I think I've spent so much time reinforcing a narrative that "The original Resident Evil
is my favorite game in the series" that I've succeeded in convincing myself, and can play the game without being completely blown away
, but finish it in a couple hours and think during the end credits that I am indeed comfortable calling this my favorite. I think, if anything, the major conflict would come between this and Resident Evil 2
, but there are a few too many parts in 2
that feel like they've included too many zombies in a tight corridor for little reason other than to make you waste ammo, whereas 1
is better at allowing "fight" and "flight" both as valid options. And 2
only has the Giant Moth to go against the "B-movie giant monster" Yawn, Black Tiger, and Plant 42 whom I like here (and whose influence makes me enjoy Resident Evil Zero
so much as well; later games in the series go too hard on super-zombies that they neglect other flora and fauna).
One thing that always intrigued me was how it's actually impossible to play the "canon" version of this game's story. In the game, you must choose between either Chris or Jill. Throughout the game, Chris will run into Rebecca, and Jill often meets up with Barry. You have to take steps to save your buddy, and you have the ability to save the opposite player-character later in the game. The way Chris's game works, he cannot save Barry, as he never runs into him in his story; Jill never runs into Rebecca. As later games and CGI movies will show, all four STARS survive the mansion incident. The mansion is pretty big, but not big enough that Chris, Jill, Rebecca, and Barry can wander the entire thing without Chris and Jill meeting before the end, or Chris bumping into Barry or Jill bumping into Rebecca. The structure of the game does not allow for an intermingling of story routes, despite later canon proving the existence of a combined tale. An interesting extension of this split is that later games, Resident Evil: Code Veronica [バイオハザード コード：ベロニカ]Resident Evil 5 [バイオハザード5]
, would base large chunks of their story specifically on the Chris route here, making it almost completely improbable for Jill to have confronted Wesker and the Tyrant
, as these later games' antagonist bases much of his motivation on Chris having laughed at the Tyrant in the lab under the Spencer Mansion
Another thing I love is the subtleties of the "ludonarrative" beyond the conflict between what you play versus how canon works. In both routes, to prevent Rebecca or Barry from dying, you have to do certain actions at certain times. Certain cues pop up to nudge you gently into the right direction, but at no point does the game hold your hand and say, e.g., "That sounds like Rebecca's scream, whom I last saw in the save room under the stairs! I should go check it out! Hopefully there are no Hunters afoot!
" You should be able to tell who is in danger by the voice, and rush to the location to make sure shit's okay. It may be common for a novice player not to expect the game will carry on regardless of if you can get in place in time, and it may be a nuisance to learn the hard way, but that's part of why it's called "survival
The only issues I personally have with this game are that 1) the rough graphics make the underground tunnel between mansion and lab look extremely
fucking ugly, and 2) the PSN version I got for $6 only contains the "Director's Cut - DualShock Version" with its new soundtrack, so I'd have to spend $50 or so in order to play the original game with the original music. I don't actually dislike the music in the DualShock Version, even the basement tune, but I don't like that I lack the option to use the original score.
But yeah, Chris's campaign is a bit rough. The extra number of enemies can get pretty annoying and having 2 less inventory slots doesn't really add challenge as much as it increases backtracking. Jill's campaign feels perfectly paced in comparison tbh