Review by chunkyliver1204
"I've never played any in the series..."
The first time this came out, I wasn't really a Resident Evil familiar. Actually, I had never played one in my whole life! Though, after seeing this game got unbelievable reviews and hype, I thought, "maybe I should give this a try". It took me a week, but I finally persuaded my parents to let me get this. Was it worth it? I'll answer that this way: That was a stupid question.
Story: An Amazing achievement for the series.
You see how Umbrella is no more after the incident in Raccoon City. You are Leon Kennedy, a newly recruited agent working for the president. You are sent to a remote area in Europe (I'm pretty sure it's Spain) to find and rescue the president's daughter, Ashley. Two police officers drive you to the area. You see a house and see if anyone can help you. Leon enters the house and encounters a strange man tending to a fire. You ask whether or not he has seen Ashley. I think he curses you in Spanish, then turns away. As Leon starts to leave, the man swipes at him with an axe. Leon ducks out of the way. He pulls out his gun and tells the man to freeze. Leon has no choice but to eliminate him. After that, he hears a truck and several villagers outside. When Leon examines the man, he sees that he isn't a zombie. Leon makes his way to the village where many other villagers are going about their work. However, when Leon is spotted, they immediately stop and come after him. After a while though, church bells ring. Leon is astonished that they all drop their weapons and subconsciously, the villagers march toward the church.
The whole story will take Leon to all sorts of areas that are remotely dangerous and mysterious. He finds that the villagers are infected by parasites called the Las Plagas. He finds who is behind the madness and finds out about the plans he has in store for the world. It's up to Leon to stop him as well as get Ashley out alive.
Game play: There's no question why this game won game of the year. 10/10
The high point of the game (not that there are any low points though), it stands out from all other games. The formula for traditional Resident Evil has been tossed. Instead, everything is 3D and no more pre-rendered backgrounds. The camera follows Leon from an over-the-shoulder view.
The controls at first seem awkward and uncomfortable. However, once you see why the controls are the way they are, you'll love them. At first, I hated the scheme, you can't strafe left or right; you can't move while using your weapon or knife. This is all in a good way though. The game is meant to be tense and upbeat. This control scheme makes it all the more that. You do get a 180 turn button to make some things easier. The controls keep you on your feet. They are extremely easy to enjoy once you get the hang of it.
The game play in itself is remarkable. The game rarely ever really makes you jump, but it always has you preparing if there's a monster around the corner waiting for you (like the regenerators and their horrid breathing *shutters*). There are times in the game where it was so tense, I actually felt sweat trickling down my pits (yeah, gross, but I wanted to get the point across). Another reason the game stays tense is that all enemies have the very means to kill you VERY quickly if you're not careful. Even your average grunt villagers can strangle and swipe at you with pitchforks and other weapons. You'll never run out of ways to get Leon's head relocated. From getting attacked by a chainsaw wielder to one of the hideous parasites that occasionally pop out of certain enemies.
The maneuverability that Leon has is incredible (yeah, yeah, how can he be that way if he can't even jump? I'll tell you). The environments are so interactive. You can jump out of windows, jump over ledges, kick villagers, and all sorts of things by triggering an action button that will let you do that. Even during cutscenes (NEVER put down the controller, it usually won't be pretty if you do), there are sequences where you must run from a boulder by rapidly tapping A, or dodging a quick strike by pressing L+R or A+B. Most attacks from bosses and some enemies can be dodged by executing some of those.
The puzzles in the game are never to hard. They also never seem out of place. You'd even kind of expect them to be there. Something like aligning lights to create a symbol in a church is practical, not tedious. The puzzles give a brief break from the intensity of the game.
Graphics: Still looks better than most Next-gen games.
Wow. That's all there is to it. Wow. The cutscene graphics are exactly the same as the ingame graphics, but it doesn't matter, the ingame graphics are spectacular. The only difference is the camera angles are way different. The detail is immense. The exploding of an enemy's head is a very satisfying sight. The agony on villagers' faces when you shoot them in the face or shin is great. The hideous enemies that inhabit all of the game are enough to give some people nightmares (I actually had one about one of the giants. I haven't had a nightmare since I was like three!). The creatures give the feel of wanting to switch places with them even if you have a great weapon. They still make you look like a puny excuse for dinner.
The atmosphere is still that creepy RE style. The beginning setting is dead. Everything's dead. There's no life in the trees or plants. It gives a feeling of insecurity. The castle is just plain scary because of the fact that anything could pop out of a corner or out of nowhere (dang novistadors). The island, oh man. That just feels like the evil scientist lab kind of feel. Only, it's actually creepy.
The detail in character models looks great. Leon's and Ashley's hair blow in the wind. Rain bounces off their shoulders. All of the characters and enemies move in a very life-like manner. Everything moves separately on them. It's not like the hands are all one shape and it only moves one way. The fingers move separately, the facial expressions change, etc.
One more thing, the explosions are literally the best I've ever seen.
Sound: This is what scared the crap out of me the most.
At first, the music is a little repetitive, with only one theme for enemies, but it later picks up. After a bit, the themes vary from all sorts of things. The quick paced action sequences that sound like an upbeat drum session. Or the slow, creepy music that asks what lies ahead. The music is light and slow when you're in a safe area. It's very refreshing to hear it.
The sound effects are gorgeous. The screams of the enemies, the sound of a bullet, the clang of footsteps on metal, you name it. The sound of the heads exploding is just as satisfying as seeing it. The slow breathing of regenerators really makes you want to curl up and disappear. No music is sometimes what creeps you out the most.
Replayability: You'll never stop.
I'm currently working on my third playthrough, and it's still hasn't lost it's flare. There are several other things to unlock even after you beat the game. There's a side mission that's fun to do (which also unlocks one of the uber guns in the main game). There's a minigame called Mercanaries, which let's you use several different characters (you have to unlock them though) to kill as many enemies as you can before your evac chopper arrives.
There is a professional difficulty that's unlocked after beating the game once. It really bumps up the tensity factor.
Difficulty: Meh, a challenge.
7/10 (note that this doesn't affect overall score, it only refers to the scale of difficulty)
The game on normal mode is somewhat of a challenge. It isn't hard enough that you'll quit after one try. You'll want to keep replaying the parts you die on. That's the thing, the hard parts are the most fun parts of the game. You will probably die quite a few times, as the game lays it on pretty thick. The professional difficulty is a good step up for those who thought normal was too easy. It is no where near as forgiving as normal. It lays it on like a, well, uh, it lays it on more than normal by a lot. That's all there is to say.
Overall: The best game I've ever played. That is until I find a better game, but I doubt it will be easy to find.
The game is just fantastic. If you have a Gamecube or PS2, whichever, get this game if you don't already have it. It's too good to pass up.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/10/06
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