Format reviewed: PC - Windows
Publisher: Virgin Interactive
Submitted by: Neil Reive
I, got the game, played it. Scared me senseless. And I said to myself, "this is going to be the most significant gaming event since Manic Miner." And I do not say that lightly. Resident Evil set the gaming world alight with its plot and gameplay. Although it was originally developed and released for the PlayStation in 1996 by Capcom, it was the PC version that I first got a taste of this new term: "survival horror".
The game is introduced via a grainy live-action B-movie style FMV sequence. It's July 1998 and mysterious murders have occurred in the outskirts of Raccoon City. After a small team of trained commandos, the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team (Special Tactics And Rescue Squad), go missing, Alpha Team is sent in to find out what's going on. On their arrival at the scene, they come face to face with a group of savage dogs and are forced to seek refuge in an old mansion, which appears to be abandoned…
It has to be said that it does borrow elements from Alone in the Dark – it uses the same third person perspective and static backdrops – but this doesn't matter as the creepy plot slowly pulls you in like any great horror movie should. While the game is quite scary and gory, the incidental music increases the tension. With the PC version I was even able to access my old saved games from ten years ago.
Format reviewed: PlayStation
Submitted by: Kai Lunkeit
The game that spawned the survival horror genre even though it "just" took the formula of the ALONE IN THE DARK series further.
After experiencing the blood-soaked FMV intro (with hilarious b-movie actors!), you can decide if you want to play with Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, both members of S.T.A.R.S., a special tactics and rescue squad which has been send to investigate a series of mysterious murders near Raccoon City. The squad gets attacked in the nearby woods and only three of you manage to hide themselves in a mansion. But that's where the real horror starts.
A lot of the thrills come from the fixed camera perspective, so that you sometimes cannot see where the bone-chilling moans and groans of the undead come from. The mansion you explore is quite huge and offers a lot more than initially thought, there are some simple puzzles to solve and you can even do some cool things like mixing herbs to regain power. You will also find lots of different weapons to fight all those evil creatures in the mansion.
Some people keep complaining about the controls but honestly I've never had a problem with those and always found them to be quite good. What adds a lot to the immersive atmosphere is the great sound design and the brilliant soundtrack which can make you terrified when you're walking down an empty hallway not knowing what evil creature may attack you next, and on the other hand can be relaxing when you're in a save room.
Simply a stunning game!