With several years typically passing between properly “numbered” RESIDENT EVIL sequels, Capcom will never shy from remastering and remaking hallmark titles in one of their most celebrated cash-cow franchises. Granted, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the original RESIDENT EVIL’s release, but that watershed moment for the legendary publisher has already been re-released for just about every Sony PlayStation platform since the original PlayStation where it debuted in 1996.
In fact, the 2002 Nintendo Gamecube-exclusive prequel RESIDENT EVIL 0 had hitherto been one of the only main games in the series to have never received the rehash. Therefore, the prequel now resurfaces for the first time in a ported remake for the PS3 and PS4.
The RESIDENT EVIL universe ranks alongside METAL GEAR SOLID and KINGDOM HEARTS for sheer confusing and complex lore, but the oft-forgotten prelude to the original RESIDENT EVIL’s incident at the Spencer Mansion in the Arklay Mountains outside Raccoon City holds some fascinating ties both to games that already existed when it debuted and even others to come.
Here’s the obvious one: the entire game is set the day before the Spencer Mansion incident as the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team’s Rebecca Chambers and stranded convicted murderer Billy Coen investigate a disastrous train crash and unexplained murders in the Raccoon City suburbs. The narrative significance runs deeper, though.
More importantly, the game fleshes our RESIDENT EVIL 2’s Dr. William Birkin as the pivotal developer of the deadly G-virus and co-conspirator of longtime big-bad Albert Wesker. RESIDENT EVIL 0 was the game that cast a brighter light than ever before on Birkin’s lengthy history with the Umbrella Corporation.
There’s even a non-canon thread binding RESIDENT EVIL 0 to the eventual story of RESIDENT EVIL 5. The remake adds Wesker Mode, an unlockable mode that puts the player behind Uroboros-enhanced Wesker himself, complete with his RESIDENT EVIL 5 skill set and attire. It’s an indulgent experience guiding a monumentally overpowered villain.
Featuring remastered HD visuals and sound with new and classic control options as well, RESIDENT EVIL 0 is downloadable today for $19.99 on the PS3 and PS4 PlayStation Stores. On the other hand, PS4 physical disc fans can also get their hands on the remake by way of the RESIDENT EVIL Origins Collection for $39.99 alongside the RESIDENT EVIL HD Remaster.