the squelching of a zombie to the fast patter of a Cerberus really made you shiver each time you entered a room.

Faced with the mystery of what happened within the mansion as you search for not only the team you were investigating, but the missing members of your own team, you will be constantly surprised by the variety of disgusting creatures found throughout the house as you slowly uncover the back-story of the tragedy and what may happen as a consequence of your actions.

Just look at those visuals!

Not only would you enter the mansion completely oblivious to what had occurred her not long before, but you would soon have a series of riddles and puzzles holding you back from the true depths of the building. Without ruining it for those who haven’t, yet totally should play this game, your puzzle solving skills and ability to survive the monsters of the mansion will ultimately lead you into a horror story of such depth that even 15 years after its origin, through over a dozen games and hundreds of in-game documentation, is still not complete.

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