Resident Evil Zero HD (hereafter ReZero) is another rereleased title from Capcom that first appeared on the Nintendo Gamecube back in 2002. Following the success of last year’s Resident Evil rerelease, ReZero claws it’s way back from the dead with high-definition visuals on all the latest consoles. If you weren’t already a fan of the multi-million copy selling franchise, no amount of zombies in this game are going to turn you into one. However, any long time fan who’s been letdown by the more action-oriented Resident Evil titles from the last few years may find something to sink their teeth into here.
ReZero focuses on Rebecca Chambers and her squad as they investigate reports of cannibalistic murders (duh zombies) in the mountains surrounding Raccoon City. If you’ll recall, Rebecca was there to heal Chris’ wounds and at times save him from situations he couldn’t handle on his own in the first game. ReZero expands on the series’ mythos by covering events that lead up to the mansion incident. While you never encounter them during the game, Albert Wesker and William Birkin (from Resident Evil 2) both make cameos throughout. It ultimately boils down to a flat revenge story that fails to be interesting. By the time you catch wind of what’s going on, the game is wrapping up and you’re provided the obligatory giant boss battle and subsequent “escape before it blows up” scenario.
Despite the lackluster storyline, ReZero looks great thanks to the update to newer hardware. Much more detail in character models and pre-rendered backgrounds can be seen in comparison to last year’s Resident Evil. The time spent porting Resident Evil beforehand surely helped achieve the high level of detail found in ReZero. There’s also lots of variety to the environments you’ll explore: a wrecked train; an abandoned Umbrella training facility; a church; and even an area only recognizable to diehard fans of the series.
ReZero has the distinct honor of being the only title in the series to not feature item boxes, and introduces the “partner zapping” system allowing you to instantly switch between both Rebecca and Billy Coen throughout the game. No item boxes means once you’re inventory fills up you’ll either need to make do without something you just found, or drop other items to make room. It can at times feel tedious but it’s a welcome change to further differentiate itself from last year’s Resident Evil, and the result is a much more challenging game. The “partner zapping” system provides for new ways to solve puzzles, allowing you to switch between characters at any time. While you play either Rebecca or Billy, the computer AI will control the other character for you. It’s not perfect by any means but by equipping each character’s weapon and designating your AI partner’s options in the menu screen, you can lower the chances of your AI partner wasting ammunition.
ReZero’s real entertainment value comes from the player rewards that can be accessed upon completing the game. Beating it on any difficulty unlocks two modes: Leech Hunter; and Wesker mode. Leech Hunter has you collecting blue and green leeches—the more you collect, the better the weapons you’ll receive which can later be used in the main game. Ammo is limited however, and you’ll constantly need to manage your inventory as the leeches you collect start to take up all of your available slots. Wesker mode is a huge bit of fan service from Capcom. The difficulty is automatically set to easy, Billy Coen is replaced by Albert Wesker, and Rebecca is sporting some awesome sidekick wear to match. There are no story implications whatsoever, you simply get a Uroboros powered Wesker that has a lighting quick dash and a “Death Stare” that explodes multiple zombie heads on screen at once! It’s meant to be fun, and more than succeeds at that.
ReZero is a fun trip down memory lane that shouldn’t be missed by diehard fans of the series or any newcomers that enjoyed last year’s Resident Evil. Extra costumes and the aforementioned modes will provide plenty of playtime for those that want more once they’ve completed the game. However, this is not the best the series has to offer either. Far from it in fact, ReZero sits firmly between two extremes—not at all bad, but not great either.
Thanks for reading my review, be sure to leave me a comment below and follow my stream at twitch.tv/valhallax27 so you can watch me play Resident Evil Zero!