Browsed by
Tag: Resident Evil

Retrospective: Resident Evil – CODE: Veronica

Retrospective: Resident Evil – CODE: Veronica

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis wasn’t intended to be the sequel to Resident Evil 2. It was conceived as an action-based side-story, but owing to a complex mix of financial issues and a delay in the release Sony’s second console, the then Resident Evil 1.9 became 3 and, later, Nemesis / Last Escape. Even after that shift in development, it feels more like an epilogue to the Raccoon City drama than a proper sequel, at least in terms of its length and content. If it were not for Jill Valentine in the lead read, and bringing Raccoon City to an explosive end, it would do little to advance the franchise’s narrative. Sure, it’s an exceptional epilogue, but an epilogue nonetheless.

CODE: Veronica, which debuted on the ill-fated Dreamcast in 2000 and made its way to the PlayStation 2 a year later, is Resident Evil 2’s true successor, interweaving the story of the first two games by uniting the Redfield siblings. Claire, still searching for her brother Chris, is kidnapped by the Umbrella Corporation and detained on an island prison in the Southern Ocean. Shortly after her arrival the island is attacked, once again releasing the experimental T-Virus.

…You gotta wonder if it’s a Claire thing.

Read More Read More

Resident Evil Village – The Verdict

Resident Evil Village – The Verdict

Resident Evil has taken many shapes since its inception. Survival horror, light gun shooter, third person adventure, online cooperative game, and, with 2017’s Resident Evil 7, first-person horror. This latest shape was fitting, in a way: the very first Resident Evil was conceived as a first-person game, before the limitations of the PlayStation forced Capcom to abandon it. At the time of Resident Evil 7’s release, though, it was a return to the survival horror that once defined Capcom’s multifaceted franchise.

And it was quite good.

Now, after two years of remakes, we at last have the eighth instalment – Village. It, too, is good. Very good, actually.

Read More Read More

Resident Evil 7 – A Retrospective

Resident Evil 7 – A Retrospective

As Resident Evil Village fast approaches, Ross is going to be revisiting some of his favourite titles from a series that has undergone many permutations since 1996—from survival horror to white-knuckle third-person action—reinventing itself whenever the formula became too staid, to varying levels of success. But when it works, it really works.

Let’s dive.

Read More Read More

Resident Evil 4 – A Retrospective

Resident Evil 4 – A Retrospective

As Resident Evil Village fast approaches, Ross is going to be revisiting some of his favourite titles from a series that has undergone many permutations since 1996—from survival horror to white-knuckle third-person action—reinventing itself whenever the formula became too staid, to varying levels of success. But when it works, it really works.

Let’s dive.

Read More Read More

Resident Evil 2 (2019) – A Retrospective

Resident Evil 2 (2019) – A Retrospective

As Resident Evil Village fast approaches, Ross is going to be revisiting some of his favourite titles from a series that has undergone many permutations since 1996—from survival horror to white-knuckle third-person action—reinventing itself whenever the formula became too staid, to varying levels of success. But when it works, it really works.

Let’s dive.

Read More Read More

Resident Evil (2002) – A Retrospective

Resident Evil (2002) – A Retrospective

As Resident Evil Village fast approaches, Ross is going to be revisiting some of his favourite titles from a series that has undergone many permutations since 1996—from survival horror to white-knuckle third-person action—reinventing itself whenever the formula became too staid, to varying levels of success. But when it works, it really works.

Let’s dive.

Read More Read More

Residing in Evil

Residing in Evil

If you’ve read any of my work over the years, you’ll know that many great game series’ have passed me by for one reason or another. Probably because of my Football Manager obsession, but not always. One such series that I’ve long been hidden away from is Resident Evil. But with the remaster of Resident Evil 2 hitting the shelves recently, I plucked up the courage, and stepped into Racoon City.

Racoon City, Umbrella, Claire Redfied, Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine are names that hold an irresistible thrill when mentioned. You know Resident Evil is being talked about, a series that dominated the late 90s and has continued to re-invent itself over the years.

The gore is sublime

The action-oriented Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 might have broken away from the survival-horror elements off the original titles, but they still sold like hot-cakes. After a five year lull though, Capcom were back with Resident Evil 7, a return to the survival-horror drive of the classics in the series, but with a first-person twist thanks to the new RE Engine.

With the power of the new game engine, Capcom revealed the Resident Evil 2 remake at E3 last year, showing off the new third-person camera, a drastic change from the static camera of the original.

Even then, I didn’t pay much attention to the news. I had played a smattering of RE5, but was left feeling underwhelmed. After years of avoiding the series, worrying that the tension of trying to survive would be my undoing, I wondered what was going on. Yes, there were zombies to kill, but it didn’t feel at all like I had expected, where was the horror I was left asking myself. After a few hours, I put it aside and probably went off and played a third-rate action game.

It wasn’t until I read Wesley Yin-Poole’s piece on Eurogamer about the Tyrant that I thought the re-imagining of Resident Evil 2 was worth checking out. I’m so glad I did, and also so glad that Capcom offered a standard difficulty mode that offered easy saves and zombies more willing to lie down and play dead.

Even if the scares don’t get you, the images are pure horror

The Hardcore mode is present and correct for those who want to feel like they’re back in 1998, and I’m actually kind of tempted to try that out during the second run stories that are on offer.

You see, despite being a 2019 release, Capcom haven’t forgotten their roots and turned the series into a Battle Royale. The elements of games from the 90s that made so many of them so great are well and truly present. Secrets to find, a smattering of lore that doesn’t overwhelm, and replayability that offers a substantial difference to your original journey.

There have certainly been moments where my pulse has raced, my palms sweaty and I’ve just had to pause the game and walk away. My first playthrough was with Claire, and when I first came across the Tyrant, at gone midnight in an empty house, I had to call it quits.

It might have been a C, but that’s a pass. Right?

Playing as Leon, I started off cocky and full of myself. I’d completed the game as Claire and thought I knew all of the tricks to survive. Little did I realise how wildly different their stories would be upon first escaping the police station. Ammo was scarce, my health was in danger, I was short of any herbs or first aid sprays and I somehow managed to escape the zombie dogs.

I haven’t played a game like it for some time, and it offers a refreshing difference to a world that is full of open-world games and Battle Royale titles. If you’ve never dared pick up a Resident Evil before now, I strongly recommend you pick up the courage and get your hands on this one.

Have Video Games Become Too Violent?

Have Video Games Become Too Violent?

Video games have been connected with a string of bad press over the years due to violent content and the supposed effects this could have on the people playing such games. Games have been banned, police statements have been made and bloody torsos have been sold as ‘collector’s edition’. There is no doubt that violence is fairly prevalent in video games and the video game culture. The real question is have these games become too violent?

At the risk of sounding like an old codger (I’m 25) I’m going to recall part of my childhood experience with video games for you now. You see, when I was a youngster video games were primarily a pre-adolescent activity. I grew up with an original Game Boy playing the likes of Donkey Kong and Super Mario Land, a hobby passed onto me by my dad who was of the generation of kids that hung around the arcades every evening playing Pong and Space Invaders. The video game industry has long since passed the days of Space Invaders at the arcades and now caters for the more mature gamer amongst others.

That’s not to say that the Pac-Man games of our parents generation don’t exist today, they have just become a lot more intelligent. Kids are now entertained by augmented reality and motion control and gadgets like the iPad and smart phones have largely replicated the style of gameplay the arcades used to provide. This in turn means that in most cases, adults who still wish to play video games need a ramped up experience in order to keep them entertained. If you were to take a look at the data for all time video game sales for the PS3 (provided here) you can see that games with high levels of violence feature heavily. God of War III, GTA IV, Killzone 2, Red Dead Redemption, Resident Evil 5 and numerous Call of Duty games all feature and are all 18 rated games.

So it’s clear that the video game industry caters largely for the older gamer, but in my opinion adding an age restriction to a game does very little in terms of discouraging younger gamers from playing. I don’t want to turn this into a debate about age restrictions and if parents should or shouldn’t be buying games for their children, so instead look at it this way. Games are often compared to films in terms of cinematic experience and story telling ability. Great games are noted as being enjoyed for generations, just as great films are. So would films on general release to the public, be allowed to show the same level of violence that we find in games today? I’m talking about the detailed knife takedowns in Battlefield 3, the torture scenes featured in more than one Call of Duty game and the brutal decapitations in Dead Space 3.

Tomb Raider has never been violence free, but the latest release has shown a serious increase in graphic death scenes.
Tomb Raider has never been violence free, but the latest release has shown an increase in graphic death scenes.

A good example of a game that has matured with the times is Tomb Raider. Now Tomb Raider has always featured a certain level of violence, but it’s thanks to the recent reboot, rated 18 that the level of graphic violence has been pushed to the next stage. I’ve read a few arguments from loyal fans questioning why that level of violence was ever deemed necessary in the first place. Other younger gamers are disappointed that they are no longer able to buy a game that, at least in my eyes, was seen as a fairly family friendly game. Other titles such as Skyrim, a game that has won numerous awards, offer perks that will increase the level of violence as you improve your character.

Not every game is heading in the direction of increased violence however. Games like Borderlands 2 and Gears of War: Judgement have menu options that cut the level of violence and profanity making them more available to younger players. An idea for developers to consider would be that more games could have options like this, but making them permanent implications. This way two versions of the same game could be released with different ratings allowing access for gamers of varying ages. I’m not saying content should be cut, just simple menu options like those mentioned above.

Skyrim's skill tree offers a perk that will increase the chance of decapitating your enemy upon their death.
Skyrim’s skill tree offers a perk that will increase the chance of decapitating your enemy upon death.

There are various reasons as to why popular games are becoming more violent. Part of the rise could be down to the popularity of first person shooters such as the Call of Duty series. These shooters (of which more than just CoD are included) generally don’t hold back on the violent scenes and are aimed at all out action and adrenaline. An example of this in Call of Duty would be a torture scene during the first Black Ops game now famously known as the glass punch. Other games may in turn try to emulate the popular gameplay structure of these games, eventually turning such scenes into the norm.

Another reason could be that the video game industry simple wasn’t able to fully realise its artistic visions in the past. The whole industry has advanced so incredibly in the past 10-15 years that super detailed games with huge environments are expected for most AAA releases now. Violence has always been commonplace in video games, but if games like Carmageddon (which was widely criticised upon release) were being made with today’s graphics would there be as much of an uproar?

While I myself am not adverse to a little bit of video game violence as long as it’s in context, It’s clear to see that as a whole the levels of blood and gore contained in popular games and the culture surrounding them has increased and some people might not like it. With next-gen consoles just around the corner the potential for this to increase even further is definitely there, but as it stands I don’t personally see it being too bad, aside from a rare few occasions (such as Hitman Absolution’s Facebook app).

Do you think video game violence has become too extreme, or is it all just fun and games? If you have any views on video game violence feel free to leave a comment below and I will do my best to reply to you.

Resident Evil: Revelations Trailer Leaked

Resident Evil: Revelations Trailer Leaked

Capcom’s new trailer for their upcoming 3DS survival horror has been leaked. I have to say, I had mixed reactions when watching it – I liked the setting and they certainly have retained the old school Resident Evil atmosphere, but WHO is that woman with the hair?! She is ridiculous! Nice twist at the end though – maybe this will become one of the main reasons to pick up a 3DS.

Read More Read More

Has Resident Evil Lost Its Bite?

Has Resident Evil Lost Its Bite?

Confusion, Disappointment, Frustration. That is what I felt as I sat down for another round of Resident Evil 5’s Mercenaries mode with my brother. Was it entertaining? Yes! Co-op definitely works – it’s the perfect way to while away a rainy afternoon. Unfortunately, it isn’t Resident Evil, a series that used to be known for its gut wrenching terror and perfectly constructed tension, pockmarked by brief moments of respite and safety (never had I been happier to see a typewriter). So what was it that made the series so good? And when did it all go so wrong?

Read More Read More