Like watching old horror movies, revisiting older video games of the same genre can be quite a hit or miss experience. Frights that spooked you before don’t have the same impact, eerie atmospheres don’t invoke the same sense of dread, and once-grotesque creatures look like polygonal disasters. Thankfully, Resident Evil Origins Collection doesn’t fall into this trap, and instead elevates the series’ genesis to new heights.
The Origins Collection consists of two games: HD remakes of the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0, telling the inception of the iconic franchise’s roots. The two games in the collection are in the best form to date. High-res graphics, including a shift to a widescreen format from the original 4:3 ratio (these games came out before everyone had an HD TV) make them the best-looking reiterations of Resident Evil yet. Updated control schemes that make more sense on the modern controllers of the PS4 and Xbox One also feel like a major upgrade to both games. It makes us wonder how we actually got through them with archaic control schemes back in the day.
The visuals, particularly the character models, have seen a spit-‘n-polish, giving them new level of detail and believability. It doesn’t change the formula of the gameplay much, but the higher-fidelity does make enemies easier to see and more gooier to shoot than ever before.
The environments themselves are reignited with some enhanced lighting and new textures. The original game’s mansion takes on a new life and the classic fixed camera-perspective really helps highlight the impressive level design (even for its time).
Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0 play in very similar ways. Fixed camera perspectives, stop-and-shoot mechanics, puzzles, enemy bosses, and exploration are all still the name of the game here. The real variation comes in Resident Evil 0, where you’re able to switch between the game’s two protagonists in order to solve puzzles or add some strategy to your inventory.
As for new features, the only new addition besides the cosmetic and control enhancements is Wesker Mode, which becomes available upon completion of the campaign in Resident Evil 0. That puts replayability through the roof, since Wesker (the franchise’s notable villain who is infected by the Uroboros virus) is one hell of a formidable protagonist and makes for a fun alternate way of playing the game.
Given that you get two games for the price of one, Resident Evil Origins Collection is a great package packed with Resident Evil nostalgia. Newcomers may find some of the idiosyncrasies with the franchise’s past a bit frustrating, but some of it adds to the charm.
The Resident Evil Origins Collection is available as both a physical disc and a digital download, if you want to buy either game separately.