The second game for the game exclusive was Resident Evil 0 who’s main character was the popular sidekick from the original Resident Evil Rebecca Chambers along with a new character; (Who has not appeared since) Billy Coen who is a Military prisoner and an all round rough diamond.
The game uses the same engine as REMake with some tweaks, it looks great. I played it recently and still stands the test of time. The system in the game is now new with partners, more or less the first RE game to have a partner to this extent. You could have Billy and Rebecca on the screen at the same time and can switch with them freely to solve puzzles, kill enemies and explore.
The game plot happens just before RE1 and as such the monsters are more or less the same with some new additions, there are the “return” of some old faces and the plot serves really as a standalone prequel. The events of the same don’t have too much bearing on the overall plot other than RE1.
There are no other major changes in the formula for this other than the dual characters, it is still tank controls and the inventory screen. Doors have their own scene to be opened and the puzzles use the same techniques – this was more or less the last tank RE before RE4 changed the formula for good.
The plot takes place roughly 24 hours before the events of RE1 and follows the famous S.T.A.R.S Bravo team as they investigate a disturance in the Arklay mountain area. Rebecca chambers is a member of this team and the plot revolves around her and her new rapscallion friend Billy Coen as they try to get out of the nightmare.
The main bad guy of the game is a leech lord who’s indentity is unknown, but he was responsible for the release of the T-virus and through that responsible for everything in Raccoon City indirectly. There isn’t much appearances from him in the game much like any Resident Evil game, but you know he’s around.
There isn’t any surprises here as it’s a prequel, I think it’s a fair comment to say this game is a lot of fan service than a proper full continuation.
The controls on RE0 are the same as they have been, however on the yellow stick you can move the partner, which as you can imagine is necessary on some puzzles but not used anywhere else. The controls have started to show their age with this one, expecially when fighting the quicker Eliminator where the slow aiming and moving can punish you. Otherwise, they work well enough and still aid the tention when you can’t see round the corners.
The same inventory screen is back with the addition of the partners inventory side by side. This can be used to trade items, mix herbs (Rebecca) and so on. If you’ve played RE before, you know the score.
Once again, the puzzles are still a pattern of locked doors, keys and a logic puzzle. There’s nothing new in terms of puzzles here really other than the unbelievably frustrating dual puzzles, where the characters need to split up or use a particular item in a particular place with a particular character; it sounds fun on paper but in reality it’s difficult to know where to go and who to go.
The thing that fans have been waiting for, however, is the ability to drop items and no item boxes. Rebecca and Billy can now drop something in the inventory and pick something up to advance the plot. The item dropped stays in that location. This feature can be used to leave healing items strategically or leave key items that don’t need to be used yet. A bit of a double edged sword this one, handy at times but then you go somewhere where you really need something and you’ve left it far away. Still, it’s a new change for the series.
RE0 uses the same engine as REMake and as such was a gorgeous looking game with some great looking backgrounds, the main halls and the grand building return in great detail.
The enemies loitering about look real and the characters and the backgrounds fit with eachother a lot better than previous installments.
The graphics in the game are nothing new or innovative but they do look pretty decent and at the time when GameCube led the way RE0 was one of the best loking games full stop.
RE0 had some of the best music of the series in my opinion, particularly the main hall theme…other than that, it was standard RE music. The gun/monster noises were ripped from REMake. Really not much else to mention here. It fit it’s purpous and it is decent RE music, but it really is so similar to REMake that it seems really lazy.
Impact and Legacy
It’s fair to say that it had very little impac, REMake made a big wave but 0 was just too similar and GameCube still didn’t have enough fans to reach enough people.
Arguably, the biggest impact was the partnering system as this did, to some extent, carry on in all installments after however frustrating it was. This was RE0’s biggest impact and legacy.
Plot wise it didnt have much impact or a legacy as most characters died, or just didn’t appear again, which was a shame as Billy Coen and Rebecca did work well with eachother and were quite unique for a change.
Overall though, RE0 had it’s moments but it did have a limited lasting effect and impact- however it was a decent game.