Resident Evil

Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of the mansion?
John Fox - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Violence: Blood spurts when hit, dead bodies form pools of blood, some blood stains, bloody bodies, decapitations, zombies chewing on corpses.

Language: D*mn, h*ll, "oh my God" and "oh God!" are used a couple times.

Adult Content: Un-detailed pictures of Adam & Eve and a girl in a swim suit.

Other: References to eaten bodies and people turning into zombies, vomiting zombies.

*Note this review covers Resident Evil: Deadly Silence but does not cover the remake for the GCN and Wii*

Evil stirs on the outskirts of Raccoon City. When the Special Tactics And Rescue Services “S.T.A.R.S.” Bravo team goes missing during an investigation of a string of brutal murders in which the bodies are found eaten; Alpha team is sent to investigate their disappearance. Upon disembarking the helicopter they are chased by ferocious dog-like monsters and have no choice to run into a nearby mansion. Little do they know that this mansion holds more perils than the ones left behind.

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Developed by Capcom, Resident Evil is the father of the survival horror genre and first premiered on the PS1 in 1996. It has spawned numerous sequels, multiple ports and even two remakes over three generations of consoles.

The player controls either Jill or Chris, both young members of S.T.A.R.S. tasked with discovering the mansion’s mysterious secrets and finding their lost teammates while fighting through zombies and other ghastly creatures. Jill and Chris meet different characters, gather slightly different weapons and solve some different puzzles during their quest. This makes playing each character a different experience. The DS version also sports multiplayer and a “Rebirth” mode with new puzzles, touchscreen knifing mini-game, more ammo and many more enemies.

Controls are archaic compared to nowadays. Pressing left and right slowly turns the character left or right (like a tank). Pressing back makes the character back up. One button is used to ready a weapon. The DS version sports a 180 degree turn found in RE 3 and a one button knife equip from RE4, which are nice and helps a little bit to improve the controls.

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Graphics are average 3D PS1 style with pre-rendered backgrounds which have aged nicely, as well as FMV and CG cutscenes. Voice acting is cheesy bad acting reminiscent of 60s horror films. Music is not prevalent and is used mostly to enhance the atmosphere. Sound effects serve as audio cues of what may be lurking around the corner. The CG/FMV in the DS version is very compressed and thus lacking is quality, and the voiceovers suffer a bit as well.

The game hits the nail on the head as far as atmosphere goes. The mansion and the surrounding areas just ooze spookiness. With the game’s fixed camera angles you never know what might be around the corner. The game itself is not scary per say (save for a couple monsters jumping out of nowhere moments) but it definitely has a tense atmosphere.

Violence:

This is where the game fails content wise. Mostly red blood spurts from enemies when attacked and pools form when enemies are killed. Most, but not all blood can be turned green in the DS version however. Zombies can be decapitated with a weapon, but I did not notice any gore when this happens. Sometimes a zombie on the ground grabs you and you can stomp in his head, a few bits fly off when this happens. One enemy called the Hunter can decapitate you if they attack you from behind, but I did not find this a common occurrence. A couple times you find some blood smeared on the floors or walls and once you find a blood soaked body being pecked  by crows.

In the beginning the squad finds a gun with disemmembered hand still attached, however it is not shown at the cut off point so it is not bloody or gory. A couple times during the game you will find zombies feeding on corpses dog-like. In the DS Rebirth mode one touchscreen mini-game has the character placing their hand on a block and using their knife to press buttons between their fingers. The title screen movie is from a the eyes of a zombie chasing a person and when he catches up there is a spurt of blood. On the gameover screen  “You Died”  is displayed in what looks to be made out of blood.  Some files describe finding people that were eaten by zombies, but it does not go into any gruesome details.

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The most violent part is at the beginning with a CG sequence in which you see a zombie feeding on a corpse (which is not directly shown as it is obscured from the back). The head falls from the corpse and blood pours from the neck. The zombie turns around and you see a red stain on it’s mouth.

Language:

D*mn and h*ll are used a couple times each in cutscenes and files. Chris says “d*mn” every time he gets a computer password wrong and his rebirth mode mini-game when he says “h*ll yeah!” when he wins at darts. “Oh my God” and “Oh God!” are used once.

Spiritual Content:

None, all monsters in the game are created via biological means. Other than that Genesis 22:16-18 is quoted for a passcode and Adam and Eve are in one picture, but I did not find anything potentially offensive about those two things.

Adult Content:

There is a picture of a girl in a swimsuit in one area as well as a picture if what is probably a naked Adam and Eve, neither are detailed in any way however. In the DS version there is an Easter egg where you can tap the characters bums (or in Jill’s case her chest) and get a response from them. Also in the DS version I have heard that one of Jill’s alternative optional new game+ costumes is skimpy, but I have not seen it myself. I am unsure if they are present in any other version.

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Other:

Some zombies can vomit yellow fluid on you, thankfully without a retching noise. Some files you find around are rather disturbing as they are written by people turning into zombies. One boss has some organs exposed and are still pulsating.

Overall I found Resident Evil to be as fun an engage as I did over 10 years ago. Despite the outdated graphics and controls the game remains atmospheric and suspenseful. Evil may lurk outside the hearts of men, but it can be fun to defeat it nevertheless.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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