reHorror presents: Countdown to Resident Evil’s 15th Anniversary (Part 4)
There’s something that many survival-horror titles have included as one of their traits. That something is an insufficient amount of ammunition and health supplies. Resident Evil was definitely no stranger to this (keyword: was). The horror felt through the classic games was made even more effective once players realized they had to do their best to try to save ammo and herbs/first aid sprays for only scenarios where it would be completely necessary. But is this an annoyance or something that makes the games even better? We’ll answer that very question tonight.
Use your supplies wisely
Ah yes, the beautiful concept of saving your ammo and herbs. Resident Evil has long been known for that. So much so that some people may have been turned away by the “difficulty” this concept may have presented. Unlike other games where you could simply stock up on ammo and go be ready to take down any foe, Resident Evil used a more tactical approach to combat.
Let’s take the first Resident Evil, for example. There wasn’t really a significant amount of ammunition and health supplies to be found in the Spencer mansion. This meant that players had to see to it that they save up a certain amount of ammo for the appropriate guns they’ll need to survive. They would also have to save up herbs and other healing supplies. If you knew a boss was coming up then you’d be wise to reserve some ammo/health for the encounter and possibly find ways to avoid typical zombie encounters leading up to it. Or, if you’re a true survivor, you could use your knife.
The point is, the lack of any substantial amount of ammo was actually a good trait of the classic franchise. And fans would later come to appreciate it the most when Resident Evil 4 and 5 hit the scene, bringing an action-packed focus for the franchise. Survival horror is defined by presenting scenarios to the player where they feel truly vulnerable to the horrors found in whatever location they’re in. Resident Evil’s sense of horror was pushed further by disabling players the access to a sufficient amount of ammo and health, meaning the survival in “survival-horror” was made all the more difficult. Resulting in a game that truly tests your ability to survive with the bare minimum amount of items.
This is a huge topic that can’t be covered entirely in one short post, so we’ll definitely be revisiting this particular aspect of the franchise at a later date. Once again, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org telling me your Resident Evil memories, and you’ll have a chance to be featured in a future installment of our countdown feature.