Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Apr 10, 2014
Platform  :  PlayStation
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Ouch! When I said, "bite me", I did not mean it literally!

The Good

Resident Evil (a.k.a Biohazard) brought the survival horror genre to life for an audience that had not heard of the genre before, or confined it to games that were not terribly scary or fun to play; i.e. the first Alone In The Dark game.

Never before had most gamers played a game quite like this before. Resident Evil level's of graphic violence, blood and gore was jaw dropping to a generation of gamers who were used to the censorship policies of the two home console gatekeepers; Nintendo and Sega.

Yes, Sega had a bit more of a liberal policy then Nintendo, but most of the games released for a Sega system that featured graphic violence, tended to be using it as a gimmick. This was not the case with Resident Evil.

The adult content in Resident Evil was not just a gimmick to cover up an otherwise lame or inferior product. The graphic violence, blood and gore and (if you looked closely) some risque pictures all served to tell a story along the lines of the great horror films.

Resident Evil's story paid homage to classic horror films, while also offering up some of developers own gruesome ideas.

The adult content puts you in a truly interactive horror film, and also helps set the stage for what would probably happen if employees -- who lived and worked in a giant mansion/lab -- slowly became infected with a deadly virus.

Many of the elements used to make a great scary movie were wonderfully brought into the video game world through this game.

In addition to the story, the game featured some truly incredible graphics, music and sound effects. Yet, Resident Evil was not just a "pretty face".

The character control were responsive, tight and easy to master. In a game that requires brains as well as (well-armed) brawns, it was refreshing to see how natural it felt to solve puzzles or unload a clip onto a monster.

The result was that Resident Evil became a game that the player wanted to fully explore, while also being downright terrified at what could be behind the corner or in the next room.

Players of Resident Evil had every reason to be terrified, although we might have been to macho to admit it to our peers.

It did not take long before players realized that the Umbrella was up to no good. The Gothic mansion housed undead former employees as well some of the most creatures ever seen in a video game.

The way that these video game zombies looked, moved and, yes, the creepy sounds that they made, invoked a level of terror only the great horror films have been able to mine out of people.

It was not just zombies! The design of the dogs, birds, mutants, giant spiders and snakes all were designed to bring out the horror in surrvial horror.

The sound of a door opening, a nice way to handling the loading time, meant walking into the dangerous and undead unknown.

The music played in a room with a storage chest was designed to set a more relaxing mode, just as the music used during a boss sequence was designed to make you want to turn the lights back on.

The Bad

Resident Evil has great controls, until you see how much better the controls were in Resident Evil 2 and 3.

Yes, it may be an unfair (or odd) complaint, but you may not fully appreciate all of the Resident Evil's control quirks, until you see how much better things ended up being in the two sequels.

Resident Evil has the computer control the camera angle, and most of the time it does a superb job. However, a few times in the game existed, when the computer's choice was not especially helpful or what I would have chosen.

The full-motion-video is excellent, although the acting involved is (at times) strictly average. Having seen the full-motion-video of the Sega CD, it was nice to see it done well here, but I can also appreciate why live actors were not used in the sequels.

Some of the language used in the game is a bit off, i.e. the master of unlocking, although I probably be annoyed if it was changed today.

Lastly, it probably should be noted that the game was, slightly, censored. It is not a huge complaint, but the original full motion video clips did show some of the main characters lighting a cigarette.

The game already had a "Mature" rating, so it is not likely that this video clip would have impacted the ESRB rating. It is not really necessary from a story standpoint, but it does feel a tad silly that it was cut.

It was cut from the Playstation 1 (even the re-released Director's Cut), but I think it was included when the game was ported over to the PC.

This makes the censorship even sillier, because it seems to be suggesting that a 17+ PC gamer is somehow better able to handle a game character smoking cigarettes, then a home console gamer.

The Bottom Line

Resident Evil really put the horror in surrvial horror, and the fun in trying to survive. Playing the game feels like being the star in a classic horror film, and it will certainly make you rethink your position on playing video games with the lights out.