Despite having first appeared in 1996, the original Resident Evil game, much like the undead hordes that inhabit its universe, refuses to stay down. Since its debut on the PlayStation, it found its way onto the Saturn, the PS3, the PSP, PC, GameCube and even the DS. Now it’s the turn of the Wii to host Capcom’s classic survival horror.
Considering the DS version added touch-screen elements to the game, it seems fairly obvious that the Wii incarnation would have some kind of motion control system bolted on. Oddly, however, that isn’t the case; in fact, this is just a straight port of the GameCube version, which itself was a remake, featuring improved graphics, new cut-scenes and various gameplay changes. You can control the game using a GameCube controller, a Classic controller, the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, or just the Remote on its own. However, there are no motion controls, and you simply use the Remote as if it were a wire gamepad. Other than the addition of a choice of controllers, the game is completely identical to the GameCube version.
On the off-chance that there are few people left in the world who haven’t played Resident Evil, it’s a zombie survival horror set in the fictional Raccoon City. It follows a group from the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad (STARS), who are investigating a string of grisly murders in the city. To cut a long story short, they end up in a big, scary house on the outskirts of town, where hordes of flesh-eating zombies try to, er, eat their flesh. You take control of either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, and basically try to work out what the hell is going on.
Considering this title in isolation, it’s certainly still a tense, immersive experience, as you never know what’s around the corner or lurking in the shadows. Also, the puzzles add something a little different to proceedings, and solving them is suitably rewarding. Sadly, it’s also starting to feel quite dated, with terrible static cameras and a highly annoying ‘run, stop, turn, run’ control scheme. Although these were always contentious issues with the early Resident Evil games, they seem less forgivable in a modern context. That’s not to say it’s a bad game, though, because, just as gamers did before, you’ll be less bothered by these problems the more you play.
Ultimately, whether or not you should buy this game comes down largely to how cheaply you can find it. Its RRP is £20, but in that case you might as well get the GameCube version off eBay for half that. However, if you can get it for £15, it might be worth paying that little extra to be able to use your classic controller.
If you’ve never played a Resident Evil game, then you should probably skip this for now and try Resident Evil 4.
Resident Evil for Nintendo Wii is available now.