Resident Evil 4

Perhaps Resident Evil 4 did not even need to go so far out of its way in order to reinvent the franchise’s gameplay. Maybe the title could have gotten away just fine by neatly replicating, with better visuals, what its predecessors had done. But the bottom line is that the bold decision to throw a considerable dose of action into the series’ well-established survival horror formula paid massive dividends, and thanks to that, the game is a rare case of a property that essentially defined a genre also finding a way to reinvent it significantly. However, ultimately, Resident Evil 4 is not great simply due to how it takes a big leap and lands successfully; it is excellent because whether it is daring players to shoot up the place or challenging them to face the impending horror on screen, it is always coming up with engaging scenarios as well as generating an immeasurable level of tension.

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Resident Evil Zero

Resident Evil Zero is, much like its chronological sequel, a flawed game, with the shortcomings it exhibits being of a magnitude and frequency that make them very hard to ignore. At the same time, though, its prowess in matters of tension and fear is absolutely notable, because playing it is being constantly surrounded by sheer dread, whether stemming from an unshakable feeling that something horrifying is always about to happen or originating in its sometimes overwhelming shortage of resources, and that ability is boosted by a fairly original gameplay setup that finds its own signature both in a slightly heavier focus on action and in the presence of a duo of protagonists that must work together in order to survive. And it is thanks to those excellent features that the game justifies its existence, for although it does not succeed either in improving on the chapter that it works as a prequel to or in satisfyingly filling up the blanks it left, Resident Evil Zero plays sufficiently different but also pleasantly familiar to it, and even if such proximity does not continuously work for the best, it ends up being more positive than negative.

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Resident Evil

The immaculate and horrific atmosphere of Resident Evil is clearly the product of a game whose every single piece was designed to serve its ability to create tension. Sometimes, that subordination works for the best, as it is the case of its frightening scenarios, its calculated soundtrack, its obscure and fragmented storytelling approach, its controlled yet open-ended exploration, its ominous puzzles, and its dedication towards putting players in situations where life is only maintained through grueling survival. Sadly, that focus also causes a couple of considerable slips, which come to the surface in its constantly shifting and fixed camera angles as well as in the extreme implementation of its inventory system. As big as these problems may be, though, Resident Evil is just too successful in mixing genuine horror with engaging gameplay to be contained by any of that. Once it starts, its infectious suspense breaks through whatever physical barriers stand on its way, quickly surrounding gamers and immersing them inside a thriller that tests one’s capacity to both be resilient and not look away.

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Resident Evil: Revelations

Resident Evil Revelations is ridiculously easy to recommend. Even though almost half of its core campaign is wasted on not-so-compelling shooting sections, the survival segments are a showcase of the series at its very peak. At times, the storyline might get a little bit too convoluted due to the web of happenings surrounding it, but the plot – and the way it is slowly developed – keeps the experience interesting all the way through, going beyond making players wonder what is around the next corner, and also making them look forward to discovering the truth behind what is going on in the ship.

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