Before Capcom decided to do what every company does and go about the actions of “Change” I would like to point out to the new generation of Gamers that Resident Evil was never an over the shoulder 3rd person action shooter. It began as a survival horror filled with puzzles, eerie atmosphere and a hell of a lot of zombies. As well as a lot of locked camera angles to make the game far more intense.
With that said I can safely say that the golden generation the Resident Evil series was held up by its predecessors, most notably Resident Evil 2, but today I would like to take a look at the very first Resident Evil. First off it’s best to get the origins of the story out of the way. A team of special unit operations known as S.T.A.R.S. investigate a woodland area due to repeated deaths reported from there. Attacked by mutilated dogs the S.T.A.R.S. group take shelter in an abandoned mansion which is run by none other than the Umbrella Corporation, the guys who started all this.
The gameplay consisted of traveling from room to room searching for clues, objects and ammunition to help you survive and advance throughout the mansion while shooting, stabbing and running from zombies, monsters and other ungodly forms of life that try to claw your face off.
Puzzles are part of the main gameplay mechanic as there are a lot of them and you will find pieces for later puzzles early in the game, which always leads to a bit of confusion but that makes it more pleasing when you finally solve one. Normally this way of solving puzzles leads to a lot of back tracking and there is so much backtracking, as you are only given a limited amount of inventory space so you must choose between survivability or getting further before journeying out of any safe zone.
Because of these features the game is incredibly hard and gives so many hours to play as well as the wealth bosses and easter eggs to contend with. When completing the game under special conditions, sometimes you have to think outside the box to advance, which is a nifty little thing for gamers to use. Although there are a lot of limitations to the battle mechanic that’s what keep the player on their feet and always ready for something else trying to scoff some of their face off.
Playing it now, I never realised how cheesy the dialogue was, even the introduction used real actors for the characters. One other feature is how I can choose between two characters, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, each with their own specialities and different pathways so the game has some replay value.
I’m sure the developers watched a lot of R rated horror movies to inspire the theme and general atmosphere. Heck, they even reference it themselves, Jill Sandwhich anyone? But that’s what gives Resident Evil its charm and it only improved throughout the series, until Resident Evil 3. Heck, the first one was that good they remade it for the Gamecube, with some slight modifications. Still, if I was given the choice to play this game I would jump at the offer first thing. So another great gem of a game added to the list of ThrowbackThursday’s, even if it’s a little bloody.