Resident Evil: Deadly Silence

aka Biohazard: Deadly Silence in Japan.

 

Purchase at Play-Asia

 

Nearly ten years after Resident Evil was released, Capcom decides to bring back the original game onto the DS. Now this isn’t the first or second re-release for the classic game that brought survival horror to the masses. The game had a “Director’s Cut” re-release and then later a complete remake as one of the early Gamecube launch titles. Does Resident Evil: Deadly Silence trump all of the previous versions of Resident Evil? Not really, but then again it’s not trying to.

 

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence starts off with the original FMVs from the Playstation game. Yes all of the cheesy dialogue and B-rated acting are intact, except for a little downgrade in the quality of the video. The story begins as S.T.A.R.S. members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine stumble upon a mansion in the middle of the woods after a pack of angry dogs chase them. Maybe the would have had better luck dealing with the dogs because inside the mansion are a bunch of flesh eating zombies. Like any remake, Resident Evil: Deadly Silence sticks to the original story. It even goes as far to stick with all the original voiceovers and text.

 

Much like how Resident Evil: DS keeps the original story it keeps the original gameplay too. Back in 1996 the awkward 3D controls were considered acceptable. You have to turn your character around with the D pad and then press forward to run. Resident Evil: Deadly Silence doesn’t improve on the original control scheme or even try to use the stylus, which could have improved on the controls. Instead you’re stuck with the original PS1 set up. If you want to fire your weapon, hold down the R trigger button to lock and load. Once you familiarize yourself with the controls you’ll be off blasting zombies away and solving puzzles to uncover the mystery of Umbrella. Unlike other remade Capcom classics, all of the items are in the same location. Since Resident Evil has lots of fetch quests, the game is easily completed if you’ve beaten it before.

 

While Resident Evil: Deadly Silence lacks the Crimson red zombies and enhanced AI from the Gamecube games there are a couple of DS’ special features in Rebirth mode. For starters both Chris and Jill start out with a knife that can be activated by pressing the L button. This allows for quick slashing and ammo conservation. It’s also the perfect chance for Capcom to add in a new knife slashing mini game. Sometimes when you enter a room you’ll be thrown into first person mode with your knife in hand as your only defense. You need to draw lines on the bottom touch screen with the stylus to slash your knife back and forth. Also some of the puzzles were remade with the touch screen in mind. For instance the Shark Tank puzzle has you turn a valve with the touch screen. Another change is how the game uses the microphone. There’s one point in the game where you have to revive someone using it. Other changes in rebirth mode are designed to make the game more portable friendly. Resident Evil still limits the amount of saves you can make, but in rebirth mode there are even more ink ribbons lying around. This was a wise decision by Capcom since you can actually play the game in short bursts without having to waste your limited number of saves. The game also gives you much more ammo than in the original mode. Winning the knife slashing game causes an ammo drop. Other times you’ll find ammo where it wasn’t before. This does make the game rebirth mode a little easier, but it also makes it better suited as a handheld game.

 

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence also has a local area wi-fi mode that is reminiscent of Resident Evil: Outbreak. You start out by controlling one of four characters as you battle zombies as a group (cooperative mode) or separately (competitive mode). The multiplayer experience is OK, but it’s pretty basic for having two copies of the game. If they added in new scenarios or a game like zombie tag it would be more interesting.

 

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence looks just as sharp as the original PS1 games. The same pre-rendered backgrounds are used again on Resident Evil DS. The dimly lit hallways look great on the DS. As for the character models, they’ve been improved upon. Jill and Chris return with less jagged edges. Since the game also comes intact with all of the FMVs the Nintendo DS shows that it is capable of pulling of a PS1 port.

 

One thing that gamers are bound to do is compare Resident Evil: Deadly Silence against Resident Evil 4. Instead of being an action game like Resident Evil 4, the original game was more of an adventure game. Ammo was limited, which forced players to think about when to shoot. There’s lots of backtracking when you’re searching for a certain item and what some people are really going to complain about are the lack of scares. When Resident Evil first came out “shock scares” like the dogs jumping through a window were new, but now after so many survival horror games the effects just seem tame. It’s really the long time fans of the series who are going to get the most out of Deadly Silence. It’s a solid port of a classic game with just a few new bells and whistles.

 

Import Friendly? Literacy Level: 1

The Japanese import “Biohazard: Deadly Silence” uses English voice actors so you’ll be able to understand the story. Whereas all of the menus and item names are in Japanese, mostly in katakana. If you’ve played any of the other versions of Resident Evil before you should be able to import this without a problem.

 

US Bound?

Capcom is releasing Resident Evil: Deadly Silence on 06.02.07.

 

+ Pros: Nostalgia for Resident Evil fans with a couple of new features like a knife slashing mini game.

 

– Cons: Washed out FMV graphics and the lack of this being a real remake limit the game to fans of the original PSX title.

 

Overall: Don’t come into Resident Evil: Deadly Silence expect a similar experience as Resident Evil 4 or hoping for a bunch of new content. Resident Evil: Deadly Silence is really a port of the original game, with a couple of features that take advantage of the DS’ hardware.

 

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