The Conundrum of Remastering Games Like Resident Evil Zero
On the heels of releasing a remastered version of the 2002 remake of the 1996 original Resident Evil this year, Capcom is already hard at work remastering the prequel to said game, Resident Evil Zero. WIRED played this latest update at the Tokyo Game Show to see what’s new, and what isn’t.
The most immediate change is the inclusion of analog stick controls. Resident Evil games have a long tradition of using so-called “tank controls” where players must turn the characters on screen left or right before advancing or retreating. At the time it was thought that slower characters onscreen would make the games scarier, but today’s players aren’t necessarily interested in handicapping themselves.
“I was able to pull off tank controls at the time with no problem,” producer Tsukasa Takenaka told WIRED, “but now, when you try it again after control systems have moved on, it’s very difficult to control.” Instead, the revolutionary remastered controls allow players to press right or left and simply move right or left, although purists may use the D-pad to stick with the old fashioned method.
Those purists, by the way, aren’t as scarce as you might think. Takenaka says that after the remastered Resident Evil came out, fans demanded shooting controls that were closer to the original PlayStation game. As a result, shooting in Resident Evil Zero is exactly like that very first game: players hold R1 to ready a weapon and press X to fire.
One that hasn’t changed: the camera. Old Resident Evil games relied on fixed camera angles to maintain a cinematic mood. While most 3-D games now let players set their own angles with the right analog stick, that’s impossible in Resident Evil Zero. This means that sometimes, when the camera angle changes, I found myself turned around and pressing the analog stick in the wrong direction.
While the new HD Resident Evil Zero certainly looks on par with modern 3-D games, the game shows its age with the cutscenes. These cinematics, while remastered, look blurry and the characters models are stiffer than seen in the proper game. The audio is also based on the original 2002 data, so I noticed that longtime antagonist Albert Wesker’s voice wasn’t on par with the sinister performance of D.C. Douglas as heard in more recent Resident Evil games. Takenaka clarified that in the all-new “Wesker mode,” players would hear Douglas in the role.
Taken from –