Well, Resident Evil, certainly one of the DEFINING Survival Horror games of our times. Creepy atmosphere, scary monster’s, and probably some of the best Contro…
Okay I’ll stop trolling you with that.
Resident Evil 1 was probably one of the most fun games in the early PlayStation Lineup, when Sony was pretty much shoving off any Japanese RPG trying to hit American Shores. Resident Evil opened the door for Capcom to get used to the stronger PS1, and save them from utter bankruptcy. (Making too many Street Fighter Rereleases will do that.) Resident Evil is probably one of the earlier cases of Survival Horror, at least in terms of a 3D game, but…they had some errors going into it originally.
The First was direction. You see, while the game has many similarities to ANOTHER Capcom Survival Horror game. There is an Issue, it was a 2D survival Horror game, and a DAMNED scary one at that. It’s Called Sweet Home, by the way I really prefer if you are a horror fan that you CHECK THIS GAME OUT. It’s definitely is the one of the grandfathers of the Horror Genre. However, note how I said Horror, instead of Survival Horror. Resident Evil had a strange sense of direction, it was Originally SUPPOSED to be a Remake of Sweet Home, and in some ways it get’s the job done. The mansion setting is truly haunting and gives you a true sense of fear throughout the game, the enemies are fairly aggressive but entirely realistic, making slow haunting movement toward your character, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAND you take Drugs to heal yourself (Sweet Home had E-Pills, and Resident Evil had ‘Medicinal’ Marijuana.)
How that’s where the Similarities end. Resident Evil, was different from Sweet Homes in terms of A few thing, but one thing changed it COMPLETELY.
Guns added a sense of ease to defeating your zombie enemies, however, there was a catch. Ammo for the most part in Resident Evil was very scarce, and wasting bullets on simple enemies was a great way of getting you in a tight spot. However, this worked for the horror aspect as it added tension, the tension of trying to survive in a otherwise, non survivable experience. The HORROR of actually trying to survive, in a situation that you cannot possibly survive in.
Yes this VERY simple thing, along with the asthetic and lighting choices made RE quite the scary thing, there was nothing more scary that not having enough bullets to tackle a zombie, or trying to beat a Licker, with ONLY a pistol. That is where the fear of Resident Evil comes from, trying to survive to go into another room, This is different than Sweet Home, which took a more psychological horror style, and use music, creepy setting and PERMANENT character death, to create an immersive feeling that was out of this world.
So when people say Resident game created Survival Horror. In Terms of a Technical Sense, they are correct.
However, there was another problem with Resident Evil.
It wasn’t scary…at first.
You know how music can add to the atmosphere…Well, Resident Evil, at least the ORIGINAL, had…quite the questionable choice in music. Some of the tracks were Legitimately scary. However, when you gave the Original Intros to the game, you don’t get the feeling of a Survival Horror game, in fact you get a PARODY of Horror.
Evil Dead 2.
Which in itself, took itself to the very cheesy route compared to the original, and this had to do with the soundtrack and the acting. The acting was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more over the top, and Bruce Cambell was a maniac when it cames to his actions and emotional play. He was also a VERY hammy actor at this point. Which leads me to the NEXT point in Resident Evil, and while it’s not technically it’s fault, it’s still a glaring issue to my non scary Resident Evil point. The Voice Acting was bad.
But in a good way, the voice acting was so horrible, and the engrish so…engrishy, that you couldn’t help but fall in love with it. However, it took the fear out of the situation, because the voice acting JUST wasn’t convincing, you never believe they are actually in that situation, which makes the game itself rely on mostly jump scares. Which wasn’t scary back in the 80’s anymore I doubt they’ll be scary back in the 90’s, this wasn’t the problem in Biohazard, because of Subtitles and the fact that it was READ more than Listened to. However, remember that this script was written BY THE JAPANESE, with NO TRANSLATOR, and NO Voice Director...
I don’t think I need to say anymore
So how did Resident Evil work? A combination of all of those things, Resident Evil was Survival Horror by the essence of it being mainly about survival, you had to be careful and mind your equipment, your wits, and your ammo. That’s why people tended to like Resident Evil, the immersion factor came majorly from something as simple as creating a hard, difficult, yet equally scary situation to survive in, and Resident Evil from that point became an instant classic. But it was also a game that you can sit with your buddies crack a few beers, and have a laugh when it came to the cheesiness and the horrid voice acting.
Next Time I’ll look at RE2, which to me, is the game that Cemented the Survival Horror style of Resident Evil.
Resident Evil Retrospective.
Blog entry posted by Trexasle, Sep 29, 2012.
wastelander75 likes this.