Surprisingly, Capcom games were playable at the EA Play event and RE 0 was one of them. Woohooo!
The first thing that struck me while playing RE 0 was how similar it is to the RE 1 remake. Everything from the gameplay and the graphics engine to the sound effects and overall feel of the game is nearly identical to the first GCN installment. In my opinion, this is both a good and a bad thing.
Sure, there are a couple of new features like the item-drop command. While it is certainly a welcome addition that makes item collecting much easier, it is not going to change gameplay in any significant way. The other new feature is much more exciting, though - the ability to switch between characters whenever you want. The potential for creating some truly deep and complex puzzle sections is absolutely huge, so let's hope Capcom manages to exploit this feature to the max.
What was shown in the demo was, sadly, very basic stuff that left a bit to be desired. Basically, I started out playing as Rebecca and quickly met the first batch of hungry zombies. Not wanting to see poor Rebecca get eaten by those pesky monsters, I pulled out the crappy handgun and after firing a mere 20 bullets, they died. Success! I then switched to Billy and walked through a couple of train cars until I found a locked suitcase. It turned out two rings were needed in order to open it. (Yes, the puzzle is totally ridiculous, but this is what RE is all about, isn’t it?). Anyway, since I could only find one of the rings as Billy, I switched back to Rebecca and quickly found the other one. There also happened to be a small elevator of sorts that could transfer stuff. In this way, it became possible to send items to the other character. Finally, the suitcase could be opened, and inside was a key. Unfortunately, I was not able to play any further than this, so I never got to see the part where Billy and Rebecca meet up and you control them simultaneously. Sigh…
Anyway, this should give you an idea of how the two characters can interact and work together. It is quite cool, but not anything revolutionary, I think. But then again, the demo version was pretty short and only gave a little glimpse of the beginning of the game. Things will probably get more complicated as you progress further through the game.
Unfortunately, the control system remains as clumsy as ever. The game controls are exactly like in RE 1, except now it is not even possible to do a quick-turn with the C-stick. Why they left out this feature is a total mystery to me. Hopefully, this will be fixed before the game's release.
Visually, RE 0 seems to be on par with the original, which, obviously, is a huge compliment. Particularly, the shadow and lighting effects look amazing, perhaps even slightly more polished than in RE 1. Likewise, seeing the movement of the water and the way it reflects everything is just stunning.
The fact that the game takes place on a train fits the game very well, I think. The experience is a lot more claustrophobic and intense this way, and it makes for some classic RE-style frightening situations that are very cool.
All in all, RE 0 should definitely be worth the wait. It may not offer anything truly groundbreaking, but this is still impressive stuff. If you are a fan of the RE 1 remake you will love this, I assure you!