As Capcom digs through its cavernous back catalogue for potential remasters, this week sees the release of an HD version of its survival horror prequel Resident Evil 0.
Today, Resident Evil 0 is being re-released, more than a decade after it first launched as a GameCube exclusive. Since that time, the core gameplay of the franchise underwent huge changes thanks to the highly praised Resident Evil 4 — but there are still plenty of players who prefer the more traditional style.
That portion of the Resident Evil fanbase will no doubt be eagerly awaiting this graphically updated version of one of the last instalments to be made with its classic ‘tank’ controls. Some claim that this control scheme is awkward and detracts from the overall experience, but others argue that it helps keep the player on their toes — alternate schemes are available to choose from in the remaster.
Will the underappreciated Resident Evil 0 gain its fair share of acclaim thanks to this re-release? Or is this just another stopgap until Capcom is ready to announce a new mainline entry in the series? Here’s a broad picture of critical response to the title, based on some early reviews.
Game Rant (Sarah Fields)
Resident Evil 0 still stands as a classic, and gamers who loved it back in the day will likely enjoy the new additions and polished appearance. Newcomers to the series, however, will miss out on some references if they play this first instead of the original Resident Evil, but it’s still a decent place to start.
GameInformer (Tim Turi)
This HD remaster of Resident Evil 0 is an easy recommendation for anyone who enjoyed the original GameCube release and has enough patience to navigate the sometimes tedious inventory management. New fans of the classic survival horror formula that came on board following last year’s Resident Evil HD Remaster shouldn’t expect as tight of an experience, but one that’s deserving of its place in the core franchise and fleshes out Umbrella’s troubled history with dramatic flair.
VideoGamer (Steven Burns)
Resident Evil Zero isn’t the worst game ever made, but it is an uninspired one, the last throw of the dice of an old style wherein everything relies on the skill of the director and the semi-static world they can conjure, and – to a lesser degree – the unique gameplay elements they can offer. Zero comes up short in all regards.
GameSpot (Peter Brown)
For all its faults, by design or otherwise, Zero still scratches the quintessential-Resident Evil itch. You hardly ever feel safe, and when working on difficult puzzles, you force yourself into dire situations, hoping that you’ll come out alive on the other side, let alone with a solution to your quandary. Instilling tension is a commendable feat, especially given that Zero relies on tricks that are over a decade old. However, there are times when the game swings in the opposite direction, where it’s too silly for its own good.
IGN (Jose Otero)
Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster has the look and feel of a modern game, but its real problems started in 2002 and were never solved. It’s a forgettable entry in an outstanding series that just doesn’t measure up because of its story problems, overwhelming inventory management, and horrible predictability. Reanimating this limp corpse of a survival game in high definition only brings back the disappointment I felt when I played it the first time.
It certainly seems that time has not been kind to Resident Evil 0 — and critical reaction wasn’t all that positive when it first released, either. Given that this release comes hot off the heels of the well-liked remake of the series’ first entry, it’s rather unsurprising that this remaster is being met with a muted response.
However, given that classic survival horror isn’t the most prosperous genre as of 2016, it will no doubt find its audience. If you’re already aware of the problems present in Resident Evil 0, it certainly seems that the HD remaster offers up a great version of the game for you to revisit.
Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster is available now for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.