Of all of the canonical Resident Evil games, Resident Evil Zero is probably the least consequential and important of them all. It was released after the GameCube's REmake, and uses the same visual engine to wonderful effect. It isn't the best RE game by a long shot, but it is still a lot of gory, visually elaborate fun.
The game takes place before the first RE game, and revolves around Rebecca Chambers (who appeared as one of Chris's team in the first RE game), who is transporting a dangerous prisoner, Billy Coen, on a train when they are assailed by a gang of zombies. The two decide to team up in order to survive, and the game actually allows you the ability to switch between them at will. Furthermore, the game has finally introduced the ability to drop cumbersome items wherever and whenever you like, not forcing you to rather stupidly go hunting for an inventory box. This is particularly useful if you come across just the trinket you need to advance but have a full inventory; you can use the trinket and then come back for the useful item for later use.
Having a team-mate with you for most of the game is something you'll either love or hate: it means there's less tension, but it is quite novel for the series, and the narrow train compartments still manage to make it quite imposing and tense. Also, the soundtrack and incredible visuals (which still look amazing) really add up to make this as scary as the series has ever been.
This isn't a vital game in the series, and frankly the plot doesn't make much sense nor is it of much consequence to anything remotely linked to the series, but it's visually epic and adds a few much-needed improvements.
As an avid Resident Evil fan I thought I would write a review for this game having recently played right through it.
Resident Evil Zero is a prequel to the series explaining how the T-Virus originally spread around the Spencer Mansion as is explained in the very first game.
You play the role of Rebecca Chambers which you may remember from the very first game as well and I'll just give you an overview of how you are originally thrown into the mix.
S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team are in a helicopter after been called to scout over the Arklay forest after reports of animal attacks throughout the area, the helicopter has engine failure and is forced to land within the forest and Rebecca and the rest of the team are forced to go out on foot, here they find a crashed military vehicle with everyone on board dead and evidence that they were transporting a dangerous criminal by the name of Billy Coen.
Rebecca (in true Resident Evil style), decides to go it alone and finds herself on a train that has stopped nearby which is used for transporting Umbrella employees from Raccoon City to a secret laboratory hidden within the Arklay forest.
Rebecca meets up with the criminal Billy and this is where the clever gameplay element comes into play, you essentially play as both characters in this game and can change between the two at any point unless the storyline has put either of them out of commission which it only really does at I think one occasion though the two characters are often split up to solve puzzles.
This is a good idea but it can get confusing at times when Billy has an item that Rebecca needs and Billy has to trudge to find her and acquire the item. This idea is more cumbersome when you consider the fact that chests (which have been in all other Resident Evil games) have been shelved meaning that you have to leave items on the floor and remember where you left them. I had to backtrack right from the church area back into the management training centre just to find the hookshot which I needed to progress.
When you aren't controlling your second character you can switch him/her into AI mode meaning you have to rely on the AI which isn't desirable because it can be stupid at times but I can at least applaud Capcom for giving it a go and here's hoping they did a better job in Resident Evil 5.
The puzzles have been designed in Resident Evil Zero with two people in mind meaning that you have to use both characters to solve most of them and each of the two characters have their own strengths/weaknesses.
Rebecca is quick and weak but unlike all other Resident Evil games, she is the only one who can mix herbs and other things she needs for some later puzzles.
Billy is strong yet slow meaning he can take more damage and he is the only one who can do a lot of the puzzles involving moving heavy objects.
So to clarify, even with a shaky AI and the lack of storage chests, this is a damn fine game and considering the direction Resident Evil is taking these days, one of the last true survival horror games, as a fan I thoroughly recommend it.
James Marcus who used to work alongside the founder of the Umbrella Corporation was ordered to be killed. He however was infested with some of the T-virus and now wants his revenge. Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen are the main charaters you can play as. Surviving a train crash they have to fight through the zombies and undead that are coming their way.
the new aspet of gameplay this game brings is that you can swap characters throughout the game, and some puzzles can only be solved by an individual character etc. Also they must sometimes split up and this adds more to the survival tactics you must use to survive throughout the game. So you must share out your supplies through 2 characters and this makes the game more difficult at times.
The control scheme in this game is still the same as all their preivous titles where you must use the sholder button to aim and then A to fire. Then the annoying thing is moving the characters because I hate how slow the and cumbersome the game makes you feel. The game has 3 difficulty settings giving it a nice long life span. Beautifully made and the game is a good buy and at the cheap prices you can get it now. Worth taking a look at.
The pressure was always going to be great and the hype would be just the same. Making a prequel to anything, be it a book, film or a game is always hard. You have to carefully consider what needs to be in it to explain everything thats gone on before without a load of contradictions to happen along the way but you must also try and surprise people along the way so they dont get complacent. As far as prequels go Resident Evil 0 is probably one of the most important one in gaming terms that we are going to see for this decade. With each passing game the plot has grown more complicated and even with its sequels there have been contradictions arising from them. Now the time has come to explain everything to fans of the series. How the T-Virus managed to escape, how the Alpha team of STARS met their demise and how Rebecca Chambers found herself in the mansion and these are just some points that people want explaining.
The story behind Zero centres around a new character called James Marcus. Marcus worked alongside Ozwell Spencer, the founder of the Umbrella corporation, but Marcus was soon to be unwanted by Spencer due to his unethical ways of experimentation in the progress of the now famous T-Virus. Spencer ordered for the assassination of Marcus by some very well known characters in the series and that was supposedly that. Unfortunately, due to a Leech injected with the T-Virus it found its way into Marcus body and he is now back again, sporting a remarkably likeness to David Bowie and hell bent on revenge. He unleashes his leech army onto a train full of Umbrella employees and sets to work to quickly destroy Umbrellas labs. The action cuts to a helicopter containing the STARS Alpha team, which suddenly loses control and crashes down, a few survivors remain, including Rebecca Chambers who soon finds the train wreck and also escaped convict Billy Coen. They form an uneasy alliance and battle their way through the hordes of zombies and monsters that await them and, along the way, discover new secrets about the Umbrella corporation.
The big change that Zero brings to the series is the now much publicised partner zapping system. You can control either Rebecca or Billy throughout the game and at certain points either one is needed to solve certain puzzles. A quick press of a button and the action moves over to the other character for you to control. Most of the time the two remain together but at some points either one must go alone. With two characters in the game it brings a little more emphasis on survival tactics. You now must collect enough ammo for each character and healing supplies must be shared out between you because if one of them dies the game is over. With more firepower there are now more enemies on screen. They are not as powerful in Resident Evil (there are no Crimson Heads) but they are far more varied. When the action changes to the labs of Umbrella you will be greeted to the sights of mutated and violent forms of species of animals, from the rabid monkeys to a giant bat. While this may stray slightly from the zombie routs of other games the variety is welcome if sometimes a bit too tacky. Another big change is the lack of chests. In previous games items could be stored in chests for later use but it proved annoying having to trek into a room with one to get a certain item. Now you can leave items wherever you like. Items are shown on the map so you never lose sight of where they are and it can come in very useful. Also Capcom have made the use of herbs even easier as now you can use straight away instead of having to pick them up and store them first which was problematic if you had no inventory space and was low on health.
One thing that hasnt changed much is the control set up. The bane of many Resident Evil fans is still here. Movement is control via the main stick with R button to aim at an enemy and the A button used to fire weapons and interact with objects. Oddly enough this time round there is not really any difference to the three different control set-ups. In the remake you had the option of running with one of the shoulder buttons which did come in useful but in Zero running can only be done with the B button and nothing else. This can prove cumbersome, and I did struggle at first, but like most things the longer time you spend with it the easier it becomes. The only other slight reworking is that now the C stick is used to move your partner. This, quite frankly is useless, you wont be able to control you and your partner at the same time and is only really viable when they get in your way but they usually move on their own accord. This does mean that the 180 degree turn, which came in very useful in the remake, is relegated to the B button and pushing down on the control stick something that the manual leaves out.
Resident Evil 0 hasnt changed much in the looks department either since the Resident Evil remake. This is no bad thing because the Remake was a beautiful game and this one is just as nice. The real splendour of the game engine comes at the start of the game on the train. Not only is the detail there in textures and backgrounds but also the great touches. Thunder a crash from outside and lightning illuminates the cramped spaces, the movement of the train will cause the arms of the dead passengers to eerily swing left and right and objects on the train will rattle as it speeds on. The mix of gothic architecture and complex machines and scientific equipment that we have seen in other Resident Evil games are here as well in Zero on suitably grand scales. Character models blend in well with the backgrounds just as they did in the remake and detail is just as high Billys dog tags sway back and forth as he runs. The cut scenes that are dotted around the game are as good as ever and are almost as detailed as the Final Fantasy film. Sound is, as ever, just as polished and the undead moans are as creepy as ever as they come shuffling around the corners. The dialogue between characters in cut scenes are still hammy and B-Movie style but, arguably, thats part of the games charm.
There are three difficulty settings from the outset, instead of the often normal two, which are Easy, Normal and Hard. Playing this through on Easy mode and a fair way through the Normal difficulty setting Id say that the names do exactly give what they say. In other Resident Evil games the easiest option is never, what I call at least, easy as it always poses a significant challenge albeit with more aid. In this game Easy is just that. There is an abundant supply of Ammo and Ink Ribbons (I had a hefty total of 35 on my very last save point) and you can always pretty much get away with taking monsters out without using a lot of firepower or losing much health. As the manual suggests this is recommended for people who are new to the series and want to see the story quickly and I did want to see the story quickly but didnt find it as much of a challenge as I thought I would. On Normal mode there is more of a challenge, less of everything useful and making you slightly more prone to damage will probably raise this to the stakes of Normal mode on the Resident Evil remake.
There are drawbacks to the game. The drop system is certainly useful in some cases, for example picking an item up that you need to use nearby while leaving something on the ground without having to trek to a chest is great. However you will find yourself still worrying what to take with you when you enter a new area and if you do need a certain item and you havent got it on you then you will need to walk back to get it, no problem if it is nearby but at some distance it can prove annoying. It is admirable that Capcom decided to include this function but, ultimately, it doesnt really work, indeed, it would have been better to have the option of leaving items in chests. Another drawback is the inclusion of the two playable characters. While there is nothing wrong in the execution, the computer-controlled character always fights and defends quite well, the tension that the Resident Evil games have is now lessened. With another person by your side it simply isnt that scary, you wont worry as much coming face to face with a bunch of zombies or things lurching out at you because you will always have back up. When you are left on your own the game goes back to its roots of underlying tension and foreboding atmosphere but the main bulk of the game will mostly see you with both characters.
To a seasoned Resident Evil gamer, Zero could be completed in a weekends solid play. Enemies can be defeated easily and the puzzles will not stump people who are used to them for long. For others then this could last a week to two weeks not bad as you can now pick this game up for around £29.99. As ever there are different modes of play and character costumes to change into once the game is completed to add a bit more lifespan. One nice inclusion is a mini game called Leech Hunter. This involves Rebecca and Billy having to hunt down different coloured leeches in the main lab building. It may sound easy but you have the monsters to deal with also the leeches will take up inventory space until you are defenceless so be prepared to run. It wont last long and wont be to everyones tastes to but have it in the package adds to the value.
Resident Evil Zero is another fine addition to an excellent franchise. It oozes style and quality. There are let downs in the game but these can be forgiven because the game is just as gripping as the others. Zero does, however, show signs that the franchise does require a new direction as the formula will soon show signs of getting tired. That change should be with the highly anticipated fully 3D Resident Evil 4 (due out 2004), which should see it breathe new life into the franchise. Until then this game will more than suffice and is a must for any fan of the series.
[7 out of 10]
RESIDENT EVIL 0 IS
RESIDENT EVIL 0 IS NOT
A big change
“Resident Evil Zero” for Gamecube, well it had to happen sooner or later, seeing that Capcom perhaps used up all the stories for their Resident Evil franchise. They now came up with a new angle lets make a prequel for the first RE1 Game. I think prequels are now going to be the fad in games, when a game company runs out of ideas. LOL The plot here is fairly thin, like all RE Games the story revolves around a virus and it creating mutated monsters and zombies and Umbrella is of course doing it all.Umbrella like in all RE has the backing of many corrupt leaders making it an unstoppable enemy like the Republican and Democractic party. LOL Well seeing as this is the prequel this virus was the first of many botched attempts for Umbrella to create biological weapons, like the T, R and G virus. We get a good, long background into the first leaders of Umbrella and how from generation to generation the family of Umbrella is one big dysfunctional , demented family. In the game you take the helm under two characters Rebecca Chambers a cop for Racoon City and Billy Coen a suspected murderer. I believe this is the first game in RE franchise where we take a control of a character like Coen. Well the first half of the game, takes place inside a train that is on basically a collision course to hell, Zombies have invaded it and all the inhabitants are dead. We learn some of the inhabitants actually worked for Umbrella. Chambers is sent into investigate and is almost killed but is saved by Coen. Coen and Chambers then make an alliance to protect one another. Eventually the train crashes and you arrive nto the famous mansion from Resident Evil One. From then on the bulk of the game takes place both inside, outside and beneath the mansion as you fight zombies, mutant dogs, lechers. Graphics: **** out **** The graphics were great extremely sharp and detailed.CAPCOM as usual are able to create the most lifelike characters on s
creen complete with many different facial expression, 3d modeled environments and textures and beautiful cut scenes to further tell the story of the game. Though we have seen the same environment in Resident Evil One and the same monsters, they still look pretty sharp, like the killer spiders, and Zombies. The bosses in the game are also detailed and sharp. Nothing else to say about the graphis, except they rock!!! Controls : ** out **** Well if you haven’t played any RE games, you really aren’t missing much as Capcom traditionally uses the same control schema for the most popular games (Streetfighter for example uses the same combo system across it’s sequels). Well the controls are simple. You have the R1 and L1 for aiming. button to shoot the, and buttons to run and check on your inventory to check your weapons. Checking inventory is the thing youll be doing A LOT across every RE game as you’ll switch firearms as you run out of ammo and make special herbs to recover your energy after Boss battles. One new twist that they added in this section is the fact you can switch (though not all the time) between Billy and Coen. Traditionally you have to play through character in Re and then when you came to the end of an objective you’d switch to the other character (like Code Veronica). One thing Ive been asked to cover is the camera angles in the game. Well this has been the Achilles heel in RE, always has, always will be. Essentially, when you move “out of frame” so to speak in some areas, you can’t see whats ahead of you, sometimes you can even see your third person self!!! This is annoying and makes you prone to attacks. The camera system isn’t 100 % tested and Capcom apparently has given up in modifying it as the camera system is basically the same across EVERY RE game, I have yet played any RE game where the camera hasn’t at one time or another not done this. Sound: and Music ** out **** Again like the camera angles, the sound and music isn’t entirely groundbreaking to RE. The music wins out over the sound in this area as the soundtrack in every RE game is essentially different and well composed and executed. The sound is good too,but you will recognize in a heartbeat almost the same sounds done for every RE game in this one. The familiar “aarrrghh” and “uggh” sounds for zombies and mutant dogs are the Same you’ve heard before. The hunters in the game also sound like the hunters from RE One, so as far as sound goes, CAPCOM uses the strategy of “if it ain’t broke why fix it” and traditionally uses the same sounds. Now one thing I didn’t cover was the audio voices for the game, but again the voices for the RE games aren’t always the strong point of the games. Since Capcom is originally a Japanese company, they hire American actors and then proceed to write dialogue for them, sometimes it’s bad and sometimes it’s good. The audio voices for Rebecca and Coen are good. That's why the game is called "BIOHAZARD", because the actual Re was in Japanese. As for the challenge itself, the game was pretty challenging. even a season gamer, who first tries to play the game might have difficulty at first, but again since the control schema is essentially the same the challenge ain’t difficult to the point where the game is unpassable. The zombies are traditionally dumber than dirt and almost pose no challenge, while newer enemies like the zombie baboons are ferocious and somewhat difficult to kill as are the hunters. The bosses in the game were almost pretty challenging like a giant Caterpillar like monster halfway in the game. As for Replay value, the game now uses a new strategy by Capcom. Traditinally like Resident Evil 1 and 2, you were presented alternate endings and
a bonus level as seen through the “Hunk” levels in Resident Evil 2, now like they did with “Veronica” gives us a battle mode bonus level where you basically play through the whole game and fight the monsters. Not too shabby, but I always like finding a new levels in the game to play. Overall , Resident Evil Zero is a pretty cool prequel to RE for your gamecube. You should be able to pick it up cheap at your local retail store for a couple bucks, and you should definitely buy it if you’re a RE die hard fan.
Resident Evil Zero uses many of the elements from the prior RE games, the same screens, same backgrounds, basically the same plot but a couple of new things and many great improvements in sound and graphics, I was literally astounded as to what Capcom did here. This is saying alot because quite frankly Capcom had squeezed out all they could from the series. RE1 and RE2 were tremendous but after that the games weren't as groundbreaking (Nemesis, Survivor). In fact the writers just took one character from the previous games and tried to make a game out of it, but didn't work as well. So here we an all new game, with the big difference that it is the "Prequel" to "Resident Evil" so you know this had to be better than good. Prequels no matter they are (Movies, tv shows, games) have to at a level higher than their predecessors otherwise they are a joke and a cheap attempt by the person doing them to cash in on something that was once great (you listening George Lucas? LOL) Lastly before I dig into the review, Ill say this game has been so excellent that one of the reasons I haven't reviewed anything in like a week is because I haven been playing anytime I am free (so you know it's excellent). Story: Well you pretty much know the story behind Resident Evil but in case not here a couple of short sentences behind it. The Umbrella Corporation a greedy , evil corporation (I keep thinking of Microsoft when I think of Umbrella) has been secretly developing with partial help from government a virus known as "T" virus. The virus resulted in disaster for the makers as it turned anyone exposed to it into a zombie or monster. William Burkin (who comes out in RE2) was one of the guys behind along with his wife who mutated in a tremendous hideous monster. Along with "T" virus Umbrella just in case of any forseen trouble was also
developing a "G" virus, supposedly more deadly than "T" virus. The Racoon City Dept (Chris RedField, Leon, Rebecca Chambers to name a couple of characters from RE1, RE2) was sent in to investigate. Well all the dept is slaughtered with few survivors uncovering mystery that uncovers, betrayal, political corruption (in RE2 one of the police chiefs and governor/mayor was part of the conspiracy to keep info on the virus quite). Resident Evil was a favorite for not only great graphics and sound but a high level of violence and gore and dark humor. During last part of RE1 one of the bad guys starts to brag literally gets cut in half while bragging out how will get away with his involvement in "T" virus. Hilarious. Now in this game you play as Rebecca Chambers who briefly comes out in RE2 one of the Racoon city police members and exconvict who supposedly has killed 23 people (lol) named Billy Coen. The game starts out with a gorgeous rendered FMVin which members of Umbrella onboard a high speed train get murdered in graphic fashion by the virus while a sinister person looks at the destruction in awe. This is also a hilarious moment. Capcom knows how to make evil characters and make great fmv movies and Resident Evil Zero has it. Now a couple of critics say the game answers questions about the series Resident Evil Series, um, no and yes. The game does answer the question of the origins of Umbrella with a new character named Dr. Marcus, but as far the characters such as the other Racoon members it doesnt really at least not from my point yet (I am virtually finished with first half of the game and starting second half on 2nd cd of the game.) Controls : 6 If you played the other RE games, then the controls here are going be familiar with you. However, one new thing is the fact that you literally tag team and control 2 ch
aracters at the same time (Billy and Rebecca). This is quite fun and quite a big help as the challenge in this game is by far the biggest challenge yet. Also by doing this Capcom took a page out of the Marvel vs. Capcom games where you can double team an opponent by tag team. The basic controls are a button for running, another for checking inventory/equipping items and weapons and checking maps/files/ and another button for shooting/aiming your main button, you'll be blowing away lots of monsters in this game. Resident Evil has in the past has been known to use logic puzzles and they are back here, although they are alot easier here unlike the past ones. The monsters from past Resident Evil games are back along with several nasty new ones: The familiar zombies, zombie dogs, leechers, spiders, etc are back, however now you have giant insects, slime/leeches that attack you in pair and different bosses such as a Giant Bat and Scorpion (shown in fantastic fmv). As far the guns go, you have the familiar shotgun , magnum, handgun, grenade luncher, hunting gun, but you got a few new such as the Molotov cocktail which is like a pipe bomb. However their is no crossbow and a couple of machine gun type weapons like in RE2 and I believe there was even a flamethrower in a past game but it's absent here as well. Graphics: 9 I gave the graphics a 9 because even though they are the same 2d and 3d backgrounds and monsters in past games, they just more crisp and gorgeous. There is more detail to almost everything in the game. Since the Gamecube has the power of about a 300-400 MHZ processor they obviously squeezed out as much juice as possible and it shows here. There is a part here where you have to go on top of the train amist pounding rain and wind and you can literally see and feel it on you. It's great. Also the fmv cutscenes are great
, little more crisp than past games. Sound: 8 Almost all the Re games have had great sound and music and this game is no exception, literally the whole game is filled with horror tunes (like a scary haunted house which is ironic because your in a scary mansion) that get the scare the nerves out of you and in other areas start your heart pounding to let you know that a big battle is about to begin.... Even the dubbing/translation of the voices (the Resident Evil games were Japanese and often had to be dubbed with hilarious results) is way better. In fact, I noticed no problems here. Both the Sound and Graphics showcases the best of Capcom, seeing as this the prequel for the series, the developers obviously had large shoes to fill and they succeeded. Challenge 7: Every monster both new and old and the bosses are hard, all of them even the zombies move fast and kill you quickly if enough gang up on you. A large part to staying alive in the game is making good decisions as when confronting and killing and conserving ammo for those big bosses ahead. There a couple of traps too thrown in for good measure, so overall the challenge is high and if you play the game on Hard Mode (which is what I have been playing on) the challenge is tremendous. Bonuses :4 Ah well here is where the game falls flat. When you beat the game you unlock costumes and extra weapons but aside that no new levels are scenarios in the game with the exception of the "Leech Hunter" game where you collect blue and green leech charms while fighting the zombies in the mansion. It's not a big bonus at all, I beat this game within an hour, and after that no other extra games were found, although you can play the game and if you beat in a quicker time with more charms you get more weapons. Overall: 7 Although, R
EZ is a good game with limited bonuses it's still one of the best horror games on the Gamecube. Capcom really did a tremendous job, the backlashes and disappointment of the fans over the RE games obviously told them they had to come out with product that was worthy to be called "Resident Evil". Now with Resident Evil Outbreak and Dead Aim, which I cant wait to play, Capcom's RE franchise looks stronger than ever.
This is a worthy prequel to the now classic Resident Evil (Game cube) game. The graphics are even more stunning, with gorgeous lighting effects and textures, and the plot line is as compelling as ever. The two disc ensemble is not over laden with cut scenes and those shown are a joy to watch, explaining a lot about the T-virus and its origins. If you have never played a Resi game before you will not feel ‘left out’ by the plot. You don’t have to have played any of the previous titles to pick up the story and jump straight in. I’m not a ‘die hard’ gamer and I did find Resident Evil a bit of a challenge (its still not completed) but this game I steadily slayed and shot my way through to the finish. The beginners mode is not too easy and has lots of challenges. The other levels get hard but not so much that you hurl the controller away or even worse snap the disc! The challenges are pleasurable, not a nightmare! The game is a lot more player friendly with enough herbs and ammo to keep you going and the ability to swap between the two protagonists, Rebecca and Billy. This is an integral part of the plot and problem solving. The is also the added benefit of being able to drop objects when and where you like which I think is much better than the annoying ‘box’ from the other games. Even for me I found the boss characters manageable, and thankfully varied. There is also the additional game mode called Leech Hunter that provides additional hours of amusement and character costume changes. Resident Evil Zero is a worthy addition to the horror game genre and outshines some of the other Resident Evil series. Whatever your gaming experience you can complete this and not get bored, but be ready for the next level. For experienced gamers though go strait to the Hard Mode! If you are sensible to own a Game Cube you must buy Resident Evil Zero!!
Can I start with "I love Resident Evil 0", and then add that you might not. Because Resident Evil 0 is essentially a game for the already well-established Resident Evil fan base. It features a storyline that is connected with near enough every title that went before (or after) it, and if you haven't played them, the unique, ironic perspective the storyline provides is lost. It is set prior to the infamous 'mansion incident' from the first game and explains the origins of Umbrella. It features Albert Weskar (Resident Evil/ Code Veronica) and William Birkin (Resident Evil 2) as they follow the efforts of the game stars Rebecca Chambers and Billy Cohen. Of course there is much more to it than that, such as who the hell is that singing leach bloke (who happens to sing the same song from code veronica). And who is James Marcus? Anyway, that isn't the only reason this is for Resident fans only. The series has come under close criticism for being 'similar' and whereas Resident Evil 0 does nothing to address the fixed camera angles, the dated control system and obscure puzzles it has managed to throw some quirky new additions into the fray to keep this feeling fresh. For starters we have many brand new enemies, the leech theme has given birth to not just leaches but Leach zombies, disgusting, powerful and rather messy creatures. You also have to deal with the killer monkeys, giant scorpions and cockroaches. Sure you have the normal supply of Zombies but the zombie dogs are in short supply (and much easier) and there is limited appearances for the spiders. Whereas this is a nice refreshing experience for the returning Resi gamer these new creatures are hardly as scary as lets say the spiders. So if you haven't played the game before then you won't appreciate the new additions. Of course I've ignored the biggest new feature, partner zapping. The opportunity to play as two characters at the same time is a first fo
r the Resi series. You can switch between characters throughout the game to figure out puzzles and to beat enemies easier. Rebecca is useful as she can mix herbs unlike Billy who is somewhat stronger. Although this is a great, effective new idea it drops the fear factor dramatically, the 'alone' fear has gone because your not. You feel somewhat safer when someone's watching your back. So once again it is a feature that will only be appreciated by the returning Resi gamer. Other new features include the removal of the box, you can simply "drop" items but this creates highly frustrating backtracking. Graphically the game looks much like the original Gamecube game but with added effects in the backdrops such as running water or moving curtains. So unbelievably the game looks better than before! The game once again is only about 6 hours long but the extra modes times that ten fold. With brand new settings and an epic tale I cannot not recommend this game, it is scary and damn good fun. But if you are new to the series pick up the first game first. Dringo
What can I say, after about a year after the graphically amazing Resident Evil on Nintendo Gamecube, Capcom have once again shown us that they can still make cracking titles. The game deals with the story before the first Resident Evil game and how STARS member Rebecca Chambers ended up in the mansion. It's like a horror movie at breakneck speed, starting out on a zombified train and ending in a dingy water plant, the atmosphere doesn't let up at any point. Joining you in your quest to deal out death to the zombie masses is recent ex-con Billy Coen, over the course of the game you see the two characters grow fond of eachother, well wouldn't you given the situation? Incorporated in this title are some popular features from previous games, namely - weapon upgrades! Well to be fair you only get the handgun parts but they are still pretty cool. Also noteworthy is the lack of item chests, capcom have taken on board complaints from previous games that people couldn't just drop items like in real life. This has been literally implemented as you can now drop items where ever you please to pick up that precious key. The enemies are standard fare, hunters, zombies, zombie dogs. If you've played a game in the series before you know what to expect. Capcom have included a few suprises and cameo appearances that will appeal to the hardcore fan, beware the new leech zombies however, they are very dangerous. The game spans 2 discs and in my opinion is longer and more varied than it's gamecube predecessor. The emphasis seems to be more on action than suspense, huge scorpions and other insect creatures add a bit more variety to the unfriendly place that is the resident evil zoo. If you have experienced a Resident Evil game before you know that after you finish it there's always hard mode to try and of course trying to finish the game in under 3 hours to get the elusive rocket launcher. Some people have said that the real
ism included this time round wears on the gameplay slightly but in my opinion it improves it even more. I cannot end this review without mention the excellent partner zapping system, you can use a simple button press to swap from Billy to Rebecca, this can be really handy in tight spots with your zombie friends. You can use strategy to care of your foes but to be fair the computer controlled character is a bit slow and often it is better to run. In conclusion if you are a fan of the series and want to endulge in another segment of survival horror storytelling then this is the game for you. It'll fill the gap until Resident Evil 4 comes along at least.
No longer can Resident Evil be known as just another games series, for it can now be officially recognised as a franchise. There are many followers of Resident Evil and a lot of merchandise to keep the fans more than content whilst they wait for each instalment of the gripping series to arrive. Just some of the things that have came out the franchise are; comics, sountracks, a movie, action figures, and even official Resident Evil lighters. Now, however, is a game for die hard followers of the series who want to know where it all began for this is Resident Evil Zero, a game that tells us of the events in 1998 just before the infamous mansion incident. The historical information found in this game dates back to as early as 1930, and this time once played gamers will truly know how the T-Virus first started. The question is, with this being the ninth instalment in the series (tenth if you include Code Veronica X and Code Veronica separately) including the two Survivor's, both the GameCube & PSONE originals, and Director's Cut, are things starting to get a bit repetitive? For cult followers, which there are undoubtedly many, the reply is hell no but for the rest of us this could become just another Tomb Raider. Luckily Capcom have taken precautions to make sure gamers do not grow tired of the series incorporating a character zapping function which you will learn more about as you read on? GRAPHICS It will come as no surprise to Resident Evil fans that graphically Resident Evil 0 is just as impressive as the original Resident Evil for the GameCube. There is a lot of attention to detail whether it's in the beautifully crafted buildings, or the headless zombie lying in a pool of its own blood on the floor. When shooting a zombie the same splatter of blood that was present in the original will shower the screen, and when fighting another enemy such as the huge spiders a thin pool of green juices will trickle out with every shot. Graphically as
ide from the jagged edges to the doors as the game loads in typical Resi style the game is not flawed, it is as near to perfection as games come on any console. Whereas the cut scenes are a lot clearer and colourful, playing the game is very dull, gritty, and realistic. There is a thin line between reality and virtual reality in this game. The character of Billy Cohen is a good example of this, even one of his hairs is out of place, just as it would be in the real world. The next step in graphics would be to perfect them to such a degree that the hair actually flaps realistically when the character moves, hairs stand on edge as it gets cold, and nipples get erect when it is cold - but this is just minor detail and something worth considering for the next instalment if the graphics are to improve from this near perfect state. It isn't just the perfection of buildings, objects, and characters that adds to the polished look of Resident Evil but also the way everything moves. When the spiders move they creep slowly before launching at you in a fast tip toe manner (although in all fairness this hasn't advanced much from the original game), the zombies lurch forward angrily, and most impressively the toads that have been infected with the T-Virus slide out their massive tongue and suck up the character until they are either free, or swallowed resulting in game over. Lighting in Resident Evil doesn't play a major role because unlike Silent Hill, Alone In The Dark, or to a degree Eternal Darkness everything is lit fairly well in Resident Evil 0. In the instances when the characters are in the dark, eerie shadows fill the rooms appropriately but this is a rarity. The game seems to be a lot duller and grittier than Resident Evil the remake. Whereas Resident Evil the remake relied on well lit or eerily dark areas, Resident Evil Zero feels as if it has a thin veil of grey covering it as most rooms are neither pitch black or well lit. Resident Evil 0 f
ollows on from Resident Evil in setting the landmark for graphics in this day and age for which all other games should follow, sadly however there are few games that have reached this standard with the exception of Metal Gear Solid 2 that trails shortly behind the Resi series in terms of graphical capabilities. 19/20 SOUND As with all Resident Evil games Resident Evil Zero provides an excellent orchestral soundtrack that plays different scores depending on the room you are in. Sound seems to cater for both the sense of sound, and the sense of smell for you can literally smell what enemy lurks depending on the score being played. If there is frantic music you know you're going to encounter the hideous super zombie figure that stalks the house, before it explodes into millions of leeches, or if you are even less lucky you may encounter some sort of boss whether it's a bat or the infamous Tyrant that rears its ugly head. The scripts for the GameCube versions of the Resident Evil series have been pretty good and this game is no exception. Long gone are the days of the pitiful "What is it? I hope this is not Chris' blood," replaced with more advanced conversations and even an insight into the history of how everything began in Raccoon City. Everything from the plodding of feet in a murky sewer to the sound of a grenade launcher pounding into the body of a screaming Hunter sounds as it should. Most impressive is the sound of the super zombie/leech creature as it morphs into a giant pair of legs before exploding into a pool of leeches. A series of squelches and disgruntled screeches echo around the room literally sending fear into the gamer. There is, of course, the infamous groans of the zombies, and the high pitched squeal of hunters, but how about the patter of an arachnid? That is also present, as is the creek of doors. 20/20 GAMEPLAY Capcom have done themselves proud here, for they have kept t
he same old Resident Evil style of play that we all love yet also managed to input some rather nifty new features that enhance the style of play. The biggest, and first change in gameplay is the "character zapping" feature. Rather than playing as Billy Cohen and Rebecca Chambers in two separate outings the gamer gets to play as them both at the same time. This will be much preferred by gamers as it means rather than relying on good old Barry Burton to come and save you when in trouble, or having to play the game through twice to get the full ending you save yourself as you simply zap to the other character to come and save the one you're controlling, and you get the full ending for both characters only playing the game once! So what does Character Zapping involve? It involves having both a main character, and a partner character. You, as the gamer, have the freedom to choose whether the characters go places together or alone. You also have the option to choose whether the partner remains idle standing still and relying on you to do all the shooting, or whether the partner attacks the enemy as well as yourself, meaning zombies face, literally, double trouble when facing you. Character zapping and the ability to be with your partner means that you feel particularly isolated when you have to split up for one reason or another. This leaves the gamer feeling alone and vulnerable to attacks. Character zapping therefore adds a sense of security when you are together yet a sense of increased fear when you are alone. This has helped to portray the fear factor is Resident Evil as well as the full out blood bath aspect. Another advantage of having two characters is the ability to trade items when near each other. This means that Rebecca could collect an item from a place only she can reach and then give it to Billy for him to use. This feature of exchanging items is important when the characters get separated, and rather than exchangi
ng them hand to hand they have to put the items in a small item elevator where the other character can collect it from the other end. An example of this is when Rebecca is confined to the top area of a section but Billy to the bottom, as luck and predictability would have it Rebecca just happens to find the key needed for the bottom area in the top area hence she has to send it down to Billy! Remember the chests and storage boxes in Resident Evil? They are rather convenient because you can deposit items in them and then collect them from another box in a different area later. It may be convenient but it's not realistic! Capcom have identified this lack in realism and have replaced the system with a much more convenient one, now the boxes are gone completely, but in their place you can simply drop an item. This means if you need to pick up a valuable key rather than running all the way to a box to deposit an item to make room for the key you can drop an item where the key was and pick up the key. Although ideal one has to be careful what items they drop because if they choose to drop an item they think they have finished with and then need it later in the game they'll be a lot of time spent retracing footsteps! Billy and Rebecca both have an item exclusive to them, Billy possesses a lighter and Rebecca a mixing set. This means that for certain puzzles only Billy or Rebecca can solve them. However for other puzzles Rebecca and Billy will need to work as a team, for instance some areas will be too high for Billy or Rebecca to get to on their own so Billy will need to lift Rebecca up to get to these areas. There are also instances when Rebecca and Billy need to press a switch simultaneously to open a door, or instances where a door will only become unlocked if one character stands on a panel in the floor while the other opens the door. In addition to this Rebecca is a lot weaker than Billy, this has its disadvantages for Rebecca as she can take far les
s damage, and can't push boxes. This works in Billy's favour as he is portrayed as a God being able to absorb far more bullets than Rebecca, standing at about six foot five, and physically pushing metal crates across rooms! There is a decent mix of action, puzzles, and storylines in Resident Evil but one must question the difficulty of the puzzles? Alright so admittedly nobody wants to be stuck on a game for ages because there is one annoying puzzle that forbids you to go any further (i.e. Silent Hill piano puzzle, or any Tomb Raider puzzle) but surely Capcom can come up with something better than add 10 numbers together to make 81 and the switch is magically activated or put the black and white statue in the scales and open a door! Come on, there was a day when Resident Evil was more demanding than this, at least in the original Resident Evil gamers had to press switches in a certain order to open a door. Having said that though, credit must be given to the animal puzzle later in the game, admittedly it is no master piece of a puzzle but it is more demanding than every other puzzle in the game except possibly the fiddly business of lining some crates up to cross a bridge (seriously!). The storyline for Resident Evil Zero isn't as in depth as the other Resident Evil games but then again it was never meant to be. It simply explains how everything came about which for Resident Evil fans is brilliant as they get to learn the entire history of the virus before it was even named the T-Virus. Gamers will find out exactly who or what was behind the spreading of the virus, and how the virus spread to the Spencer Mansion facility. Whether William Birkin, Albert Wesker, or another random person is involved heavily is for you to find out when you indulge in the game! Although simply explaining how the virus came about sounds a little weak, the description of the storyline doesn't quite do the game justice as it is more impressive than this. How abo
ut the appearance of Billy Cohen? He is a mass criminal who has been accused of killing 23 other human beings, Rebecca befriends him to survive, but the element of trust is never completely there. Then there's the addition of new creatures to the Resident Evil world. You've never seen an ape or leech affected by the T-Virus? You will have upon completion of the game! There aren't so much downsides to the game as changes, take for example the loss of a 180 degree turn. It would have been nice to have been able to use it but it can't be viewed as a downside for it is such a minor thing. The crimson heads in Resident Evil that you had to shoot their heads off before they were completely dead are gone, although it added a certain amount of fear and excitement to the game it must come to some gamers as a bloody big relief that a zombie isn't going to get up and chase you. Once it is dead it is dead and that's that! Still apparent in the game are the now infamous doors showing up on the screen as the game loads. Although people criticise it and say it makes the game load so long it is a very effective way to load the game. Look at how Silent Hill loads, it simply says "Now Loading," now although that might take place quicker than a door opening it definitely isn't as effective. The loading doors shouldn't be cut out as they help add to the suspense of the game, it serves as a two second break as the gamer holds their finger to the trigger unsure of what will lurk around the corner, fear and suspense build up. The only other alternative to a door appearing would be for the door to open simultaneously and for you to walk through with no loading gap. Despite having said this though the loading doors are part of the whole Resident Evil experience/gimmick, and getting rid of the doors would be getting rid of a part of Resident Evil however small. A lot of people thought before this game surfaced that it would be a game for conc
rete Resident Evil fans, and those just interested in getting their regular dose of Resi. This game however has proved critics wrong, it is not just another Resi as it has added far more to the Resi series than any other game has in a single instalment. There is a damn good storyline, and a few new systems in place. After playing this game the only thing that gamers will be disappointed with is that it didn't last longer, because if this is the future of Resident Evil then let their be more, roll on more new innovations like the character zapping to the series, and most importantly roll on Resi 4! 24/25 LIFESPAN Dependant on what you wish to get out of a game will depend on how long this game will last. It has the potential to last from as little as a weekend to as much as a few months. For the average gamer to complete this game once will take around 12 - 15 hours. Take into account that there are 3 difficulty settings, this means to get the most out of the game you have to complete it three times. Then take into account the massive game you get for completing the game once called "Leech Hunter." Now although sub games aren't always that impressive this one is. It can last over an hour just playing "Leech Hunter" once through, and it is pretty addictive. Leech Hunter consists of both Rebecca and Billy in the mansion collecting leeches, there are 100 leeches in total, Rebecca has 50 green leeches to collect, and Billy 50 blue. It is not possible for Billy to pick up green or Rebecca to pick up blue so characters cannot simply take different rooms and exchange leeches once they have finished, although it is possible in this mode to exchange different items. You are allowed a maximum of 10 leeches in each slot, meaning by the end of the game characters have 50 leeches and just one other item. Getting to the end of this game isn't easy though because there is a limited amount of ammo, and health although if you are
fortunate enough there's a select amount scattered around the mansion. The point of completing Leech Hunter, is firstly to have fun and enjoy a bit more unadulterated Resi action with no cut scenes, and secondly because completing it means you unlock unlimited ammo for different weapons in the full game dependant on your success. At the end of the day, week, or month, Resident Evil Zero's lifespan is what you make of it, it won't last you till the next major Resi but it will last you a while if you persist and complete it fully. 20/25 ORIGINALITY As far as survival horror and Resident Evil games go Capcom have contributed a lot more to this game. Character Zapping has never been done before, neither has dropping items instead of using boxes, or indeed the new storyline explaining how it all began. There is a healthy amount of innovation in this game but there is not as much as in Eternal Darkness which included the use of spells and different periods of time. Having said that adding spells to Resident Evil would be a ridiculous idea as Resident Evil is realistic and not fantasy (well life like not realistic for I know of no mansions with zombies). There is room for further innovations to be added to Resi but what at a game that has been developed to such a level one cannot be sure. Capcom have produce a fine title in the form of Resident Evil 0 and the use of character zapping has further enhanced the experience. 7/10 OVERALL Resident Evil 0 deserves a place in every GameCube owner's collection. It hasn't made as big an impact as Resident Evil remake as it is a prequel but it is a very welcome addition to the series. Capcom didn't want to produce a Resident Evil similar to all other Resi's and have spiced it up with character zapping and item dropping. Along with Eternal Darkness, and the original Resident Evil it will be cherished by all GameCube owning horror fans! 90%