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North America

Resident Evil 0

by Billy Berghammer - August 12, 2002, 1:22 pm PDT

The zombies are back and on a train ride from hell. Get the low down from the newly released (in Japan) Biohazard Zero: Trial Edition.

Capcom has released the first ever demo-disc for GameCube last week with Biohazard Zero. This isn’t the full game, and there are elements that are left out of the demo. Personally I can't complain, it's a demo disc, and gamers have been craving these since Nintendo moved to disc format. Hopefully they'll decide to release this in the US!

What they left out of the demo:

Maps

Separate control schemes

Typewriter (Save feature)

Most music

FMV

Basically it’s just a taste of what we can expect from Resident Evil Zero this winter. It seems to be a rather large demo, and for comparison's sake, I’ve heard this is bigger than the demo that Capcom released for Devil May Cry. You only get to explore about 3-4 train cars, and the rooms and hallways inside them. Once you complete the main tasks of these areas of the train, you get a quick FMV of a scorpion boss, and it ends. I would say most RE veterans should be able to complete this in one sitting.

There isn’t an intro movie. Basically you hit start, see some screens with Japanese text describing the story and the control scheme, and bam, you’re Rebecca and on the train. Two seconds later, you hear a moan and it’s time to start the zombie fest. Also, as an added bonus, this demo doesn’t take up any area on your memory cards (at the sacrifice of saving, of course).

The demo allows for only one control scheme, which is basically set to the A formation. Now added is the X button which switches your currently controlled character, and with the Z-button you can choose to team up with your partner, or go it alone. The C-stick operates your partner while the control stick moves your main character. When you go into the inventory screen you can give your partner items, as well as swap characters. You will need to be with your partner to swap items, but rearranging items and optimizing your item slots (you get 6 each) is a lot easier this way.

This 2-player concept is intriguing, but I can and have seen some early problems with it. The partner AI either isn’t installed yet, or people just become retarded when you’re not controlling them. Your partner will shoot zombies, but not as often as you’d like them to. You can move them, but if they decide not to shoot, they stand there vulnerable, staring into space. Since the action is now taking place on a train (well, more like a double-decker super train) the areas are more confined. When you’re in a small room with both characters, it’s cramped, so you’ll be forced to use a single player in certain situations. Even worse, if either character dies, the demo is over and you have to start all over. This obviously becomes more evil than the game itself.

Capcom really upped the graphical ante with the remake of Resident Evil, and they’ve used an upgraded engine to create Zero. The same kind of eerie, dark, bloody environments have been put into the train design. As the train speeds down the track it rocks back and forth, making things like cans, bottles, and hanging lights sway along with the train. It’s just as visually stunning if not more than RE. Shadows and lighting are even more impressive. Unfortunately, those awkward pauses when moving between different areas are still apparent.

Something else I felt worth mentioning is the setting doesn’t seem to be as horrific as RE was. At least, I’ve done the zombie/zombie dog thing before, and the sounds of a speeding train are actually soothing. I think being in an area with both characters scares me more than anything.

I will say that I’m looking forward to Resident Evil Zero, and I wasn’t all that fond of the first one. For starters the adventure is new, and you’ve got the added elements of 2-character play. I’m not sure if Capcom is planning on having a co-op mode in this game, but that would be a welcome addition. I’ve completed the demo in about 15-20 minutes (when I actually went through without dying), and I really like what I’ve seen. If Capcom can perfect the two-character concept, and add a co-op mode, Resident Evil Zero has some serious potential.

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Genre Adventure
Developer Capcom
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Resident Evil 0
Release Nov 10, 2002
PublisherCapcom
RatingMature
jpn: BioHazard 0
Release Nov 21, 2002
PublisherCapcom
eu: Resident Evil 0
Release Mar 10, 2003
PublisherCapcom
Rating16+

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