View Full Version : LTTP - Resident Evil Directors Cut

23-12-12, 11:18
[Minor spoilers await]

I'm putting this in the PS3 section as I''m scared the retro police would lock me up, and it pertains more to how the game has changed from a modern perspective rather than an awakening of nostalgic fuzziness.

Backstory -
I never played the original Resident Evil, instead of jumping into 32bits I bought a PC isntead. I did watch a friend play some of it, and by the time that i did pick up a cheap PS1 it was after Nemesis, so I played Resi2 and Dino Crisis, both of which provided moderate suspense, and plenty of jump scares.

Recently I played through the original Silent Hill for the first time ever, and I found that incredibly creepy and nerve-wracking, possibly in part due to the knowledge that there were never any enemies that i could truly feel that my weapons could easily take them down without me suffering damage, but mostly due to Akira Yamaoka's fantastic audio work.

The point of this post -
From my experience, and from a decade of reading articles about it, the original Resident Evil had always been remembered for it's psychological suspense horror, more than a use of "jump-scares" that were widely regarded as the backbone of the follow up games on the psone.
Due to this, when it came to finally sitting down to play the game properly, I thought that I should really play it on the PS3, as with a large screen and meaty speakers, I figured this would give the greatest immersion and impact, over the other option which was a PSP or Vita with heaphones.
I'm not so sure of this though, as I feel the game has been changed by modern lifestyles, and gaming conventions.

Although the music is fitting, and the camera angles/lighting obviously meticulously crafted, the game seems to have lost a lot of it's psychological impact. This feels though that it may have had a positive impact on the effectiveness of the jump scares that are used. Back in the day i had witnessed the dogs jumping through the window, I'd read countless accounts since, many citing this section of the game, and yet it still had a huge impact on me this time around, leaving my heart racing for a while afterwards.

I had read the note from the keeper, mentioning the dogs escaping, I thought ti myself "Hur hur, them dogs will be jumping through the window soon" but I was never apprehensive about pressing on, and having to deal with this, the signposting of their imminent arrival didn't phase me at all. Later on, I'm strolling around being ever so complacent, searching a line of desks, all containing "Creepy stuff"
This is when I slightly disconnected with the environment, as I started thinking to myself about how despite some interesting writing earlier, these lines of dialogue seemed to have been localised to similar standards to that of the voice acting. I believe it was this disconnect from the world, and increased complaicency that made the shock of the dog attack in the next few seconds have the impact it did. Suddenly I was confronted with potentially a fast and dangerous animal (having recently finished Dark Souls my gaming brain tells me that wolves/dogs are potentially very rapid killers) and I had to trust that my muscle memory had learnt enough so far to be able to ready my weapon, and squeeze off a few attacks before it got too close (not to mention the panic that I may have left my knife equipped)
This led to a realisation that those shoddily localised lines of flavour text were very probably entirely intentional, to lull the player into a false sense of calm.

Back to PS3 vs. Vita, I'm starting to think that as I'm not experiencing as much suspense as i had imagined, that perhaps I would be just as well to play it curled up on the sofa, or in bed with headphones, and would not lose too much atmosphere.

Perhaps the biggest change of all though is the use of an ipad. With a quick and easy way of taking and amending notes, coupled with the reduced impact of the horror, the game has pretty much changed genre to me, from survival horror, to more of an adventure game, with a slight bit of roguelike.

No longer am i advancing through the world, wary of using resources, not knowing when might be my next opportunity to restock, but I'm travelling through, taking notes, and planning. Planning because I am comfortable with death, as it is not a means of losing valuable progress, but more a mechanism of scouting. Due to the limit on the amount of possible chances to save the game, I have ended up with a 'base' save, and I have been scouting the mansion from here, noting down what i find. This then allows my strategy brain to piece together a better 'run' for the next time, that will take me through the least infested routes, or allow me to optimise the order in which i collect and use items, so that I don't reach the herbs with a full inventory, or get to a door without the correct key.

This is not the experience that i had expected to have (I was going in thinking Silent Hill scariness, with puzzles that weren't as clever, and some fun b-movie voice acting) but after a few hours adapting to the new style of play it's an experience that I am enjoying easily as much. Games that really scare me also have the side effect that I don't want to play them for more than an hour at a time, as they are too stressful, but i'm finding i can sit with this, make my maps, and enjoy working the strategy and planning side of my brain, hopefully the love affair will continue for the remainder

TLDR: Resident Evil, it's not as scary anymore, and is more of an adventure game now that there are very easy way to make/annotate your own maps, but probably as good or better for it