Resident Evil Zero was originally released on the GameCube in 2002 and was the final main Resident Evil title to use the original game play formula, which involved 180 degree turns, fixed cameras, conserved ammo, slow zombies, and more. It was also the final MAIN Resident Evil title to feature the Raccoon City area. It was later ported to Wii under the “Archives” branding and now, for 2016, Resident Evil Zero is back under the “HD” RE branding, which previously delivered updated versions of Code Veronica, REmake and 4, and now Zero joins the party for the Playstation 3/4, Xbox 360/One and Windows platforms.
The HD remaster does look really nice. In full HD running on the Xbox One, the game is beautiful. Items look photo realistic, rain puddles reflect the area perfectly, the lighting is well done, and the in game models were all touched up to look “Modern”. The in game controls have also been remastered. Originally, Rebecca and Billy handled like a tank, but like the REmake remaster last year, Zero introduces a new control scheme to modernize the controls and make them feel more fluid.
Capcom has done a great job with this remaster. Bringing the previously mentioned control schemes and updated graphics from REmake HD, but aside from that, Capcom has also introduced new in game bonus content. One that stands out is the return of Wesker Mode, which previously was in Biohazard PACHI-SLOT, in which it allows you to play as Albert Wesker in place of Billy. This in game mode is obviously non canon however, as Wesker is designed after his Resident Evil 5 counterpart, rather than his classic Resident Evil design. He does possess some handy powers however, such as being able to charge at enemies, give a death stare, and you can also mix herbs (Which Billy cannot do).
Resident Evil Zero HD does have its problems, however. When playing on Xbox One, there was a noticeable framerate drop in some areas, such as the top of the train, during the scorpion battle, and in some very large scenes. This is a very odd thing, considering the game was released over a decade ago on much older and weaker hardware than the Xbox One. Another problem we had with the remaster, that we had with the original release, is the inventory system. For some reason, they decided to remove the Item Trunks seen in all the previous games, and now, to get rid of items you simply drop them. This can cause problems, because if you drop a key and forget where you put it, you have to backtrack everywhere to look for it. Despite still having save game rooms with the beautiful music and typewriters, there are no item boxes to be found.
Resident Evil Zero HD is a great remaster of a great game that finally breaks free of its Nintendo shackles for a new audience. Ported to modern consoles to remind old and new fans what true survival horror is like, Resident Evil Zero does a great job with nearly every aspect, shaming modern Resident Evil “horror” games such as Resident Evil 6 and Operation Raccoon City. We highly recommend picking it up! You can get it via the origin collection for $40 on PS4/Xbox One, or via digital download for $20.