This will be a ‘2 in 1’ review tailored to the following:
- 2016 HD remaster of the otherwisely 2002 game, Biohazard Zero
- 2015 HD remaster of the otherwisely 2002 remake based on CapCom’s originally 1996 entry
As the game’s title implies, this entry has it’s Story mode as a prequel backstory styled expansion to the narrative of CapCom’s Biohazard videogame series. Offering you a choice of 3 difficulties [Easy, Normal, & Hard], the Story mode has one player otherwisely control two primary characters [Rebecca Chambers & Billy Coen] via the natively introduced Partner Zapping System; the Partner Zapping System will activate as soon as you make marginal progress playing particularly one character but I won’t mention which because it’s only fair to have you, the reader figure that out via a first-hand experience; however, I will mention the Partner Zapping System’s variety of functions beforehand:
- As a rule of thumb, you can switch the player-character & AI-character roles for Rebecca & Billy by pushing a triangular button on the PlayStation 4 gamepad; occasionally, there are scripted segments where you have to control one character to rescue the other
- Even though Biohazard Zero is single-player at it’s core, in-game environments themselves require twice the brainpower than the other single-player entries that were published prior to this particular entry
- Most but not all in-game puzzles necessitate both characters to solve them
- Liberalization of exchanging & discarding items in the context of a paradoxically conservative inventory system
Story mode will have you begin the game in a railroad transportation vehicle namely Ecliptic Express but it won’t be the only in-game environment; owned by Umbrella Corporation, the luxury train enabled it’s employees to travel the Arklay Mountains & as the Ecliptic Express was en route to a Umbrella’s reopened student-research facility nearby, an ex-employee stealthily unleashes an outbreak that literally puts the ‘crazy’ in ‘crazy train’ as all the passengers (not counting Rebecca & Billy because they weren’t yet at the Eclipic Express) mutated to a collection of flesh-eating fiends.
When you accomplish Story mode for the first time, you will be rewarded not simply one minigame that was present in the originally Nintendo Gamecube publication but also a deal-sweetening 2nd minigame in the context of CapCom’s HD republication:
- Leech Hunter is the unlockable minigame that was already part of Biohazard Zero. In this minigame, you are to collect Leech Charms & the prize(s) you unlock will depend on how many Leech Charms collected per playthrough. When you unlock a prize(s) from collecting Leech Charms, it will carry over to a replay of Story mode on the same file you used to complete Story mode in the first place
- Wesker Mode is the newly unlockable minigame unique to CapCom’s HD republication. This particular minigame is mostly the same as Story mode but importantly two gameplay differences are that Billy Coen gets replaced by the shady glasses rocking, superpowered Albert Wesker & you can automatically use unlocked prizes from the Leech Hunter onto a save file for Wesker Mode
All the unlockable Costumes from the originally 2002 publication, are now unlocked from the start in the 2016 HD republication; the HD republication contains one uniquely unlockable Costume & a couple of DLC [Downloadable Content Costumes]; if you have a disc-copy of the HD compilation, DLC Costumes can be obtained while not needing to worry about a compounded pricetag.
As implied by the simplistic title, the in-game story is essentially the same as CapCom’s very 1st Biohazard game all the way back on PlayStation but has been updated to accompany a modern audience. Contextually, a singular player is offered the choice between playing a Chris Redfield scenario or Jill Valentine scenario. Both characters inherit their gameplay differences from the originally 1996 game while bestowed additional gameplay differences via it’s remake. At the start, a choice of 3 difficulties [Very Easy, Easy, & Normal] will already be given to the player but as soon as they beat this game for the first time regardless of scenario & consequentially create a save file to reflect that completed playthrough, you will be provided a 4th difficulty setting [Hard] to choose from.
CapCom’s remake of the 1st Biohazard game will have the player exposed to physically contiguous yet marginal environments in a wider context of the Arklay Mountains. For that matter, the Arklay Mansion is where you will begin to play the game on either scenario. All in-game environments from the originally 1996 game have been restructured to accompany additional rooms & new pathways; the Biohazard remake includes a mixture of completely intact puzzles from the originally 1996 game, repurposed versions of puzzles from the originally 1996 game, partially remade puzzles that otherwise serve the same purpose as in the originally 1996 game, & completely new puzzles; all enemies from the originally 1996 game have returned in the context of updated models, animations, & voice clips but the remake introduces a few enemies that weren’t in the originally 1996 game.
Neither the 2002 publication of this remake or the HD republication of said remake contain unlockable minigames but this is not to say the game itself is deficient in unlockable content though. When the remake was first published, it already had a fair share of unlockable content:
- A few, unique weapons automatically set to ∞ ammo
- Closet Key that can open the Costume room
- Some unlockable Costumes rewarded by multiple playthroughs
- Real Survival mode, which is automatically set to Hard difficulty but more challenging than a ‘normal’ playthrough of Hard difficulty
- One Dangerous Zombie feature
As far as the 2015 HD republication is concerned, CapCom sweetened the deal via two more unlockable Costumes.
The HDified compilation lives up to the ‘Origins’ label not only because it contains two fundamental chapters of the Biohazard series but for that matter, Sony’s PlayStation brand is the original host to CapCom’s aforementioned videogame series even though you are also welcome to get said compilation on Xbox One or Steam. The compilation is an ideal way to alleviate the +10 years of Nintendo-exclusivity that had subjected these two particular chapters; even though some people are quick to say a Nintendo GameCube pad is the best way to experience an Action-Adventure game, that statement is deeply flawed because even though both Biohazard Zero & CapCom’s remake of the 1st Biohazard game fit the Action-Adventure criteria, I would argue the Nintendo GameCube pad was a far from ideal controller to use for these particularly two games:
- Long after personally playing region-locked copies of Biohazard Zero & CapCom’s 1st Biohazard remake under the Resident Evil label on an NTSC-US edition of Nintendo’s GameCube system, I almost completely don’t remember how their controls were mapped out on said system
- Nintendo’s GameCube pad looks like it was designed by a CEO who has tiny hands
- Controls that work for Nintendo’s own Action-Adventure games such as The Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime, & so on, aren’t always ideal for Action-Adventure games made by third-party companies