There isn’t much to fuss about regarding a franchise nearing its third decade of hardcore fandom, replayablility value, and absolute, utter terror. Welcome to Spencer Mansion!
“Wait, haven’t we already played this?” Well of course we have! This is partly because Resident Evil HD Remaster released on January 19th of this year, but it’s MOSTLY because this is a remastered version of the remake of the original 1996 classic. Yep, you read that right.
Resident Evil, the name synonymous with all things terrifyingly dreadful, has had some not so shiny sequels and spinoffs throughout the years, watering down the legacy for newcomer hopefuls. Interestingly enough, it’s taken another trip to Spencer Mansion to fully realize the 2002 remake’s true testament to horror survival games. Well polished and primed, Capcom has made sure this remastered version will hit dyed-in-the-wool fans where it hurts (so good!) the most. Tighter controls, delicious graphics, and the sweet sounds of the undead we all know and love are what bring this game home for fans both experienced and fresh out of the storm.
Get acquainted, once again, with Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, each core character bringing their own spin in this original story of survival of the fittest. Although she has a bit less health overall, Jill can carry just about anything with an oversized inventory. And while Chris might be lacking in pocket space, he definitely packs a punch with heavy weapon damage.
Surviving Spencer Mansion encompasses every aspect of the word. Knowing how to manage your resources is paramount – I was in for a rude awakening upon recalling blowing through ammo in several rooms prior when I happened upon a MUCH bigger issue down the hall. Save those bullets for when you need them. There’s no hand holding here since resources don’t respawn. Pinching keys, ammo, and health packs wisely is in your favor. What’s that? Even saves aren’t unlimited? Sorry folks! This is what true horror survival looks like.
For newcomers, the experience is thriving with surprise, anxiety, and action packed into nearly every corner. The nooks that are left over are full of spine-tingling anticipation, doors swung open in complete terror, and the tiny slivers of hope fleeting through the creaky floorboards as the undead descend upon you from seemingly out of nowhere. For veteran Resident Evil fans, there is still enough to take you by surprise as the entire play through is ripe with nostalgia and new twists. While character dialogue has even been revamped a bit, the quirkiness that we all fell in love with the first time around still rubs off.
All in all, my revisit to Spencer Mansion was no doubt another thrill ride. The same but yet not the same, frightening yet fun, utterly terrifying and still full of all the things I continue to wish for in new survival horror games. Douse yourself in all that Spencer Mansion has to offer – fog, lights, shadow, creaks, shudders, hair-raising moans, and the sweaty panic that comes with being chased down a dark hallway by who-knows-what.
Don’t wait for another twenty years to go by. Play Resident Evil HD Remaster NOW and unravel the dreaded story that started it all – available on Steam for $19.99! Resident Evil HD Remaster is also available on PS3, PS4, 360, Xbox One.