Getting Reacquainted with Resident Evil

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Have you always been interested in the Resident Evil series, but intimidated by the sheer number of titles with Resident Evil in their name, and just don’t know where to start? Well, get ready for the perfect jumping-on point for one of the greatest survival horror series in video gaming history. The Resident Evil Origins Collection – out now for Xbox One – is a handy-dandy compilation of the two starting stories in the Resident Evil universe, both remastered in HD for Xbox One. And of course, you can purchase them individually on the Xbox Store. Either way, let’s look at what you’re getting!

First, we have the original Resident Evil, remastered with upgraded graphics and some additional control options, while remaining faithful to the memorable dialogue and tense, tightly shot camera angles that made the 1996 release an absolute classic of the genre. The story changes slightly depending on which of the two protagonists you choose, but either way, you’re trapped in a creepy mansion during a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City, USA. Resident Evil gives you a knife, a gun… and not very much ammo; with that, you have to solve puzzles, fend off zombies, and use your wits to figure out just what caused this zombie infestation – and how to stop it. This game is the one that started it all, and there’s a reason why it kicked off such a huge craze: It’s incredibly fun, challenging, and scary, but it’s also got a wonderful kitschiness that you don’t often see in modern horror titles.

The other HD remaster is the popular and critically acclaimed 2002 entry Resident Evil Zero – making its first-ever appearance on an Xbox console. Set just before the events of the original Resident Evil, Zero follows another duo, but this time in a different setup: The two characters play through the entire game together, rather than splitting up. You control one character at a time, while the A.I. handles the other; you can “hot swap” between each character at the press of a button. The idea is for both characters to survive the events leading up to the zombie attacks in Raccoon City, and learn some of Resident Evil’s backstory in the process.

If you ask us, it’s best to play Zero first, and experience the story chronologically. On the other hand, it’s really up to you how you want to experience these games. Since there are tons of secret areas, branching paths, and multiple cut-scenes and endings to be seen throughout both titles, you can choose which way you want to experience the survival horror. Either together or separately, the Resident Evil HD remasters present an awesome value, giving newbies a way into the series for the first time, and vets a shot at playing a long-lost treasure of sorts in a totally remastered way. Just make sure you’ve got someone (or something) nearby to hug; these games are certainly not for the faint-hearted!