“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” — Some Dude in the Bible
I love the Resident Evil series. I’ve played through all of them (three times through the simply majestic Resident Evil 4), and I’ve loved them all. So when I picked up Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, I figured this would just be another in a long series of triumphs.
I hate being wrong.
Resident Evil: Deadly Silence is basically a rehash of the first Resident Evil for the PSX. At the time, that game was nirvana. That game was so amazing I stayed up nights playing it. While RE:DS is a fair recreation of that game, albeit with a couple bells and whistles thrown in, it no longer has that appeal; the dew has long since fallen from the lily.
Graphically, the game stands up fairly well against its predecessor. Jill and the STARS group look good on the diminutive DS screen, and the zombies really are rendered quite well. I was especially impressed with the cutscenes, which look fantastic on the small screen. One of the first such scenes is a zombie happily munching away on a human corpse—still provides that tasty little squick factor we all know and love from the RE series.
The audio is, to put it bluntly, crap. Environmental sounds are tinny and barely recognizable, gunshots report like cap guns and the voice acting is truly the worst I’ve heard in a videogame for a very long time. I’ve felt more emotion from a fifth grade production of Cinderella.
Gameplay is unbelievably frustrating. While the addition of a quick-turn feature is nice, Jill moves like a tank. She’s hard to maneuver in tight quarters and maddening when trying to fight-and-run in combat situations. The use of the touch screen to slash a knife through your foes is interesting, but does little to fix what amounts to a train wreck of a control system. Given the many interesting control options available to the DS, this is dropping the ball in a huge way.
With all its faults, RE:DS is still marginally amusing. Gunning down zombies while sneaking about a spooky mansion is an almost sure-fire formula, and as a somewhat flawed trip down memory lane, it’s an enjoyable little game. The ability to pack the Resident Evil experience, however weak this iteration may be, in one’s pocket is an attractive selling point. The fact that portability is probably RE:DS’ biggest strength is a testament to how feeble this title really is. The multiplayer feels very tacked on and does’t really add to the value of the game, regardless of the fact that performing CPR on your DS microphone is kind of amusing.
Capcom would have done much better to start from scratch rather than simply port over an old classic. RE:DS is not worth your hard earned gaming dollars. True fans of the series should consider a rent; other DS owners should run, not walk, to their local gaming store and buy Metroid Prime Hunters.