Resident Evil 0 HD Review: The Lesser of Two Evils

Capcom once again dips into its vault to offer a remake of a classic Resident Evil title. This time, we take a look at Resident Evil 0 HD.

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After the successful launch of Resident Evil HD, Capcom announced it was working on a remaster of Resident Evil 0 to launch in early 2016. There was very little that I enjoyed in Resident Evil HD, and after playing Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster, I felt like I was once again experiencing a kind of mediocre déjà vu--a shiny coat of paint to distract from outdated mechanics that have aged poorly. But at least there were a few shining moments that I couldn’t help but feel impressed by.

Evil Incarnate

Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster is (as you might have guessed) a remastered version of the original 2002 release that introduces new HD visuals, improved sound, widescreen support, and an optional modernized control system. The game has players assuming the role of both rookie cop Rebecca Chambers and ex-Navy lieutenant Billy Coen as they both work together to escape the Ecliptic Express and unravel the events that lead to the iconic mansion incident from the original Resident Evil.

Both Rebecca and Billy have their own pros and cons. Billy is able to take more damage while Rebecca is able to mix and blend herbs to help make them more effective. There will be times when you’ll need to use both characters to help solve a puzzle, but unfortunately, the archaic micromanaging of both Rebecca and Billy hasn’t been improved. I spent a lot of time in my inventory screen to trade various items within its extremely restrictive inventory. While I’m aware the challenge of Resident Evil is to try to make the most of its inventory, it’s a system that I continue to dislike as modern survival-horror games have progressed past restrictive inventories and onto other, more challenging gameplay features.

While the aiming is still a terrible experience as I could only aim forward, up, and down, the modernized controls at least make moving my characters around feel like less of a chore. With the use of the modern controls option, I’m able to move a character in the direction that I push the analog stick towards. There’s an option to play the game with classic controls, but I can’t imagine anyone keeping their sanity after having to direct their character to turn and then run for hours on end.

The Evil Eye

Similar to Resident Evil HD, Capcom put a lot of work into remastering Resident Evil 0 as I was impressed with the amount of detail there was in the character models, environments, and lighting. While there was a fair amount of detail in the original Resident Evil 0, its remaster greatly improves on a number of visual and auditory aspects as I could now enjoy 5.1 surround sound and take in the finer details of the game on my HDTV. I was also happy to see in-game cutscenes were also greatly improved thanks to all of those previously-mentioned visual improvements. Capcom has often done a very good job with its remakes, and Resident Evil 0 HD is no different.

Capcom has also introduced a new game mode in Resident Evil 0 HD called Wesker Mode. Wesker Mode allows players to play the events leading up to the mansion outbreak as Albert Wesker (along with a dark version of Rebecca). Wesker is powered by the Uroboros virus he gained in Resident Evil 5, so he’s able to sprint fast and deflect enemies with his eyes. While the latter is very convenient for plowing through enemies, Resident Evil 0’s tight locations make his sprinting a bit awkward. Using his sprint often meant I would run into the end of a room or area quite often, which saved me maybe two seconds of just running normally.

A Necessary Evil

As Capcom continues to churn out remakes, each seem to get better than the last based on consumer feedback. Resident Evil 0 HD has the amount of visual and auditory polish I’d expect from a Capcom remake, with the same frustrations I’ve had with early entries in the iconic series. With that said, Resident Evil 0 HD should easily cater to fans of the series, but without the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, I came away more frustrated than impressed.

Senior Editor
Review for
Resident Evil 0 HD
5
Pros
  • Impressive visuals and audio
  • Modernized controls
  • Wesker mode
Cons
  • Archaic inventory and partner management interface
  • Lack of precision aiming
  • Wesker mode
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