DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: CAPCOM / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The original Resident Evil was released in 1996, exclusively on the Sony PlayStation. Six years (and six further Resi games) later, Capcom went back to where it all began, remaking Resident Evil from the ground up, adding new areas, changing existing puzzles, and using more modern technology and the capabilities of Nintendo's Gamecube console to improve the overall experience. This REmake has appeared on countless platforms since its release in 2002, and now it's the Switch's turn.
Being the first game in the series, RE's plot is less convoluted than those seen in later games. Choosing to play as either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, your mission is to investigate reports of some particularly bizarre murders in Raccoon City and locate the missing members of your team, who haven't been heard from since their helicopter crashed near an abandoned mansion...
Resident Evil is very much a slow-burning exploration-based survival horror, which might be something we've seen a lot of over the years, but this was truly one of the first of its kind. There are zombies to deal with, of course, but most of the gameplay is based around scouring each location and figuring out the uses for the various items that you find.
This focus on exploration leads to something that newcomers might find a little infuriating. RE doesn't hold your hand in any way - it's never totally clear what you need to do next - and chances are you'll either need to pick something up or put something down in order to complete whatever task you come across. With no pick up/drop button, a full inventory means your only option is making your way back to a storage box in one of the game's safe rooms. There's always the threat of unknowingly leaving an important item in storage, too, leading to yet another undesirable detour. Backtracking and a bit of inventory faffing won't be news to anyone with a fondness for the original, of course - it's all part of early Resi's charm. On a similar note, this remake doesn't feature the famously wooden animations of the original, but the voice acting retains much of its source material's appeal.
An undeniable classic, and well worth a look for those wondering about the origins of what's become an incredible series, existing fans are sure to be delighted with the prospect of being able to play Resi on the go. But without the nostalgia factor, first-timers might be slightly less enthused by the overall experience.