All aboard the Zombie Express! Resident Evil 0 is a railroad of survival horror fun! TOOT TOOT!
I’ve just gotten back from Capcom’s booth to play the N64-now-GameCube prequel to Resident Evil. Resident Evil 0 follows what happened to the Bravo Team en route to their investigation of Raccoon City. After Bravo Team’s helicopter crashed, they split up and Rebecca Chambers finds an abandoned, derailed train. Investigating the train, she finds it full of dead people. Then the train starts moving and the dead awake… Rebecca discovers a man in handcuffs named Billy, and the two team up to survive. Unfortunately, this story is told via text; I can’t wait to see the intro.
The graphics are indeed better than Capcom’s just released Resident Evil for GC. Everything looks just a bit more detailed, and freaky. The constant movement of the train affects every room. Bottles roll, table cloth ends flutter and chandeliers sway. You definitely feel like you’re on a runaway train.
Another drawback of the E3 demo is that it utilizes the classic RE controls and there is no “type C” configuration. The controls have changed slightly to accommodate two playable characters. X button switches between Rebecca and Billy, doing a 180 degree turn is done by hitting down & B on the control stick. The C stick is used this time to control your second character when both are in the same room.
Having two controllable characters simultaneously is a great addition to the series (and it answers one of my biggest qualms: who would want to split up in a place filled with zombies & monsters, REALLY?!)—and is executed a number of ways. Via the menu, you can set it so that your second character will fight on their own, but you will have to move them out of harm’s way. With another menu setting, you can ensure that your partner will follow you from room to room. Sometimes splitting up Rebecca & Billy is inevitable, but they can still help one another, by passing items on a dumb waiter for example. While together, the two can also swap items, including trading bullets in packs of 15.
The inventory overall is a lot better and much less anal. Although I didn’t see it in action, you can apparently leave items behind without an item box. You can also combine herbs you find on the fly to save inventory space. Nice.
The zombies are freaky but much easier, at least in the demo. After killing a zombie, leaving a room and then returning to it, the dead zombie will disappear. Although the resurrecting “crimson zombies” scared the bejeezus outta me in RE, I would be disappointed if they didn’t return for RE0. There’s also no sign of the self-defense items. I hope this will change by the final version.
I’m impressed, even though Resident Evil isn’t a game you can have a satisfying play session with briefly. It looks incredible and has some innovative additions, but it’s hard to get too engrossed in the story, find all the necessary puzzle items or make it very far in the context of a limited E3 demo. However, it’s already certain that Resident Evil 0 is going to be fantastic and may help rejuvenate the series even more than the Resident Evil remake did.