Well, I beat it! I managed to fight my way through the catacombs, into the laboratory and, after some terribly un-shocking plot twists, escaped with Jill in the chopper. I’m guessing that this was, like, the bad bad ending because I thought I was supposed to fight Tyrant on the helipad and blow him up with a rocket launcher or something. Is it because I let Rebecca die, or did I miss something else entirely? That’s a little lame if you miss out on the real final boss just because one of your teammates dies, but whatever. It’s completely possible I missed some really important file in some room somewhere, and that lets fight him. Maybe I’ll look it up.
Anyway, I thought the endgame was pretty interesting. It was much more linear than most of the rest of the game, which was kind of exciting because it gave you a real sense of momentum. I’d say that I prefered the mansion segments more, though. I like the openness, even if you do end up having to do things in a pretty specific order. I wonder how they expand on this with the city in the second game.
The final setting of the laboratory itself was effective, too. I really liked the part where you go first person for a minute and plunk away at the Umbrella Corp computer, hacking the door lock system. It was a weird moment of departure but it worked really well and it was funny to see Chris’ hands hitting the keys and getting fidgety while he waited for things to load up.
I think it’s very cool that this game has so much replay value. Even aside from all the endings that I’m assuming there are, it seems that there’s a lot to do here. My understanding is that Jill’s quest is pretty different and definitely warrants its own playthrough. I didn’t even see poor Barry in Chris’ game at all, and I guess he’s pretty much the shit in Jill’s quest.
In addition to that, I’m playing on the “Director’s Cut” which includes a complete remix of the whole game with all the items in different places, so that’s pretty cool. Also a bunch of new costumes and stuff. It’s a pretty solid package overall–definitely more full-featured than a lot of games that come out these days, anyway.
All in all, Resident Evil has really impressed me. As I mentioned previously, and as you were probably able to tell, I wasn’t expecting a perfect 10 of a game, despite how long I’ve been anticipating it. I guess I assumed that, as with any genre pioneer in movies, tv, music or games, much of the love this game got was probably because it was the first not necessarily the best. I’d say that I’m generally biased against those types, and I tend towards the games that come out later on and iterate upon or even perfect the original ideas. Silent Hill is the obvious one in this case, and while I still think that’s a much stronger game, Resident Evil has certainly proved to me that it has its own value aside from being a jumping off point for its betters.
It is no mystery to me at all why this game launched an enormous franchise (and a million clones)–it’s awesome. And on a personal level, it’s supremely gratifying to not be let down after all this time of wondering if it was as good as every lucky duck who owned a PlayStation back in the day seemed to think.
It was worth the wait!