With the recent release of the Resident Evil remake on Steam, I thought it would be appropo to pregame with Deadly Silence for the DS (2006) before I start the inevitable gaming binge.
For those of you unfamiliar with the plot, you play as either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield. They are members of S.T.A.R.S., a special ops team that has been called in to investigate a wave of cannibal murders happening in quiet and quaint Raccoon City. They are ambushed, and take cover in an ever so conveniently located mansion where they must try to find their unaccounted for teammates and secure safe passage home.
Once I got passed the thinly veiled fart joke of a title, I had a really good time. I loved the Classic Mode; the changes made to the original game were much neededÂ (turning, tactical reload, useless knife not taking up precious inventory space? OMG IT MUST BE CHRISTMAS) but I couldnât help but yearn for a little more. Rationing inventory slots is part of the game play (or at least thatâs the cold comfort I told myself every time I found myself backtracking to an item chest) but I donât see how they could figure out how annoying it was carrying around a knife, but still be eluded by how irksome it is for a key to take up as much space in your inventory as a shotgun ammo can.
Playing Resident Evil as an adult rather than a tween, I became aware of a couple of things that escaped my notice prior. Just how terrible every single word of dialogue is for one, and how easy the developers made the game if you play Jill as opposed to Chris. This is illustrated most glaringly in the fact that for this port they decided to make Jillâs story line the Normal Mode (not flat out called Easy Mode only because admitting they made the game easier for the female character would be too blatantly sexist even for the people who brought us Cross Assault). Even though the original PS1 game had varying levels difficulty for both characters, Jill has always been the easier option to play compared to Chris. She starts out with a gun rather than the knife, she gets the grenade launcher, has a luxuriously spacious inventory, and she has the lock pick. Is it the most sexist thing in gaming? No. Unlike later RE games, sheâs actually dressed like a normal person and is wearing sensible boots that could believable be used to punt a skull. But representing a woman as weaker isnât the lesser of two evils compared to objectification, itâs just another brand.
I was unimpressed with Rebirth Mode in general. The reimaging of some of the puzzles was indeed entertaining and they did breathe a bit of fresh air into the experience; but it was just a couple of mouthfuls of oxygen in a room full of noxious sulphurous emissions. I donât think the differences were enough to warrant its own âmodeâ, though Iâm quite glad that a separate true port was offered. This is mainly because of that tedious first person knife mini-game that would frequently pop up. Ugh.Â You can just tell it was devised because some exec decided that since the touch pad was there, players needed to be reminded it existed every ten minutes. Maybe if the pay out was more significant (three bullets or a green herb that I need because of this speed bumpâare you kidding me?) or they were less frequent Iâd feel more warmly; but as it stands itâs obnoxious and doesnât add anything significant to the experience.
This is probably the best thing Erik and I fished out of the bargain bin at Gamestop; the nostalgia value alone is worth the purchase, and from the easily mastered controls to the graphics it works excellently as a port onto the DS.