Overall - 80%
Resident Evil HD is a remake done right. Rather than bend over backwards to please a new generation of gamers, it proudly sticks by its roots and is better because of it. Those looking to try something "new" should look to the past with this spot-on remaster.
The shambling undead are back once again in Resident Evil HD, a re-release of the survival horror game that redefined survival horror. With promises of HD graphics, improved controls, and other tweaks, should you pack your bags for yet another visit to the Spencer Mansion?
Resident Evil HD Review
Those who have yet to experience Resident Evil’s distinct brand of survival horror are in for a surprise with Resident Evil HD. Unlike the titles of today (or even later Resident Evil titles), proceedings in this game are far less forgiving. Corridors are narrow (but not linear), ammo and saves are limited, and death guarantees you a one-way trip back to the title screen. This is a game that requires careful planning and patience. Some may balk at its lack of handholding, and would write off its strict rules as cheap or outdated. However, those willing to really sink the time into it will realize that these features actually add to the game, emphasizing the “survival” part of survival horror.
That’s not to say that Resident Evil HD is absolutely impossible — far from it. Rather, the game is far more puzzle heavy, one that requires you to become familiar with your environment. Items are plentiful, but knowing what goes where is half the fun. The open nature of the game’s Spencer Mansion requires players to become best friends with the title’s map function (which is why it is mapped to its very own button). Some of the clues and items can be overly cryptic to first-time players, but there is nothing too taxing about the puzzles in play.
Resident Evil HD isn’t just about navigating through a maze of locked doors and inventory screens. Rather, the game prides itself on its action as well. Combat comes off less as a shoot-em-up spectacular than a means of survival, but fending your way through the undead can be quite a thrill. Fighting for your life against a speedy Crimson Head or a larger-than-life tarantula with a shotgun adds some much-needed action to the proceedings.
But lets say you knew all of that from playing the previous Resident Evil releases. What does Resident Evil HD bring to the table? Other than the touched up graphics (with widescreens support), the biggest change comes in the form of its alternate control scheme. The sluggish, tank-like controls that defined the series can be replaced with a free-roaming style that allows faster movement with the flick of the analog stick. While this certainly makes movement less of a chore, the fixed camera angles make it hard to move from place to place with ease. In a sense, it almost seems game-breaking. Other touches include the ability to play as a modern version of the titular characters, leaderboards, and more. These aren’t revolutionary features by any stretch of the imagination, but they are still welcome nonetheless.
Resident Evil HD is a remake done right. Rather than bend over backwards to please a new generation of gamers, it proudly sticks by its roots and is better because of it. Those looking to try something “new” should look to the past with this spot-on remaster.