Resident Evil Zero originally was released for the N64, and was later given a release for the Nintendo Gamecube. This addition to the series came out substantially later than the original Resident Evil, and explores the events prior to the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team members wandering the maze-like Spencer Mansion. The Gamecube version introduced the “Partner Zapping” system, which enables the player to, in a way, be in control of two characters simultaneously, and do tasks not easily done by one character alone. Resident Evil Zero sheds massive light on both Albert Wesker and William Birkin, who can both be fond in previous releases to the series. This installment gives insight to the enigmatic T-Virus that devastated Raccoon City and the Spencer Mansion. Overall, Resident Evil Zero fills in some of the plot holes created by the subsequent games.
The original release of the game utilizes the abilities of the N64, but the game went through a massive overhaul when it was later released for the Nintendo Gamecube. The Gamecube release even rivals the graphics of the Remake: The environments, the characters, the B.O.W.’s all have an exceptionally better look. The graphics of this game enhance the Resident Evil feel making the degree of horror extremely high. The realism of the zombies in Resident Evil Zero makes them exceptionally gruesome when compared to those of the original.
The voice acting is nothing overly impressive, but is an improvement from some of the previous installments to the series. Some notable voice actors, such as Richard Waugh, make a return giving life to recognizable characters from the past. The overall game music is impressive be it the “Leech Summoning” done by mysterious robed man or the eerie tones given as Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen wander the halls of the Marcus Mansion. The noises from the various B.O.W.’s are like that of the Remake.
Resident Evil Zero is not best noted for its plot; the plot seems a bit too out there and borders science fiction rather than survival horror. The game itself explores the perspective of a S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team member, Rebecca Chambers, prior to her entering the Spencer Mansion and meeting up with her fellow teammates of Alpha Team, and that of an escaped convict, Billy Coen. Resident Evil Zero has the feel as if it were merely designed to cover up some holes presented in earlier games; however it does expand greatly on the motivations behind some of Umbrella’s key employees.
Resident Evil Zero is generally frowned upon by a good portion of the survival horror community due to its overall plot, but still has high entertainment value and is a good place to start granted you are new to the Resident Evil series. The game has an “Easy Mode”, which makes the style of play easy to get accustomed with. It is also interesting for those who have a high fascination for Albert Wesker as we see more of how he was prior to the mansion incident, and are given more insight about his days with the Umbrella Corporation. Resident Evil Zero has virtually no replay value.