Also available on Gamecube, Wii, Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 3/14/2019 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
I first played Resident Evil 0 back on Gamecube, and it was actually one of my early Resident Evil experiences after the PlayStation original and Resident Evil 4 (which I played on Wii). Zero’s release at the end of 2002 was the perfect accompaniment for the remake of Resident Evil that had come out in the beginning of 2002 as it takes place immediately before the first game not far from the infamous Umbrella mansion. It was originally a Gamecube exclusive before being ported to Wii and then remastered in HD for Microsoft’s and Sony’s 2000s HD systems, and while it does somewhat show its age as a 17 year old game, it still holds up as a pretty good game in 2019.
In Resident Evil Zero, a team of elite cops from Raccoon City – a sister squad to the STARS members that starred in the first game – is sent to investigate a series of cannibalistic murders in the forested mountains near Raccoon City. They quickly discover a crashed military police vehicle and two dead MPs who were apparently transporting a dangerous murderer named Billy Cohen. You start off playing as Rebecca, a rookie STARS medic, and are investigating a mysteriously stalled train while also searching for Cohen. Upon realizing that there’s some cataclysmic outbreak going on, Rebecca realizes that the only hope for survival is to cooperate with Billy.
The game overall feels a lot like the original Resident Evil; most of it takes place in a mansion with zombies where you have to solve ridiculous puzzles that would never exist in the real world in order to proceed. It’s really good overall, but there are a few stylistic choices that really kill it for me to some extent. The biggest issue is the inventory. Inventory space is extremely limited which, in and of itself, isn’t a problem. The problem is that there’s no item storage like in the original game, and some of the items take two spaces. The hookshot especially is a problem because it takes two slots, and you need it at various points through the game right up near the end, but it never tells you when you’re done needing it. Like, I get it, scary horror spoopy games use limited inventory to make it spoopier, but this is just annoying.
Having gone from playing on Gamecube to playing PlayStation 4, the visuals were quite impressive given that it was just a simple upscale. The controls can feel a little archaic especially where the tank controls are concerned, but the game is much more playable in a modern context than 1, 2, 3, or Code Veronica are (although I still love those games). Resident Evil 0 does leave a bit to be desired in the details, but it’s still. an extremely playable game. Whether you play it on the Gamecube, the Wii, or the PS4 or Xbox One, it’s a fantastic experience.